Library Manager

Library Managers such as department heads, branch managers, and assistant/deputy/associate directors, and are typically middle managers responsible for the operation of departments or other functional areas such as "all library branches." As managers they may be responsible for work schedules, employee evaluations, training, and managing budgets. Branch managers, in particular, can have additional director-like responsibilities, such as overseeing the condition of the facility or involvement in local neighborhood groups and projects.

Library Leadership Administration and Management Association (LLAMA) is an organization devoted to developing and promoting outstanding leadership and management practices.

Education

In addition to the basic educational requirements needed for a career as a librarian, candidates for administrative positions in libraries should have a demonstrated interest in professional development through attending workshops, conferences and participation in continuing education. Some states have certification programs with specific requirements for library administrators.

A partial list of state certification programs is available at the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) website.

Skills

In addition to the skills needed as a librarian, a library manager employs management techniques effectively in directing, planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, budgeting, and evaluating the library's operation.

Experience

Four to ten years of experience as a librarian with a couple of years of supervisory experience is typical, although requirements vary greatly by size of library and responsibilities of the job.

Career path

Library managers who excel in their area of work may make excellent candidates for a library director, with the realization that it can be a very different, outward-focused position from even a deputy or assistant director.

Read More About It

The Accidental Library Manager by Rachel Singer Gordon (2005)

San José State University SLIS Career Videos

Management: From Minder to Grinder

Rachel Delgadillo, Library Director, Roseville Library and Mary George, Asst. Director, Placer County Libraries, speak about the different skill sets and mindsets that are needed to take on a management role versus a leadership role in libraries. (51 min)

Why Children's Librarianship Prepares You for Anything

Hillary Theyer, Principal Librarian at Torrance Public Library, discusses how the skills you use as a children's librarian can translate into a career in management. Through a series of anecdotes and scenarios, Theyer discusses the specific skills needed to succeed in a management position as well as ways to present your experience and background to the management team.     (40 min)

LLAMA

Visit LLAMA (Library Leadership and Management Association) encourages and nurtures current and future leaders, and develops and promotes outstanding leadership and management practices.