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University library administration, with special reference to new technology : a Tasmanian case study


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Waters, D H(David Hugh) 1985 , 'University library administration, with special reference to new technology : a Tasmanian case study', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis examines the impacts of new technology on university
library administration as reflected in a case study. The
institution chosen for the study is the University of Tasmania
Library, which has recently adopted a totally integrated
automated library system based on the Library's own mini-computer.
The opening chapter introduces the topic, and puts forward five
propositions. These include propositions about the use of new
technology to reinforce the organization's niche within the
parent institution; the role of technology in environmental
turbulence and uncertainty; the effects of new technology on
routineness, standardization, formalization and flexibility;
the structural impacts of new technology; and the human and
social impacts upon organization members. The chapter
continues with a review of relevant literature, and concludes
with a description of the methodology employed. Subsequent
chapters consider the University Library in the light of each of
the propositions. Two chapters are devoted to the background
and particular circumstances of the organization - one on its
history, nature and technology, and another on its task
environment. The nature of the technology employed by the
University Library is then examined in more detail in an attempt
to classify it. Perrow's scale of routineness is chosen as a
suitable classification scheme, and the effects of automation on
the level of routineness of the organization's technology are
considered. A tendency towards increased routineness,
standardization and formalization is observed, but there is little
corresponding loss of flexibility. Rather, new opportunities for
creativity and flexible services are noted. Structural impacts
of the introduction of automated systems are examined. While the
formal structure remains virtually unchanged, there are changes
occurring in the informal organization. The results of a survey
of organization members indicate that the human impacts of
automation generally have been minor, although a small group of
employees experiencing loss of job satisfaction and deteriorating
social relationships is identified. Finally, the impacts
observed in the case study are considered in the context of the
particular circumstances of the University of Tasmania Library -
its history, nature, technology, environment and management, as
described in the earlier chapters - and concludes that these are
all contributing factors to the nature of the impacts of the
introduction of new automated systems in the particular

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Waters, D H(David Hugh)
Keywords: University of Tasmania. Library, Academic libraries, Academic libraries
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1985 the Author

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1986. Bibliography: leaves 233-239

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