New Routes to Library Success: 100+ Ideas from Outside the Stacks. Elisabeth Doucett. Chicago: ALA, 2014. 240 p. $55 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-1313-0).

New Routes to Library Success, by Elisabeth Doucett, brings new management and marketing ideas from the business sector into the library. Traditionally, when experiencing and managing change, librarians have looked to other librarians, not to the business world, for new ideas. This book, based on a series of interviews with business and nonprofit leaders, was written to help librarians change the way they think and the places they go for new ideas as they address their communities’ changing needs. Doucett introduces innovative ways to bring change to libraries by drawing from the experience and insight of business leaders.

Doucett begins by explaining the reasoning and process used in her questioning. In each chapter, she explains why she chose the topic and the organization to interview and describes the lessons that were learned from that specific interview. Each chapter ends with a summary of the ideas that Doucett learned from that interview, a list of the questions asked, and a list of recommended resources on the topic. The first chapter, “The Process,” describes how librarians can create their own assessment tools by focusing on what insights might be gleaned from specific businesses and how they can create an atmosphere of change in their own organizations. The succeeding chapters address topics ranging from creativity to entrepreneurship to content creation. One chapter focuses on creating a great workplace and learning about your community; another is about customer service (based on her interview with executives from L. L. Bean).

Doucett has a unique way of looking for innovative ideas and applying them to the library world. She asks questions of business leaders, analyzes their responses, and explains how this information can be applied practically to the library setting. Helpfully, an index is included to provide easy access to specific themes.

This is the latest in Doucett’s arsenal of books that help librarians use management and marketing ideas to stir up the library world. More than just a program-based marketing plan, this book offers real business ideas that can be useful to a library. Recommended for librarians who want to develop new ways to bring transformative change to their libraries.—Janet A. Tillotson, Library Director, Towanda Public Library, Towanda, Kansas


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ALA Privacy Policy

© 2021 RUSA