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November 15, 2014


Jen Hughes, MSIS, Special Projects Librarian
Introduction to Library Services, ISIS 1010
SLCC Online, Fall 2014
1575 S. State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Zach Z. Richards

Career Paper: Library Direction and Management


Library management is an exciting employment opportunity within the world of
information and library services. Library manager can have a large variety of
responsibilities depending on the size of their libraries. These positions can be hybrids of
what you might think of as a director, human resources department, and accounting. They
are the boss of the library insuring that not only are the library patrons taken care of,
but the library itself is following any rules and regulations that a board of directors, and
or local governments might have in place for libraries. Let us look at these different roles
that library management plays in closer detail.

As a director of a library your duties will vary depending on the size of your
facility. Some smaller libraries the director takes on the persona of a jack-of-all-trades,
dealing with everything from locking the doors to paying the bills. (Library-director).
In larger main libraries they can be expected to take on larger big picture ideas, these
can include being a liaison for the library when dealing with local governments
developing community relationships. Working to bring events or other programs that will
benefit the library and enrich the public experience, leading to higher patronage numbers.

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Library directors also play a role as accountants for their libraries. They work to
establish yearly budgets, and allocate funds that will be used for everything from
requisitions of new materials such as books, reference materials, and new media, all the
way up to future expansions of the library. It is your duty as library director to find ways
to fund raise and create beneficial partnerships that will help sustain the libraries
economic needs. This management of funds is becoming quite diverse in the field of
library management do impart to digital age we are living in. Many directors now have to
choose whether to replace paper stock or offer more digital options for their patrons
making this a very dynamic area.

A library director must be able to tackle the issues of their personnel as well.
Library directors need to have the core skills of the librarian to understand what is
expected of the people they are to direct. They must have the skills and foresight to not
only to choose employees that will be good for their libraries but they will have to be the
ones to rectify the situation should they end up with an un-exemplary employee. It is their
job to implement procedure and to help the staff keep a positive moral and healthy work
environment. The length and depth to which they might be involved in such situations
will depend greatly on size and type of library their working for.

Becoming a library director can be achieved through a number of paths but they
all start with a drive and interest in the library and information sciences. Many library
directors get their starts as librarians within their libraries. It is only from taking the
knowledge learned from becoming a librarian and seeking out library leadership and

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management training to take your library career to the next level. There a groups within
the library services system that offer advanced trainings through seminars, webinars,
and advanced continuing education such
as mentoring programs (Library
Leadership and Managment).
Another prime example of collaborative
education opportunities is the programs offered through the Educause institute which
offers such trainings as Immersive Cohort-based programs, round table discussions, and
topic focused seminars (Educause). If you are interested and willing there are always
new and exciting things to learn in information technology.

The compensation one could expect within this field is another variable that will be
primarily influenced by the type of library youre interested in. The director of a small
rural library can literally be the only regularly scheduled employee with a salary a low as
$38,000; directors of a large urban libraries or academic libraries may have salaries as
high as $229,000 (Library-director).

There are many trainings and classes that can help give you the skills needed to
manage information services and systems, many concepts and ideas from courses such as
Non-Profit management have similar structures and ideals as you will find in a libraries
directors position. These ideas combined with the skills and knowledge learned in the
ISIS program can give you a leg up on your way to a career in information services.

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Many that start on their way to a career in the library service industry will end up
in many different positions within libraries but for thoughs that might want to continue
with advanced trainings and continuing education programs can become managers and
directors of the libraries they love. These positions give the opportunity to become more
involved in local government and allow you to help implement positive changes within
your neighborhoods. No matter what type of library you work at i.e. public, research, or
academic, there are opportunities to learn more, and explore new ways to present the
information you help to preserve and share.

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Works Cited
Educause. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/careers/educauseinstitute
Library Leadership and Managment. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.ala.org/llama/conted
Library-director. (n.d.). Retrieved from Library Careers:
http://librarycareers.drupalgardens.com/content/library-director
www.ala.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from American Library Assosiation: www.ala.org