Book Review: Project Management in Technical Services: Practical Tips and Case Studies

Lisa Lorenzo


While library literature and conference programs abound with project management guidance, relatively little has been published on adapting these techniques for technical services. Project Management in Technical Services: Practical Tips and Case Studies helps fill this gap with a compilation of instruction and case studies in various approaches to project management ranging from individual techniques for managing workloads to coordinating institutional and consortial projects. According to the preface, the goal of the book is to “help technical services professionals build their own ‘project management toolkit’” and “right-size” an approach that will work for any type of project (viii). With this mission in mind, the book’s two parts are further outlined in the preface. Part I: Implementation Perspectives is divided into chapters on personal project management and departmental implementation and Part II: Case Studies is divided into chapters on technology, space, and collection maintenance. While the majority of the cases discussed in the book focus on one-off projects, several chapters (especially chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7) also address how project management techniques can be useful for the cyclical, individual work common in technical services. The benefits of adapting project management in technical services are discussed throughout the book, including increased productivity and organization, improved evaluation of projects (both while they are ongoing and following completion), facilitating communication, increasing transparency, encouraging collaboration, and avoiding burnout. Other common themes include tool recommendations, agile project management methods, and adapting to change.

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