Journal of Management
Total Quality Management In Libraries
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WHAT IS QUALITY?

The word Quality has many different meanings ranging from conventional to those that are strategic in nature.  Conventional meaning of quality usually describe a quality as one which looks good, works well, which is reliable etc.,  Strategic meaning of quality is concerned with "meeting customer requirements".  When a manufacturer is able to meet the exact   requirements of the customer consistently then that is called as Quality.  Quality then need not always mean good, reliable, long lasting etc.  If the manufacturer provides what the customer demands (good or bad) then that is Quality.

Some classical definitions of quality are as follows:

Quality if physical or non physical characteristics that constitutes that basic nature of a thing or is one of its distinguishing features. Quality should be aimed at the needs of the consumer, present and future.

By Deming Webster's Dictionary

TQM is "a system of continuous improvement employing participative management and centered on the needs of customers" (Jurow & Barnard, 1993). Key components of TQM are employee involvement and training, problem solving teams, statistical methods, long-term goals and thinking, and recognition that the system, not people, produces inefficiencies. Libraries can benefit from TQM in three ways: breaking down interdepartmental barriers; redefining the beneficiaries of library services as internal customers (staff) and external customers (patrons); and reaching a state of continuous improvement (Jurow & Barnard, 1993).

A library should be focusing on providing the best services possible, and be willing to change to serve its customers. To determine if changes need to be made, a librarian might ask:  What do the customers come in for? How can I look at the efficiency of my library? How do we serve the current users that exist today? First learn about the customer, then solve the problems. An American, W.Edwards Deming, developed the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) after World War II for improving the production quality of goods and services. The concept of TQM is applicable to academics. Many educators believe that the Deming's concept of TQM provides guiding principles for needed educational reform. In his article, "The Quality Revolution in Education," John Jay Bonstingl outlines the TQM principles he believes are most salient to education reform. He calls them the "Four Pillars of Total Quality Management."

Principle 1: Synergistic Relationships:-

According to this principle, an organization must focus, first and foremost, on its suppliers and customers. In a TQM organization, everyone is both a customer and supplier; this confusing concept emphasizes "the systematic nature of the work in which all are involved". In other words, teamwork and collaboration are essential. Traditionally, education has been prone to individual and departmental isolation. The very application of the first pillar of TQM to education emphasizes the synergistic relationship between the "suppliers" and "customers".

 The product of the successful work together is the development of the student's capabilities, interests, and character. In one sense, the user is the...Read More

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