- Strategies for Reform of the Public Library Management in the United Kingdom: Focusing on Comparison between Moael Statement of Standant and Comprehensive, Efficient and Modern Public Libraries
- No.45, p.1-29
Since 1979, there have been many attempts to reform the management of public services, including public library services in the UK. In this research, the strategies for reform of the public library management which were carried forward by the Conservative Party and those by the Labor Party were compared and analysed to clarify their features.
It was confirmed that the strategies by both the Conservative and the Labor were set in accord with the principles of those for reform of the whole public services. The principles of the Conservative strategies were promotion of privatization, management rationalization by voluntary effort, and creation of customer-oriented libraries. While those of the Labor strategies were promotion of the library management in partnership with public, private and voluntary sectors, management rationalization at the initiative of the central government, creation of customer-oriented libraries, and adaptation to information society.
Model Statement of Standards developed by the Conservative was analysed and compared with Comprehensive, Efficient and Modern Public Libraries developed by the Labor. The results were as follows: The Conservative administration had aimed at customer-oriented libraries, but, the government gave them only the paratactic menu of the library services, and demanded them to set their own targets and to achieve them through management rationalization by voluntary effort. The Labor administration aimed at customer-oriented libraries like the Conservative, but showed clearly the emphasis placed on the following services: book-lending service for general adults and children, and services related to information and communication technology. The Labor also developed a system for the library authorities to achieve the national target set by the government.
It was showed that the principal aim of their strategies was to improve nationally librarians’ skills in management and policy-making. However, they still leave some problems to resolve, such as too much dependence on customer satisfaction and the difficulty of considering the needs of the coming generation.
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