Author, marketer, and consultant Kari Chapin addresses Public Library Association conference attendees in Philadelphia, March 21, 2018.

Prioritizing Possibilities

March 21, 2018

“These permission slips are for you to really think about what you want for yourself,” the bestselling author, marketer, and consultant told a morning crowd at the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia on March 21, turning attention to notecards placed on the chairs. “You are all grown people making your own choices,” she said. … Continue reading Prioritizing Possibilities


Catherine Soehner (left) and Ann Darling pose with their book Effective Difficult Conversations: A Step-by-Step Guide (ALA Editions, 2017).

A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling

March 21, 2018

What made you want to write about this topic? We wanted to write it because we were both terrible at having difficult conversations. Catherine’s initial attempts led to people being angry and defensive. Or she chose to ignore problems, which made these situations worse. Ann had conversations but failed to address the real issues, so … Continue reading A Conversation with Authors Catherine Soehner and Ann Darling


We’ve All Been There

March 1, 2018

The situation can be managed in a compassionate and direct manner to create an effective conversation and a working solution. To begin, we must define the difficult conversation. What is a difficult conversation? For a conflict-avoidant person, it is any conversation that produces anxiety, that worries you, or that you have put off, and in … Continue reading We’ve All Been There


Joseph Janes

Leadership and Vision

January 2, 2018

We all know that the best libraries are the ones that have the strongest connections with their constituents and make all members of their community feel that they belong and are welcome and represented. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, however. It’s not unusual to be screamed at during a community meeting, or to be … Continue reading Leadership and Vision



In Practice by Meredith Farkas

Less Is Not More

November 1, 2017

When I was in library school 14 years ago, I didn’t hear anything about workload, emotional labor, self-care, or burnout. What I did hear a lot about was how librarians are creative, resilient, and good at doing more with less. My first job as a librarian was at a small library where we were constantly … Continue reading Less Is Not More


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

The Librarian as Educational Leader

September 1, 2017

In conjunction with its November 2017 biennial conference in Phoenix, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will be issuing the updated National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. These are evolutionary standards that build on philosophical foundations and familiar elements of previous standards and the streamlined AASL Standards Integrated Frameworks. … Continue reading The Librarian as Educational Leader


Catherine Murray-Rust

Radical Restructuring

September 1, 2017

At Georgia Tech, we knew that using words to explain and defend would not accurately demonstrate the impact we have on inspiring and accelerating the intellectual achievements of faculty and students. So we set out on a library renewal project. When we started four years ago, the project largely centered on building renovations. Over time … Continue reading Radical Restructuring


An article titled "Spotlight on Women Managers" that was featured in the January 1985 issue of American Libraries.

Women in Management, Revisited

March 23, 2015

Recently, we followed up with four of those interview­ees to see how their experiences matched—or didn’t match—their expectations, their observations of the cur­rent state of library management and of women within it, and the lessons they’ve learned over their careers. Our interviewees are: BRIDGET LAMONT, director of the Illinois State Library from 1983 to 2000, … Continue reading Women in Management, Revisited


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The Toxic Middle

October 7, 2013

Wasn’t it considerate of the folks in Chicago to arrange for that unexpected (and most welcome) stretch of lovely, clement weather? I was steeling myself for the typical onslaught, packing the sweater for icily over-air-conditioned meeting rooms, only to be greeted by blue skies and 70 degrees. And a couple million hockey fans. So I’m … Continue reading The Toxic Middle