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Special Libraries: Consultants Provide Solutions

Article List
Academic Libraries
      Disaster Recovery at Rio Hondo Community College
      Serials Holding Display Project at University of Southern California
      Staffing Strategies in Academic Libraries

AIM in the News
      Belinda Beardt, Speaker at SBVC Fall Convocation
      Belinda Beardt, Speaker at SCALL Fall Meeting
      Linda McKell Awarded the Mark Baer Award

AIM Services
      AIM Outplacement Services

Job Search Tips
      Electronic Resume
      Frequently Asked Interview Questions
      Interviewing Tips & Techniques
      Interviewing: From Both Sides of the Table
      Networking Quickies
      Questions to Ask the Interviewer
      Resume Writing Tips
      Retooling Your Career
      The Ten Commandments of Interviewing
      What else can I do with my Library Tech degree or certificate?
      What NOT to ask during an interview?
      Where to Find Library Jobs

Professional Development
      SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND the Annual General Meeting of the Society of California Ar

Public Libraries
      AIM's Project Team tackles San Francisco Public Library Project
      Creative Staffing at Torrance Public Library
      Fresno County Partners with AIM
      Solano County Library Expands

Special Libraries
      Consultants Provide Solutions
      Law Libraries - Staffing Strategies
      Microfilming History
      Non-Traditional Libraries
      The Law Librarian Employment Market

Consultants Provide Solutions

Library and information management consultants can help you define and then develop a plan for solving informational problems. A key indicator in using a consultant is when the following tasks need to be done: planning, evaluating, coordinating, assessing, implementing, designing, directing or making recommendations. Consultants are experts whose experience allow them to do these tasks quickly and effectively.

Here are some examples of two recent, but very different, AIM consulting projects:

PROBLEM: A wide variety of professional clientele to serve . . . but no formal library to do it!

SOLUTION: An AIM Consultant conducts a needs assessment and submits a report of recommendations which creates structure for a library and provides vision for a long-term plan.

In late 1996, one of AIM's specialized legal clients realized they had a problem that is becoming very common today - - an over abundance of materials and information but no organized way to keep and access it. They called AIM for a consultant to do an assessment and make recommendations. As a result, they hired their first official Library Manager.

This was the Library Manager's first time to set up a library and she quickly realized how helpful it was to have AIM's report. As she commented,"AIM's work was respected and taken very seriously by the Library Committee and the organization overall. It helped us to go from a 'pie in the sky' idea to a stable library. It more than met our expectations." Because of this, she was also able to hire two AIM catalogers on a temporary basis to help unify the materials and create an index to the materials.

This library serves a large statewide clientele and there is now a growing confidence in the library and the services it provides. More people in the organization are entrusting the library with important information which was formerly pigeon-holed in their offices and not available to the group at large. The overall result is a stronger information system which truly serves everyone.

PROBLEM: Solo librarian seeks help in meeting the needs of her growing company.

SOLUTION: Mariann Kumke, Librarian, Research Services, for the Law & Economics Consulting Group, Inc. (LECG), had been a solo librarian for over five years. With the company growth expanding to over 100 staff members in her location alone and serving a growing international operation, Mariann realized that the organization was no longer a small firm. Too often, she found herself in a "crisis" mode responding to requests for information needed yesterday. She wanted to evaluate the company's needs ahead of time, as well as create a collection development and acquisition plan. As a solo librarian, there was no time for that. It was time for Mariann to expand the department to match the company's growth.

LECG provides expert testimony, analysis, litigation support and strategic management consulting in sophisticated matters involving economics, accounting and finance. As consultants themselves, they already knew the benefits of using an experienced professional consultant for special needs.

Advanced Information Management (AIM) sent in the perfect person to quickly provide focus, distill ideas, prioritize needs, create a starting point and a long-term plan. In less than two weeks,Mariann had her report. Shortly thereafter she received authorization to hire a team of three new staff people!

Mariann's summary of this successful project: "It meant a lot to know I could call and get an expert as well as quick access to their experience. The AIM report was a tremendous time saver and has become something I refer to at least every other day. I'd do it again and recommend it to other solos who are growing into a more fully staffed library. It was a confidence builder on how to move ahead to the next level." The report also confirmed many of Mariann's ideas. Lastly, the consultant coached her on how to develop and keep ties with upper level management, use them as a sounding board and keep them behind the library's growth program. "It was difficult to surface out of the sea of work to see how the library could really grow to help the company move ahead, "said Mariann. AIM provided the shoulders to stand on in moving to the next level.

Whether you already have a library or just an unorganized collection of information, Advanced Information Management (AIM) has a consultant with specialized expertise to help you.

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