Library's Continuous Improvement Fieldbook: 29 Ready-to-Use Tools

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Innovations with continuous quality improvement are moving off the manufacturing line, out of the corporation, and into the library. For the first time, this guide applies quality management concepts to make library processes more effective with 29 practical and easy-to-use templates. Field-tested and refined over three years in 17 different, the tools are structured with consistent guidelines. Library success stories and cartoon illustrations bring the principles alive. Examples of library situations, step-by-step instructions and a section of hints, cautions and tricks round out each checklist. Directors and library leaders at public and academic institutions will be able to open this guide and immediately reap these benefits:

  • Lower costs, save time, and improve efficiencies
  • Improve morale and reduce turnover by optimizing staff talents
  • Stimulate creative thinking and generate new possibilities with brainstorming
  • Encourage participation and build teamwork
  • Make complex issues manageable
  • Identify root causes of problems and address systemic issues

Using these "continuous improvement" tools, mapped to the specific outcomes needed, your library team will consistently add value to its community, make a difference to customers and improve services.

Sara Laughlin

Sara Laughlin is president of Sara Laughlin & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in customer-focused, future-oriented planning, evaluation, and continuous improvement. In her 30-plus years as a librarian, she has worked as a reference librarian, branch manager, consortium director, library school faculty, and as a library trustee. Her consulting clients include public and academic libraries, school districts, State librarians and regional consortia, as well as foundations and other non-profits.

Denise Sisco Shockley

Denise Sisco Shockley is a library media specialist. She has worked in middle and high school settings, where she was a leader in integrating information literacy and technology into the curriculum. She is educational consultant, project manager, and web designer for the Continuous Improvement Initiative.

Ray Wilson

Ray Wilson is a process engineer with 25+ years experience. He is the author of Process Mastering; How To Establish and Document the Best Known Way To Do a Job (Quality Resources, 1998). Ray and Sara have worked together over the last four years in the Indiana Staff Development Council. He is also an active member of the Indy Quality, Productivity, and Improvement Council. Ray has contributed his knowledge and experience with process improvement, as well as tools and techniques, to the Continuous Improvement Initiative.

"Each tool is well defined and the instructions are easy to follow. This great resource is recommended for all Libraries."
—Library Journal