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Journal cover: Library Review

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Online from: 1927

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Environmental scanning: an essential tool for twenty-first century librarianship

Document Information:
Title:Environmental scanning: an essential tool for twenty-first century librarianship
Author(s):James Castiglione, (Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, USA)
Citation:James Castiglione, (2008) "Environmental scanning: an essential tool for twenty-first century librarianship", Library Review, Vol. 57 Iss: 7, pp.528 - 536
Keywords:Environmental management, Information services, Librarians, Librarianship, Library management, Stakeholder analysis
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/00242530810894040 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This article aims to highlight important aspects of environmental scanning (ES). As a managerial tool of high utility, ES may assist library professionals – at all levels – proactively assess and respond to change in the technological, demographic, economic and social environments that may have a future impact on the library profession and stakeholder services.

Design/methodology/approach – This article deepens the library literature related to the methodology of ES with concepts and ideas derived from the relevant management literature.

Findings – Based on an in-depth review of the library literature, the evidence suggests that librarians have not the used ES techniques consistently or systematically to manage change.

Research limitations/implications – While the results of this literature review imply that ES is underutilized as a tool to manage change in the library environment, it is entirely possible that practicing librarians actually utilize ES far more frequently than a review of the library literature suggests. Additional survey-studies addressing this concern will be required to resolve this important question.

Originality/value – This article provides useful information related to the importance of ES and the related methodology required to build a comprehensive ES initiative. In addition, the paper introduces the reader to the innovative goal of coordinating ES initiatives on a global scale. This is presented with a view toward developing cooperative programs and approaches that may increase the viability of our profession and strengthen our collective ability to increase stakeholder satisfaction.

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