People Skills for Library Managers: A Common Sense Guide for Beginners

People Skills for Library Managers: A Common Sense Guide for Beginners

People Skills for Library Managers: A Common Sense Guide for Beginners

People Skills for Library Managers: A Common Sense Guide for Beginners


Increase your effectiveness as a manager by developing essential interpersonal skills with the creative approach offered in this practical reference. Designed for library school graduates, paraprofessional librarians, and aides who have the responsibility of managing school or small public libraries, this publication focuses on skills that are not part of a librarian's technical training. The techniques are easy to implement, and the book includes numerous examples that illustrate the principles. A must read for those who wish to become leaders in the field.


For several years, I listened to people in the library profession, particularly supervisors in public libraries and school library media centers, express the need for a handbook on people skills. These supervisors expressed special interest in learning skills for managing their programs and staffs successfully and enhancing their leadership capabilities.

Most library managers today realize that they need to be more effective leaders. the survival of their programs and positions depends on their knowledge and use of people skills. They do not want theory but rather a practical guide with real-life examples and applications. Library schools, if they teach people skills at all, don’t emphasize them for library managers. Although there are many books on management, leadership, organizational behavior, and communication skills, there is a need for a publication that addresses the specific people skills required by a school library media specialist, public librarian, university librarian, or librarian in a special library.

I’ve prepared this handbook to give library managers a practical, easy-to-read reference. I gleaned information from my 25 years as a school library media specialist and from various university courses, professional workshops, business meetings, management seminars, and books. This handbook offers straight talk for effective leadership on topics such as time management, planning, communications, power, motivation, and conflict resolution. It takes an interpersonal skills approach and provides practical examples of fundamental techniques. It presents an overview of the management process and shows how to apply specific skills to the library management profession.

I believe that applying the information in this handbook will enhance the professional and personal lives of library managers. Good luck and best wishes for better communications and more effective leadership!

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