Category Archives: Spotlight

Everything I Know About Library Management I Learned from Watching Restaurant: Impossible

Well, maybe not everything.  Let’s back up.

I have a special type of ADD that kicks in whenever I’m asked to read management literature.  I find most of it deadly dull, if not irrelevant.  (Next time someone recommends you read Good to Great, gently point out that it’s fifteen years old now and that one of the ten companies held up for our organizations to emulate eventually went from good to great to bankrupt.)   So I have to Read the rest

What Are Your Management Styles? Why Having Just One Might Not Be Serving You Well

By Susan M. Frey

Recently I served as a reference for a former coworker who was a candidate for an administrator position at a large university library. When the consultant from the executive search firm asked me to describe the candidate’s management style, I immediately thought of the types of responses I have heard over the years to this question. As a supervisor I have personally interviewed and hired staff. As a faculty member I have operated within the collaborative … Read the rest

A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates

By Heylicken (Hayley) Moreno

There is a saying by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” This can ring true in many aspects of our lives but it is especially imperative when it comes to getting ready for the job market. As the economy continues to recover, library school graduates are facing better prospects in landing a job but still face challenges when it comes to competing with more experienced Read the rest

Gender Stereotypes Male Librarians Face Today

By Heidi Blackburn, PhD


According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) (2012), the library profession has seen a 48% (19,458) increase in males working in libraries since 1980 and the male influx is expected to increase (Minnesota, 2011) despite lingering professional stereotypes. Movies, books, and other popular media focus on the overall image of the librarian, as if only one type exists for both sexes (Duke, 1999; Garcia, 2011). These stereotypes may be misinterpreted Read the rest

Data Breach—Again. What To Do If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen

Within the last couple of years, there have been several incidences of system hackings where individuals’ personal information has been compromised. More recently, details are coming to light on the massive data breach affecting the federal Office of Personnel Management. It is estimated that the personal data, including Social Security numbers, of over 20 million people was compromised in the breach.  How would you feel if you were one of those people?  Would you know what to do?  This … Read the rest

Spring Cleaning at Your Academic Library: Why You Should Do It, and How to Make It Work

By Cori Wilhelm

Numerous studies have been done about the benefits of a tidy workplace.  Staff are more productive, efficient, and motivated in a clutter-free and organized environment.  A recent study by OfficeMax indicated that 90% of Americans feel clutter has a negative impact on their life and work.  Looking for a quick solution to increase productivity and morale at your academic library?  Try Spring Cleaning.

Please note: this is not library weeding, and should be considered an entirely separate … Read the rest

The Importance of Volunteering: Participating in Alternative Spring Break with Outreach 360 in the Dominican Republic

By Tina Chan

Volunteering plays a vital role for organizations and volunteers.  Not only do organizations get volunteer assistance, but volunteers gain many benefits.  They include job meaningfulness, building leadership skills, strengthening professional networks, improving interpersonal skills, gaining self-confidence, and acquiring problem solving skills (Hamp, 2014; Rodell, 2013).  With many benefits of volunteering, it is befitting for faculty members to include a service learning component in their courses for students to gain valuable life skills.  Many colleges and universities have … Read the rest

Let’s Celebrate Library Workers

By Megan Hodge, Jennifer Dorning, and Shannon Farrell

Last month, we learned the history of National Library Workers Day, also known as NLWD.  Now it is time to find out how we can celebrate the library workers that make our libraries great.  Everyone from library managers to members of the public can find a way to celebrate.

What can library managers do? If you are a library manager, consider organizing a celebration honoring your employees (e.g. an ice cream social), … Read the rest

Looking Ahead (and Back) to National Library Workers Day

By Aliqae Geraci

As we prepare for the ALA Midwinter meeting, library workers, advocates, and those working in employee and labor relations in libraries shift into high gear to plan for National Library Workers Day (NLWD: April 14th this year). The second Tuesday of National Library Week, NLWD is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the work of all library staff in making library service possible. NLWD is sponsored by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association, ALA’s companion 501(c)6 organization that … Read the rest

The How and Why of Writing Book Reviews

By Megan Hodge

Are you intrigued by the mysterious world of book reviewing? After all, they’re an easy way to get your name in print and pump up your resume. Writing reviews—which are never more than a couple of pages and usually much shorter—is a good way to develop and hone your writing skills for more demanding formats (such as peer-reviewed articles). By the act of evaluating a book on its merits and deciding which audiences it would be appropriate … Read the rest