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Professional excellence and customer care: an academic library perspective

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Changes in the role of the academic librarian have been variously attributed to: the enterprise culture, the new managerialism, economics, IT and educational change. Explores whether the customer care movement is also having an impact on the concept of professional excellence. Presents the results of a study involving 83 professional and support staff from four West Midlands universities who were asked to define the qualifications, qualities and abilities they would require of a library director and an information specialist. Finds a demand for traditional management skills on the part of the director far exceeding professional competence or scholarly achievement; customer care was not specifically mentioned; involvement with customers was required of the information specialist, but the skills required were interpersonal and at a problem solving rather than a strategic level; there was heavy demand for IT skills. Outlines suggestions for changing the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for professional excellence.
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Keywords: Academic Libraries; Customer Care; Management Development; Skills

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1995

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