Dr. W.A. Weerasooriya
Library & Information Science - University of Kelaniya
The subject of Dr. W.A. Weerasooriya’s PhD thesis was “Human Resource Planning in University Libraries” which he completed in August 2008 at the University of Pune, India. While the traditional problem of Library Management was considered about books, he has come up with the argument that it is more about people and their Human Resource Management. This study was concluded under the supervision of Dr. (Mrs.) Neela Deshpande, Reader in the Department of Library and Information Science of the same university. After surveying the existing Human Resource Management setup in various university libraries in Sri Lanka Dr. Weerasooriya has suggested improvements and changes which would guide policy makers, university administrators and library professionals in the field of library science. He proposes more participatory management and higher training for library staff apart from technological improvements for the quality enhancement of university libraries.
Research Abstract of
Human Resource Planning in University Libraries in Sri Lanka
This study investigates the Human Resource Management (HRM) in University Libraries in Sri Lanka (ULSL). Its primary objectives are surveying the existing HRM situation in ULSL, studying the present and future HRM requirements and identifying the changes that are necessary to be effected in respect of the HRM. Its other concerns being identifying the key issues related to HRM, examining the theories and literature pertaining to it, proposing guidelines to formulate an HRM policy to ULSL, and developing a suitable HRM model to ULSL.
The strategy adopted for this study was the descriptive method of research. The total number of professional library staff serving in the ULSL being numerically small, a decision was taken to involve all of them in the survey. Accordingly, questionnaires were administered to 14 Librarians and 71 Senior Assistant Librarians (SAL) and the Assistant Librarians (AL). Out of 14 Librarians 10 responded and the response rate of the other group was 46. In terms of percentages, these figures were: 75 and 65 respectively. Findings of the survey are likely to help the library personnel to systematize their decision making practices, enhancing, at the same time, the quality of their service. It is also thought that it will motivate the library staffs strongly and thereby ensure an exemplary service. It also will help as a guide for the policy makers, consultants, university administrators in the system.
70% of the Librarians prefer to ‘participative management’ than all other styles of management. Improper HRM policy; lack of training and development programmes, the lack of professional manpower, the lack of ICT literate personnel; lack of resources and facilities, and the lack of financial support were some of the drawbacks, the researcher identified through the survey. A new HRM policy and a systematic training program are some of the immediate remedies for the above problems. Recruitment and formation of a New Blood Group of Library Professionals (NBGLP) and the introduction of New Teamwork Initiative (NTI)’ are the other steps to be initiated to ULSL as their future strategies. The new competencies proposed for the library professionals are communication skills; service attitude and quality, planning and organization skills; leadership; management skills; creativity and innovation; subject knowledge capabilities; analytical and problem solving skills; attitudinal and behavioral qualities, group skills and expertise and technological capabilities.. ‘Appropriate Information Technology (AlT)’ is a new initiative which is proposed. Expert Power Culture’ which is incorporated in the proposed HRM model indicates that library professional staff should work as experts, specialists as well as university teachers. The Service Attitude and Quality (SAQ)’proposed in the new HRM model should be the goal of university libraries. Concept Building and Stick to Approach (CBSA) to ULSL is a new concept coined and proposed by the researcher.
The values of the proposed HRM model to ULSL are ‘expert power culture, flatter structure, and more teamwork, cohesive and collaborative approach, more employee involvement in decision making, holistic approach, high morale and staff commitment, objectives of both the organization as well as the human resources are to be fulfilled simultaneously, and human resource is considered as value added asset, I’iationaLculture and its values are to be highly utilized, and more conducive work environment.’ The prime goal of this HRM model is the ‘Service Attitude and Quality (SAQ).’