Jul 01 2005

Book review: Fundamentals of Library Supervision

Published by rachel at 1:48 pm under book reviews, management

Giesecke, Joan and Beth McNeil. Fundamentals of Library Supervision. ALA Fundamentals Series. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2005. ISBN 0-8389- 0895-0. $42.00 ($37.80/ALA Members).

Are you a new supervisor who, like me, didn’t take enough management electives in library school? If so, this book is a good place to start building your management knowledge base. At only 166 pages, it is the Cliff’s Notes for library personnel management. You’ll find a solid overview of the major areas a new supervisor needs to master, including communication skills, diversity, hiring, managing performance, and managing meetings. Each chapter begins with a brief outline, followed by an overview of major concepts in clear, concise prose. My only complaints? First, a section on the “challenges” posed by generational differences reads like a litany of negative stereotypes. Second, a list of recommended reading at the end of each chapter would make the book much more useful. Nevertheless, this book provides a good introduction to personnel issues for new supervisors. To develop broader and deeper expertise, also consider one of the other recent books on library management, such as Pixey Anne Mosley’s Transitioning from Librarian to Middle Manager or Rachel Singer Gordon’s The Accidental Library Manager.


Janet Crum is Head, Library Systems & Cataloging at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

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