Library management is a critical issue especially when it comes to ensuring meaningful use of library facilities. The case provided presents a well-functioning library that has just started to experience an excessive influx of children who are not interested in using the library meaningfully as it would be assumed. Instead, they only use the facility to pass time until comes an appropriate time to get home. This creates a number of problems in the sense that normal functions of the facility are disrupted. Inappropriate behavior of children brings a lot of disorganization in facility’s functions. Therefore, there is a need to come up with an informed solution based on facts and opinion that would help solve the problem. This should be done in a systematic manner using rational method to device solutions to the problem. This paper seeks to address these issues in relation to how the problem can be approached and solved.
1. Key Problem Issue.
The most obvious problem in this case is that children are using library facilities to pass time while they wait for their parents to come home. Parents tell their children to go to the library rather than roam or go home until they come back from work. Therefore, it is difficult to make them stop coming to the library. Therefore, resources in the facility are overstretched, and at the same time, there occurs a gross misuse of the facility as kids are not likely to be careful when in the library. Libraries in the 21st century are likely to be exposed to turbulent situations due to rapid changes in the way such facilities are used. Therefore, the first thing that needs to be done is to device robust survival mechanism. This can be done by planning well on how to take any unexpected changes.
2. Possible Solutions.
Since children cannot be prohibited from using the library, proper management approach is the only option to deal with the problem. First, it is important to understand that allowing children into library facilities should be accompanied by certain management changes in the library. This is because there will always be a need to closely supervise children especially in big facilities like the City of Bookworm library. Therefore, it is appropriate to select a sufficient number of employees for training on how to handle children. Training should be done using a cross-functional strategy where all employees are educated on how to behave with children especially when helping them to choose correct reading materials (Meg & Sarah 2009).
Considering the fact that children are not able to use services such as computers for rightful purposes, it is indispensable to ensure that children are kept away from them. To do this it is reasonable to analyze services offered and those that are intended. Since it has been established that these children use computers for leisure, it is appropriate to censor such facilities and compel them to stop allowing children to use computers (Fasick et al 2008). This should be dome carefully by informing kids about the decision to avoid confrontations. Such methods will be effective since it is difficult to stop children from using computers in the library by just giving them instructions. Children are likely to ignore such directions given that they are too young to understand the rationale behind prohibiting them to use library computers. The reason behind this is also to eliminate any form of infantilization of a library (Diamond 2011).
Presence of children in the library is an additional burden to employees who are forced to stay long hours because kids only go out when their parents are back home from work. In addition, children are likely to be disorganized. This is the reason why the library is experiencing a lot of book scattering all over the tables. Therefore, there is a need to increase workforce for two reasons: to deal with an extra work and to make sure that workers go home on time. In this regard, seeking volunteer services is appropriate. Despite the fact that overworking employees may see this as a threat, it is critical that the existing staff is informed about reasons behind such decisions. Although volunteers are not free per se, they are affordable, and more so, are willing to work additional hours. Volunteers are also supportive and useful when it comes to seeking and establishing new methods of handling challenges (Preston & Dumas 2002). This is because they come with different experiences from the outside world where there could be better ways of dealing with similar problems.
3. Proposed Solution.
Children are often difficult to handle. Therefore, stopping them from doing certain things in the library is challenging. One of the possible solutions to this problem is the incorporation of special technology into the library. Modern technological advancements allow organizations like libraries to control their services by selectively allowing certain individuals to use them. Therefore, to deal with the problem of improper use of computers, the library can incorporate the use of access codes by its clients. This means that only users starting from certain age will be given access codes that will allow them to use the library. Managing libraries using digital applications has proved to be effective since it allows easy control of library resources (Fenner 2005). In other words, technology should be introduced to prevent children from using certain facilities which they are likely to misuse if allowed to.
Another possible solution to this problem is to segregate children’s reading materials from the rest of the books in the library. This does not mean moving children to different rooms all together. However, isolating children’s materials and putting them in specific shelves will be helpful. This will ensure that children find materials that are specifically written for them and hence will not need to disorganize many books in the library in search for what they can read. This will reduce the practice of taking out books and leaving them on the tables.
In conclusion, there is a need to understand that any library facility should be flexible enough to accommodate whoever visits the facility without any inconveniences. This means that even children should be given room as this has a positive influence on their reading culture. In addition, parents should visit the library alongside their children, meaning that there should be proper ways to handle their presence. Since children are disorganized and are likely to be stubborn because of their age, the use of electronic systems that ban them from accessing certain equipments like computers is advisable. Materials suitable for kids should also be separated from the rest of readers to minimize interruptions of other library services used by the grownups. Orientation of the management staff towards these practices is the best start point of implementing changes of such nature in a library.