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Continuing education in library management: challenges and opportunities

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate the current state of continuing education in management for librarians. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Directors from public and academic libraries were surveyed to explore their perceptions of the need for and value of management knowledge in librarians. Findings ‐ The results show that library directors consider a wide range of management areas important for librarians to possess and believe that having above average management knowledge is a significant factor in hiring and promotion decisions. Respondents perceive that applicants for mid to senior positions in libraries are more likely to have average or low levels of management knowledge. Research limitations/implications ‐ Limitations to the study are the small sample and the exclusive focus on library directors. Future research on the need for and value of management knowledge for librarians should also examine the perceptions of early to mid career librarians and should explore associations between employees' levels of management knowledge and promotion and hiring decisions. Practical implications ‐ Results suggest that librarians who wish to move up professionally would benefit from pursuing continuing education in management. Libraries should look for ways to offer management training to staff through collaborations with other libraries and community organizations. Library and information science education programs should offer strategically designed continuing education in specific areas of management. Originality/value ‐ This research demonstrates a gap in the field of librarianship in the development of highly knowledgeable, trained managers, and offers some solutions to librarians, library institutions, and schools of library and information science toward closing that gap.
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Keywords: Academic libraries; Continuing education; Librarians; Library management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 22, 2013

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