Skin of Your Teeth Library Management:
How to Survive Falling Up the Career Ladder
This paper will look at what it takes to manage a library and how to get it. It will consider the necessary skills to manage in libraries, covering a range of examples from the supervision of a small team to working as ‘The Library Manager’.
Falling up the career ladder is not an unusual occurrence in Australian Libraries. While librarians without management training may find themselves floating just out of the depth in unfamiliar waters, the alternative is too often managers without library experience. This second group can find themselves splashing around at the opposite end of this metaphorical pool.
As such, this paper will present several methods of dealing with the management side of librarianship. Looking closely at what will work for those who have not studied management as a discipline and need to learn on the job. It will also consider how to decide which style of management will suit you as a manager and your organization. Possible ways of managing staff with more knowledge and experience than yourself will be explored in some depth.
Throughout the paper, consideration will be given to acquiring and using;
* Library Knowledge
* Interpersonal Skills
* Conceptual Thinking
* Self Management
The management theories promoted by popular business psychology books will be examined in order to asses their potential for providing relevant information to the accidental library manager. As Library managers are often required to present information in formal settings, consideration will be given to the skills of public speaking and internal promotion. Emphasis will be placed on presenting information to a board of directors or an elected council. Finally, the benefits to the library sector of librarians acquiring formal qualifications in a management field will be examined.