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Library is an information center. Either, we can interpret a library as a collection of information they are: science, entertainment, recreation, etc., which is essential for the human information needs. Nowadays, the Library image, that was only a slum place, is not relevant anymore. Library has been growing both in quality and quantity of collections, also in serving the users. Library must strive to meet the information needs of its users, enabling them to find the information easier than ever and facilitating them a cozy place (as comfortable as possible) while they are using the library collections or services. Users will feel uncomfortable in the library, or even don’t want to come again (worse possibility) if they found the library is a dirty, dusty place, untidy collection, heat air because the air-conditioning doesn’t work, cobwebs in the ceiling, and moreover the difficulties in finding the certain collection.

For a library with large buildings, such as academic libraries, public library, national library, or libraries that must be handled by more than one librarians, the librarians may be able to coordinate with each other in order to control the occur of library users inconvenience. Otherwise, for a librarian who works alone, it will feel contrary, for example in a school library, special library, controlling this surely will be an additional task that must be done besides doing the librarian job descriptions.

However, this problem doesn’t happen in a special library in PQM Consultants. The library (6 x 5 m2, relatively a small scale) has almost 3000 books, 500 CDs/DVDs, 700 training material, 400 project reports. This library implements the Japanese Management System, called 5S, for the arrangement and cleanliness of the library. 5S principles are as follows:

Seiri (Sorting out): for this step, the worth of the item should be decided based on utility and cost. As a result for this step, search time is reduced.

Seiton (Systematic arrangement): each item has a place and only one place. The items should be placed back after usage at the same place, and every item should be marked.

Seiso (Spick and span): make daily or weekly follow-up cleaning, stamp. Cleanliness is also helpful to notice damage on equipment. A good, neat and clean working place provides motivation for effective functioning. Paste it on the whiteboard so the janitor can easily read it and sign every time he/she did the task. Sample of Library Cleaning Standard ( Image 1) and Library Cleaning Schedule (Image 2), AC Maintenance (Image 3).

Seiketsu (Standardizing): the improvement program should be standard to keep these good practices current in the work area. Involve the janitor to participate in the development of such standards. This helps in synchronizing the activities of Seiri, Seiton and Seiso.

Shitsuke (Self Discipline): It is right to keep practicing Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, and Seiketsu activities until they become habitual. If the task of bringing change is made into an act teamwork between librarian and the janitor, it will be found to be easier.

The librarian also possible to create an audit sheet format (customized from Format Audit Sheet. Patra, 2005, Appendix, Image 4), given to other employees in the same institution, for audit requirements, in order to know the results of improvement that has been done. If the improvement already right in the standard line, then we can make the next improvement based on the audit results, because the standard doesn’t make us to stop growing.

Actually, organizing library material have done by using DDC, LCSH, but 5S more emphasis on the process of how to cultivate a workplace that is orderly and clean. Just like other office, library is a workplace where officer (called library) do the library activities. 5S helps the office activities quicker than usual. Example, when a librarian doing the registering new user activity. With a neat and organized workplace, indubitably, this activity doesn’t require more than five minutes to make a membership card for him/her. User can be served faster because the librarian know where the librarian knows where the pen, pencil, personal data sheet, blank membership cards and other stationeries that required in that process.

5S is not just helping libraries for fasten in serving users and provide a way out of doing work that requires an automatic action, but rather help create more automated manual work well with regular controls and a clear audit.


Hirano, Hiroyui. 1995. Penerapan 5S di Tempat Kerja: Pendekatan Langkah-Langkah Praktis. Jakarta: PQM Consultants.

Faabrizio, Tom; Tapping, Don. 2006. 5S for the Office: Organizing the Workplace to Eliminate Waste. New York: Productivity Press.

Patra, Nihar Kanta [et.al.]. 2005. Implementing the Office Total Productive Maintenance (“Office TPM”) Program: a Library Case Study. Library Review. Vol 54. Iss. 7; pg. 415, 10 pgs. Document URL:http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=903160421&sid=4&Fmt=4&clientId=45625&RQT=309&VName=PQD


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