Book Review | How To Thrive As A Solo Librarian By Carol Smallwood
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Tags: synopsis book review How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian Carol Smallwood Scarecrow Press 9780810882133
Added: 5 months ago
How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian
Edited by Carol Smallwood and Melissa J. Clapp
How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian is a compilation of chapters by librarians offering advice to colleagues who must work alone or with very limited help. The contributors come from schools and colleges, special and corporate archives, public libraries, and seasoned L.I.S. faculty across the United States and abroad who are familiar with the vigor, dedication, and creativity necessary for solo librarians.
The thought of being a solo librarian can be overwhelming. How will you get everything done by yourself or with very little help? Who can you turn to for support? How will you manage to stay connected to the profession? Editor Carol Smallwood's book offers answers to these questions and others and shows that it is not only possible to survive as a solo librarian but also to flourish on one's own.
For those who have read Smallwood's other books, the format of How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian will be familiar. Smallwood skips the theoretical and jumps right into practical tips and suggestions for her readers. The information is clear and concise and is presented as 26 3,000–3,500 word essays written by experienced solo librarians on a variety of topics, offering up something for everyone.
The book is divided into five parts, with several essays in each part: time management; community involvement; public relations and marketing; professional development; Internet-based ideas for librarianship; administrative tasks, assessing, weeding, and moving collections; and library overviews. The first section covers the skills one needs to run a library without additional help. The following four sections give concrete examples on how to successfully complete projects, develop innovative ideas, and remain active in the profession.
Smallwood's definition of a solo librarian is broad. One might immediately begin to picture a librarian working alone at a tiny public library or the single staff member for a one room special library. There are many more possibilities ranging from the aforementioned public and special libraries to school, academic, and corporate libraries. Smallwood does a good job of making sure that all types and sizes of libraries are covered. The librarians represented are not sitting in a small room working quietly. They are active and astonishingly able to complete large projects on their own or with very little help. They even find time to continue their education and participate in the profession.
This book is a terrific resource for those just starting out as a solo librarian or to those new to the profession and contemplating applying for solo librarian positions. It would also offer support to those who through tightening library budgets find themselves newly solo. While the focus is definitely on the solo librarian, there is plenty of information that will be helpful to librarians who are part of a larger team. The tips on grant writing, establishing a volunteer program, moving materials, and weeding are especially useful. Highly recommended.
With firsthand knowledge of the trials and tribulations of working as a lone librarian, this reviewer appreciates this helpful primer aimed at those flying solo and seeking means to survive and thrive. Smallwood and Clapp have gathered information on a wide range of topics that are enlightening for solo librarians of all types. Each of the 26 chapters in How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian is written in straightforward prose by experienced library practitioners, and each is approximately 10 pages in length. Among the main subjects that warrant multiple chapters are marketing, community involvement, and professional development. Numerous thoughtful tips abound for the solo librarian in this specialized volume. A useful resource for those practicing or considering careers as solo librarians. (Booklist)
Smallwood (editor, Librarians as Community Partners), a veteran of public library administration, here oversees another practical book for librarians in the field. With Clapp (Humanities & Social Sciences Lib. West, Univ. of Florida), she presents a collection of pieces by various practitioners who must do it all. The contributed chapters cover time management, community involvement, public relations and marketing, professional development, administrative tasks, and assessing and weeding collections. The work is at times informative and practical....VERDICT Intended primarily for special librarians, who often function alone, and very small public libraries. (Library Journal)
The audience for this book—librarians who are working alone, or nearly alone—may be larger than many of us suspect. And once again Carol Smallwood has done what she does so well—present a guide, written by a variety of experienced professionals, full of common sense, nuts and bolts advice, and step-by-step instruction. (Tom Cooper, Director, Webster Groves Public Library, Webster, Writing and Publishing: the Librarian's Handbook, (ALA, 2010))
Pragmatic and to the point, the articles contained in How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian are useful for librarians working at libraries of all types and sizes. The book is also a great starting point for those librarians about to embark on major tasks which lie outside of their comfort zone. (Wayne Finley, Assistant Professor and Business Librarian, Northern Illinois University Libraries)
A wealth of solid, practical advice, this anthology provides essential how-to articles that speak directly to the needs of those solo librarians who do it all. (Kim Becnel, assistant professor of library science, Appalachian State University)
Time and money are often in very short supply for the one person library. This book will give the solo librarian what is most needed—timely, practical advice presented in a concise and readable manner. (James B. Casey, Director, Oak Lawn Public Library; recipient of the Illinois Library Association Librarian of the Year Award)
You're not alone anymore! How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian, written by your fellow solo colleagues, is here to guide and help you. It covers the many facets of solo librarianship including collection development, moving your library, time management, PR & marketing, administrative tasks, as well as the much-needed advice on professional development. You are one amongst many; learn from your experienced friends. (Dorothea J. Coiffe, assistant professor, A. Philip Randolph Memorial Library)
In these tough economic times, where so many librarians find themselves wearing several different hats and taking on additional responsibilities, How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian not only offers helpful advice for the solo librarian, but useful ideas for those of us with reduced library staffs and budgets. (Larissa K. Garcia, assistance professor, National-Louis University Library)
How to Thrive as a Solo Librarian presents the distilled knowledge of practicing solo librarians in an accessible, helpful way. It will be invaluable on the front lines. (John Helling, director, Bloomfield-Eastern Greene County Public Library)
This book contains a wealth of practical information and tips on how to manage a one-person library. They cover topics such as prioritization and planning, managing time and workloads, using technology, networking and learning, using volunteers, and marketing. This book is recommended for all types of libraries and library schools
(American Reference Books Annual)
Together the editors have found a wealth of knowledge within their contributors, using it to create a practical toolkit that helps professionals overcome the challenges of managing day-to-day library work as well as major projects, while at the same time seeking opportunities to justify funding through public relations and effective fiscal management. While recommended for solo practitioners or those considering careers as solo librarians, the advice in this work suits not only solo librarians but also librarians managing departments (both small and large) within large library organizations. This book is also a great starting point for those librarians about to embark on tasks that may lie outside their comfort zone and is an excellent toolkit for students of librarianship. (Australian Library Journal)
About the Author
Carol Smallwood has worked as a public library systems administrator and consultant, and in school, academic, and special libraries. She has authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited several books, including Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook (2010) and Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook (2010). Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including American Libraries.
Melissa J. Clapp is the Coordinator of Instruction & Outreach at Humanities & Social Sciences Library West, University of Florida. Her most recent publication appears in Collaborative Librarianship.
How to thrive as a solo librarian
edited by Carol Smallwood, Melissa J. Clapp.
Smallwood, Carol, 1939-
Clapp, Melissa J., 1977-
Small libraries -- Administration.
Publication info: Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2012.
Physical details: xiv, 300 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBNs: 9780810882140, 0810882132, 9780810882133, 0810882140
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Solo librarians as jugglers / Roxanne Myers Spencer -- Survive and thrive as a solo librarian / Barbara Fiehn -- Building partnerships / Julie A. Evener -- A guide to recruiting and retaining volunteers of all ages / Tatum Preston -- Simple programing strategies to enhance libraries / Cassandra Jackson-Ifie -- The solo school librarian : creating a constellation of community support / Jess deCourcy Hinds -- Teen volunteers to the rescue! / Cindy Welch -- Advertise the library? Horrors! / Laurie Selwyn -- Public relations : promoting yourself and library resources when no one else will / Andrea Wilcox Brooks -- Public relations as relationship : saying yes! / Rhonda Taylor -- Customer service tips for solo librarians : dealing with patron problems / Sandra O. Stubbs -- Continuing professional development / Eva Hornung -- Professional growth for the solo librarian / Kimberly Mitchell -- Double your staff with instructional videos / Claudia J. Dold -- The new Coconino Community College Library : a librarian, collaborative library services, and an online library / Estelle Pope -- No budget? No problem! / Eileen Boswell -- From solo librarian to super librarian / Jenny Ryun Foster -- Oh, those dreaded annual reports / Virginia L. Eldridge -- Security tips for the solo librarian / Jonathan Frater -- Supervision made simple : running a school library alone / Rebecca Marcum Parker -- Placing one foot in front of the other : learning how to assess the collection / Stephanie Renne -- The lonely librarian : a guide to solo weeding / Lara Frater -- Moving a library / Holly Lakatos -- Making a career-college library relevant / David Castelli -- The one-man band : the solo librarian supervising circulation, cataloging, collection development, reference, and equipment / Lois Kuyper-Rushing -- Working as a solo librarian in a large organization : running the Labriola National American Indian Data Center / Joyce Martin.