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Project Management: Enhancing & Promoting a Local Community Library

Reading is a very important aspect of the development of a child. A childhood without books seems to be a lonely and incomplete one. Most parents can afford and do buy books for their children. However, for various families who are not able to purchase books, the access of their kids to books may be severely limited. This is where public libraries come in. They provide an inexpensive way for children (and adults, too) to read and learn. There are some families, however, who are not aware of the services of local libraries.

As such, their children are not able to get exposed to the broader world of knowledge and learning. This project is committed to enhancing and promoting a local public library with the overall aim to make learning and knowledge more accessible to a greater number of people in the community. More specifically, it intends to accomplish the following objectives: • Evaluate the present system of operations of the library, with the aim of providing recommendations for better operations.

• Gather more books for inclusion in the collection of the local public library in coordination with the acquisitions department of the public library. • Promote the services of the library

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to children in the elementary and high schools around the area of the library. • Increase the number of people using the library by at least 20%. • Provide consultancy services to the local public library so as to improve its system of lending books and making its impact felt in the community.

• Help the library become more visible in broader community through author signings and public book reading. Potential Management Issues The project will start with an analysis of the present situation of the library—its strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities. This way, the project implementers will have a better idea of how to help the library and how to maximize resources that it already has. That will be the starting point of the project. From there, several strategies will be put forward and then implemented.

This project will involve several staff and volunteers. Depending on the budget, some of the staff persons may be paid or it can run on a wholly voluntary basis. The difficulty, however, in running on a purely voluntary system is that volunteers tend to walk away from commitments if they have more urgent or more important matters to attend to. It would therefore be better to offer incentives to volunteers or to get the services of people who already love books and are passionate in helping others discover the books they love.

Another option would be to establish partnerships with social clubs or college organizations so that they can help in accomplishing the objectives of the project. The project will have to be a coordinated effort with the public library management. There may be some bureaucratic red tape that must be dealt with. Depending on the personality of the library attendants and the culture of the organization behind the library operations, the project can be implemented easily or with some level of difficulty.

The Project Manager, as the lead person who will implement this project should look after the following: The Stakeholders. By carefully identifying who the stakeholders are, the project will not be sabotaged with the intent of pleasing everyone. If the target audience is clearly defined, the project providers, the decision-makers as well as those who are in the periphery, the project will run and the Project Manager will learn which voices to listen to and which ones to deal with as soon as the more important things are attended to.

In the initial phase of evaluating the system of operations of the library, the PM must be careful in communicating the negative feedback so as not to alienate the library. This will also help set the overall tone of the project. The Budget. Even if the project does not have a very big budget, the PM must ensure that all money spent are accounted for. This way, the project will be implemented more smoothly and any possible suspicion on the PM’s integrity shall be averted. Conscientious tracking of the budget will also help ensure the completion of the whole project without compromising timelines and quality.

The Deliverables and Timelines. The deliverables of the project as clearly stipulated in the agreement must be adhered to with the right quality and at the right time. Otherwise, the project will suffer significantly and the mutual understanding between the parties involved in the project may be undermined and eventually destroyed altogether. Motivation of staff and volunteers. By making the work process as fun as possible, the project manager can help ensure project delivery without having to deal with relational conflicts in the process of service delivery.

If fun is integrated into the activities of the project, then it will not be very difficult to recruit volunteers. Key success indicators. This project will be considered a success if: • A document describing the present situation and system of operations of the library shall have been produced. • The collection of the library shall have increased by at least 10% • Weekly usage of the library grows for at least 20% • At least 5% more people are aware of the services of the public library in the community.

Key success indicators of the project should be monitored regularly so as to ensure that the attainment of the objectives of the project is within schedule and within budget. Regular monitoring also allows for improvisation to address whatever problem that may arise in its implementation. Reading is an important aspect of learning for children and adults as well. Without books, the learning process is incomplete. The public library is an inexpensive means of learning—people do not need to buy their own copies of books if their local library already has a copy of such books.

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