rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 1: p. 87
Sources: Project Management in Libraries, Archives and Museums: Working with Government and Other External Partners
Jennifer A. Bartlett

Jennifer A. Bartlett, Head of Reference Services, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Effective project management techniques are not optional when managing complex projects in cooperation with other organizations; they are a necessity in maximizing projects’ efficiency and results. Project Management in Libraries, Archives and Museums serves as a thorough, if somewhat theoretical, overview of techniques in use today.

This book, one of the “Chandos Information Professional Series,” is directed at library managers and practitioners involved in upper-level administration of major projects. Focused on the research and theory behind modern project management models, especially those involving partnerships with other corporate entities, the book focuses on the management areas that need to be considered before and during projects. These include project planning, risk analysis, human resources, quality control, contracts, and sustainability. Many concepts will be familiar to anyone who has had a least a rudimentary exposure to project management—for example, a project’s lifecycle, risk diagrams, precedence diagrams, and evaluation frameworks.

Author Julie Carpenter, a librarian and project management consultant with years of experience in projects worldwide, emphasizes that commonly used project management techniques based on the project cycle approach do not adequately address the needs of organizations in which discrete projects with a beginning and end are only a small part of their overall operations. For that reason, she emphasizes the conceptual framework of the PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) project management standard, in use since 1996 primarily in the United Kingdom, Western Europe, and Australia. Librarians in the United States may perhaps be more familiar with the Project Management Institute (PMI), although there are many similarities between the two systems.

Particularly helpful are the inclusion of numerous charts and graphs, as well as Carpenter’s illustrations of key project management concepts with examples from real-life projects and organizations, such as EuropeAid and UNESCO. Another useful section of the book involves the use of information and communication technology tools in projects, for example, Microsoft Project, Serena Openproj, and GanttProject.

Well researched and logically presented, Project Management in Libraries, Archives and Museums serves as a good conceptual overview of the project management landscape.

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