Practical, research-based solutions for the dysfunctional library

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/02/2018


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association

(312) 280-5052

CHICAGO — There is an unfortunate stigma to acknowledging workplace dysfunction, let alone trying to grapple with the problem. But negative behaviors such as incivility, toxicity, deviant behavior, workplace politics, and team and leadership dysfunction not only make the library a stressful workplace, they also run counter to the core values of librarianship. An important tool for library leaders and managers as well as library staff, “The Dysfunctional Library: Challenges and Solutions to Workplace Relationships,” published by ALA Editions, examines these negative relationship-based issues. Authors Jo Henry, Joe Eshleman, and Richard Moniz suggest practical, research-based solutions by

  • discussing the importance of understanding oneself as related to the library workplace;
  • identifying attributes specific to libraries that foster personal success;
  • showing how organizational dysfunction is rooted in problems such as poor communication, inadequate leadership, and lack of employee engagement;
  • breaking down relatable scenarios to analyze what’s behind them and how to defuse them, ranging from a gossipy coworker who fails to contribute to the organization to workplace bullying and mobbing;
  • exploring causes, results, and potential solutions in the areas of cyberloafing, fraud, theft, and sabotage;
  • delving into the importance of conflict management, surveying a variety of approaches and applications;
  • examining the use of teams in libraries and the impact of favoritism, nepotism, and sexism; and
  • providing techniques for successful collaboration, leadership, organizational communication, and other key management topics.

The authors previously collaborated on the ALA Editions book “Fundamentals for the Academic Liaison.” Henry serves as a librarian with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She has published in Public Services Quarterly, Library Review, Community and Junior College Libraries, and College and Research Library News, and has presented at numerous conferences. She is also coauthor of “The Mindful Librarian” and “The Personal Librarian.” Eshleman was the Instruction Librarian at Johnson & Wales University Library–Charlotte from 2008 to 2015. He was a contributor to “The Personal Librarian” and has presented on numerous occasions. Dr. Moniz is the director of library services at Johnson & Wales University’s Charlotte campus. Since 2006, he has taught for the MLIS program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His publications include “Practical and Effective Management of Libraries” and (as coauthor) “The Personal Librarian,” “The Mindful Librarian,” and “Librarians and Instructional Designers.”

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions and ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or