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Lean Library Management Methodology

To understand Lean, visualize a river near you. Is it a smooth-flowing river with straight banks? Or is it a river with twist and turns, white-water rapids followed by dry mud-filled beds and stagnant water? If you understand these two types of rivers, you understand the power of Lean. Lean has its roots in the Toyota Production System, commonly referred to as TPS. TPS revolutionized not only Toyota but the entire Japanese Manufacturing Industry. Thirty years later, nearly every successful manufacturing company in North America has embraced the concepts of Lean Manufacturing, seeing it as a fundamental tool for survival. Working with Libraries across North America, Mr. Huber discovered that Lean is just as powerful for the library world as it still is for the manufacturing industry. 


Mr. Huber has fine tuned the Lean Methodology for the Library world, and it is called 'Lean Library Management'. We have taken the core principles of Lean, including service chains, elimination of all wastes, seeking out the quickest and smoothest flow path, 'U' shapted flow, cross-functional teams, Kanban and much more into easily understood concpets that librarians and their staff can embrace. The successes speak for themselves. 

The principles of Lean that we can help you apply at your library include:


  • Anything that does not add value to a service or a product is wasteful and separates you from your ability to better service your customers.

  • All waste must be attached and eliminated.

  • As waste is eliminated, costs are reduced, quality improves, and customer service lead-times are reduced.

  • Lean seeks to create the smoothest and quickest delivery path to your customer, The smoother the flow, the less disruption, the fewer peaks and valleys, and therefore less delay.

  • The fewer errors and wasteful activities in the process, the better the product, and most important, the better the customer service.

  • Lean teaches us the shorter the service delivery time, the less cost incurred.

  • By reducing lead times, Lean allows an organization to respond to the changing customer demand requirements more quickly and with more flexibility.

  • If you commit your organization to eliminate disruption, delay, error, and wasteful activities, your library will improve customer service and reduce costs.

If you're interested in learning more about Lean and how your library can benefit,  just give us at call at (918) 691-7864 or send us an email at

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