ERIC Number: ED433814
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-May
From Industry to Higher Education and Libraries: Building the Fast Response Library (FRL).
Apostolou, A. S.; Skiadas, C. H.
In order to be effective in the coming millennium, libraries will need to measure their performance rigorously against the expectations and real needs of their customers. The library of the future will need to be a customer sensitive, knowledge creating, agile enterprise. It must provide value to every customer, where value is the customer's perception of total lifetime benefits minus total lifetime costs. It must continually exchange information and ideas with its customers and suppliers to deliver customized products and services. The library must quickly reconfigure its products, services, and processes, and it must integrate expertise from other organizations to remain competitive. Consequently, it will become critical to create an environment grounded in ongoing innovation and learning--one that will benefit from external uncertainty and unpredictability. Employees will need skills and knowledge to make empowered decisions and work in a variety of roles. This article deals with the burden of libraries to respond quickly to the changing needs of their customers. In other words, libraries of the future need to be organized as Fast Response Libraries (FRL). This will be done if libraries are well prepared for dealing successfully with challenges posed by an increasingly competitive and time-responsive marketplace. This requires libraries and librarians to understand and accept that competing against new sources of knowledge necessitates a library to use all of its resources most effectively. These resources must therefore be integrated and focused on how best to support the library's competitive strategy. (MES)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Competition, Foreign Countries, Futures (of Society), Higher Education, Library Development, Library Services, Total Quality Management, User Needs (Information), User Satisfaction (Information)
Web site: http://educate.lib.chalmers.se/IATUL/proceedcontents/chanpap/abs/apostolo.html
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: The Future of Libraries in Human Communication: Abstracts and Fulltext Documents of Papers and Demos Given at the [International Association of Technological University Libraries] IATUL Conference (Chania, Greece, May 17-21, 1999) Volume 19; see IR 057 443.