WALTON, G., 2008. Theory, research and practice in library management 4 : creativity. Library management, 29 (1/2), pp. 125-131
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of creativity in the strategic
management of libraries.
Design/methodology/approach – The literature is examined to show how libraries are using
creativity in service development. There is also an exploration of various perspectives on creativity
from both library commentators and management academics. Different approaches open to library
managers to introduce creativity are examined.
Findings – The paper finds that creativity is an approach that will inform libraries develop new
services in a world where turbulent change is present. Library staff should be encouraged to bring in
ideas and intelligence from outside. Teams have to be made up of people with different skills and ideas
and they need to be encouraged to be creative. The library manager also has to take responsibility for
supporting creativity and various actions are available to him/her. These include allowing staff
freedom to make decisions and making sure the work place is as stimulating as possible.
Originality/value – The paper provides food for thought for library practitioners in the use of
creativity in developing future services.