The impact of leadership on library quality: Outcomes of a benchmarking project between ATN libraries.
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In the context of a university library, ‘quality management’ encompasses planning, service evaluation, performance monitoring, client satisfaction, continuous improvement and, most importantly, the relationships and interactions between these. This paper will discuss the outcomes of a benchmarking project undertaken in 2005-2006 by the university Libraries of the Australian Technology Network (LATN), which aimed to establish best practice in quality management within ATN libraries. While the project achieved its objective of establishing best practice, its outcomes have also highlighted that leadership plays a key role – from the conception to the embedding – in a library’s quality management program and ‘culture of quality’. The influence of the library leader (university librarian or equivalent) is unequivocal in the effectiveness of a library’s quality management program. Outcomes of the LATN benchmarking project also illustrate that the leadership displayed by others is pivotal in the success of a library’s quality management program. All Library staff (including a library’s assigned ‘quality officer’), supervisors and managers, and a university’s various central administration groups, can each display initiative and direction in the area of quality management and thereby influence – in various ways – the structure, success and future development of a library’s quality management program
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