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.
- Table of Contents
- About the Authors
In an environment of budget cuts and freezes, libraries must keep a tight rein on costs and inefficiencies. The efficiency of systems and processes goes hand-in-hand with excellent customer service. Managers, however, often find themselves far enough removed from the day-to-day activities in the library that they don't know where inefficiencies, mistakes, and poor customer service may occur.
Based on more than 50 years of author expertise in organizational improvement, The Quality Library offers a methodology to pinpoint trouble areas and improve processes. By developing a customer-focused system outlining library processes and networks, administrators and managers can quickly determine areas for improvement that directly apply to the library's goals and missions. Staff will also learn how to statistically document the new process's performance, giving the library a means to quantify its effects.
By continuously evaluating processes based on the guidelines and worksheets provided here, public and academic library administrators and managers will improve the quality and efficiency of service for patrons and staff alike.
Chapter 1 The Continuous Improvement Approach
Chapter 2 Identify Library Processes and Assess Their Importance and Condition
Chapter 3 Standardize the Process
Chapter 4 Measure Process Performance
Chapter 5 Rapidly Improve the Process
Chapter 6 Manage Process Improvement throughout the Library System
Appendix A List of Library Processes
Appendix B Library Process Measures
Glossary of Process Improvement Terms
"Recommended to all library administrators and managers seeking ways to improve internal operations and services."
"...gives clear direction on how to escape the trap of inefficient and/ or ineffective processes and replace them with policies and workflows that enhance the library user's experience and better address user expectations."
"The book deserves a wide readership and I recommend it to all libraries, great, and small.
--The Electronic Library
"The volume itself is laid out in a very easy to follow, step-by-step arrangement. It is full of flow charts, graphs, and worksheets that are intended to help layout the framework for implementation at your library. The appendices are especially useful to those interested in examining their libraries' work flows."
--Internet Reference Services Quarterly