ALA Books about Transforming Libraries

book cover for Boomers and BeyondBoomers and Beyond: Reconsidering the Role of Libraries edited by Pauline Rothstein and Diantha Dow Schull
A roadmap to the trends and perspectives on the library’s role in meeting the needs of our aging population, this book offers proactive ideas that serve the increasing longevity of your patrons; different perspectives on longevity from a variety of scholars and experts; and a section on librarians’ responses to the issues. Supporting this growing population is a concern of many, and this book will help you find ways to be creative and take the initiative to build a better service model for these customers.


cover image for Building the Digital BranchBuilding the Digital Branch: Guidelines for Transforming Your Library Website by David Lee King
In the past fifteen years, the World Wide Web has become such a major part of the library world that most libraries now have some presence on the Web. This issue of Library Technology Reports explores the idea of the digital branch—a library website that is a vital, functional resource for patrons and enhances the library’s place within its community. The report outlines an efficient process for creating a digital branch, from the initial phases of gathering information and sketching out a design, to winning approval from management, hiring qualified IT staff, and maintaining and upgrading the site once it is built. Throughout the report, the author regularly uses his experience at his own library as an example of how the process can unfold and what pitfalls to avoid.


cover image of Building Science 101Building Science 101: A Primer for Librarians by Lynn M. Piotrowicz and Scott Osgood
Take care of your library and it will take care of you! In this practical, concise volume, authors Lynn M. Piotrowicz and Scott Osgood provide a tour of the library building from foundation to roof. In a time of rapidly inflating energy prices and tight public budgets, many libraries are faced with older physical facilities that are not up to modern standards of efficiency. Designed for libraries where construction of a wholly new building is not feasible, this book offers step-by-step instructions for improving the energy use of existing structures, with methods for being environmentally and fiscally responsible; identifying ways to enhance building maintenance; and investing resources now in order to free them later for core library functions.


image of the cover for Children's Services: Partnerships for SuccessChildren's Services: Partnerships for Success edited by Betsy Diamant-Cohen
Co-author of the popular titles Booktalking Bonanza and The Early Literacy Kit, Betsy Diamant-Cohen brings together 18 examples of successful outreach partnerships that children's librarians and administrators can adapt to their own situations. Contributors from the U.S and Canada explain how they partnered with schools, community organizations, museums, businesses and other agencies to create novel experiences for children across the children's services spectrum (preschool through middle-school). Inside this volume readers will find descriptions of innovative award-winning collaborations, such as The Read to Me Program (a family literacy project that evolved from a collaboration between an adult corrections facility and a public library); programming ideas perfect for enhancing community outreach; and inspiration to create and kick-start new initiatives. Filled with lively collaborative programming ideas, Children’s Services will help you reach out to your communities and to your constituents in new and exciting ways.


image of the cover of Creating the Customer-Driven Academic LibraryCreating the Customer-Driven Academic Library by Jeannette Woodward
Academic libraries are going through what may be the most difficult period in their history. With more and more scholarly content available online and accessible almost anywhere, where does the traditional “brick and mortar” library fit in? In this book Jeannette Woodward attacks these and other pressing issues facing today’s academic librarians. Her trailblazing strategies center on keeping the customer’s point of view in focus at all times to help you integrate technology to meet today’s student and faculty needs; revaluate the role and function of library service desks; implement staffing strategies to match customer expectations; and create new and effective promotional materials.



image of the cover for Creating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore ModelCreating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model by Jeannette Woodward
How can libraries make a difference in their communities when customers choose to hang out in the spacious, well-stocked new bookstore instead? With the goal of helping libraries market their services using low-cost or no-cost techniques, Woodward shares practical lessons for any library's revitalization inspired by the success of mega bookstores.

Bookstores have succeeded by focusing on the customer, and libraries need to take a page from this playbook. While keeping one eye on their mission—to broaden library use and increase relevance while serving community needs—libraries can improve customer service, looks, and functionality in ways that enhance its community mission. Libraries remain vitally important to the organizations and communities they serve. Using these outreach and marketing strategies, Woodward shows libraries how to “Become better than a bookstore,” even without a hefty budget.


cover image for Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library CommunityInside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community by Chrystie Hill
Inside, Outside, and Online provides practical advice and inspiration for building community with your library. Based on a scan of the community and technology environments that libraries operate within, related literature, and the practical experiences of hundreds of library staff actively building communities through their work, the book provides much-needed insights into the essential elements of community building through identifying user needs and designing services to meet those needs; engaging communities with service selection, creation, and iteration; and utilizing practical new technologies. Whatever your role, and whatever size or type of library, the principles outlined here can support anyone working to build a strong community of engaged, interested, and satisfied library users.


cover image for Leadership for ExcellenceLeadership for Excellence by Jo Ann Carr
How do the most successful school library media specialists play a leading role in student achievement in their schools? Jo Ann Carr and AASL share behind-the-scenes details and best practices, including how and why top programs succeed, get funding, and become integral contributors in their school communities.

Addressing the importance of school library media specialists as instructional leaders and collaborators in diverse roles, this inspirational resource outlines proven practical strategies. Those who have achieved success provide insights for building partnerships for learning, all centered on developing the leadership skills of school library media specialists in learning and teaching; information access and delivery; program administration; and future vision.

Highlighting exemplary school library media centers, this collection of case histories and reflections from leaders of award-winning programs examines what works and why. Learn how winners integrate their programs into the school curriculum and drive excellence within the learning community. Explore websites of the award winners and review worksheets, fliers, and before-and-after photos to understand the process behind the success.

This is a must-have, hands-on inspiration for achieving the goal of student-centered teaching and learning within the school community for school library media specialists, school administrators, teachers, and teacher educators.


cover image for Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach HandbookLibrarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook Edited by Carol Smallwood
Including 66 focused snapshots of outreach in action, this resource reflects the creative solutions of librarians searching for new and innovative ways to build programs that meet customer needs while expanding the library’s scope into the community. This contributed volume includes a huge array of program options for partnering with other community groups; outreach in action through writing essays, poetry, and fiction; and event planning for library anniversaries, book festivals, science projects, and student athletes.


cover image for The Librarian as Information Consultant: Transforming Reference for the Information Age The Librarian as Information Consultant: Transforming Reference for the Information Age by Sarah Anne Murphy
Library users’ evolving information needs and their choice of search methods have changed reference work profoundly. Today’s reference librarian must work in a whole new way—not only service-focused and businesslike, but even entrepreneurial. Murphy innovatively rethinks the philosophy behind current library reference services in this thought-provoking book, which rebrands reference librarianship on the model of a consulting business, providing a renewed vision of the reference desk by treating patrons as clients; spells out the importance of the patron’s voice, and details methods for building and maintaining relationships with patrons; and identifies the reference librarian’s competitive advantage over Web search engines and shows how to capitalize on it. Murphy adapts existing business practices and programs to the context of the library, allowing frontline staff and administrators in any type of reference department to monitor and continuously improve their library’s services.


cover image for Library’s Continuous Improvement Fieldbook: 29 Ready-to-Use ToolsLibrary’s Continuous Improvement Fieldbook: 29 Ready-to-Use Tools by Sara Laughlin, Denise Sisco Shockley, and Ray Wilson
Innovations with continuous quality improvement are moving off the manufacturing line, out of the corporation, and into the library. For the first time, this guide applies quality management concepts to make library processes more effective with 29 practical and easy-to-use templates. Field-tested and refined over three years in 17 different, the tools are structured with consistent guidelines. Library success stories and cartoon illustrations bring the principles alive. Examples of library situations, step-by-step instructions and a section of hints, cautions and tricks round out each checklist. Directors and library leaders at public and academic institutions will be able to open this guide and immediately reap these benefits: 1)lower costs, save time, and improve efficiencies; 2) improve morale and reduce turnover by optimizing staff talents; 3) stimulate creative thinking and generate new possibilities with brainstorming; 4) encourage participation and build teamwork; 5) make complex issues manageable; and 6) identify root causes of problems and address systemic issues. Using these "continuous improvement" tools, mapped to the specific outcomes needed, your library team will consistently add value to its community, make a difference to customers and improve services.


cover image for The NEW Planning for Results: A Streamlined ApproachThe NEW Planning for Results: A Streamlined Approach by Sandra Nelson
A classic resource, Planning for Results has long served to help public librarians envision, evaluate, and respond to community needs with distinctive programs and services. The NEW Planning for Results continues that tradition in an all-in-one guide that outlines a tested, results-driven planning process—revamped and streamlined to enable libraries to respond quickly to rapidly changing environments. Nelson’s brand new approach focuses on the essential steps necessary to draft a forward-looking plan for any public library, regardless of organizational structure or size. New to this edition is an information-gathering toolkit for performing research and using customer surveys to provide a higher, more responsive level of service. The recommended planning time line has been reduced from eight to ten months down to four months in this edition and the previous twenty-three planning tasks have been combined to make twelve. Benefit from improvements to the process based on feedback from librarians around the country as you learn how to design a planning process, customized to your setting, with the help of Nelson’s do’s and dont’s, in-depth case study, and sample forms; utilize toolkit resources to plan your route, reach consensus, and keep staff informed; and use the thirteen workforms to simplify, organize, explain, and implement the process.

With the tools in The New Planning for Results, librarians will be equipped to react swiftly by surveying the environment and transforming services to effectively meet changing community needs.


cover image for Perspectives on Serials in the Hybrid EnvironmentPerspectives on Serials in the Hybrid Environment edited by Harriet Lightman and John P. Blosser
As serials collection shift from print to digital, the foundations of serials control and management - selecting, pricing, ordering, storing, and archiving - change almost daily and entirely new areas of expertise, most notably licensing, come to the fore. In all disciplines and library communities, librarians must balance changing user needs and expectations with varying vendor offerings while keeping a close watch on institutional and professional trends.
In this book, practicing serials and collections librarians representing a variety of disciplines in the sciences and social sciences as well as law and medicine, describe fresh approaches to some of the complex concerns raised by the new hybrid environment. By sharing anxieties and well as solutions the editors hope the stage will be set for a dialogue that leads to creative actions for actual and anticipated problems.


cover image for The Quality Library: A Guide to Self-Improvement, Better Efficiency, and Happier CustomersThe Quality Library: A Guide to Self-Improvement, Better Efficiency, and Happier Customers by Sara Laughlin and Ray W. Wilson
In an environment of budget cuts and freezes, libraries must keep a tight rein on costs and inefficiencies. The efficiency of systems and processes goes hand-in-hand with excellent customer service. Managers, however, often find themselves far enough removed from the day-to-day activities in the library that they don’t know where inefficiencies, mistakes, and poor customer service may occur.

Based on more than 50 years of author expertise in organizational improvement, The Quality Library offers a methodology to pinpoint trouble areas and improve processes. By developing a customer-focused system outlining library processes and networks, administrators and managers can quickly determine areas for improvement that directly apply to the library’s goals and missions. Staff will also learn how to statistically document the new process’s performance, giving the library a means to quantify its effects. By continuously evaluating processes based on the guidelines and worksheets provided here, public and academic library administrators and managers will improve the quality and efficiency of service for patrons and staff alike.


cover image for Risk and Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Seizing Opportunities for ChangeRisk and Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Seizing Opportunities for Change by Pamela Bluh and Cindy Hepfer
The authors represented in this book skillfully illustrate how ambitious, energetic librarians can transform their organizations, re-envision library services, focus attention on the needs of library users, and partner with other institutions or organizations to make libraries more exciting and relevant.  By imagining new ways of working, by managing risk, by doing due diligence, by sharing experiences, by supporting each other, and by encouraging entrepreneurial enterprises, librarians are well-positioned to seize and create opportunities.

The brush strokes painted in this book are broad and relate to public and academic libraries, user services and bibliographic control, administration and the scholarly communications process. Themes of experimentation, the joy of building on success, as well as of forgiveness and the ability to learn from failures, color the pages and open the reader's mind to new ideas.


cover image for Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for TeensRisky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for Teens by Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart
Do we add that edgy urban novel to our teen collection? Should we initiate social networking? What about abandoning Dewey for a bookstore arrangement? Change is risky business, but librarians must be prepared to initiate change to best serve teens. YA service innovators Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart explain how to be smart about taking risks without shying away from them. They offer concrete advice for laying the groundwork for change in key areas such as collection building and programming; including technology components as part of traditional services, such as booktalks, information literacy instruction, and book discussion groups; and effectively gaining support from administrators and colleagues.

A resource list highlights articles and websites about risk in libraries, risk management, and teens and risk taking. In addition, appendixes offer YALSA’s competencies for serving youth and YALSA’s white papers, which discuss the importance of teen literature, the need to include young adult services in library school curricula, and the need for dedicated space and teen services staff in public libraries. Real-world examples of risky change in action from librarians and authors of YA lit enrich this exploration of a topic rarely discussed in depth, but central to YA services in school and public libraries today.


cover image for Transforming Library Service Through Information Commons: Case Studies for the Digital AgeTransforming Library Service Through Information Commons: Case Studies for the Digital Age by D. Russell Bailey and Barbara Gunter Tierney
The Information Commons (IC) strives to unite all the facts and figures of the world into a resource available to everyone. Many academic libraries are considering implementing an information commons model that reflects the contemporary way patrons use resources. Others plan on revitalizing their libraries through configurations that easily integrate research, teaching, and learning with a digital focus.

This invaluable guide provides the “how-to” information necessary for institutions considering the development of an information commons. Offering plain-speaking advice on what works, expert authors Bailey and Tierney provide comprehensive case studies from small and large academic libraries to help librarians implement, provide training for, market, and assess an information commons. Readers will learn the historical context for Information Commons and understand what practicalities need to be part of the planning process. Academic, public, and school librarians who are considering an IC or are looking for ways to improve their IC will find a wealth of information here.


cover image for Working in the Virtual Stacks: The New Library and Information Science Working in the Virtual Stacks: The New Library and Information Science Edited by Laura Townsend Kane
Thanks in part to technology, the boundaries of library positions are dissolving. It is no longer practical to discuss the profession in terms of traditional library types, and in today’s library, the relationship between librarians and technology is stronger than ever. In this informative volume, veteran author Kane interviews dozens of practicing librarians who are highly involved with technology as part of their day-to-day jobs. Revealing the full richness of the profession, Kane profiles web-services librarians in all types of settings, from veterinary medicine and law to astronomy, market research, and cataloging; offers insights into career opportunities in the library world by challenging traditional notions of what a librarian does; and shows examples of real-world librarianship in the fields of technology instruction, digital futures, virtual libraries, and even librarians as entrepreneurs.


a picture of a cover Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism by Michael Cart
Today’s young adult literature is every bit as complex as the audience it’s written for, unflinchingly addressing such topics as homosexuality, mental illness, AIDS and drug abuse. In this much expanded revision of his 1996 book, veteran author Michael Cart shows how the best of contemporary YA lit has evolved to tackle such daunting subjects without resorting to sensationalism. He brings his historical survey of this category fully up to date, covering its explosive growth in the past decade, and advocating that librarians and teachers look beyond romance and horror when advising young adults. This survey helps YA librarians who want to freshen up their readers’ advisory skills, teachers who use novels in the classroom, and adult services librarians who increasingly find themselves addressing the queries of teen patrons by covering the reading habits of today’s teens, the influence of new technologies and formats, and new YA lit awards.