A Good Jobs Strategy for Libraries

Trevor Owens


In the 2014 book "The Good Jobs Strategy" management and organizational theory scholar Zeynep Ton identifies a set of key issues in job design, operational models, and staffing that enable organizations to both create good jobs and, as a result, deliver better products and services. Written primarily about retail, the key concepts in the framework relating to building teams, defining services, and supporting and empowering staff are also relevant to library organizations. Ton’s framework focuses on four principles; offer less, standardize and empower, cross-train, and operate with slack, each of which are relevant to varying degrees to library and archives organization contexts. This essay brings together points from the framework and connects them to issues in library management and organizational theory literature to explore the extent to which issues in the framework connect with issues facing libraries. The paper ends with recommendations for how libraries can similarly benefit from implementing a good jobs strategy that both supports library workers and enables better functions for our organizations.


organizational theory; workforce development;

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/llm.v35i3.7486

Published by: Supported by:
American library Association Texas Digital Library