Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

2019

Abstract

Academic libraries continue to innovate its resources and services to exceed the expectations of its millennial users by reconsidering new trends in management. This is because millennials have varied attitudinal behavior, changing needs and technological skills. Library managers then need to rethink management strategies to address such and eventually to improve library services. One management concept could be the use of McDonaldization in the library. Ritzer (1996) introduced the concept of McDonaldization in his book entitled “The McDonaldization of Society” wherein he argued that the principles of the success of American hamburger chain has a great impact not only in economic patterns but also other facets of the society in general. According to Crossman (2017), McDonaldization is the rationalization of production, work, and consumption. It is characterized by four dimensions namely: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control which have favorable and irreversible changes. On the other hand, Larney (1996) stressed the negative effects which include the ecological impact, dehumanizing effect and quantity over quality in products and services. These effects are not only limited to the fast food industry but also in educational institutions particularly on the information sectors like academic libraries. The increasing pressure for colleges and universities to control costs and maximized efficiency contributed to lessening the independence of faculty, including library staff (Quinn, 2000). However, McDonaldization concept is not a popular management concept among librarians in the Philippines. Thus, the main thrust of this study is to answer the following questions: 1) What is the level of awareness of academic librarians on McDonaldization in academic library; and 2) What is the level of applicability of McDonaldization as a management strategy in the academic library. It made use of quantitative method of research using a researcher-made survey questionnaire and was conducted in the second semester of schoolyear 2017-2018. Data were gathered from 10 professional registered librarians from Saint Mary’s University Learning Resource Center, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. Descriptive statistics like median was used to describe the data gathered. Interview was also used to further deepen the analysis and interpretation of data. The study found that librarians are highly aware of the concept on McDonaldization and they revealed that it is highly applicable as a management strategy in academic libraries. Interview also revealed that unknowingly McDonaldization had been introduced or practiced in the different aspects of library work using the four dimensions namely efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. The “McDonaldized Library” is heavily attributed to the proliferation and advancement of Communication and Information Technologies. This concept has its own advantages as well as disadvantages such as dehumanizing effect among librarians and quality of library services thus it is recommended that a complete and thorough study on the use of McDonaldization as a management style in academic libraries be explored.

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