EnglishGeneralLibrary Science

Benefits of Total Quality Management (TQM) in Library and Information Sectors

Total Quality Management In Library:
  1. Although, TQM is a new concept in management but it is equally beneficial to each and every organization including service organization like library. Dr. S.R. Ranganathan’s fourth law of library science, ‘Save the time of the readers’ has similar implications to what is advocated in TQM approach.
  2. Libraries no longer enjoy monopoly of information provision in today’s digital environment. Therefore, libraries are expected to develop systems, philosophies, and strategies for managing and providing quality services. This implies a management approach that focuses on service quality.
  3. Libraries have always been concerned with how well they are anticipating and meeting users needs. Libraries have been doing this by conducting user studies in order to improve critical processes and to develop internal capacity to be successful in future. Libraries are facing two major threats, namely: a global digital environment and increasing competition.
  4. The users are the ultimate judge of the quality of the services being provided by a library and information center. User satisfaction and continuous improvement of services are the two primary goals of a library.  By applying TQM technique, the librarians can not only satisfy the users consistently as per their needs and requirements but also improve quality of their services regularly.
  5. Libraries can benefit from TQM in three ways: breaking down interdepartmental barriers; redefining the beneficiaries and library services as internal customers (staffs) and external customers (patrons); and reaching a state of continuous improvement.
  6. Stella Pilling (1997) stressed that several major features of total quality management (TQM) are highly relevant for libraries, such as:
  • i.   the emphasis on customers;
  • ii.  the delegation of work;
  • iii. the involvement of staff at all levels;
  • iv. process rather than function; and
  • v.  the need for continuous improvement.—
TQM in library and information center may help in:
  • a. Better product design;
  • —b. Developing an inventory of all the documents available in a library;—
  • c. Developing a database which includes records for all types of materials held in library;—
  • d. Facilitating through a variety of tools that can provide access to universal publications;—
  • e. Integrating and networking all library resources into serviceable resources to users;
  • —f. Reduction of user complaints;
  • —g. Efficient utilization of men, machines and materials, resulting in higher productivity;
  • —h. Elimination of tension free work environment leading to good human relations; and—i. Improvement of confidence among users.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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