Missions, visions and other utopias

 Missions, visions and other utopias

[CDC photo]. (2020). https://unsplash.com/

From the administration we can talk a lot about the definition, importance and impact of the mission and vision in an organization, how these represent the why and what for of every organization; they demonstrate ambition or competitiveness, they are a reflection of their values ​​and purposes, they trace the path to the goal they wish to achieve and they are a reflection of their aspirations, the proposed challenges and growth expectations.

Every great organization strives so that its mission and vision reflect what it wants, that its members feel identified with it and that together they help to achieve them; Given this, some questions arise: Does the same thing happen in university libraries? Are university libraries aligned with their universities? The answer that naturally comes to mind is a clear and resounding Yes. However, reality shows a very different and somewhat disturbing picture.

Ranking Libraries evaluated 390 university libraries in Latin America and found that 48% of them do not have a clearly defined, clearly visible mission and vision, or are already outdated. This low percentage offers a quantitative data of library management, which could be interpreted as a contradiction to what libraries represent in universities, the existence of disconnections between libraries and the strategic plan of the institution to which they belong. , or the little importance that they give to their users, their own work teams, the university they belong to or the community with which they interact, know their mission and if they are on the way to fulfill their goals.

This vacuum in the administration of university libraries offers an interesting space for us to reflect, and find an explanation for why libraries sometimes have a low impact, or are seen as a major expense, because they have not created quantitative indicators that reflect the benefits of impact on quality and academic success.

This reality is contrary to what those responsible for libraries say and what they believe. Let us remember that if we do not know who we are and what we want, it will be difficult to manage resources efficiently, the library will be better positioned and new challenges will be faced. As a consequence we will have stagnant organizational cultures and it will be impossible to identify the needs of our users, let us remember: “The only thing worse than not having sight is not having vision”. Helen AdamsK.

[air focus photography]. (2020). https://unsplash.com/

Florez, R.

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