rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 4: p. 378
Sources: Library Management Tips that Work
Phillip Fitzsimmons

Reference and Digitization Librarian, Al Harris Library, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, Oklahoma

Library Management Tips that Work is a useful read for librarians looking for a few mental nudges to help resolve administrative issues. A volume in the ALA Guides for the Busy Librarian series, this collection of forty-eight anecdotal essays written by working professional librarians contains concrete and intelligent suggestions from seasoned librarians.

The book is for written for librarians in all kinds of work environments, and its five sections range widely in subject matter, covering personnel supervision, information technology, and library public relations. It introduces the inexperienced librarian to new ideas with a current and timely approach to librarianship. Sections focusing on the uses of social networking technology are particularly salient. This book will also be useful to the experienced librarian, providing a perspective upon the issues of her busy day to remind her of possibilities not yet taken.

A recurring theme found in all sections of Library Management Tips that Work is that productive communication between management and staff is essential to an effective workplace. Keeping staff up-to-date on policies, priorities, and daily issues is good for employee productivity and morale and also enables excellent customer service to library users, and all of this in turn reduces frustration and misunderstanding for administration, staff, and patrons.

The use of social networking, blogs, and wiki technology in the library is discussed throughout the book. Some essays describe successful uses of social networking technology to facilitate communication among library employees. Also included are nuts-and-bolts descriptions of how to choose the right software for various communication needs. In addition, guidelines are offered for maintaining sensible “boundaries” between one's professional and personal social networking activities.

The section on staff is particularly strong. It begins with an article about the characteristics of employees from different generations and suggests ways of considering the varying work expectations of staff as one strives for a harmonious and productive workplace. Two articles provide good descriptions of the steps required in hiring, training, and mentoring graduate assistants in academic libraries. This section also does an admirable job of addressing planning for emergencies and disasters, understanding the law, writing policies and procedures, and implementing ways to aid co-workers with family responsibilities.

Library Management Tips that Work delivers what its title promises. It is an anthology of well-written articles providing a range of very useful tips for library management. Many of the articles complement each other by cumulatively enlarging upon similar subjects and themes. The book is a good source of ideas for both new and seasoned librarians.seca

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