Lean Library Management: Eleven Strategies for Reducing Costs and Improving Services

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ALA Neal-Schuman


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  • Description
  • About the Author
  • Reviews
Libraries today face reduced budgets, increased customer expectations, and aggressive competition from web-based information sources. Management guru Huber, a pioneer and leader in the Lean Manufacturing movement, has worked as a consultant with libraries across North America. In this new book, he shows you how to apply Lean principles and practices--how making small, simple changes in everyday routines will reap large time- and money-saving results. You'll learn how to
  • Create a culture of change
  • Define and streamline your library's service delivery chains
  • Transform everyday operations like placing customer reserves and technical service processes
  • Implement performance measures that can drive continuous improvement
  • Apply Lean techniques in digital operations
Ten years of success-proven strategies and success stories from libraries where Huber has partnered are included throughout. By learning and applying these principles, your library will dramatically improve efficiency, service performance, and service lead times.

John J. Huber

John J. Huber formed the management consulting firm of J. Huber and Associates in 1986. Focused on the tools, principles, and concepts of lean, he has dedicated his career to helping organizations dramatically improve their customer service through improved process performance. As a pioneer in the TPS/lean revolution, he has traveled the country assisting more than 100 manufacturing, distribution, retail, and library organizations transform their operations. For the library world, he has developed breakthrough ideas including the holds label solution and the no-totes delivery solution for such clients as the New York Public Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Tulsa City-County Library, Mid-Continent Public Library, and Austin Public Library. He is also the author of Lean Library Management: Eleven Strategies for Reducing Costs and Improving Customer Services.

"Huber makes a strong case that, if library leaders were to apply Lean strategies as recommended, customer service could indeed improve while reducing costs … a diversity of library employees across the workplace hierarchy would benefit from reading this book."
--College & Research Libraries
"This book is recommended for librarians in mid- to large-scale library authorities, particularly if they are involved in planning a new library. It is hard to see how they could not make savings by adopting the Lean Management approach."
--Australian Library Journal
"This book is essential for library directors, department heads, and librarians interested in creating a customer service focused environment."
--Journal of Library Innovation
"Huber … applies the principles to common library operations such as new book preparation and holds processing. He challenges the notion that high number in the usually gathered statistics means quality service." 
--American Libraries
"Huber gives down-to-earth, practical, and, most importantly, achievable changes for libraries in ways that improve customer service and the competitiveness of libraries while cutting costs and increasing staff morale … This book is equally useful for public and academic libraries and to both management and support staff. Even if one doesn't embrace the lean method in totality and implement all of the 11 strategies, each reader should be able to take away something positive from reading this book." 
--Journal of Access Services
“I handed out John Huber’s Lean Library Management book -- to rave reviews -- at our own Lean Value Stream Mapping event to improve library services, a key part of Delaware’s Library Quality Cycle to achieve performance excellence. It is so well written and timely, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel!”
--Dr. Annie Norman, State Librarian of Delaware
"Recommended for relevant staff in medium and large libraries to run the library more efficiently and as a tool for assessing library operations."
--Library Journal