Library Mission Statements This risk is founded on the fact that, not-for-profit organizations managers will be motivated by the understanding that their organizations' mission statements should be broad enough to make them legitimate; yet having a mission statement excessively broad could be construed for vagueness hence creating an impediment for any potential sponsor. The mission statement of a non-profit organization ought be memorable, broad enough, not vague, and succinct, but realizing mission statements that observe such standards for non-profit organizations as well as for-profit organizations has proven to be a true challenge (Evans & Alire, 2013).
Crafting missions or mission statements of organizations is a central component of management policy in many Western countries (especially Canada, UK and the U.S.A.). The mission statements also influence the organizational culture especially for learning institutions like universities. Many leaders in Britain and the United States are aware of the importance of mission statements in information centers and libraries (Lazarev, 2001).
As the use of libraries become popular, effort should be made to ensure that the format of the library is consistent with the mission statement of the University. Librarians should hold meetings with key players in the University like the departmental heads to ensure that the demands of the patrons are met and that the library supports the goals of the institution. The purchasing procedure of the library should also be consistent with its mission statement. However, a number of institutions will likely exclude electronic technology when crafting mission statement and so the objectives could be impractical. There is a need therefore to craft a comprehensive mission statement for the library - it should be consistent with the goals of the institution and should take into account all kinds of resources and technology (Svenningsen & Cherepon, 1998).
Mission statement affords workers in a library the opportunity to understand the destination they have set sail for so that the voyage is properly planned for. It should advocate those programs that can significantly impact the achievements of students in a measurable way. It makes sense, therefore, that the points below be considered when crafting a mission statement.
The library staff's input should be factored in •
It ought to be broad and philosophical, stating the purpose and the fundamental reasons of the library's existence.
It should be concise and clear - just a single sentence. It shouldn't be long so that it is remembered easily by the people in an organization.
It ought to be attainable.
It should be inspirational and be supportable by the members of the organization.
It might include the institution's mission
It shouldn't have any jargon.
Proactive statement should be made use of.
Regular revisions should be done on it.
The areas that should be covered in an effective mission statement are:
The customer - the needs of the customer should be clearly defined
The value - the value created is in meeting the needs of the customer.
What makes the organization special - the special ways the organization creates value so as to win new customers and also to keep them coming back (Begum, 2006).
According to Evans & Alire (2013), when assessed, the interaction between the library' environment and the mission and vision statements should be dynamic. This means, even though the mission and vision statements of a library should have a long-term implication, one should revisit them occasionally. In monitoring and analyzing the environment of a public library, one of the major areas of focus is the degree of congruence that exists between the vision and mission statements and the various environment aspects.
Similarly, Evans & Alire (2013) found that, most public library mission statements are comparatively short and generic in nature, even though this doesn't mean they are generic in application as compared to other institutions. These statements have variations in character with some being as long as a few hundred characters and other containing several paragraphs. As would be expected, longer mission statements will carry more details therefore, creating a clear balance between detail and conciseness is a challenge. Rangan (2004) provides a considerably clear advice towards realizing a good balance by stating that most non-profit organizations' mission statements are broad and inspiring, but such organizations also require a systematic strategy that creates a link between their callings and their initiatives.
Valentinov and Larsen (2011) make the argument that, managers of not for profit organizations who understand the need to have mission statements that are broad with the intention of maximizing support from persons who might be interested as well as other stakeholders take a ...
In his article Missions, Mantras, and meaning Peter Gow (2009), made observations that one of the most common problem that is evident in mission statements, as well as, vision statements is they are made up of trendy buzzwords and hoary cliches. As a result, such mission statements are general to the point that it's impossible to differentiate them and the institutions they present. Given Gow's focus was on private schools, he noted that such statements are 'assembled' by committees. As a result of this method of creating mission statements, Gow argued that a noble idea represented by a public organization, such as a public library, will be watered down by the general mission and vision statements (Evans & Alire, 2013).
The business part of the mission statements outline the programs and activities that have been selected by the staff to be accomplished. It denotes the activities that will drive the organization towards the attainment of its goals. The statement is always preceded by phrases like to "to establish," "to provide" that acts as a link between the purpose and the activities to be done.
In an earlier research, when Internet was in its infancy, DeCandido (1995) makes the emphasis that a mission statement ought to be memorable and straightforward. The person reading it should be able to internalize it easily. Once the mission of the library has been crafted, it should be put everywhere - in every location that it can be spotted by patrons and staff regularly. The mission statement influences the choices for acquisitions, collection development, information provision and reference services. It shall inform every activity that the University chooses to get involved in. They should be regularly revisited (Svenningsen & Cherepon, 1998).
Public Library literature has at times said that the missions reflect the cultures inherent in the libraries as well as the purpose of their existence. Their impacts are seldom studied, though. Becker, et al. (2011) examined missions and made a determination of how they affect online access; and it was established that having missions that are connected with the needs of the community made it easier to collect funds to promote and sustain the various services offered by the institutions. Varheim (2011) and Holt (1999) proposed that mission statements play major factor in policy choices and ground service (Crawford, 2014).
Various studies have been done on mission statements. Swales and Rogers (1995) analyzed a number of corporate missions and made the realization that they were targeted at employee buy-in. Content analysis of some public library mission statements have also found particular library audiences and roles factored in (Bangert and Day 1997; Aldrich, 2007; Crawford, 2014). The findings of a number of studies revealed that the framework is always library service that is "user-centered." The concept of "user-centered service" has been around for quite some time now (e.g. Morris 1994; Darymple 2001; and Dervin and Nilan 1986) though it hasn't lacked criticism. While several LIS scholars make use of it in the context of information seeking, studies have drawn on Morris (1994, 20) to proposition the concept through presenting information services as something whose construction is partly done by the users. Taking it a little further, the information encompasses civic, creative, recreational, cultural and social services too. Moreover, the concept implies that the users also do have a sense of agency as concerns the services that they want delivered to them at their points of need. Wiegard (1999, 2003) views this model as a shift to people from the former processes and structures (Crawford, 2014).
The DE-familiarization model presented by Deetz (2004) reveals such interests through challenging the ideas that seemed normal and obvious and so exposing hidden goals, agendas as well as power structures. Annette Markham, an LIS scholar, cites Deetz's theory and methods as she describes the need to problematize neutralization, naturalization, legitimization as well as avoidance of certain topics in communication in organizations. Discourses always have lines demarcated as either outside/inside, illegitimate/legitimate or invalid/acceptable where past experiences are forgotten and closed off (Markham 264). Studies have evaluated the boundaries set and sought to find out what lies on the other side. A portion of such investigation involves the researchers speculating on what is possible and is not authoritative. Through the deconstruction of the mission, what lies on the other side can be seen. The objective of speculating like this is not pinpointing the actual intent of the…
This risk is founded on the fact that, not-for-profit organizations managers will be motivated by the understanding that their organizations' mission statements should be broad enough to make them legitimate; yet having a mission statement excessively broad could be construed for vagueness hence creating an impediment for any potential sponsor. The mission statement of a non-profit organization ought be memorable, broad enough, not vague, and succinct, but realizing mission statements that observe such standards for non-profit organizations as well as for-profit organizations has proven to be a true challenge (Evans & Alire, 2013).
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