Re-egineering of library acquisitions
Jotwani, Daulat (INFLIBNET Centre, February 18, 2010)
Reengineering as a management tool has been effectively used in many business organizations to transform vast segment of their operations and has played a major role in the resurgence of large companies world over. Reengineering requires radical rethinking and redesign of practices and processes to achieve dramatic improvements in performance while keeping the customer at the center of the exercise. Many libraries in developed countries have applied reengineering to face the challenges of declining library budgets, increasing costs of various inputs and resources, and rising demand of users for newer and faster services. Internet and information technology offer tremendous opportunities to abandon a number of old and obsolete practices and procedures, reduce time gap between the demand and delivery and considerably improve the quality of services and user satisfaction. This paper attempts to define reengineering and states how is it different from restructuring, reorganization, or quality improvement, though all these may occur as a by-product. Paper also reviews various attempts to reengineer libraries or their practices and processes. “How do we begin” lists the key elements that need to be taken care while reengineering. It highlights the need for reengineering of library acquisitions and enumerates key processes involved in the acquisition of print and electronic resources. Suggests that the reengineering of library acquisitions shall include reengineering of acquisition policy, acquisition processes, acquired material (library collection) and staff. Stresses the need for a well made plan to implement the reengineering which shall include (a) clear definition of the goals of the reengineering, (b) selecting the reengineering team, (c) identification and analysis of the policies, systems, procedures, practices and products to be reengineered, (d) developing and testing of reenginered work flow / processes, (e) implementation and time frame, and (f) gap analysis, correction. Reengineering will not be an easy task for any library. It is also not a one time job, it is a continuous long process. Librarians and libraries will face several challenges while implementing reengineering which can be overcome with the support and commitment of all stakeholders.
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