A PHILOSOPHY FOR PROFESSIONAL LIBRARIANS
FLY LIKE LIBERATED LIBRARIANS
RESPECT YOURSELF --- WITHOUT FEAR
PART TWO: THE STRATEGIC PROFESSIONAL SOLUTION
SUMMARY OF STRATEGIC SOLUTION IDEAS
1) Need for the proposed new uniform objective written County Library Performance Evaluation Management Policy
2) Need to liberate librarians in the "lower-income" salary levels to ensure efficient high quality customer information services!
1) NEED FOR THE PROPOSED NEW
UNIFORM OBJECTIVE WRITTEN COUNTY LIBRARY
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION MANAGEMENT POLICY
The primary purpose of this "Strategic Proposal" for change is to reverse
the current strategic priorities of the County Library Department so the philosophy of
"Liberated Librarianship" will flourish. I think we need to minimize
the BLIND OBEDIENCE to outdated "bureaucratic" habits. Then, the
wonderful work results or performance of all librarians and library assistants in the
"lower-income" salary level can be FAIRLY evaluated and
rewarded by their supervisors for the high quality of their work products!
I think the change is essential in order for librarians to accomplish the County Library
Department's major public service mission objective of providing
"outstanding" or excellent customer information services.
The official County Library Department mission training program was called "EXCEL"
and emphasized high quality services to the public and even the "bamboo principle"
of bending the rules. Bending the rules applied to providing compassionate customer services, which gives customers the factual perception that the employees of
the library system genuinely care about their individual needs!
To achieve this critical mission objective, I think our County Library Department
needs a written rating policy regarding how library supervisors are
required to implement "fair and impartial" and "timely and complete"
annual Performance Evaluation ratings. Also, it should be clearly stipulated in the policy exactly
how it will be enforced and what the discipline or punishment will
be for library administrators and supervisors who fail to obey the legal
regulations or "requirements" contained in DHR training manuals,
which are reflective of the principles clearly enunciated in the County Civil Service Code.
For discussion purposes, I have written a PROPOSAL TO CHANGE our Performance Evaluation Management Policy in order to encourage top library administrators to think about the issues and to act boldly! To see a detailed outline of this proposal for change, click on the following link:
Go to: Performance Evaluation Proposal Index
I believe, ALL library administrators and supervisors should be RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE for implementing the following new revised policy regarding the implementation and enforcement of the Performance Evaluation and Appraisal of Promotability rating procedures. A copy of the old official policy is linked after the new proposed policy changes for easy comparison. To see the wording of the versions of policy, click on the following two links:
In the face of this challenge to change the Performance Evaluation Management
Policy and rating procedures, my solution to the problem of ENTRENCHED BUREAUCRACY
is to "humanize" the existing inefficient bureaucratic County Library Department 's
organizational structure by forcing top library administrators to accept the principle of "professional authority" and to create a professional performance evaluation system emphasizing the responsibilities of supervisors!
Go to: Proposed New Annual P.E. Policy Statement
Go to: Old Official P.E. Policy Statement
I think this would maximize the opportunity of all full-time subordinate library employees in the "lower-income" salary levels of the career ladder, both professional librarians and para-professional clerical employees. And it would minimize conflicts of interest. Particularly, I think library
bureaucrats should not have absolute "Administrative Authority" to meddle with the principle of "Professional Authority."
Specifically, I think library leaders should use their bureaucratic "ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY" or "positional power" to FLATTEN the County Library Department's historic hierarchical bureaucratic organizational structure and rely more on empowering and trusting librarians with "PROFESSIONAL AUTHORITY!"
In dramatic contrast to the principle of "Administrative Authority," which now controls all policy decisions regarding the Performance Evaluation and Appraisal of Promotability rating procedures in the County Library Department, "Professional Authority" is based upon the same conviction in the capacity of a educated librarian to defend the professional principles of Intellectual Freedom and the Right to Read and other professional values, which support community centered service goals, in opposition to bureaucratic political platitudes when there are conflicts. In this context, an individual librarian's professional character is expressed in his or her ability to use rational logical ideas to defend professional values and behavior against the customs of his or her organizational library culture. This proposal for change is an attempt to liberate County librarians to defend themselves on the basis of their Civil Service employment rights and democratic due process, even for subordinates who are in the lower salary levels.
The fundamental assumption of the principle of "Professional Authority" is that the ultimate justification of a "professional"decision or act is that it is the "right" decision or act at the time since it was based upon professional knowledge and skill and not undisciplined subjectivity and prejudice or political expedience!
Unfortunately, the wondrous reality of "Professional Authority" has repeatedly been
ignored by top library administrators and regional supervisors for many years, especially
with regard to pay and official respect. Top library administrators continue to administer the obsolete
library annual evalution and promotional rating procedures and as they resort to the illogical mumbo-jumbo
or "GOBBLEDYGOOK" of "Administrative Authority" to justify their negligence.
Since library administrators have failed to implement the recommendations, which I have
presented at official grievance meetings during the past 25 years, since 1976, I think they will need
to be compelled by the County Board of Supervisors, or the County Civil Service Commission, in
order to fulfill the mandatory legal requirements or regulations in the County Civil Service
Code regarding Performance Evaluation Management Policy and rating procedures. These
requirements are stated clearly in the County Performance Evaluation
Rater's Handbook, but have NEVER had adequate examples for
supervisors and subordinates to understand!
If there are any deviations from the Civil Service Commission rules and regulations, I think they should
be based upon clearly discernible and reasonable modern management theory and principles
--- rather than the personal prejudices and total subjectivity of library supervisors and
If library leaders were forced to accept this root cause of their inefficiency and ineffectiveness
regarding their lack of efficient and effective Performance Evaluation Management Policy and rating procedures,
I think they would implement a "Facilitator/Coach" model of management behavior (based on the same
principles that Robert K. Greenleaf developed and called the "Servant Leader" concept of leadership). I believe
these leadership principles MUST EVENTUALLY replace the BLIND DICTATORIAL
"command-and-control" approach of our Human Resources Development unit.
clearly demonstrated that the current obsolete practices of evaluation in West County Region and probably
throughout our Library Department are demoralizing and unproductive.
Also, I think it is essential to retrain or replace our incompetent and, therefore, unqualified
"bureaucratic" building supervisors and regional administrators with "self-managed
teams" to successfully fulfill the County library's many specialized service missions.
This could save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. The savings could be
reassigned to augment our County Library materials and equipment budgets which has been both
been inadequate during recent years because of insufficient funding.
In conclusion, I think top library administrators can be compelled to change
the Performance Evaluation Management Policy and rating procedures --- very quickly ---
if there is pressure from a higher County "Administrative Authority" which can order
the County Library Department to comply with the equitable County Civil Service Code
regulations regarding the rights of County Library employees to "fair and impartial"
2) NEED TO LIBERATE LIBRARIANS
IN THE "LOWER-INCOME" SALARY LEVELS TO ENSURE
EFFICIENT HIGH QUALITY CUSTOMER INFORMATION SERVICES!
I think most professional librarians in the "lower-income" salary Classification levels
have the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal characteristics (the "KSAPs" of the
old County Department of Personnel) required to humanize or change
our big County Library bureaucracy. But they need the legal and political power of
a higher County "Administrative Authority" outside the County Library Department itself,
such as the County Board of Supervisors or the County Civil Service Commission, in order to
provide the "opportunity" for meaningful substantial change to occur in library personnel
policy and functions.
By communicating my personnel and professional knowledge of the abuses of the County
Library personnel unit on the Internet, I hope that the new knowledge (about more effective
personnel policies and more efficient personnel procedures) will be made MORE
accessible to County Library administrators and politicians. I think there are good
reasons to hope that the professional librarians in the "lower-income" salary levels can be
"liberated" from "bureaucratic" bondage as more County officials with
"Administrative Authority" become aware of the current dysfunctional
working conditions for professional librarians in the County Library Department.
To summarize, I am proposing that a fundamental change or "paradigm shift" in
the way annual Performance Evaluations and Appraisal of Promotability ratings are
conducted is essential to achieve cost-saving organizational changes in the
Human Resources Development unit of the County Library. I believe this personnel
unit should implement new personnel policies such as "Upward Evaluation"
and "360 Degree Peer Performance Evaluation" methods --- immediately!
The following hypertext link will connect you to research findings which demonstrate
the relevance and efficacy of these reform ideas which are being used effectively by other
public library systems regarding annual Performance Evaluation Management Policy.
Go to: References --- Journals
I think library administrators should make a positive effort in 2002 to remedy
the problem instead of waiting until sometime later this millennium --- after most current employees
have retired! Also, I think any kind of fair-minded approach would be better than the current bogus Performance Evaluation and Appraisal of Promotability rating procedures used by County Library administrators.
For example, I think our library administrators should accept this proposal and restructure
or "flatten" our library organization so the "personnel" functions which are now
done through our County Library headquarters offices and the five regional offices, can be done by a
single team of "expert" management specialists who would work out of our central
headquarters in the City of Downey. If that major change would take place, then I think
the relationships which exists between the "higher-income" salary level building
supervisors and regional staff advisors and the librarians at the "lower-income" salary levels
could be organized into an effective coalition of "professional equals."
The new public management policies, such as those promoted by the "Reinventing
Government" movement, have not been given priority by our library administrators.
The ideas are described in a major research article on Reinventing Government in
The CQ Researcher report published on February 17, 1995, on pages 145-167. The language of the "Reinventing Government" movement, includes words such as:
"entrepreneurial," "customer driven" "re-engineering," "total quality management," "bench marking," and "privatization." In the County Library Department , these words appear to be used merely as "public relations" posturing instead of as tactics to develop effective library personnel initiatives.
I think that the "privatizing" or "contracting out" of some library personnel functions --- such as the job of creating and monitoring promotional examinations --- would be better than the current
emotionally abusive, insulting primitive unprofessional conditions which now exist between
librarians and supervisors in the County Library Department concerning rating procedures. Also,
I think it would be especially appropriate if the top library administrators at our County Library
personnel ("HRD") office and the five regional offices were the administrative "positions" consolidated and replaced by a single "expert" management team of "supervisors" who know how to train and rate professional librarians!
I think such a new management strategy could be implemented that would satisfy all of our customer information service Mission Objectives simultaneously since it would give more Professional Authority to librarians in the "lower-income" salary level Classifications who need it as they deal with the rapidly changing information needs of the public in each local library environment in this age of uncertainty and tight budgets.
I think strong reform or positive change could improve the morale of our staff
and the quality of customer information services --- immediately! Such a transformation
would empower library employees at the bottomof the power pyramid
(or salary classification levels) to participate in "power sharing" instead of
professional stagnation and the quashing of personal enthusiasm and motivation! This
new approach would be a clear demonstration of respect for the reality of Cultural Diversity and it would decrease the communication conflicts that are inherent in our large multi-cultural "bureaucratic" organization, which I think is top-heavy with "protected" Affirmative Action administrators in key positions.
The dramatic differences between the "subjective" bureaucratic duties of building
supervisors and regional administrators in contrast to the professional written "duty-statements" of "professional" librarians who deal with the public every day provides dramatic evidence of the need to analyze the lack of usefulness of the current official County Civil Service "Salary Classification Specifications" --- which were developed and approved by top library administrators in 1989!
The various "pay levels" or salary classifications of librarians have different duties associated with them --- but are too general or "unspecific" for rational analysis. The differences in the exercise of "Administrative Authority" or hierarchical power are clearly based on the old command and control military style "chain-of-command" organizational structure of the County Library Department . Now, librarians and their supervisors could be living on different planets, since the "bureaucratic" structure is an obstacle for the essential new "cross-functional" and "self-managed" teamwork approach, which is required to provide excellent customer information services in the County Library Department 's 88 facilities.
The "official" differences are described on paper in vague and ambiguous generalities which
defy rational analysis. In other words, the County Civil Service salary Class Specifications for
each of the five librarian pay brackets are so simplistic and unspecific
that it is impossible to use them for an analysis of the responsibilities of library supervisors with respect to executing annual Performance Evaluations --- or any other management function --- including identifying and scheduling official duties and related tasks.
The differences in duties are superficial "bureaucratic" distinctions which have NO practical beneficial impact on productivity or the quality of the information services that librarians provide the public in larger libraries. I think the bureaucratic stagnation has made our public services worse because of the general demoralization and the slowness of the essential official leadership changes needed from library administrators to improve library service levels in this age of fast changing information technology.
My proposal for change emphasizes the use of "self-managed teams" for conducting
the "business" of the public library, which is providing outstanding customer
information services. I hope that top library administrators will choose to rapidly "humanize" and streamline our personnel operations, especially as they relate to creating my proposed new written Performance Evaluation Management Policy. The new policy and proposed new rating procedures need to be implemented and enforced by well trained and highly motivated officers.
I think that such a change would enable the intellectually advanced and emotionally stable librarians in the "lower-income" salary levels of the Civil Service career ladder or "pecking
order") to provide a bigger contribution as they strive to improve public library services in spite of the many "bureaucratic" obstacles which now exist.
As a first step in this process of change, I have developed an extensive bibliography of
relevant leadership ideas with a unique "Leadership Glossary of Keyword Ideas"
which connects management and psychology ideas by hypertext links for efficient and rapid access:
Go to: Leadership Essay
All the library leadership ideas described in the "Leadership Essay" define and support my concept of "Liberated Librarianship." The 12 vital library
leadership ideas provide quick access to their meanings in relationship to my "Proposal" for changing the County Library Department 's obsolete and possibly fraudulent bureaucratic Performance Evaluation Management Policy and Appraisal of Promotability
The 12 library leadership ideas provide strong PROFESSIONAL "arguments" for solving
the County Library Department 's management crisis. It provides for the creation of systematic
positive changes to replace the primitive "helterskelter" superficial policies of the past.
Also, they represent the basis for a new HUMANISTIC value system for professional librarians in
the County Library Department. The arguments for CHANGE are instantaneously accessible on the Internet for thoughtful discussion and for deliberate action by everybody.
Everyone concerned with this professional ethical dilemma can learn to understand the vital
significance of resolving the management crisis now instead of procrastinating further.
All of the more than 300 citations in the following lists of references provide reasonable arguments to support the validity of the ideas in this report. None of them support the
current "bureaucratic" bamboozlement and stagnation!
To explore the ideas contained in the References sections of this proposal for change,
click on the following links:
Since the County Board of Supervisors ordered top library administrators to report on the possibility
of "privatizing" some aspects of County Library public services several years ago, it
may be possible for the Board of Supervisors to consider privatizing the County Library Department 's
personnel department ("HRD") and bureaucratic regional administration structure!
Go to: Book References with Summaries
Go to: Audio and Video Tape References
Go to: Website References
This could be a first step in saving millions of dollars which could be recycled back into each of
the 88 County public libraries which serve hundreds of thousands of people each year. The following
two major research articles in The CQ Researcher on "Privatizing
Government Services" (August 9, 1996, pages 697-719) and "Privatization,"
(November 13, 1992, pages 977-999) describe the issues which could be used to support such
In conclusion, I think "bureaucratic" library administrators and professional
"liberated" librarians must be willing to work together so both factions
will be winners. The official use of the powerful psychological principle of "operant
conditioning" could produce predictably good results. But first the bureaucratic obstacles
must be overcome.
If our County Library personnel policy regarding rating procedures is not changed,
then our taxpaying "customers" will continue to be the losers.
All references on my home web page are continuously updated as new information
becomes available from published authorities on modern management principles and
psychological techniques and also from the professional experiences of other librarians.
I believe professional "liberated librarians" can be effective at a personal
level by surviving within the cracks of outdated bureaucratic library policies --- if they
have the right professional values and psychological insights. However, if they can transform
and humanize the "chain-of-command" or caste system which exists in most
library bureaucracies, then they will be free to survive and thrive as they achieve
true career success as genuine principle-centered professionals!
The goal is to give full-time professional librarians and para-professionals full recognition for their
outstanding values and accomplishments! This "transition" can TRANSFORM
the County Library Department bureaucracy ("Turkey Pen") into a genuine collaborative network of
effective and efficient public service employees. That transformation can translate into continually
improving future "outstanding" customer information services in each of our 88
County libraries --- and maybe eventually filter up through the bewildering administrative bureaucracy!
Go to: PE Policy Proposal Index
Go to: Leadership Control Essay
Go to: Interactive Index