Reenvisioning Work

Connect yourself with your career

March 2, 2020

Need a career boost? Or perhaps you want to re-energize a job you already love? Here are six books ranging from informational texts to nonfiction narratives to help you on our way.

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World
By Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

Culture, goals, leadership, feedback: These ideas are ingrained in our work lives. They shape the organizations we work for and our experiences within them. But Buckingham and Goodall argue that they are, in fact, lies that distort our time and engagement at work. The authors reveal nine workplace myths and urge readers to focus instead on core truths, like the value of interpersonal relationships and individuality, to help make time at work more productive and meaningful. Harvard Business Review Press, 2019. 304 p. $30. 978-1-63369-630-3. (Also available as an ebook.)

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter
By Nina MacLaughlin

After years of working for a Boston newspaper, MacLaughlin quit her job and replied to a Craigslist employment ad that read, “Carpenter’s Assistant: Women strongly encouraged to apply.” In Hammer Head, MacLaughlin describes the experience of working outside her comfort zone as a novice carpenter, as well as the struggles she faced as a woman in a predominantly male industry. It’s an inspiring story that challenges you to find your strengths and use them, even if you’re not planning a dramatic career change. W. W. Norton and Company, 2015. 240 p. $24.95. 978-0-393-23913-3. (Also available as an ebook.)


Library Leadership Your Way
By Jason Martin

What does a great leader look like? Instead of focusing on what others think about leadership, Jason Martin takes a DIY approach and challenges readers to create new definitions based on their own strengths and practices. Think of this book as a road map, filled with tools and activities that pave the way toward discovering and understanding how one’s identity and vision can fit into future leadership practice. By knowing which models, habits, and traits best showcase your abilities, you will be equipped to add more value as a leader in your library. ALA Editions, 2019. 88 p. $44.99. PBK. 978-0-8389-1905-7.

Recipes for Mindfulness in Your Library: Supporting Resilience and Community Engagement
Edited by Madeleine Charney, Jenny Colvin, and Richard Moniz

This title looks at how to implement mindfulness into individual and patron-facing work at the library. The editors focus on mindfulness in four areas: as a library foundation, through services, through personal practice, and in teaching and research. The essays not only provide opportunities for healthy and reflective habits at work but also suggestions for extending those practices into the community. Topics include using work journals for reflective writing, starting yoga and meditation groups at the library, creating Zen zones for students, and using mindfulness-based strategies for leading library teams. ALA Editions, 2019. 144 p. $49.99. PBK. 978-0-8389-1783-1.

Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work
By Catherine Hakala-Ausperk

Looking to find new meaning in the workplace? Hakala-Ausperk provides a plan to identify connections and gaps between you and your organization, allowing you to strategically reach goals that are fulfilling. She writes that successful libraries are powered by successful people, and a reexamination of one’s interests, desires, and goals is often necessary to achieve success. Being engaged in your professional and personal development allows you to find meaning for yourself and the work you create. ALA Editions, 2017. 152 p. $50. PBK. 978-0-8389-1499-1. (Also available as an ebook.)

Inspired Thinking: Big Ideas to Enrich Yourself and Your Community
By Dorothy Stoltz with Morgan Miller, Lisa Picker, Joseph Thompson, and Carrie Wilson

Philosophers, leaders, and great thinkers often use “big ideas” to cultivate inspiration, harness innovation, and promote critical thinking. In Inspired Thinking, the authors reveal how big ideas such as helpfulness and awareness can serve as at-the-ready resources to help librarians implement initiatives. They explore these ideas through four viewpoints: individual, team, leader, and organization. Readers will learn how to empower themselves through inspired thinking, bridge the gap between themselves and big ideas, turn ideas into resources, and bring awareness and action to all staff members. ALA Editions, 2020. 144 p. $54.99. PBK. 978-0-8389-4671-8.


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