After the economic crisis in 2008, during the global recession that took place in the latter half of the 2000s, libraries fell into a state of hopelessness, in which many librarians lost confidence in their work. Within the domain of library management, news of staff reductions or restructuring due to business management theories like business process re-engineering or outsourcing was frequently seen, all of which was a result of decisionmaking by the government or library directors in response to the recession. However, the author strongly felt that despite the difficult financial situation, library management should have considered other options. The author came to the conclusion that there was a need to elucidate the influence of business management theories on library management, as well as to examine inherent management theories in libraries. This was the impetus for the research in this book.
Despite initial worries about the state of libraries, the author began to develop a conviction in the soundness of library management, as well as hope for the future of libraries as this research progressed. In other words, even if library management was not conspicuously visible, it had in fact been well established. Furthermore, as can be seen in this book, core knowledge and skills that have long been cultivated by libraries can be adapted in response to the constant changes in environment or library operations, or form a foundation for the development of new knowledge or information. The management strategies presented in this book conceptualise these implicitly performed library operations and core knowledge as inherent library management. These inherent strategies in library management consist of general and specific strategies that will be defined later.
In short, the influence of business management theories on libraries makes up the first part of this book, and the inherent strategies comprise the rest.
This book is an expansion of the author’s doctoral thesis in 2013 and his work in 2016, ‘Theory of Management Strategies for Libraries: Triggers for Innovative and Fundamental Changes’. The author sincerely wishes to express his appreciation for Shuichi Ueda (Professor Emeritus, Keio University), Keiko Kurata (Professor, Keio University), and Itsuo Miura (Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo), who have offered many suggestions and criticisms concerning the concepts incorporated in his thesis.
At the phase of publishing this book, a huge debt is also owed to Sophia Chow (close friend, independent writing specialist) who has continued to encourage and assist the author, and check his logic in the writing process of this book. Without her sincere assistance and kindness, this book could never have been completed. Nicholas DeDomenico (close friend, Japanese translator, software engineer at PNC Bank, alumnus of the iSchool at the University of Pittsburgh) and Michael M. Widdersheim (close friend, PhD candidate at the iSchool of the University of Pittsburgh) also spared their precious time to proofread. The author could not have finished his research without them. Appreciation has been expressed to the many librarians whom the author visited and interviewed.
Lastly, thanks beyond thanks to Namiko. Just as the author began to focus on the writing of this book, our second son was born. Taking care of both children simultaneously was enough work for more than two parents. Thank you so much, Namiko, for your patience and your perseverance. Finally, the author would like to express his appreciation for his mother, Sumiko. After she recommended him to enter Keio University in his high school days, his journey studying library and information sciences started. While the author was writing this book, she always selflessly took care of her grandsons even while taking care of her mother, who has been suffering from dementia. Thus, the author dedicated this book to both women, Namiko and Sumiko, with love.
Masanori Koizumi December 29, 2016