Project Management in Libraries: On Time, On Budget, On Target. By Carly Wiggins Searcy. Chicago: ALA, 2018. 123 p. Paper $54.99 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1719-0).

Project management is not about managing projects, and Searcy’s well-written book succinctly demonstrates the difference. Searcy, a certified project management professional (PMP), states, “limited endeavors that create a unique product or service are projects” (p. 1). More formerly, “then project management must be the use of organizational resources to create a unique product or service that achieves organizational objectives” (p. 2).

In chapter 1, Searcy uses processes from both the Project Management Institute and the Agile methodology to create a hybrid of five process groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Chapter 2 talks about characteristics of a project manager: tenacity, collaboration, and ethics. Subsequent chapters lead the reader in meeting management, planning a team, costs and budget, execution, and failure.

Each chapter provides clear and simple definitions, describes library related examples, defines and gives specific techniques, circles back to previous chapters well, and ends with a tidy summation. Chapters also provide excellent examples of figures, checklists, registers, and templates. The final chapter outlines the most ignored process, closing. It entails reflection, lessons learned, final reporting, and celebration. A complete bibliography and index are included.

In closing, Searcy states, “the meaningful part of project management is not creating charts or writing plans. It’s the conversations, the transparency, the negotiation, and the collaborative problem solving that are required to create the right result . . . if you apply the skills, tools, and techniques outlined in this book while practicing responsibility, respect, fairness, and honesty, you will have better project outcomes” (p. 112).

Searcy has an easy-going, yet focused, writing style, providing a huge amount of information in a small package. Project Management in Libraries is a well-written, concise overview directly focused for libraries. Information is also provided for those interested in project management careers.—Dana Belcher, Director, Linscheid Library, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma


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