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Book review: Contemplative guidance on managing the school library


Book reviews: Managing the successful school library

THE aim of this book is not to provide a day-to-day account of basic library operations but to encourage practitioners to take a more professional approach in the management of their school library, using theories and principles to be both responsive and proactive in combining the roles of manager and leader. It recognises that libraries need to align themselves with school mission statements and development plans whilst bidding for budgets alongside other departments. Chapters cover topics such as: the role of management theories; environmental scanning to put the library within the context of the curriculum; what the librarian’s skills and style bring to the role; looking at long-term strategies to create objectives and plans; managing physical space and resources to meet expectations; working with budgets and people; and communication tools including advocacy.

The text is broken into sub-headings with bullet points, and “food for thought” sections help the reader to question and reflect on their own situation. Each chapter finishes with a “bringing it down to you” paragraph that encourages you to explore your own role, skills and practice in light of the preceding chapter. It is US-biased, so the legislation, grant information and school district structures are not relevant to the UK but the book covers a comprehensive range of subjects and its contemplative approach enables the reader to understand how they can affect changes in their own library.

Barbara Band School Library Consultant

Managing the successful school library Farmer, L. S. J. Managing the Successful School Library: strategic planning and reflective practice. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2017. ISBN: 978 0 8389 1494 6. $60.



Contributor: Barbara Band
School library consultant,  @bcb567
Published:  25 June 2018


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