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Interior of the Library of Birmingham, UK
Interior of the Library of Birmingham, UK

Library management is a sub-discipline of institutional management that focuses on specific issues faced by libraries and library management professionals. Library management encompasses normal managerial tasks, as well as intellectual freedom and fundraising responsibilities. Issues faced in library management frequently overlap with those faced in managing non-profit organizations.[1]

The basic functions of library management include,, overseeing all library operations,managing library budget , planning and negotiating the acquisition of materials, Interlibrary Loan [ILL] requests, stacks maintenance, over seeing fee collection, event planning, fundraising, and human resources.[2]

Common library construct

Most of the libraries that store physical media like books, periodicals, film, and other objects adhere to some derivative of the Dewey Decimal System as their method for tagging, storing, and retrieving materials based on unique identifiers.[3] The use of such systems have caused librarians to develop and leverage common constructs that act as tools for both library professionals and library users alike. These constructs include master catalogs, domain catalogs, indexes, unique identifiers, unique identifier tokens, and artifacts .

Planning and maintaining library facilities

An important aspect of library management is planning and maintaining library facilities. Successful planning is defined as "active planning that ensures an organization will have the right people in the right place at the right time for right job" [4] Planning the construction of new libraries or remodeling those that exist is integral since user needs are often changing. To supplement their operating budget, managers often secure funding through donor gifts and fundraising. Many facilities have begun including cafes, Friends of the Library spaces, and even exhibits[5] to help generate additional revenue.[6] These areas should be taken into account when planning for building expansions.

The site for new construction must be found, then the building must be designed, constructed, and eventually evaluated. Once established, it is important that the building is regularly maintained. This may be completed by delegating tasks to maintenance personnel or by hiring an outside company through bids.[7]

Disaster planning must be taken into account in the library context as well: not only the impact of a disaster on the library, but the library's potential role as a support service just after a disaster.[8]

Associations and publications

The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) is a division of the American Library Association that provides leaders with webinars, conferences, and a variety of industry publications, in addition to funding through awards and grants. LLAMA membership includes a free subscription to the online quarterly magazine Library Leadership & Management, as well as discounts on other publications and related conferences. In 2020 LLAMA merged with two other division of ALA to form Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures.[9]

The Journal of Library Administration began in 1980 and is currently published by Routledge eight times per year. It is a peer-reviewed academic journal that discusses issues pertaining to library management.[10]

Library cataloging
and classification
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Dewey Decimal022


  1. ^ Sharma, C. K.; Singh, Kiran (2005), Library Management, ISBN 978-81-269-0452-5
  2. ^ McClure, C. R. (1980). "LIBRARY MANAGERS: Can They Manage? Will They Lead?". Library Journal: 2391.
  3. ^ Wellish, Hans H. "Dewey Decimal Classification, Universal Decimal Classification, and the Broad System of Ordering: The Evolution of Universal Ordering Systems". College of Library and Information Sciences, University of Maryland. CiteSeerX Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  4. ^ Hawthorne, P (2011). "Succession Planning and Management: A Key Leadership Responsibility Emerges". Texas Library Journal. 87 (1): 8–12.
  5. ^ "ALA | Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards". Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  6. ^ Pautz, Hartwig. "Income generation in public libraries: potentials and pitfalls". Library Review. 63 (8/9): 568.
  7. ^ Moran, B.; Stueart, R.; Morner, C. (2013). Library and Information Center Management. California: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 978-1-59884-989-9.
  8. ^ "Disaster planning". Australian Library and Information Association.
  9. ^ The LLAMA website now points to Core.
  10. ^ "The Journal of Library Administration". Retrieved 7 November 2013.

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