Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Star Circle: The Quality Circle of Librarians

By David A. Cabonero


Quality Circle is being introduced in our school. We are all encouraged to form our own quality circle having a distinct name. In our library, it is composed of two groups namely:

1) The “Star Circle,” composed of librarians who were not given teaching load in Library and Information Science subjects and library support staff, however, the part-time librarians are considered as honorary members. Their main concern is the effective and efficient management of the library operation in the university.

2) The “Library Science Quest Circle,” composed of teachers in library and information science both the graduate and undergraduate courses. Their main concern is on the effective and efficient delivery of teaching and learning in the classroom, the continuous upgrading of the courses and syllabi to meet quality education of future Marian librarians.

The leader is not confined to one individual person rather we prefer volunteer to chair a certain problem to solve and serve as the leader in that aspect alone. This will give a chance for the others to show their creativity and exercise their critical minds in deciding and solving thus making them feel that they are also an important key-player in the institution.

Quality circle is a group of employees who perform similar duties and meet at periodic intervals, often with management, to discuss work-related issues and to offer suggestions and ideas for improvements, as in production methods or quality control (

In Wikipedia, “A quality circle is a volunteer group composed of workers (or even students) who meet to talk about workplace improvement, and make presentations to management with their ideas, especially relating to quality of output in order to improve the performance of the organization, and motivate and enrich the work of employees. Typical topics are improving occupational safety and health, improving product design, and improvement in manufacturing process. The ideal size of a quality circle is from eight to ten members.”

Quality circle is one of the employee participation methods. It implies the development of skills, capabilities, confidence and creativity of the people through cumulative process of education, training, work experience and participation. It also implies the creation of facilitative conditions and environment of work, which creates and sustains their motivation and commitment towards work excellence. Quality Circles have emerged as a mechanism to develop and utilize the tremendous potential of people for improvement in product quality and productivity (

Quality circle is a small group consisting of 6 to 12 employees doing similar work in the same company who voluntarily meet together on a regular basis to identify and solve their problems, using several problem-solving techniques which eventually lead to address work-related. It is "a way of innovating and transforming the people in the organization to become self-motivated in the attainment of the organization’s objectives."

The Logical Decision-Making Technique Applied in Star Circle

The logical decision-making technique has two parts: 1) the steps for making the decision; and 2) the steps for implementing the decision (Stueart, 1998).

1. Steps for Making the Decision

1.1. Identify the problem as it seems.

1.2. Seek the facts

1.3. Identify the real problem

1.4. Generate alternative solutions to the problem

1.5. Assess the alternative solutions

1.6. Decide on the best solution

2. Steps for Implementing the Decision

2.1. Determine the course of action

2.2. Implement the course of action

2.3. Evaluate the outcome of the decision

Star Circle on the Move. It is no doubt that all or any divisions of an institution or a company are challenged by unforeseen problems and the advent of fast changing information technology which needs a collaborative decision to solve.

Problems in the Library. Problems came from the feedback of frequent library users (faculty and students), through the comments or suggestions dropped at the suggestion boxes in the university, and the evaluation or feedback form usually filled up by visitors. The following were identified problems that needs to be addressed:

1. technical and mechanical preparation of library materials;

2. library automation; and

3. delivery of library services.

Benchmarking in the Library. Each problem has a unique characteristics and things to consider thus, we use different techniques in solving different types of problems. In order to solve the above problems, the librarians visited some prestigious libraries in Manila such as DLSU, CEU, San Beda, Lyceum of the Philippines University, and Sta. Isabel College.

Pictorials During the Library Visitation

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