Jul 01 2005
Montgomery, Jack G. and Eleanor I. Cook. Conflict Management for Libraries: Strategies for a Positive, Productive Workplace. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2005. ISBN 083890890X. $42.00 ($37.80/ALA Members). Purchase from Amazon.com.
Conflict Management for Libraries should be required reading for all library school students and for librarians everywhere. The book is creatively organized in three parts. The first part covers the many types of conflict possible in libraries, and dispels the myth that libraries are peaceful, serene settings. Part Two includes seventeen case studies from real libraries, followed by the authors’ analyses as well as those of two experts in conflict resolution. The final section of the book suggests strategies for “managing conflict before it manages you.” The authors have crafted a practical and well developed manual for conflict management within the library environment based on a survey the authors conducted in 2000; over 500 library employees responded. The authors warn readers that ignoring and avoiding conflict is to invite disaster - because the longer things fester, the harder they are to overcome. This book is not sugar-coated at all, and the authors point out that sometimes the situation is so bad the only option is to leave. A well-written and -researched must read; highly recommended for everyone!
Lisa A. Ennis is a reference librarian at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences.