An online course for sharpening supervisory skills

For Immediate Release
Tue, 11/16/2010


Jill Davis

CHICAGO—ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association, is making available “Library Supervision eCourse.” Adapted from Joan Giesecke and Beth McNeil’s bestselling ALA Editions book “Fundamentals of Library Supervision,” this Web-based, self-paced tutorial provides information and tools to effectively manage library staff.

Today’s library supervisor is challenged with managing teams and collaborative work groups rather than the more traditionally hierarchical structures in library services. A good manager must be able to demonstrate technical skill, good writing and oral skills and time management skills. Most importantly, a successful manager must be flexible. This eCourse addresses specific opportunities for both veterans and newcomers to sharpen their management style. Comprising an estimated three hours of instruction, the seven lessons in the eCourse are: 

  • Becoming a Manager;
  • Building Effective Communication Skills;
  • Teamwork and Group Dynamics;
  • Hiring and Interviewing;
  • Orientation and Training;
  • Setting Goals and Objectives;
  • Managing Performance.
This eCourse is also available as part of a bundle, which includes enrollment in the eCourse and the companion e-book.
Giesecke is dean of libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She joined UNL in 1987 and became dean in 1996, and before that was the associate dean for collections and services. She has held positions at George Mason University, Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System and the American Health Care Association. She has developed a training program for managers and has presented a variety of papers on management and supervisory skills. A former editor of Library Administration and Management Journal, Giesecke has published numerous articles and books on management issues.

McNeil is professor and associate dean for academic affairs at Purdue University Libraries, where she is responsible for public services and collections. Before joining Purdue in 2007, McNeil was associate dean of libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she led technical services operations, coordinated the staff development program, coordinated library-wide statistics efforts and managed library-wide special projects. Her books include “Patron Behavior in Libraries: Positive Approaches to Negative Situations” and “Human Resource Management in Today’s Academic Library: Meeting Challenges and Creating Opportunities.” 
ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions 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. 5418 or