A comprehensive HR toolkit for public library managers

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/09/2022


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Human resources is an area of leadership that requires its own specialized knowledge, but many library managers and directors assume their roles without any background knowledge of HR or adequate training. “The Public Library Director's HR Toolkit,” published by ALA Editions, is here to fill those gaps. Vetted by HR professionals as well as an attorney who specializes in employment law, this resource by Kate Hall and Kathy Parker provides a framework of knowledge to develop one’s skills and confidence. Readers will learn:

  • ways to incorporate an EDI lens into your employee processes, starting with accurately crafted job descriptions that are posted on diverse job boards; 
  • tips for hiring and onboarding new staff;
  • advice on individual employee development and retention, from the importance of continuing education to methods for increasing staff engagement and strengthening morale;
  • considerations for treating all employees equitably to maintain a welcoming and inclusive space for staff from marginalized populations;
  • an overview of the essential HR laws that come into play, helping you navigate difficult situations like discipline and termination;
  • first-hand accounts of HR successes and challenges; and
  • how to create a personalized structure around your HR learning and put it into practice, using a variety of worksheets, questions for reflection, templates, and tools provided in the book.

The authors previously collaborated on “The Public Library Director’s Toolkit.” Hall is the executive director of the Northbrook Public Library (IL) after serving as director at the New Lenox Public Library (IL) and in various library positions in the Chicagoland area for over twenty years. She has served in numerous leadership positions, including chairing Director’s University, an intensive training for new Illinois Public Library directors. Kate is the recipient of the 2021 Illinois Library Association Librarian of the Year Award and has just launched Illinois Libraries Present, a new statewide joint programming cooperative. Parker was the director of the Glenwood-Lynwood (IL) Public Library District from 2002 to 2018 after serving as assistant director at the Harvey (IL) Public Library. She has worked in public and private libraries for over forty years in nearly every department and cofounded Director’s University. She has served on numerous state committees including the Illinois Library Association and has served as library trustee for her local library and the regional library system, Reaching Across Illinois Library System. She was the 2016 recipient of the American Library Association’s Trustee Citation award. After retiring in 2018, Kathy launched the kathyparker consulting firm, which provides training to trustees and new directors.

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