Manage Best with Best Practices

September 27, 2011

This month we’re examining the library literature for tips on how to manage our libraries better. Improvements may come from analyzing each step of a task and its impact on the bottom line, or from incorporating new standards and practices consistent with the diversity of materials now part of our collections.

Pay Attention to Standards

With RDA implementation looming, understanding how cataloging is changing into discovery services will be aided greatly by the essays gathered by Rebecca L. Lubas, the editor of Practical Strategies for Cataloging Departments. The essayists provide insights into how the standards have evolved from just one or two to a plethora of interlocking standards for description, metadata application, format, and communication. They also stress the importance of training and collaboration across library departments to make the discovery tools work for library users.

Indexed. Libraries Unlimited. 117 p. $45, pbk, 978-1-59884-492-4.


Get Funding

Librarian’s Handbook for Seeking, Writing, and Managing Grants, by Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis, Stacey L. Bowers, Christopher Hudson, Joanne Patrick, and Claire Williamson, is just that—a handbook. Stressing that grant-seeking is a continuous, sometimes iterative process, the authors provide guidance, recommendations, forms, and checklists for the key phases of planning, writing, implementation, reporting, and evaluation. Includes sample forms, bibliographies, and a glossary.

Indexed. Libraries Unlimited. 313  p. $50, pbk. 978-1-59158-870-2.


Improve Service

Continuous improvement is achieved by looking at a process in detail, and revising it so that the parts that don’t add value are eliminated. Lean Library Management: 11 Strategies for Reducing Costs and Improving Services, by John J. Huber, starts with descriptions of the strategies and what they mean for an organization seeking to be more efficient in serving the customer well. Huber then applies the principles to common library operations such as new book preparation and holds processing. He challenges the notion that high numbers in the usually gathered statistics means quality service.

Indexed. Neal-Schuman. 197 p. $70, pbk. 978-1555707323.


Manage Well

In some ways, Succeeding in the Project Management Jungle is another book with a cute acronym (TACTILE management) for helping to remember the elements of the program. But author Doug Russell uses the TACTILE elements (transparency, accountability, communication, trust, integrity, leadership, and execution) as the framework for covering ways to manage the expectations of the project stakeholders and to avoid pitfalls in all phases of a project from its beginning through the planning, execution, reporting, and closing out of the project. Russell stresses the interpersonal skills necessary for effective project team functioning.

AMACOM. 262 p. $19.95, pbk. 978-0-8144-1615-0.


Secure Support

Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others, by John A. Daly, explores the components of advocacy, from framing the message to forming alliances and getting the message to right people at the right time. Daly weaves in short case studies and examples from a wide range of business fields, but the lessons to be learned apply equally well to advocacy for our libraries.

Indexed. Yale University Press. 387 p. $30. 978-0-300-16775-7.



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New Orleans represents how libraries rebuild communities