Personnel Management definition and it’s functions in Library Management

 Personnel Management

The staff, the books and the readers make up the fundamental trinity of a library. The success of a library largely depends upon the persons who are responsible for the effective use of a good collection of books in the hands of the readers. A library having good collections can not render best services to its readers without efficient and trained personnel. The basic aim of the library staff should be to place right book in the hands of the right readers at the right time.

Personnel management’ means the use of human resources in accomplishing the overall goals or mission of the organization.

Personnel Management definition:


According to Edwin B. Flippo in his book ‘personnel management’ defined “Personnel management is the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of the procurement, development, compensation, integration, maintenance and separation of human recourses to the end that individual, organizational and societal objectives are accomplished.”

According to Flippo, “Personnel management is the planning, organizing, compensation, integration and maintenance of people for the purpose of contributing to organizational, individual and societal goals.”

According to Brech, “Personnel Management is that part which is primarily concerned with human resource of organization.”


Aims and objectives of PM:
  •  To secure appropriate people capable of performing effectively the library’s specific tasks.
  • To utilize the human resources effectively.
  • To generate maximum development of the people within the library.


Functions of personnel management:
PM is a staff functions. It is advisory in nature. It recommends, cooperates and counsels. These responsibilities may take from the following activities:
1) The formulation of policy and development of plans.
2) Staffing, which includes selecting, recruiting, placing manpower and providing for their training and development.
3) Controlling working conditions in order to develop and effectively utilize the services of personnel out the job.
4) Providing various services to employees, seeking thereby to encourage self-improvement and increased efficiency;
5) Review and appraisal, including the maintenance of personnel research.

The functions of PM may be grouped under the following broad headings:

1. Job analysis
2. Job evaluation
3. Staffing
4. Staff recruitment, selection and
5. Testing
6. Condition of service
1. Job analysis: The first and foremost function of personnel management is the job analysis. It is a process of obtaining pertinent information about the nature (operations and responsibilities) of a specific job through observation, questionnaire and diary methods. According to Robbinson, “Job analysis finds out what is to be done and determines the best methods of doing it and the qualifications required of a worker to be able to do the job satisfactorily”.
The purpose of job analysis is to determine the abilities, skills, knowledge and kind of experience required for caring out the job.
2. Job evaluation: Job evaluation means job- rating. This process may imply the following essential steps:
  •  Determination of requisite elements or factors involved in all jobs carrying monetary remuneration.
  • Using these elements and factors for comparing one job with another.
  • Knowing the relative value of each job.
  • Fixing the money value of each job.
3. Staffing: Staffing means putting a right person at the right job. This is a vital function of personnel management. Actual requirement is preceded by job analysis, job description, job specification, class analysis, fixing the number of each kind of job, its qualification and salary scale.
4. Staff recruitment, selection and training: The recruitment policy of a library is planned considering the nature of its services. The recruitment of the library staff should be made by certain tests like aptitude test, personality test, interest test, intelligent test. The tests are helpful and necessary in assigning the right job to the right person. The selection and appointment of library staff should be done very carefully because much of the success of the library staff member on the job depends upon skill personnel administration.
Training imparted –
  • apprentice system
  • in-service training
5. Testing: A person is appointed to perform a particular job efficient before his formal appointment, it is essential to know about him intimately as to whether is capable of performing the job to be assign to him. It may not be physically possible in every case. Some tests like aptitude tests, trade tests, interest tests etc. may be applied for observing the candidates sample behavior.
6. Conditions of service: Service condition is an important ingredient of personnel management. It includes such matters as hours of work, service regulations, study leave, health service, retirement and resignation policies and procedures, policy relations to educational and welfare facilities, pension, etc.
Measures for improving the efficiency of staff;
The measures for improving the efficiency of staff are given below:
1. Staff orientation: It is necessary to provide the new staff member with specific information and guidance with respect to the organization, resources, services and facilities of the library in which they serve. It means introducing a new worker to with his job and new environment. It may involve tours of the library, lectures by department heads, systematic study of the staff manual and other publications of the library. By this way the efficiency of stuff may be improved.
2. Staff manual: Staff manuals are common administrative devices in libraries. These manuals usually provide a description of the library in action. This may provide:
a) Detailed descriptions of workers, methods, practices in all library departments.
b) Description of administrative policy and regulations relating to appointments, salaries, working hours, etc.
c) Description of library policies relating to acquisitions, circulation, lending etc.
3. Staff meeting: Staff meeting is a good device for establishing and maintaining good communication between librarian and his staff and among the staff members. It is useful for informing the staff along new important library policies and programs, discussing problems of library, affording opportunities for the staff to listen to lectures by visiting librarians and share their feelings and experience.
4. Staff bulletins: Staff bulletins also help to increase the efficiency of the staff members. Staff bulletin should be carefully edited and presented in attractive format. The bulletin should also be used to focus the activities of the staff on integrated policies.
5. In service training: In service training plays a vital role in respect to improvement of efficiency to the staff. It also helps to attain the efficiency of the staff by providing some training respective to the job. It is most effective for the new staff to introduce with the job and for their self- development.
6. Professional and scholarly writing: Writing and translating that is directly related to the interests and needs of the library profession should be strongly encouraged especially in countries where there is scarcity of professional publication in the indigenous language.

Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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