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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

How long does it take to . . . catalog a book?

This latest entry in the PLA Results series will help you to answer that question and others you have related to the output and performance of your staff. By analyzing, in a systematic way, how long work activities take and then assigning steps to each unit of work, you will have a quantifiable measure of the output of your staff. The only book of its kind, Staffing for Results equips you to not only gauge performance and output but also build on what you learn to maximize and even increase productivity. Using common public library tasks as the context, Staffing for Results walks you through the process of measuring work, identifying best practices, assigning costs to each activity, analyzing resource allocation, and communicating results. With more than 20 figures and workforms that you can customize for your setting, six easy-to-follow chapters provide step-by-step guidance on how to ensure that your library is optimizing its resources. By the end of the process, you?ll be able to answer questions such as:

  • Who is doing the work?
  • How long does it take?
  • What steps are required?
  • Can the work process be streamlined?
  • Is this the best use of people available?
  • Do we need more staff?
  • Can support staff handle a job done by a library professional?
  • How can the data be communicated to support needed changes?

Giving you tools from the experts of PLA to get the job done, this indispensable guide will help you to show and prove results.


Chapter 1:
Keys to Success
Work Is Changing
Staff Time? A Limited Resource
Decisions Require Data
What Is Workload Analysis?
Issues to Address
Communicating Effectively
Forming an Advisory Group
Do It Only if You Will Use It
Using This Book

Chapter 2: Design Your Project
Required Planning
Understanding Project Management
Defining Your Workload Analysis Project

Chapter 3: Basic Numeric Analysis
Using Existing Output Data
Establishing Baseline Measurements
Developing Data on Effort
Establishing the Link between Effort and Output
Comparing Baseline Measures

Chapter 4: Basic Process Analysis
Choosing to Analyze Process
Deciding What You Need to Know
Analyzing the Data

Chapter 5: Beyond the Basics
Analyzing Numeric Measures
Detailed Process Analysis

Chapter 6: Act on What You Learn
Communicating the Results
Dealing with Change and Resistance
The Cycle of Improvement

Instructions and Workforms
1 Workload Analysis Project Overview
2 Estimate of Productive Work Hours Available
3 Determining Who Does What
4 Standard Terms in Our Library for Tasks and Steps
General Instructions for Analysis of Staff Time
5 Analysis of Staff Time: Work Unit Estimate of Time Spent on Activities
6 Analysis of Staff Time: Individual Estimate of Time Spent on Activities
General Instructions for Recording Staff Tasks
7 Recording Staff Tasks: Self-Report Log
8 Recording Staff Tasks: Direct Observation Log
General Instructions for Analysis of a Task
9 Analysis of a Task: Observation Self Report
10 Time Spent on an Input-Driven Task
11 Time Spent on a Demand-Driven Task
12 Time Spent on Public Desks
13 Workflow Chart


Diane Mayo

Diane Mayo is vice president of Information Partners, Inc., an information technology and library automation consulting firm that specializes in assisting libraries with planning and implementing a wide range of technologies. She is a professional librarian with more than twenty years experience in the field of library automation who speaks frequently on managing technology in public libraries. In addition to her consulting work, Mayo has managed both technical services and public services operations in multibranch public libraries as well as worked for a vendor of automated library systems.

Jeanne Goodrich

Jeanne Goodrich is a consultant and trainer specializing in public library planning, job analysis, and data collection and analysis. Former Deputy Director of the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, she has more than thirty years of experience in public library management, directing medium-sized libraries and serving as deputy director for library development at a state library agency. Goodrich received her master's degree in library science from the University of Oregon.

Public Library Association (PLA)

The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.

"This guide for library administrators offers step-by-step guidance for gauging staff performance and output, and using that knowledge to maximize productivity."
—Reference & Research Book News

"...a no-nonsense guide to the subjects of basic numeric analysis, basic process analysis, and what it takes in general to efficiently plan a project and see it through to the end. An ideal instructional reference, sample flowcharts, case studies and more illuminate this useful, no-nonsense guide to getting real results with a minimum of fuss and wasted effort."
—Midwest Book Review

"Each of the six chapters gives step-by-step instructions on how to gather data that allows the manager to identify the staffing needs of the library system, analyze those needs, and implement the needed changes. Each process is also enhanced by easy-to-follow set of work forms and case studies that walk readers through the process... This helpful title is recommended not only for public libraries but also for any library that needs to assess staff needs."
—Library Journal

"An absolute must read book for anyone who is involved with managing library budgets efficiently."
—Shy Librarian