ATG Book of the Week: A Starter’s Guide for Academic Library Leaders: Advice in Conversation

by | Oct 7, 2019 | 1 comment

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.”

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