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TBL

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Primit 3 decembrie 2012 Acceptat 7 martie 2013

SWOTanalysisintheplanning ofinformationservicesand systemsinuniversitylibrari es ThecaseoftheUniversityofMalawi stra

Patrick Mapulanga

ChancellorCollegeLibrary, UniversityofMalawi, Zomba,Malawi

Rezumat

Scop

servicii de informacii _i sisteme în bibliotecile Universitatea din Malawi.

Proiectare/metodologie/abordare-O abordare de studiu de caz a fost folosit ca proiectul de cercetare. Au fost colectate datele atât calitativ _i cantitativ . Date cantitative au fost colectate la bugetul de estim rile de la 2004-2005-2009/2010 nanciare ani. Date cantitative au fost colectate de la UNIMA strategice planuri (2004/2005-2009/2010) _i (2012/2013-2016/2017). Alte opinii au fost colectate de la un forum de discucii de grup de bibliotecari în UNIMA pe ceea ce _tiau despre dou planuri strategice. Atât calitativ, cât _i calitativ datele sunt prezentate sub form de tabele. Date

Ł Scopul lucr rii

este de a evidencia impactul planuri strategice la planificarea

cantitative au fost analizate de calcul procentaj cre_te/scade în gures calitative au fost analizate tematic

în anul precedent. Date

-Planurile strategice au ghidat de planificare, bugetare _i financare al UNIMA, concluziile inclusiv planificarea serviciilor de bibliotec _i sisteme. Cu toate acestea, în ciuda formularea de planuri strategice, politice, economice, sociale, for˝ele interne ıi externe au afectat negativ punerea în aplicare a planurilor. Planurile strategice, de asemenea, nu au reu_it s reprezinte dore_te a bibliotecilor ca o scanare de mediu adecvate pentru bibliotecile UNIMA nu a fost luat în considerare. -De_i de planificare a fost un subiect popular în cercurile de afaceri, se cunosc Originalitate/valoare despre planificarea care apare în biblioteci în curs de dezvoltare. Acest studiu încearc s o punte informacii pe Planificarea resurselor de informacii în bibliotecile Universitatea din Malawi.

Cuvinte cheieStrategice de planificare, Strategic management, serviciile de informacii, biblioteci academice, Malawi

Papertype Studiu de caz

biblioteci academice, Malawi Papertype Studiu de caz Linia de jos Vol. 26 No. 2, 2013 PP.

Linia de jos Vol. 26 No. 2, 2013 PP. 70-84 q Smarald Group Publishing Limited 0888-045 X DOI 10.1108/BL-12-2012-0034

Introducere De la înfiincarea sa în 1964 pân în 1994, UNIMA financare de la guvernul Malawi a fost stabil în a_a fel c Universitatea buget _i financare potrivite (UNIMA, 2010). Ca multe universit ci din Africa, guvernul de financare owed constant în cadrul Universit cii, împreun cu interes donatorilor în cl diri _i cercetare (UNIMA, 2005). Din 1994-2004 subvencii din partea guvernului s-a diminuat din cauza cereri concurente pe bugetul nacional _i performancele economice slabe (Mapulanga, 2012). Ca rezultat, în anul universitar 2001/2002, numai 46 la sut de financare solicitat a fost dat UNIMA. De financare a crescut de la 56% în 2003/2004 _i 73% în 2004-2005 (UNIMA, 2005). Condicii economice precare a fost urmat de politici de ajustare structural (SAPs) iniciat de Banca Mondial _i Fondul Monetar Internacional (Mapulanga, 2012). Seve a devenit impedimente majore

lizer PDF Translator Free version - translation is limited to ~ 3 pages per translation.

UNIMA, în general, de financare _i biblioteca financare anemiilor, ca devalorizare a monedele nacionale inhibat capacitatea Universitatea biblioteci de a importa c rci _i reviste de peste m ri (Mapulanga, 2012; Chiweza, 2000). Consecincele sc zut de financare a dus la o deteriorare rapid a facilit ci, moral sc zut _i standarde academice erodate (UNIMA, 2005).

În 1996, operaciunile de UNIMA au fost revizuite de c tre

Malawi Institutul de

planificare

Management (MIM), care parcial recomandat restructurarea UNIMA prin dezvoltarea

_i de cercetare. MIM recomandat, de asemenea, c UNIMA ar trebui s se angajeze în marketing, de afaceri de dezvoltare _i relacii publice (MIM, 1996). În 2003,

UNIMA

aflat în, _i pentru a evalua contribuciilor Universitatea a f cut

politicilor la nivel de universitate _i în materie de predare, înv care,

Vice-cancelar numit un comitet special pentru a uita-te la criza nanciare

de la

Analiza SWOT

în biblioteci

71

înfiincarea sa _i trebuie s planul pentru viitor. Acest lucru numit pentru

formularea unui plan strategic _i nanciare.

În timp ce planificarea strategic a fost larg folosit în afaceri ca o modalitate de Envisioning viitorul, ambuant de planificare strategic în UNIMA a fost de a

economice. A existat o nevoie de a asigura o financare stabile la guvern _i pentru a obcine un avantaj competitiv asupra altor sectoare ale economiei, prin predare,

r

spunde

schimb rilor în guvernul de financare _i asigurarea securit cii

înv care _i aplicarea rezultatelor cercet rii

necesitatea de a examina interne factori cum ar fi punctele forte, puncte slabe,

în industrie. A fost, de asemenea,

determinat-o s scad în ani. Acest lucru, de asemenea, numit pentru un examen

oportunit ci _i ameninc ri

de evaluare extern a factorilor politice, economice, sociale _i tehnologice (PEST) care

(SWOT) c in uenced UNIMA financ rii _i a

important s re-neurochirurgical declaracia de misiune noua, Universitatea obiective _i strategii în viziunea.

s

fi contribuit la sc zut

de financare. Prin Analiza SWOT _i PEST, a fost

Literaturereview

Statusofstrategicplansinlibraries

Exist numeroase articole pe planificare strategic , planurile strategice _i pe termen lung de planificare în universit ci, înc foarte pucin pe planuri strategice de bibliotec . Brown _i Gonzalez (2007) a raportat o lipsa de studii academice Biblioteca planuri strategice. Este o resurs bun în acest domeniu (Matthews, 2005). Implicarea serviciului Biblioteca _i informacii în planificarea strategic nu a fost o activitate încorporate, deoarece biblioteci au luat-o de la sine c importan˝a lor va continua s fie recunoscut f r orice interogatoriu (McNicol, 2005; Buia, 2003). În continuare, Stueart _i Moran (2002) remarcat faptul c de planificare a r mas o activitate evaziv _i evitate pentru biblioteci. Aceast tendinc s-a schimbat, parcial pentru c bibliotecile se confrunt cu sc derea bugetelor (carmen, 2006; Evans, 2002; Rosenberg, 1997); in ation care rezult în redus carte _i revista abonamente (andreea, 2006); dezvolt rile tehnologice într digitizare de coleccii, construirea de depozitele online institucionale _i cataloage (pop, Poulter _i McMenemy, 2006); furnizarea de reviste electronice _i alte servicii online (Kostagiolas, Banou, Laskari, 2009); personalului sofisticare în cre_tere (Stueart _i Moran, 2002); _i percepcii diferite utilizator _i cererile (Silverman, 2010; Etaj _i Ho¨ppner, 2006; Robinson _i Robinson, 1994).

lizer PDF Translator Free version - translation is limited to ~ 3 pages per translation.

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în mod activ s demonstreze contribucia lor la obiectivele institucionale _i rezultatele (McNicol, 2005). Drucker (1974, pp. 121-122) lung opinat c :

_i echilibru gama de scurt _i raz lung de goluri. Viitor nu se va întâmpla doar dac unul dore_te destul de greu. Aceasta necesit decizii-acum. Se impune risc-acum. Este nevoie de acciune acum. Ea cere alocarea resurselor, _i mai presus de toate, de resurse umane-acum. Este nevoie de munca-acum.

Managementul are nici o alegere, dar s anticip m

viitor, pentru a încerca de mucegai,

R spunsul la Drucker (1974) se afl în planificare strategic . Biblioteci au folosit ca o modalitate de a

stabili importanca lor în comunitatea academic , ca acestea s îndeplineasc nevoilor de informare

a studencilor _i a Facult cii de planificare strategic .

Bene tsofstrategicplansinlibraries

Schulz (1998, citat în McNicol, 2005, p. 496) remarcat faptul c exist un num r de termoreactivi

potenciale care pot ap rea la o mai mare implicare în planificarea strategic , care includ: câ_tig un sentiment mai bine de rolurile bibliotecii _i indivizilor în organizacie; apreciind interdependenca dintre diferite zone ale bibliotecii _i universitate; realizarea unui sentiment comun de vizibilitate;

îmbun cirea comunic rii

t

organizacionale; _i dezvoltarea de strategii pentru crearea de recele.

Staines (2009) a remarcat c bibliotecile care au avut planuri strategice au fost capabili de a utiliza planuri strategice pentru a lua decizii mai bune; cu succes procura resurse suplimentare pentru personal si

staci pe curs. Corrall (2000) în continuare a opinat c planificarea strategic serve_te s : s clarifice

bazate pe larg; identifica probleme critice _i constrângeri; ofer un cadru pentru politica _i deciziile; _i informeaz alocarea resurselor _i utilizarea. Bryson (2004) au sus˝inut c planificarea strategic a

permis biblioteci ca organizaciile s : gândi strategic; clarifica direcciile viitoare; ia decizii în funccie de consecincele ulterioare; dezvoltarea coerent _i u_or de ap rat baz pentru luarea deciziilor;

organizatorice majore; ocupe în mod eficient rapid schimbarea împrejur rilor; echip _i expertiz .

maxim discre˝ie în zonele aflate sub controlul; îmbun ci performanca; rezolva probleme

scopul _i obiectivele; determin direcciile _i priorit cile;

materiale; îmbun cirea imaginii bibliotecii campus; _i asista bibliotecarilor _i personalul s

t

încuraja o perspectiv pe termen lung

t

_i de a construi în

Challengesofstrategicplansinlibraries

Germano _i Stretch-Stephenson (2012) se refer la un studiu 2006 globale de la Institutul de resurse

umane si American Management Association, care a descoperit moduri de e_ec, c executarea planurilor strategice, inclusiv ca a subminat: managementul angajacilor s raci; slaba comunicare; lipsa de claritate în ceea ce prive_te scopurile _i rezultatele scontate; inadecvate conducerii dezvoltare în cadrul

organizaciilor; lent de luare a deciziilor; resurse insuficiente; pucin atencie pl tite clientului; _i non-alinierea peste domenii funccionale.

la nevoile

Muswazi (2002) într-un studiu de iniciativa de planificare strategic la Universitatea din Swaziland

biblioteci remarcat faptul c exerciciul de planificare a acordat atencie rarit cii ambuant de implicare, formularea de obiective u_or de gestionat, _i gestionarea de dezvoltare _i sisteme. Ca urmare, punerea

în aplicare a planului de strategic a avut urmatoarele neajunsuri: supra-Comitetul de planificare s-a

bazat pe structuri administrative oficiale care ignorat studenci _i facultate grupuri de utilizatori;

obiectivele, strategiile _i criterii de referinc au fost trase de nerealist dincolo de sfera de aplicare a unei

c

ri

în curs de dezvoltare; a fost lipsa de gestionare programe de dezvoltare a în continuare ascuci

lizer PDF Translator Free version - translation is limited to ~ 3 pages per translation.

implementing teams planning and review competencies; and there was a lack of corresponding management systems readily available to facilitate the implementation processes.

SWOTanalysisoflibrarystrategicplans As in many university libraries in Africa, the strategic plan analysis identifies institutional strengths such as trained professional staff; specialized and unique collections; automation library services; well-established gifts and exchange programmes; and relatively adequate physical facilities among others. Similarly, common weaknesses in university libraries in Africa include: unclear budgetary policies; lack of ICT budgetary lines; low levels of ICT skills among library staff; poor security measures; non-expanding staff establishments; lack of schemes of service for library staff; low staff morale; lack of staff motivation; resistance to change; adherence to traditional manual library practices; weak communication; and low visibility of library services among others (University of Nairobi Online, 2012).

an

Opportunities

available

in

university

libraries

in

Africa

include:

SWOT analysis in libraries

73

acknowledgement

and

support

from

university

managements;

established

organizational

structures;

campus

network

and

connectivity

in

places; ICT

developments and initiatives; university support for income-generating activities; donor support; increased demand for professional training programmes; increased demand for distance learning programmes; and enlightened and advanced user clientele. Similarly, university libraries in Africa face threats such as: lack of acknowledgement of the academic status of senior library staff; lack of scholarships for further training; lethargic attitude of university community towards the library; university bureaucracies; and increasing cost of library resources and insecurity in the metropolitan settings (University of Nairobi Online, 2012).

Trendsinlibrarystrategicplans Most strategic plans for libraries in Africa are focusing on the following areas:

information collections (re-defining the information collection to meet the challenges of the new information environment); information literacy (enhancing information literacy for academic success and lifelong learning by using an integrated approach); enabling research and e-research (impacting positively on research and e-research); learning and teaching excellence (strengthening the role of the libraries in the facilitation of learning and teaching); community development; technology exploitation (developing a Library 2.0 service model); human resources (aligning with their universities people-centered strategy as it relates to staff); and suitability (ensuring the sustainability of the financial issues, quality assurance, physical facilities, marketing, and risk management) (University of Pretoria Online, 2012).

Strategicplanmodels Planning services and systems in libraries and information encompasses establishing goals, setting time frames for accomplishing the goals, and determining the level of financial support needed. According to Stueart and Moran (2002), in planning for information services: values are usually stated in terms of honesty and integrity, and social responsibilities to society, commitment to innovation and excellence in services; a vision is seen as an acceptable act of foresight that seeks to create and compel a

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picture of a desirable future that represents changes from the future; a mission statement that focuses on the purpose of the organisation, its reason for existence and what it hopes to accomplish; goals that are the organisation’s broad aspirations defined in operational terms leading to measurable objectives with strategies and activities; objectives and strategies that set the pattern for the structure of the organisation and are action oriented; and activities, tasks, and initiatives related to objectives and are a way of achieving the objectives. Germano and Stretch-Stephenson (2012) noted that various strategic models share a number of components such as vision, mission statement, goals, internal and external environments, strategies, execution plans, and evaluating techniques of the strategic plans.

With the above in mind, Stueart and Moran (2002) suggest that a model for a strategic plan should take into account the following: environmental scanning of both external and internal factors, which identify user needs and non-user sentiments, which then can be written into the mission, goals, objectives, and strategies. After the environmental scan and SWOT analysis, Stueart and Moran (2002) further noted that the steps in strategic processes include: identifying the organisational culture and creating a vision; formulating the vision and mission statement; developing the goals and objectives; developing strategies and action plans; implementing the strategic and

monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting the plan as objectives are

accomplished and priorities shifted. The most common shortfall of the strategic plan lies in the execution of the plan, as the majority of the plans lack communication and shared purpose (Germano and Stretch-Stephenson, 2012; Stueart and Moran, 2002).

plan;

Researchobjectivesandquestions The overall aim of this article is to assess the impact UNIMA strategic plans have in the planning, budgeting, and financing of library and information services. The following were the research objectives and questions:

(1)

What pillars in the UNIMA Strategic Plan (2005-2010) were identified and what were their cost implications within the five year period?

(2)

How did the pillars identified affect the planning for libraries and information services in UNIMA libraries?

(3)

What shortfalls were identified with the implementation of the first UNIMA Strategic Plan (2005-2010) and how did the lessons drawn reshape the formulation of the second Strategic Plan (2012-2017)?

(4)

What were the major challenges of the Strategic Plans in the planning of library and information services?

Researchdesign This article adopted a case study approach in which both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and analysed.

Datacollection The researcher collected data through documentary evidence. Budget estimates were the major sources of information. Reports and memorandum from university officials, budget estimates highlights, and the strategic plans documentation were also used for data collection. A forum group discussion was held with librarians in UNIMA.

Dataanalysis Both qualitative and qualitative data has been presented in the form of tables. Quantitative data has been analysed by calculating percentage increases or decreases in the figures from the previous year. Qualitative data has been analysed thematically via e-mail.

Results

RQ1

. What pillars in the UNIMA Strategic Plan (2005-2010) were identified and

SWOT analysis in libraries

75

what were their cost implications within the five year period?

Question 1 was on the pillars identified in the first Strategic Plan (2005-2010) and their cost implications as regards implementation. Table I shows that the UNIMA Strategic Plan identified six pillars and were valued at US$212,693,369 (MK59.1 billion).

RQ2

. How did the pillars identified affect the planning for libraries and

information services in UNIMA libraries?

FundingandfinancingpillarinUNIMAStrategicPlan In relation to its libraries, budget estimates indicated that UNIMA libraries benefited under the funding and financing pillar. As indicated in Table II, budget documents

Pillars

Goals

Strategies

Activities

Budget in US dollars

Budget in Kwacha

 

Teaching and learning Research consultancies Capacity building Funding and financing Governance Cross cutting Total

6

25

122

84,230,595

23.4

billion

4

15

60

21,899,898

6.1

billion

3

21

81

83,162,898

23.1

billion

6

17

61

8,159,831

1.2

billion

7

26

112

11,593,607

2.3

billion

4

13

63

3,646,995

3.2

billion

32

117

499

212,693,369

59.1 billion

 

Note: Exchange rate: US$=MK277.69 as of 27/07/2012 and available from: http://finance.yahoo.com/

TableI. Budget estimates for UNIMA Strategic Plan

currency-converter/#from=USD;to=MWK;amt=212693369

 

Source: Mapulanga (2011)

 

(2005-2010)

Financial year

Amount (Kwacha)

Increase (Kwacha)

Percentage increase

2004/2005

79,765,539

27,700,229 a

53.2

a

2005/2006

100,635,330

20,869,791

26.6

2006/2007

112,298,153

11,662,823

11.6

2007/2008

177,127,457

64,829,304

57.7

2008/2009

208,395,652

31,268,195

17.7

2009/2010

350,281,040

141,188,388

68.1

Note: a Denotes figures calculated from 2003/2004 financial year budget of K52,463,610

Source: Mapulanga (2012) and Mapulanga (2011)

TableII.

Trend of

UNIMA

libraries

funding

from 2004 to 2010

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from 2004 to 2010 revealed that funding to UNIMA libraries increased within the five year period.

TeachingandlearningpillarinUNIMAStrategicPlan Under this pillar, UNIMA identified matters of curriculum development and its relevance to the needs of the society, considered how quality of education would be determined and assured at all times, as well as the direction in which deployment of resources for teaching and learning would take. Within the teaching and learning materials section, library books and periodicals which were identified as a critical need

for its libraries. Table III shows the material budgets for UNIMA libraries from 2004 to

2010.

Table III suggests that UNIMA libraries benefitted from the Strategic Plan as figures increased from K18,659,197 (US$67,083) in 2004/2005 to K92,700,000 (US$333,273) in 2009/2010.

CapacitybuildingpillarinUNIMAStrategicPlan A budget estimate of K23.1 billion (US$83,162,898) was formulated for a five year period from 2005 to 2010 for capacity building. The pillar was meant to address deficiencies in areas of human resource development, information communication and

technology

preventive and curative maintenance was emphasized while outlining actions to be taken in the expansion and creation of new libraries among other areas. Staff development included the training of some UNIMA library staff to Diploma, Bachelors and Master’s levels in library and information studies. Table IV shows the trend of staff development budgeting from 2004 to 2010.

infrastructure development. Under infrastructure development,

Table IV shows that funding for staff development increased within the 5 year period under the first Strategic Plan from 2005 to 2010.

. What shortfalls were identified with the implementation of the first UNIMA

RQ3

Strategic Plan (2005-2010) and how did the lessons drawn reshape the formulation of the second Strategic Plan (2012-2017)?

ShortfallsoftheUNIMAStrategicPlan(2005-2010)

The implementation of the first UNIMA Strategic Plan (2004/05-2009/10) faced several challenges which the current strategic plan seeks to address. Documentary evidence

TableIII. UNIMA libraries material budget trends from 2004 to 2010 financial years

Financial year

Amount (Kwacha)

Increase/decrease (Kwacha)

Percentage increase/decrease

2004/2005

18,659,197

17,759,183 a

1,973 a

2005/2006

25,522,498

6,863,301

36.8

2006/2007

12,736,410

2 12,786,088

250.1

2007/2008

31,868,168

19,131,758

150.2

2008/2009

73,000,000

41,131,832

129.1

2009/2010

92,700,000

19,700,000

27.0

Note: a Denotes figures calculated from 2003/2004 financial year, material budget of K900, 014

Source: Mapulanga (2012) and Mapulanga (2011)

revealed that the implementation of the first Strategic Plan (2005-2010) had the following challenges:

.

.

.

.

.

.

Lack of strategic plan implementing committee at all levels. There were no established committees or teams to see the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

on

Over-reliance

University of Malawi has heavily depended on the government subvention for its operations. Inadequate subvention meant inability to implement the plan.

Lack of aggressive marketing of the strategic plan to potential providers for funding. Marketing was not taken into account to sell the Strategic Plan to different stakeholders.

Lack of contextualisation of national and sectoral policies to the strategic plan. The Strategic Plan was developed in isolation of national policies as well as sectoral policies in higher education such as the National Education Sectoral Plan(NESP).

for

Lack

that

monitoring monitoring and evaluation was a problem.

Lack of prioritising the key strategies amongst the many required interventions. The Strategic Plan took advantage of the MIM Report and featured almost all recommendations without prioritising.

anticipated donor funding for its implementation. The

of

measurable

and

baseline

and

Lack

target

of

key

performance

indicators

indicators

meant

evaluation.

performance

SWOT analysis in libraries

77

LessonsfromthefirstStrategicPlanandtheformulationofthesecondStrategicPlan

(2012-2017)

The six challenges highlighted earlier had major implications in the formulation of the second Strategic Plan. After looking at the environmental scan (internal and external business environment), the new strategic plan seeks to contribute towards sustainable and equitable social, economic, and technological development. The Malawi government launched the 2006-2011 Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) as the overarching medium-term strategy designed to attain the country’s as

aspirations

contained in its Vision 2020. Furthermore, the ten-year NESP

(2008-2017) and the five-year Education Sector Implementation Plan (ESIP)(2009-2013) incorporated all forms of provision in the education sector (UNIMA, 2012). The MGDS, NESP, ESIP and other sectoral policies had a considerable impact on the drawing of the

Financial year

Amount (Kwacha)

Increase/decrease (Kwacha)

Percentage increase/decrease

2004/2005

320,000

244,400 a

323.3

a

2005/2006

935,640

615,640

192.4

2006/2007

770,000

2 165,640

17.7

2007/2008

9,192,666

8,422,666

2

1,093.9 2 43.0

 

2008/2009

5,238,894

23,953,772

2009/2010

11,838,994

6,600,100

126.0

Note: a Denotes figures calculated from 2003/2004 financial year, training budget of K75,600

Source: Mapulanga (2012) and Mapulanga (2011)

TableIV. UNIMA libraries staff development budgets trends from 2004 to 2010 financial years

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new Strategic Plan. The Plan has focused on teaching and learning; research, consultancy and public and community engagements; capacity building; governance and management; and finance and resource mobilization (UNIMA, 2012).

The new Strategic Plan has recognised the need to strengthen and acquire more up-to-date library resources. Among the strategies for UNIMA libraries are: equipping the libraries with computers; acquiring relevant book titles per course; creating electronic local databases in relevant subjects; digitising Malawiana materials; subscribing to at least five journal titles per academic department per year; and establishing capacity for producing teaching and learning materials.

The current Strategic Plan has occurred against: a background of economic

and

political

development

across

Sub-Saharan

Africa;

a

renewed

interest

in

the

expansion

of

tertiary

education

and

research,

especially

in

science

and

technology, both within Africa as a whole and within Malawi in particular; and a substantive structural re-organization of the federal college structure of the University (UNIMA, 2012).

Table V shows the improved Strategic Plan with responsible implementing officers and the time frame.

. What were the major challenges of the Strategic Plans in the planning of

RQ4

library and information services?

TableV. UNIMA libraries and the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan

 

Performance

Objective

Strategies

indicators

Responsible Officer

Timeline

Strengthen and equip more up to date library resources

Equip library with computers

Baseline: 20 students per computer Target five students per computer Baseline: two book titles per course Target: five book titles per course per year

Vice Chancellor,

2012-

Principals,

2015

 

Librarians

 

Acquire relevant book titles per course

Deans, Librarians

2012-

2017

Create electronic local databases in relevant subjects

Baseline: 5 per cent of library stock Target:

Librarians

2012-

2017

20 per cent of library stock

Digitise Malawiana

Baseline: unstructured – resources Target: structured e-resources Baseline: very limited titles Target: five journal titles per academic department per year Baseline: two printing

Librarians, ICT

2012-

materials

directors

2017

Subscribe to at least five journal titles per academic department per year

Librarians and

2012-

Deans

2017

Printing press

2017

Establish capacity for producing teaching and learning materials

presses Target: three printing presses

directors, Deans

and Librarians

Staffawarenessofandparticipationinstrategicplanning Unlike many academic and administrative staff members, the majority of the library staff were not aware of the existence of the two strategic planning documents. Not only are UNIMA libraries typically given scant mention in the strategic plans, but in a UNIMA librarians forum group discussion through email, it was observed that in the first Strategic Plan, UNIMA libraries were involved and had representation. In the second Strategic Plan, however, the forum showed that librarians were not represented and the majority of their views were omitted. The current Strategic Plan has failed to capture other crucial roles like the teaching of information literacy and reviewing theses and dissertations. Instead, it has presented the libraries as places for stocking up-to-date books.

SWOT analysis in libraries

79

Funding Libraries have existed in a highly unstable economic environment, and the monthly payment of government subventions to universities makes long-term planning difficult. In the case of UNIMA, libraries have little control over their own resources and mostly do not have reserves or surpluses to support new initiatives. Over US$47,000 of arrears are owed for the subscription to an Integrated Library Management Software. On top of that, there are low levels of journal subscriptions in UNIMA libraries such that access for 2012 e-resources has been halted due to non-payment of subscription fees.

Politics

A

low opinion of the library in UNIMA has been reflected in the inadequate allocation

of

resources for library operations. New campuses for the Polytechnic and College of

Medicine, and constituent colleges in Blantyre and Lilongwe were recently established; however, the two campuses lack libraries. Librarians have realized that the two campuses may not have library campuses and the new Strategic Plan has not mentioned anything to that end.

Externalforces The political and economic sectors of the environment have had a negative impact on UNIMA. The failure of the government zero deficit budget in the 2001/2002 financial year and the implementation of the recovery budget in the 2012/2013 financial year has left UNIMA with little financial muscle. There has been reduced government

subvention of K584 million (US$3.1 million) in the 2012/2013 financial year (Memorandum of July 19, 2012 from the University Registrar).

Informationtechnology There is a low level of computer technology replacement in UNIMA libraries. Computers that came with the library automation under the Japanese Grant in 1998 are almost obsolete. The rate of replacement is on the lower side, while programmes and student intakes are increasing yearly.

Discussionofthefindings Strategic plans are uncommon in most libraries. This has been seen in UNIMA libraries. Instead of UNIMA libraries developing their own strategic plans, they have

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been incorporated in the main University Strategic Plans. According to McNicol (2005) and Nawe (2003), for a long time libraries have taken strategic plans for granted. While this may have been the trend in the past, in the last three decades libraries have been facing declining budgets; price increases in journals and books coupled with inflation; competing and advanced technological developments affecting libraries in such areas as library automation systems, building digital libraries and e-repositories; staff’s growing sophistication; and different user perceptions (Silverman, 2010;

Kostagiolas , 2009; Decker and Ho¨ppner, 2006; Chowdhury

, 2006; Sudarsan, 2006; Boadi,

2006; Stueart and Moran, 2002; Evans, 2002; Rosenberg, 1997; Robinson and Robinson, 1994). The end result has been the formulation of strategic plans with the hope of positioning their libraries for the future; however, as also noted by Williamson (2008 cited in Germano and Stretch-Stephenson, 2012), libraries have found it challenging to develop and execute strategic plans because they are non-profit and have service organisational cultures. UNIMA libraries have been featured in the wider UNIMA Strategic Plans; no wonder that UNIMA libraries have been given a scanty mention in the Strategic Plan. Birdsall (n.d.) suggests that librarians need to build upon the diversity of stakeholder interests, to form alliances and coalitions for the advancement of the library’s own interests and to market their priorities. One way is to develop Strategic Plans with their libraries in mind.

etal.

etal.

As regards how UNIMA libraries have benefitted from the Strategic Plans, it is very difficult to quantify the real impact the Strategic Plans have had. Worth mentioning is the fact that Mapulanga (2011) explored factors affecting budgeting and financing of the University of Malawi including its libraries from 2004 to 2010. Three pillars mentioned in the first UNIMA Strategic Plans (the funding and financing, teaching and learning, and capacity building pillars) corresponded with increased funding from 2004 to 2010. The first Strategic Plan failed to specify clear objectives, strategies and performance indicators towards planning for library and information services. In the second Strategic Plan, objectives, strategies and performance indicators, as well as key personnel (the vice chancellor and the librarians) have been mentioned as implementers of the strategic plan. While SWOT (internal analysis) and PEST (external assessment) may have been taken into account as indicated in the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan, the only shortfall in the environmental scan and as presented in the Strategic Plan has been a lack of strategic financial plans or cost analysis to assess the financial capacity that may be needed to address the challenges facing the university at large and specifically their libraries.

On major challenges facing the implementation of the Strategic Plans in UNIMA, it is clear that not many employees were engaged in the planning process, including librarians. Other challenges include: inadequate communication; resource inadequacy; and little attention paid to staff, faculty and students users. Badu and Loughridge (1997) in their research in Ghana noted some of the following as challenges to strategic planning in university libraries: government’s reluctance to fund higher education and increased expenditure in primary and secondary education; involvement of only

professional librarians in the strategic planning; bureaucratic task type of organizational structure in libraries; l ibraries existed in a highly unstable economic environment; low levels of resource allocation to universities as a result of the poor relationship between government and universities; low level of computer technology replacement in the university libraries; and changes in government educational

policies which had a significant impact on the rate of university growth and development. Comparatively, the problems identified by Badu and Loughridge are also common in many university libraries in Africa and Malawi to be specific. The only difference between the Badu and Loughridge study and the current one is that, in Malawi, higher education funding has been highly subsidised by public resources and delivered at an extremely high cost when compared to other countries. World Bank (2010) noted that the percentage of the education public budget allocated to higher education (27 per cent) has been higher than the average (21 per cent) for sub-Saharan African countries. The subventions accounted for over 80 per cent of the income of public universities while students’ fees and other income contributed less than 10 per cent; however, despite being highly subsidised, the funding is inadequate.

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Limitationsandimplications UNIMA libraries did not formulate their own strategic plans but were featured in the UNIMA Strategic Plans. As a result, the plans lack strategic thinking and analysis, evaluation of aims and target settings, and involvement of library staff members. Communication of aims, objectives, and plans for the formulation of strategic plans were not well-developed, and embedded activities such that the forum group discussion by librarians indicated that some key elements such as information literacy were not captured as key areas in the provision of library and information services. In light of the above limitations, the Strategic Plans have failed to:

.

.

.

.

.

.

properly conduct external and internal assessments to UNIMA libraries to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats;

undertake strategic analysis to identify and prioritise major issues or goals within UNIMA libraries;

design proper strategies to address the identified issues or goals pertaining to UNIMA libraries;

formulate library vision, mission statements, and values in relation to UNIMA Strategic Plans;

establish actionable UNIMA library work plans; and

monitor, review, evaluate results and update UNIMA library strategic plans.

Conclusion While there is no guarantee that strategic planning may produce the expected results, there are increasing cases indicating that strategic planning can contribute towards improving organizations as long as leadership and decision makers are willing to invest the time, attention, and necessary resources. Strategic planning in UNIMA have failed to take into account library and information services. The future can be both exciting and challenging for libraries and information services, but there is a need for UNIMA libraries to develop strategic plans. It is recommended that for future strategic plans, librarians should lobby management to take into account internal and external scanning, and establishing mission and vision statements for UNIMA libraries, before drawing appropriate action plans on how the organisation intends to get to the envisioned future. A strategic plan should involve all employees, stakeholders, and library users. The study also recommends that the strategic plans should constantly be reviewed, monitored, and adapted to the changing environment.

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Furtherresearch There is a need to consider research into how much knowledge and skills are available in strategic planning among library staff, as change is inevitable and change has come to stay in the information industry.

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Abouttheauthor Patrick Mapulanga works as Assistant Librarian (Technical Services) at Chancellor College Library, a constituent college of the University of Malawi since 2008. Between 2006 and 2008, he worked as Assistant Librarian (Cataloguing) at Central Library Services, University of Malawi. Patrick holds a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Botswana, Gaborone. Patrick Mapulanga can be contacted at: mapulangap@gmail.com

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