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Management by Objectives (MBO) in Libraries

Management by Objectives (MBO) in Libraries:


Libraries can be benefited from MBO though in a limited way. MBO has been tried in libraries, academic, industrial as well as public. Major problems arise in the area of target setting and measuring performance. Library objectives are generally non-quantifiable and intangible. This limitation is overcome by identifying targets in terms of physically measurable items, such as the number of publications to be acquired, number of readers to be served, and so on. Since objectives not easily quantifiable and are related to satisfaction performance evaluation is somewhat difficult.

MBO is beneficial to middle management of library. However, the benefits for library management which are likely to occur from MBO approach should be carefully weighed keeping in view the staff and monetary costs.
Introducing Management by Objectives (MBO) in a typical small library involves the following steps:
  1. Setting, By the top executive of the broad objectives to be achieved.
  2. Drawing up of a detailed plan and fixing unit objectives.
  3. Involving, through discussions, subordinates or next level executives, who are to carry out the tasks.
  4. Listing separately the job responsibilities (one set by the executive/supervisor and the other by subordinates).
  5. Working out separately the targets to be achieved in the next six months on the basis of the two lists.
  6. Combining the two lists into a single list, after discussions, which then becomes the official target.
  7. Specifying the target in terms of time, quantity and quality, so that it becomes a measurable standard.
  8. Reviewing periodically the progress made and initiating corrective action, if necessary.
After completing the discussion we may come to the conclusion that though there are some difficulties and dangers of MBO in certain situations, this system emphasizes in practice the setting of goals (lons) known to be as essential part of planning and managing on organization as well as a library.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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