Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

12-31-2020

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Original research paper

Abstract

Employees can be a resource of sustained success and a competitive advantage in any orgnisation, reliant on skilled workforce. However, dearth of trained labour force to drive the manpower requirement of local industries has become a long lasting burden in some small counties. These countries do not have adequate professional advancement opportunities for librarians and support staff to become professionals or paraprofessionals due to lack of openings for specialist education in the field of librarianship. Thus, human resource risks in libraries of such countries are comparatively higher. It is therefore needed to identify and assess the severity and impact of HR risks to mitigate the future burdens with a set of carefully planned HR management practices, which can positively increase the risk resilience. Due to less professional educational opportunities, economic downturn and outflow of educated personnel in Fiji, employers have been unable to recruit and retain suitably qualified professionals and paraprofessionals specially for academic libraries. All universities have hired many librarians from foreign countries and some universities have employed untrained manpower for paraprofessional work. Consequently, this research also tried to identify HR threats and vulnerabilities related to the Department of Library services in the Fiji National University (FNU) with the objective of directing the opted library for a possible risk mitigation plan. The study used qualitative methods by exercising semi-structured interviews for a sample of 25 professionals and paraprofessionals in the library. The research identified HR risks, their prevailing circumstances, library operation and its relationship with these HR risks, and finally to address what could be improved. Nevertheless, the management of HR risk will be continuing and its connotation will be unique and richer because of the Library is a part of a larger autonomous venture. It is therefore found that HR risks are bound to overall management of the university to cause a profound and extensive impact.

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