Library Organization, Management and Administration

This study delineates subtle distinctions in organization, management and administration which may be equally important for organizers, managers and administrators of all types of institutions and enterprises- either academic, business, industrial or learned, and the study may be useful and applicable not only to library and information science, but also to management. public administration, finance, economics, statistics, mathematics, psychology, sociology, and the like.

Organization vs. Management
“Organizing” literally, is a process of doing work or making arrangement for work, while “organization” is a structure in which the work takes place. In this study, however, to avoid confusion, we will refer to organization as a step or method of making logical arrangement of work of an enterprise as a part of management and administration. It is relatively easy for one to separate organization from management and administration, but it may be generally difficult for him to bring a succinct distinction between “management” and “administration” since the later two terms are closely inter-woven, and there is a greater possibility of one being mixed up with the other. The present study, however, is an endeavour to remove such probable confusion and controversy and is intended to establish the distinctions, through appraisal of the thesis of distinguished writers and thinkers in the field, so the study is useful not only to library and information science, but also to other disciplines including public administration, management, finance, statistics, sociology, mathematics, economics, psychology and the like.

Organization may be termed as a process of making logical combination of various units of works to assign them to suitable workers in order to attain the avowed objectives of an enterprise or an institution or a library, whilst management may be briefly termed as a process of getting things done through men and materials. Sheldon defines organization as “the process of so combining the work which individuals or groups have to perform with the faculties necessary for its execution that the duties, so formed, provide the best channels for the efficient, systematic, positive, and co-ordinated application of the available effort.”” Hicks and Tillin, while defining organization, give emphasis on (a) human relationships, (b) group work and (c) social structure. They maintain that organization is mainly “concerned with human relationships in a group activity that, when taken together, equate to the social structure.”2 It is the most effective method to pool the co-operative efforts of staff and channel them into productive processes.

Library and Society

Society sanctions the organization since it considers the organization capable of satisfying some need. “If such a need is reasonably wall satisfied by a particular device, society transmits that device to future generations as integral part of its culture. This has been true of the traditional library, which was basically book oriented, and which has been passed on by society as a useful organization.3 The traditional book library is today unable to meet the increasing multifarious needs of the society. This necessity has given rise to the development of multimedia library to face the challenge of the society through its diversified materials including audio-visual aids, techniques, and contemporary technology including computerization and on-line literature search. An organization is composed of persons who share common interest to attain the same objectives. “It is characterized by a management; or leadership which defines the roles and tasks for both the group and its individual members. The roles of these members are structured around the activities or functions necessary to the accomplishment of present objectives. Management furnishes them with the needed tools, equipment, and facilities to achieve the tasks and objectives assigned. The organization creates, through management adequate policies, procedures, authority, accountability, and responsibility for the fulfillment of organizational objective. Organizing is a distinctive basic managerial function which is concerned primarily with formal structure as a means of gaining effective group action.4

Organization vs. Administration

Library organization and library administration are closely related to each other. The distinction between the two is very subtle. Organization comes before administration. The latter starts where the former ends. One lays down theoretical principles, whilst the other puts those principles into practice.

An institution or enterprise is established with the aim of attaining certain determined objectives. But “how” and “who” is to achieve it ? For this, “an organizational structure is raised, an administrative machinery is created, and management authority is appointed.”5 The administrative machinery is responsible for laying down the basic policies of the institution; for providing a proper organizational structure; and for appointing the management personnel for achieving the desired aims. Organization is a process of classification and arrangement of various functions and jobs of an institution to assign them to respective, classified individuals in various units or departments, while administration involves setting out of definite methods, plans and policies to carry out those functions to achieve the pro-determined objectives. Administration is that phase of an institution—academic or business enterprise—which concerns itself with the overall determination and achievement of the major policies and objectives.

“Administration”, William Schulze maintains, “is the force which lays down the object for which an organization and its management are to strive and the broad policies under which they are to operate.” Administration is that function of management which, in reality, executes or carries out the objectives for which the institution is planned, established and then organized. Organization ensures that men, materials, jobs, various units and their included activities are properly classified, defined and nicely arranged showing harmony and functional relationships, whilst administrative function ensures that personnels are properly fitted to the jobs; works are performed properly with satisfaction; and that men, materials, finance and working conditions are congenial and satisfactory to yield the avowed result.

Administration includes various functions or elements, and organization is one of those elements. Organization “relates to the establishment of a structure of authority and responsibility which is further defined and co-ordinated for the attainment of specific objectives.”6 It is a design of the structure, the grouping and classifying of positions, on the basis of which staff is chosen, whereas administration finds out devices to best carry out library”s planned goals with the help of judiciously selected staff.
Organization involves: (a) identifying the activities and positions necessary to carry out library”s plan and purpose; (b) logically grouping and arranging them according to their functional relationships , including work organization and job descriptions so as to assign them to respective personnel ; (c) defining the extent and scope of each department or unit and its included activities; and (d) a statement of working relationships between the units and positions, and of the obligations, lines of authority”7 or the span of control. Administration, on the other hand, means essentially the directing and executive functions that get these jobs done. It involves comprehending purposes arid needs ; planning, defining problems, making decisions, finding ways and means, managing and following through; organizing, or recognizing and defining, then putting together in sound and simple relationship the component elements or divisions of the operation as a whole, then of its smaller parts-departments, and individual jobs; selection of personnel ; the understanding, choosing and appreciation of people and their development; giving instructions and making supervision 10 ensure that each does his work with distinction. The administrative function also involves certain external and financial aspects, viz. (a) the governmental connections of the library, partly through the board of trustees; (b) its relations with the government or municipal departments ; (c) the financial structure of the library and the sources for securing adequate funds ; their budgeting and use : (d) public relations and the methods by which the library keep? the entire community aware of its purposes, problems, services, accomplishments, and maintains constant awareness of what the community thinks of its library.8 Organization, on the contrary, has nothing to do with all these external activities. The domain of organization is basically internal and limited, while that of administration may be both external and internal, and, of course, wider.

Organization is the formal side of administration, and, in some way, subordinate to it. And one duty of administration is to provide its own administrative instrument, which means to organize. The art or technique of administration is the art of directing and inspiring people, while that of organization is of relating specific duties and functions in a co-ordinated whole. The technique of organizing is prior, in logical order, to that of administering. A good skill of organizing is a necessity antecedent to efficient administration. Administration always presupposes something tangible to administer, and this something only organization can supply.9

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