Librariesin the US have come up with new methodologies with an aim ofreplacing the previous or older ones so that they can enhance thequality of services offered to scholars and researchers. These bestpractices have as well been used for benchmarking purposes both inthe public and special libraries throughout the US. These practicesinclude facilities, governance, collection management, collaboration,personnel, plan of service, hours of opening, information services,technology, and resource sharing.
TheLibrary Act outlines the structure of governance that should befollowed by the libraries both special and public libraries. Thispractice requires that municipal and community library boards shouldbe established at the local level whereas the regional level shouldhave the system boards. The boards work in harmony so that they canprovide improved services to the library users through the provincialnetworks and the resource sharing agreements that should be governedby sound leaders who will ensure that the right thing is done at theright time (Kelsey 108).
Somelibraries have partnered to work together whereby they benefit aswell as their users. The collaboration has seen the libraries benefitin several ways. Collaboration enables the libraries to expand theirsources of capital, which in turn enable them expand their servicesas well as receiving the necessary support. The collaboration willadd value to library’s services that it offers to the community andthe useThe goals that cannot be accomplished by a single libraryrather it can be attained through the collaboration. Most publiclibraries have expanded their collaboration with differentstakeholders that have enabled them to be effective and efficient inthe delivery of their services (Kelsey 108).
Thelibrary boards are expected to follow the employment and the laborlaws that are in use, in the state where the library is operating.The library operations should be under the management of individualswho have been given the opportunity to run the operations of thelibrary. The operations of the library should be guided by thepersonnel policies that should be in compliance with the rules andregulations of the federal policies. There will be a library managerwho will be responsible for running the affairs of the library. Theother staff members will jointly do some of the duties of the librarymanager. The staff members will have to possess the necessary skillsand experience to serve the library users. This will be coupled withthe required qualifications to hold a given position in the library(Wilson, Pitman and Trahn 1).
Thelibraries have the learning materials and resources from where theusers get the information they require. All the users have access toall the materials found in the library. There are collectiondevelopment policies that outline how the library should acceptdonations or any materials given to it as well as the procedure to befollowed to withdraw materials. The library rules require that thesize of the collection will depend on the number of users the libraryserves or is expected to serve. The reference materials are alwaysavailable, and selection has been made easier because of theelectronic resources provided.
Thisis the process through which the trained staff members provide therequired information to the library users accurately and givingreference to the most appropriate source, where the information thatuser wants can be retrieved from. This best practice is private andconfidential because the users have distinguished requirements. Thisis an essential service that the staff members should provide afterthe users have clarified the nature of the information they want(Wilson, Pitman and Trahin 1).
Thisentails making available the resources owned by the board to thelibrary and having the required staffs that can help locate suchinformation to the users. The library users have equitable access tothe materials in the library, and the library is required toparticipate in resource sharing regardless of its size and thematerials it contains. The library boards as well should set thepolicies that enable the library to participate in resource sharing.The essential steps should be followed when the library lends itsmaterials by following the lending library policy (Oranjarra Partners2).
Useof technology has helped libraries improve the quality of servicesthey provides to their users. The library board decides on thelibrary standards to be employed. The public libraries require that atechnology plan be tied to the budget of the library. The basictechnology requirements should be available in the library as well asa trained staff who will handle any technicalities that arise in thecourse of operation of the technology equipment (Library of Congress8).
Hoursof opening the library
Thelibrary should be opened at the times when the users can make amaximum use of it. Apart from the normal operation hours of thelibrary, the service should be extended during the weekends,evenings, and also during the public holidays. The hours of serviceshould be made publicly known to every user, and they should beconsistent to the provided timetable (Leeds Becket University 4).
Ifthese best practices are adopted in libraries, there will beincreased service to the users and the library will experience thegrowth and expansion required.
Kelsey,Paul. Profilesof Best Practices in Academic Library Interlibrary Loan.New York: Primary Research Group, 2009. Print.
LeedsBeckett University. TheLibrary,2016 retrieved fromhttp://libguides.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/about_us/sharing_best_practice onMarch 12, 2016
Libraryof Congress. Best Practices. LiteracyAwards Journal,2013, p. 1-9 retrieved fromhttp://read.gov/documents/literacy-awards-2013-best-practices-web-version-12-5-13.pdfon March 12,2016.
OranjarraPartners. BestPractice and Cooperation in Resource in Resource Sharing amongAcademic : Methodologies and Innovations inAustralia, New Zealand, Asia and the United States,2010 retrieved fromhttp://www.oranjarra.com/images/stories/Best-Practice-and-Cooperation-in-Resource-Sharing-Among-Academic-Library-Consortia-paper.pdfon March 12, 2016.
Wilson,A., Pitman, L & Trahn, I.Best Practice for Australian Academic Libraries.ATEMJournal,2011, retrieved fromhttp://www.atem.org.au/publications/good-practice-guides on March 12,2016.