Human Resource Development For Library And Information Professionals

Today the world is witnessing the information era where knowledge is power. With more knowledge you have the power to access information globally through the internet. There is high demand from all works of life for filtered, processed, specifically packaged, tailor made and value added information. The information sector as a whole and university libraries which are the major partner of the information sector are undergoing serious challenges and pressure to provide right information to the right user at the right time also at the right cost. The present information environment has to enhance the expectations of users for timely, relevant, completely and easily accessible and tangible information services in the same vein as it is practiced for profit or commercial purposes.

According to the 5 M’s of management (i.e. Men, Money, Machine, Material and Methods) men is the most important means for the optimum utilization of other resources. In other to provide information products, services and consultations according to the needs, desires and expectation of the users we need committed, competent, confident, dynamic, educated, motivated, and trained employees. It is this context that has brought Human Resource Development to the centre stage of library and information management process.
Concept of Human Resource Development (HRD)
Developing human resource means developing Human Beings who can change things, and be in tune with the ever changing information environment by adapting themselves or adapting to things and idea according to the environment in which they find themselves in. Human Resource Development is the process of helping people to acquire the following competencies in a planed and continuous way.
  1. To sharpen their capabilities this is required of them to perform at various capacities both at their present and expected roles in future.
  2. To develop general capabilities as individuals and exploit their inner potential for their own and organizational purposes.
  3. To develop an organizational culture and inculcate right attitudes towards customers.
  4. To equip clearly precisely about all the process, procedures, practices and other aspects of the job.
  5. To develop capacity and competence for higher work and greater responsibilities and accountability.
Concept of Human Resource Development for Information Staff
Top performers of the world treat their employees as assets to be developed rather than commodities to be used.
The theory is centered on investment in human development. Neither Machines nor stagnant, demotivated and alienated employees help to achieve the objectives of the organization.   
Libraries are non profit making service agencies having and human resource development effect on the community to be served. Customer is an integral part of the whole service delivery system. Like other services libraries are expected to remain a few steps ahead of its clients. Moreover, the shifting paradigms of customer’s service, technology (IT), financial management, efficiency, effectiveness, economy, reputation and recognition have forced the librarians to redesign there services and organizational structures to cope with the challenges posed by information environment in view of the above, human resource development instrument is needed for competency development, climate building and innovation development. Human resource development will improve the processes and process improvements leads to improvement in staff and staff development leads to all development. Human resource development instrument helps staff to sense, serve and satisfy the needs, wants and expectations of customers.
Human Resource Development: An Agenda for Library and Information Staff
Purpose of every organization is the development of the organization of the parent organization, and to provide products and services to suit the dictates of the environment.
All the above developments start from the personal development of the individuals. Libraries are service enterprises aimed at rendering best possible information service, consultations and products to the satisfaction, desires, and expectations of the users. If this goal is to be achieved some human resources development interventions are to be implemented.
Training aims to standardize behavior in a predictable set of circumstances, but education enables him to exercise judgment and decisions. Education, undoubtedly continues to remain the most outstanding development such that an educated person can acquire skills, attitudes, values and interest as would enable him/her become the subject of development. Qualitative based on commitment, team work and human touch needs both body and soul, heart and hand i.e. wisdom, compassion and labour. All staff members should be given the chance to improve their qualifications through Open Universities.
Upgrading of Technical Skills
Most of the library staff may be qualified in traditional library science and technique, and still might not be good at using of modern I.C.T facilities. All of them need to be trained and exposed on how to use the latest information gadget with special reference to the effective way of storing as well as retrieval of information. The new mind set, knowledge, skills would bring qualitative change in their service. Library automation and information technology is the major area of training and continuing education.
Role of Libraries
The library is a service organization which is mostly concerned with the methods, skills and system for the acquisition storage, preservation, retrieval and use of literature. The main concerned of the library has always been determined primarily by the needs of those it serves and by the fields of literature it handles.
Libraries increases productivity and performance through literature searching and reading. It also accelerates changes. In technology business and social activities and aids the development of new knowledge and also increases idea and provides new insight in improving competences with current information.
Libraries are of greater help to the serious research worker in rapid development.
    The librarian is one who has the care of a library and its contents, selection of the books, documents and non-book materials which comprise its stock and providing information and loan services to meet the needs of its users. The librarian also oversees the maintenance of the library service; develop appropriate service for legal practice, set up new library new indexing system and introducing new technology responsibility for archives and internal microfilming programme.
Information Service
    This is service provided by or for special library which draw attention to information possessed in the library or information department in anticipation of demand, this is done by preparing; and circulating news sheet, literature surveys, reading lists, abstracts, particulars of articles in current periodicals, organize, manage and develop information service develop sound understanding of information requirement and set up technical information service.
Skills for organizational System, Structure and Procedures  
Library and information services are encountered with change in the service rendering mechanism, and a matching change in its operational modalities and methods will also be imminent. Some methods have to be developed for service aspects. Exposure to these aspects of services and user friendly methods, systems and procedures are quite essential for changing library management scenario.              
Managerial Skills
    No doubt information technology (IT) dramatically influenced the library product, services, reading management decision support system, electronic spread sheets, and expert system. But at the same time one need to know why individuals with more or less technical knowledge and working under a given kind of environment differ greatly in terms of producing the results. Apart from the technical expertise ones managerial skills certainly determine the efficiency, effectiveness and the quality of output which are quite important in our system. Hence all those concerned with library management should acquire managerial skills on the following important themes through specific management training programmes                                                                                                 
  • Leadership: Beyond power and authority and based on voluntary compliance.
  • Empowerment: The act of providing knowledge, authority, training, facilities and resource to individuals.
  • Team work, Trust and Quality circles.
  • Time management.
  • Mind Sets: Organizational culture and attitudes.
  • Resource management.
  • Being dynamic, creative and innovative.
  • Human relations.
  • Change and conflict management.
  • Intrinsic motivation, recognition and total involvement.
  • Professional and personal competencies.
  • Performance Assessment.
  • Vision, mission, goal, objectives and values.
  • Role analysis, job description, accountability and responsibility.
  • Planning organizing, directing and controlling.
  • Customer orientation and customer care based on excellence and humanization.
  • Organisational learning, Bench making and reengineering.
  • Reviews, discussions, feedback, counseling sessions.
  • Communication policies.
  • Job enrichment and job rotation programmes.
  • Human Resource Development information and manpower forecasting.
Interpersonal Relationships
     Relationships at work are crucial to organizational success as well as individual well being. Good relationships make the most horrible jobs tolerable or even enjoyable, while gets killed by poor relationships.
    Besides, organizations rely heavily on team work. Individual contribution does count in an organization, but critical to organizational well-being is a team member’s contribution to teamwork and results.
    It is essential for you as a new entrant to get along well with other team members, as also members of other teams i.e. intra department and inter-department team work and work relationship.
     Therefore, in your effort to create an impactful and credible reputation, your ability to get along with others, as also your interpersonal relationships skills assume critical importance. It is of little use if you are good; intelligent, sharp, and committed. It is of little use if you are unable to get along with others in your workplace.  
Two Important Parameter of Interpersonal Relationships
  • A good level of self esteem and self-worth.
  • Related and relationships.
People who are uncomfortable with themselves are uncomfortable with others and teamwork suffers. Create a high level of self – comfort and self-trust, only then will you find it easy to trust others and be comfortable with them.
  Information technology (IT) has become pervasive in all walks of life. It is changing, the way people think, work and do business. Information has become a strategic global resource for user activities at all levels. In todays information environment, the delivery of information products, services and consultation depends as much on the providers ability to access local and global information as much o n education, knowledge, background and local conditions. In view of the above Human Resource Development mechanisms of continuing education, training in (IT) and managerial skills through seminars, workshops, short course which improve the work processes and will enhance the professional and personal competence, compatibility and capability of the library staff in meeting the organizational goals and delight of the users and pride of workmanships.
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