Staffing Pattern of the Library: The staffing is an assessment of the staff which is meant to give the library a competent staff in all the different categories and to get the best out of them. According to Evans, “staffing is the function by which a manager builds an organization through the recruitment, selection and development of individuals as capable employees. The staffing in libraries consists of the different categories of person with experience and expertise. The library staffs provide materials, they also provide the services of specialists who are experts in finding, organizing and interpreting information needs.
a) Basic Qualities of Library Staff: The librarian should try to find out the aptitudes of the prospective employees because unless the library work suits their tastes proper output service cannot be saved. Care also should be taken that persons with appropriate qualifications required for particular posts are selected for particular job. If highly qualified young and ambitious persons are appointed for lower category post, they may not stick to such posts. Some other points to be noted are as follows
i) The prospective employee should be adequately qualified and experienced one to perform the necessary jobs.
ii) The prospective employee should have love for books.
iii) He/she should regularly read some books for acquiring knowledge and pleasure.
iv) The prospective employee should have love for humanity.
v) He/she should deal with the readers in a sympathetic way and try to help them and remove their difficulties.
b) Types of LIS Professional: There are various types of LIS professional in general which can be grouped into the following:
i) Professional: Professional consists of those who are employed on professional job and who possess degree in library and information science as well as in some other discipline. Professionals are employed at higher level and middle level and are responsible for administration and managerial and professional job. Usually Librarian, Deputy Librarian, Assistant Librarian and Senior Library Assistants, whatever may be their designation, are included in this category.
ii) Para Professional / Semi Professionals: They are with diploma or certificate in LIS. Their designation may be library assistant, technical or professional assistant, junior cataloguer or equivalent. They usually perform the routine professional and technical job.
iii) Unskilled / Supporting Staff: They are with the minimum educational background and are adequately experienced in doing a particular job or trade and usually have a non-library degree. The designation may be reprographic assistant, book arranger, book binder, conversation assistant, typist and equivalent.
Besides the above categories of staff, some other staffs are also necessary. They include attendant, cleaner, peon, gardener, and sweeper.
The quantum of the staff depends on the total service area of the library, the number of departments / branch and other organized unit, the hours of opening, population and size of library users, amount of circulation and demand for reference service, and the financial support available.
c) Activities of LIS Professionals: The different categories of library personnel are assigned specific public service activities, some of the functions may overlap while some of these can vary from library to library but in general these are of the following types
i) Activities of a Professional
* General Activities: Establishes operating policy, assigns the personnel, public relations, general supervision, work with faculty.
* Professional: Book selection, performing the book order; do classification and cataloguing, indexing, etc. Selection of circulation system, non-routine registration, schedule staff. In case of Interlibrary Loan determine interlibrary loan code.
* Reference: Initial patron contact at the Reference Desk or Information Desk, gives general information and answers directional questions, interviews patrons and answers reference questions, searches computer databases, compiles bibliographies, explains the use of library catalogues and periodical indexes, recommends material for purchase.
* Miscellaneous Activities: Establishes subject headings for vertical files, works on displays, bulletin boards and exhibits.
ii) Activities of a Paraprofessional
* General: Assigns personnel, public relations, general supervision, and work with faculty.
* Professional: Their job includes book ordering, accessioning and preparation of books for the shelves, physical verification of books, membership registration, to maintain files, deal with disputed fines. Supervise collection and catalogue maintenance, circulation, stock verification, charge out and check in materials, accepting interlibrary loan requests, and bibliographic and location search, to identify overdue and carry out overdue procedures, collecting fines, re shelving, shelf reading, shifting materials on shelves, inventory.
* Reference: Initial patron contact at Reference Desk or Information Desk, to answer general information and directional questions, answer simple reference questions within limits established by the library, to interview patrons and answer reference questions, compile bibliographies, explain the use of library catalogues and periodical indexes, bibliographic work under librarian's direction, recommend material for purchase.
* Miscellaneous Activities: Establishes subject headings for vertical files, upkeep of files and assign subject headings under librarian's direction, work on displays, bulletin boards, exhibits, demonstrates the use of audiovisual equipment and compiles statistics.
iii) Activities of an Unskilled / Supporting Staff
* General: Public relations.
* Professional: Typing and other clerical work, book binding, maintaining files, to receive and return different types of material other than document, reprography, micrography, operation of different types of equipment, maintenance of fumigation chambers, de-acidification, lamination and other conservation processes.
* Reference: Initial patron contact at the Reference Desk or Information Desk, answering general information and directional questions, answering simple reference questions within limits established by the library, typing and other clerical work.
* Miscellaneous Activities: Compiling statistics, upkeep of files and assigning subject headings under librarian's direction, work on displays, bulletin boards, museum exhibits, demonstrating the use of audiovisual equipment.