D. apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy;
Statement of Competency
Planning, management, marketing, and advocacy are different aspects of the processes by which we create, maintain, and improve information organizations, and each aspect contributes to a high-functioning and healthy organization.
Planning in library and information organizations takes many forms, from mission and vision statements that set the intentions and goals for the entire organization, to annual budgets and highly detailed project plans. Thoughtful planning is key to a successful staff: Wagner and Harter (2006) report that the single strongest indicator of job stress is “whether a person has the materials and equipment needed to do his work well” (p. 23)—and without adequate planning, workers won’t have the resources they need to perform.
Management, according to Evans and Ward (2007), is “the process of accomplishing things through people” (p. 5.), while Mintzberg (2009) defines it as a practice that is part art, part craft, part science, combined “to ensure that the unit serves its basic purpose.” (p.49). All organizations require some degree of management in order to function; management, at its most basic level, consists largely of communication and problem-solving.
Marketing is one process of connecting services to their users and vice versa; it takes a variety of forms both inside and outside of an organization, and may include promotion, public relations, branding, and internal communications (Evans & Ward, 2007).
Advocacy is the means by which we gather and maintain support for our organizations and our staff. Often combined with marketing, advocacy may take the form of data shared with users, of promoting accomplishments to our stakeholders in order to prove our organization’s worth and well-being, or of campaigning for political action that will support and benefit our profession.
Every information organization contains some combination of these four areas, but the arrangement and implementation can (and should) vary widely. Purpose-driven libraries may by necessity place higher emphasis on advocacy and planning than a profit-oriented business that focuses more resources on marketing and management. As information professionals, we must be able to recognize the importance of each aspect in order to succeed in our roles and support our organizations.
Evidence 1: ASIS&T Annual Report
During 2013-2014, I served on the SJSU ASIS&T Executive Committee, first as programming director and then as chair. Part of my responsibilities as chair was the creation and submission of the chapter’s annual report and award nomination. For this report, I asked each committee member to collect information from the chapter’s committees and programs and send them to me to collate and format. I filled in missing data where possible, and expanded the committee’s reports into a full description and assessment of the chapter’s year. Included in the document are the chapter’s stated goals for the year, descriptions of programs and events the chapter hosted and sponsored, membership statistics, a complete schedule of communications, and examples of the chapters’ new procedure and process documents, which were developed over the course of the year as the executive committee sought to address organizational issues the chapter had been facing.
We were then able to use the annual report to assess what had worked for the chapter and what still needed improvement, and used these conclusions to help the incoming executive committee begin planning for the 2014-2015 academic year by building on the success of the previous year. I also used both the process of creating and the final product as tools to train incoming committee members for their new roles in the chapter, hopefully preparing them for a more efficient and productive year.
Evidence 2: Philosophy of Management
This essay was written for LIBR 204 – Information Organizations and Management, as a synthesis of the material and exercises assigned in the course. In this essay, I describe my approach and beliefs about management and planning and my role as a manager or leader in an organization, using both classic management texts and recent publications to explain and support my positions.
This class was a tremendously useful combination of theoretical thinking and practical application, and I’ve used the skills and perspectives I gained from it on an almost-daily basis in my professional, academic, and personal life. Two years after writing this essay, I believe more than ever that good management is largely about balancing the needs, resources, and abilities of individuals and organizations.
Evidence 3: Dance Program Book
Since 2012, I have volunteered as a program book designer for a local performing arts nonprofit and dance school. Each program book serves several purposes: as an introduction and guide to the organization and its performances for the audience, as a memento for performers and their families, and as an advertising and marketing tool for not just the sponsoring nonprofit but many local businesses and organizations. The process of creating this book involves everyone from the dancers and staff who write biographies and historical notes to outside designers who create advertisements and the print house that prints and binds the finish product, and the combination of volunteer and professional staff requires careful planning, clear communication, and detailed project management.
Evans, G.E. & Ward, P.L. (2007) Management Basics for Information Professionals. 2nd Ed. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.
Mintzberg, H. (2009). Managing. Barret-Koehler Publishers, Inc.: San Francisco.
Wagner, R. & Harter, J. K. (2006). 12: The Elements of Great Managing. Gallup Press: New York.