A toolkit for public library directors
For Immediate Release
American Library Association
CHICAGO — New public library directors quickly learn what seasoned directors already know: running a library means you’ve always got your hands full—balancing the needs of staff, patrons, facilities, library boards, and other stakeholders with professional responsibilities like community interactions, legal and financial requirements, and whole lot else that wasn’t exactly in the job description. Whether you are considering becoming a public library director, are brand new to the role, or have settled in but find yourself thinking “there’s got to be a better way,” Kate Hall and Kathy Parker’s “The Public Library Director’s Toolkit,” published by ALA Editions, is here to help. This book walks you through the core components of getting up to speed and then provides templates, sample documents, checklists, and other resources that will make your job easier. Gleaned from their own decades of experience in library leadership positions, in this toolkit they:
- cover such key topics as employees, trustees, finances, legal issues, library policies, emergency planning, and technology;
- discuss strategic planning and share advice on keeping up with trends;
- offer nearly two dozen ready-to-use resources, including a Director’s Report Template, a Social Media Policy, an Employee Exit Questionnaire, a Library Cleaning Checklist, a Vision Statement worksheet, and more; and
- suggest additional learning opportunities in each chapter to help you continue your learning journey.
Hall has been a Library Director since 2010; first at New Lenox and now at Northbrook Public Library in Illinois. She has held numerous library leadership positions and is active on many boards, including serving previously on the Illinois Library Association Executive Board and as President on the Reaching Across Illinois Library System. Parker has over 35 years of library experience, with 16 serving as library director at Glenwood-Lynwood Public Library in Illinois. She has participated on various library boards, has served as a library trustee at her local library and in the regional library system, and has started several continuing education initiatives for library staff and trustees. She retired in 2018 and has started her own consulting business serving as an interim director, offering coaching to new directors, and helping boards hire directors.
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