The two chapters we read for this weeks reflection focused on two different but interrelated issues. The focus of chapter thirteen was the differences between leadership and management and how you can foster and develop both of these skills. Chapter fifteen focused on diversity within the organisational structures as well as within the collection and services the library provides. It is difficult to define diversity in one sentence as it a much more complex issue. A simple way to break down what diversity means is as follows:
D – different styles, disabilities
I – individuals, intellegence
V – variety, veteren status
E – education, economic status, ethnicity
E – race, religion
S – sexual orientation, social class
I – immigration status
T – thought process, traits
Y – youth, years (Evans & Alire 2013 p. 370)
This model can act as a useful checklist when trying to plan a project to check that it will be successful with the diverse clientele that visit any institution or library.
Overall, these chapters support other readings I have done on these topics but chapter fifteen gave me a deeper insight to how the public libraries in the USA try to incorporate diversity into the management system. I found the chapter about diversity more interesting because it raised a lot of questions related to the library sector in Ireland. Up until the start of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland was a very homogeneous society and in some ways has been resilient to change. Gender and sexuality issues are now being discussed openly as well as an increase in the number of foreigners living in Ireland. These are just two examples of the many things that have changed in Ireland over the last ten years but it is not clear how these needs are being incorporated into the management systems of our public libraries or other institutions.
While working on projects in the future I will be more conscious of addressing diversity in the planning and implementation stages of the project.
Evans, G. E., & Alire, C. A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals. London: Facet Publishing.
Chapters 13 and 15.