Title: A Starter’s Guide for Academic Library Leaders: Advice in Conversation
Authors: Amanda Clay Powers, Martin Garnar, & Dustin Fife
Paperback: 978-0838919231, $64.99
Imprint: Chicago: ALA, 2019
“The path towards leadership starts with you. But you don t have to go it alone. For this book, the authors sat down with many of the library leaders they most admire for a series of conversations about the aspects of the job that they find the most fascinating (and challenging). Much like the chats you might have over coffee at a conference or with a mentor, these frank discussions will nourish you with nuts-and-bolts wisdom on a diverse range of academic library management issues. Among the topics and situations broached are
- balancing personal values against the common refrain you don t get to be who you want to be in positions like ours ;
- five questions to ask that reveal much about organizational culture and climate;
- creating a culture of change, including why a newly promoted director chose to make the most drastic changes in the first 100 days;
- forming a dean team to help frame responses with consideration to institutional culture;
- the value of demystifying the budget for the entire library staff;
- using tools such as a personal learning journal to fuel professional development;
- cultivating a personal network by setting up meetings at local libraries during conferences;
- the risks that result from jumping into a situation too fast and boxing yourself into a corner;
- lessons learned from failed initiatives;
- examples of navigating controversies, such as a director s response to a WPA mural with a racist message; and
- managing facilities, with an example of how injecting a previously ignored library voice into a building project led to a tripling of the space.
Between these covers you ll find guidance, ideas, and inspiration as you continue your leadership journey.”
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.