Volume 5, No. 3 • March 2008

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  • You Don’t Say! On Golden Silence, Deep Waters and Where the Cat Takes Your Tongue

    Silence can indeed speak volumes. In the work place (and outside of it as well) silence can mean acquiescence, a lack of interest, an attempt to control anger or a willingness to listen. Paired with a study of body language, the question of “what it means to be silent” can easily yield an entire book. But this article does not delve into the field of body language. It does not, for example, explore what we say with … Read the rest


  • Cost Part of Library Demotions

    Librarians Demoted: Move Dictated By Budget, Customers’ Needs, Director Says

    On February 18, the Marathon County Public Library Board of Trustees voted to eliminate the library’s four “librarian 1” positions, one of them vacant, in favor of creating three customer service librarian positions and one lead customer service librarian spot. The move reduces salaries for the librarians from about $46,000 … Read the rest

  • First Sports, Now (Stoneham, MA) Library Is Threatened

    Under a budget plan released last week, the Stoneham (MA) Public Library could lose up to 40 percent of its town funding and be forced to reduce its hours by about half.  Without the town trash fee, the library budget would drop to $469,000, Todd said. The library would have to slash its hours, its 12-person permanent staff, and eliminate its book-buying budget.

    The town has proposed two versions of … Read the rest

  • Campaigns Spreading to Reverse Downturn in (Spokane, WA) Library Financing

    The Next Chapter; Our View: Lawmakers Must Pick; Up Fight For School Libraries

    Like many of their counterparts in school districts around the state and the country, Spokane, WA, officials have scaled back school library services and staffing in response to budget deficits, a problem highlighted in a new survey by the American Association of School Librarians.  In a cost-cutting move, the Spokane district last year … Read the rest

  • Libraries look at changes to bridge budget gaps

    Less than a month after the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library announced systemwide expansion goals and a ballot measure to pay for them, an informal planning document shows the library is also considering a reduction of full-time staff, among other measures. Over the next four or five years the administration plans to increase the percentage of part-time labor; part-time employees, said Library Director Natalie Rencher, can be just as qualified … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • ALA’s LAMA Mentoring Program Seeking Mentors

    Mentor applications for participants in a formal mentoring program to be launched by LAMA’s Mentoring Committee at the ALA annual meeting in Anaheim are now being accepted.  At the kickoff event on June 28, 2008 from noon until 2 p.m. a reception for the participants to meet one another face to face and a training session for both are in the final planning stages.

    The 10-month formal mentoring program is designed to encourage and nurture current and future leaders and … Read the rest


  • “Put it to Practical Use”: Spotlight on CPLA Candidate Eve Tallman

    As a nine-year-old Eve Tallman knew her calling: “It occurred to me early on that the librarian knew where to find all the answers.” Now a library administrator, Tallman’s hunger for answers has led her to the Certified Public Library Administrator Program. Tallman credits her CPLA studies with expanding her knowledge of budgeting and marketing, and notes that she draws on this training regularly, “if not daily.” She also offers advice for other managers looking to hone their administrative skills … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Do Unto Others: Personal Space and the Golden Rule

    No one likes feeling crowded. A violation of personal space is at best uncomfortable and at worst threatening. But it is hard to measure personal space because it is different for each individual—and the distance varies depending on your relationship with that individual. For instance, long time co-workers may be comfortable with a small distance between them, but if you introduce a new co-worker to either of them, the long-time employees will probably choose to … Read the rest

  • Effective Managerial Communication

    Most library managers would benefit by improving communication skills. We will examine the three most common forms of communication—verbal communication, listening and written communication—and discuss ways library managers can hone communication techniques.

    1. Verbal Communication

    Despite increased reliance on telecommuting and electronic communication, employers still consider speaking skills crucial. According to a study by Curtis, Winsor and Stephens (1989), employers recruiting recent college graduates consider oral communication skills the most important skill set. … Read the rest


  • Mentoring: A Valuable Step in Developing Library Leaders

    Despite many claims to the contrary, leaders aren’t necessarily born. Potential leaders can develop valuable skills and gain opportunities with a mentor’s encouragement and nurturing. Mentors often look out for potential leadership opportunities, share experiences of their own, and act as sounding boards as protégés grow into their roles. But do all library leaders make good mentors? Despite the best of intentions, some leaders cannot fulfill mentoring duties to the best of their abilities, including the leader … Read the rest


  • Hardship Hats

    The “Knit Picketers” was the name given to those CUPE 391 (Canadian Union of Public Employees) members who knit hats to support the Hardship Fund during the 3-month long strike at the Vancouver Public Library (late July to October 22, 2007). In addition, twenty-five of their beautiful hats were donated to “Under One Umbrella,” a service fair for people who are homeless, under-housed or living in poverty in Grandview Woodlands.

    Women’s Work

    Walking the line, the … Read the rest


  • Survey Says Libraries Struggle to Match Supply, Demand in Wellness Initiatives

    Previous analyses of the 2007 Library Workplace Wellness online survey established a link between availability of and employee participation in workplace wellness initiatives: the greater the number of programs an employer offers, the greater the number of programs in which employees participate. But further analysis complicates this model. This third installment of Library Worklife’s analysis of this survey examines not only which initiatives are most commonly offered in each library type but also which offerings are … Read the rest

HR Law

  • Where Will You Live When You Retire?

    Baby boomers face a different retirement than that enjoyed by their parents and grandparents. Unlike previous generations, some baby boomers will “retire” by continuing to work, starting new careers or going back to school. Others will want a life of leisure in which they travel, participate in cultural events and activities and/or enjoy recreational activities such as biking, boating, bowling, skiing, walking or playing cards or board games. In either case, living near family members … Read the rest

  • Supreme Court to Examine Use of Union Dues

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org. The article was posted on February 28, 2008.

    The U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition February 19 to hear a case involving state employees’ objections to the use of their compulsory union dues.  The case involves a group of twenty Maine state employees who are being represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

    The case, … Read the rest

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