Category: Library Management

New edition of the essential textbook for collection development and management in libraries

Facet Publishing have announced the release of the fourth edition of Peggy Johnson’s Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management.

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Peggy Johnson has revised and fully updated this textbook to provide a timely and valuable new resource for LIS students and professionals. Each chapter offers complete introductory coverage of one aspect of collection development and management, before including numerous suggestions for further reading and study. A range of practical case studies are included to illustrate and explore all of the issues discussed.

Johnson said,

The twenty-first century has brought into question the role and value of collection development as a professional specialty. The shift from collections-centered to services-centered libraries, patron-driven acquisitions, consortial buying, serial bundles, aggregator e-book packages, mass digitizing projects, ubiquitous access to digital content, and the growth of open access can raise uncertainties about what a collections librarian’s responsibilities might be. Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management is based on the premise that the collections librarian’s role in this complex and evolving environment is now more important than ever.

This book will be useful as a comprehensive introduction and learning tool for LIS students, a timely update for experienced librarians with new collection development and management responsibilities, and a handy reference resource for practitioners as they go about their day-to-day work.

Technical Services Quarterly declared that the previous edition of the book,

must now be considered the essential textbook for collection development and management…the first place to go for reliable and informative advice.

The CILIP Rare Books Newsletter described it as,

an excellent summary of vital areas of collections development and management, which can also act as a guide to those navigating this challenging area of the profession in such times of rapid change.

Peggy Johnson has published several books, including ALA Editions’ Developing and Managing Electronic Collections: The Essentials, edited the peer-reviewed journal Library Resources & Technical Services for more than nine years and continues to edit Technicalities: Information Forum for the Technical Services Professional. She teaches as an adjunct professor in the MLIS program at St. Catherine University and received the ALCTS Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

 

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Peggy Johnson speaks about her writing process and what’s important for today’s LIS graduates

This post was originally posted on the ALA Editions blog.

The first edition of Peggy Johnson’s text Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management was published in 2004. Needless to say a whole lot has changed in the last 14 years, and Johnson has kept updating and revising her book to keep current with the field. On the occasion of the publication of the new fourth edition, we spoke with her about her writing process, what’s important for today’s LIS graduates, and what lies ahead.

So, you’ve just published the fourth edition of your book! Congratulations! What were some of the differences working on the project this time around? And what have you learned over the years that a picture of author Peggy Johnsonyou wish you’d known from the beginning?

The process of research and writing I follow is basically the same as when I worked on the first edition. However, locating resources continues to get easier with full text online indexes and Google Scholar available. I still spend a lot of time verifying details. I confess I continue to print articles and borrow print books through interlibrary loan. I’ve tried keeping only digital files, but it doesn’t work for me. I need tangible copies I can hold and organize. One thing I wish I’d known earlier is how willing librarians and others in the field are to help. With this edition, I reached out to nearly fifty people, all of whom graciously answered my questions and offered advice.

Describe your writing and revision process—is it all electronic, or do you print out some drafts and go to work with a red pencil?

I’ve always written on the computer, but I do print each chapter about halfway through the writing so I can spread it out on my desk and move parts around. As I write a chapter, I create an detailed outline aiming to have a logical progression. Many of the writing techniques I learned in elementary school remain useful, although I don’t take notes on 3X5 cards. Once a chapter is nearly complete, I do the polishing on the electronic file.

Let’s say an LIS student approaches you for career advice. After getting that degree, what are some important first steps to take?

I always tell students to get library experience either through in internship or a practicum while in school. Employers look for some familiarity with the real world even when hiring recent LIS graduates. Involvement with professional organizations is important both because of the learning opportunities and because of the contacts made. New librarians seldom realize what a small world the library field is—building a network of support and potential references is critical.

Are vendor relations such as purchasing and licensing materials getting easier or more difficult? Why?

I think vendor relations are more complex. I added a chapter in this edition on vendor relations, negotiation, and contracts in part because library school faculty members and collection development librarians requested it. Once you understand that vendors are trained in selling and promoting their products and especially in negotiating effectively, you realize that librarians need parallel skills. Being aware of all the variables (and there are many) that go into making the best selection choice for your library is more important than ever. Even librarians who don’t make the final choices need to understand the issues and why decisions are made.

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What’s the most surprising trend in the field of collection development and management? How do you see this discipline evolving over the next 5-10 years?

I first became interested in 1980s in what we were then calling machine readable data files (MRDFs).  It seemed obvious that they were going to have a significant and ever-increasing effect on library collections and services, so I can’t say I’ve been surprised by the role digital content plays in today’s libraries. Perhaps the wide-spread participation in consortial buying by all types of libraries might be considered surprising, but I’d say it’s a logical progression that began with consortial resource sharing. May be one development that is, indeed, surprising is the extent to which publishers are selling directly to libraries. Not too long ago, libraries relied on intermediaries (jobbers, vendors, and agents) because publishers didn’t want to deal with selling, invoicing, and shipping individual titles. Packages of titles (both e-journals and e-books) have changed the business model and made publishers major players. As far as that goes, I’m guessing that few librarians could foresee the extent to which libraries now purchase lrge packages of titles. I’m always leery of projecting the future—it is too easy to be wrong. That said, I think that the importance of managing legacy print collections will continue to grow and, I hope, we will see the development and implementation of national preservation and retention plans.

Learn more about the book on the Facet Publishing website.

Take your library users beyond Google to trustworthy scholarly resources

Facet Publishing have announced the release of the second edition of Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources by Marie R. Kennedy and Cheryl LaGuardia.

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As every frontline librarian knows, if library users really knew and understood how many resources are made available to them online, they wouldn’t go to alternative information providers to do their research. Online library systems don’t make e-resources very accessible nor does simply making users aware of resources solve the problem given the number of resources available so getting the word out effectively means creating strategic marketing programmes.

Newly expanded and updated, the second edition of Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources demonstrates how to design and implement marketing plans that will help librarians save time, effort, and money while increasing the use of library e-resources. The book includes guides to writing, implementing, assessing, and updating library marketing plans and features case studies from seven academic and public libraries

The authors said,

“Libraries are acquiring enormously valuable and significantly expensive electronic databases for researchers, but those researchers may not even be aware of them. Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources aims to bridge the awareness gap between the library and its user, taking them well beyond the limitations of Google to the heady delights of trustworthy, vetted scholarly resources.”

Marie R. Kennedy is a librarian at Loyola Marymount University, where she coordinates serials and electronic resources. She has written and presented widely on the development and use of electronic resource management systems. Marie also writes the Organization Monkey blog about organization and librarianship. She is the co-director of the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (http://irdlonline.org).

Cheryl LaGuardia
is a research librarian at Widener Library, Harvard University. She writes the Not Dead Yet blog and eReviews for Library Journal, edits the library selection tool, Magazines For Libraries™ and writes the Magazines For Libraries™ Update blog, and has published a number of books, including Becoming a Library Teacher; Finding Common Ground: Creating the Library of the Future without Diminishing the Library of the Past; and Teaching the New Library. She received the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award from the American Library Association in 2016.

 

The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management

Read an exclusive interview with Barbara Allan in which she discusses writing her new book, The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management, and offers advice on the skills needed for both small and larger, complex projects.

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What research did you do for the No-nonsense Guide to Project Management?

My earlier book on project management was published by Facet in 2004 and this provided a starting point. A lot has changed since then so I carried out a huge amount of online research in the academic and professional literature, as well as searching the websites of library and information services to identify good case studies. In addition, I researched the current professional project management literature to gain their perspective. Finally, and this is the most enjoyable part, I contacted library and information workers as well as people teaching project management to gain their perspectives.

What is your experience of project management?

I’m lucky as I have had lots of experience of project management and I have always gravitated towards projects and volunteered to get involved in them. Some examples include: closing a library; moving libraries; creating a new library and information service; introducing new ICT systems; designing and developing both e-learning and traditional courses; introducing new working practices and contracts; leading an institutional-wide programme with a budget of more than £2.3M.  Like most people, I have also experienced many projects in my home life: moving house; DIY projects; organizing celebrations and parties; organizing holidays. Basically, the same skills that are used in these domestic projects are essential for professional projects too.

Do you get stuck when writing?

Yes, I sometimes have so many ideas and examples buzzing about my head that it is hard to sort them out. When this happens, I tend to go for a long walk with my dog and think it through. Alternatively, I get out my Post-It Notes™ and takeover the kitchen table as I spread them about and work out the connections and contradictions between different ideas.

 How does the new book differ from your previous book on this topic?

There are many major differences. I think the first one is that standard project management methodologies such as PRINCE2® and Agile are now commonly used in library and information services. In very large and complex projects, library and information services (or their parent organisation) regularly employ professional project managers often on a contract basis and they use these standard methodologies which means that a wider group of people learn about them. Another difference is that a wide range of technologies are used in project management. For example, specialist software packages, such as MS Project, may be used to help manage the project and these provide a wide range of reports which come in very useful at meetings. Collaborative software which enable teams to work together and jointly produce reports and other outputs are very useful particularly in international projects where team members may be working in different geographic regions and time zones. In addition, social media has made a huge impact both in terms of supporting team working and also in publicising the project. Both crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are used by some libraries and I found this a particularly interesting topic to research.

Does this mean that all project managers need to use these technologies?

This is a really good question. It depends on the size of the project. If you are leading a small project involving relatively few people then you can manage it using everyday tools such as your diary and a spreadsheet. However, you may choose to use specialist software as a way of learning how to use it and gaining an additional skill for your CV. In contrast, if you are leading a large and complex project then I think it is vital to use appropriate tools as a means of managing and sharing the project information.

What has stayed the same in project management in the past decade or so?

I think the basic idea of following the project cycle and working through each stage in a systematic manner is essential. The detailed process of documenting each stage is important as it means any change in personnel can be relatively easily managed. In addition, making sure that you have considered all the risks that may adversely affect the project and thought about how to reduce or eliminate the risk is important too. Finally, following standard procedures for managing the project budget is vital.

 

The project life cycle

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Managing risks sounds a little scary. Is it?

I always enjoy the risk management side of any project. Basically, it involves thinking about five questions: What can go wrong? How likely is this to happen? What is the likely impact on the project? How serious is each risk? How can the risks be managed?Identifying the risks can be fun and sometimes teams come up with extreme examples which cause laughter. A key lesson is to allow time for unexpected events. For example, I was once involved in a library move and the initial movement of furniture resulted in an epidemic of fleas. Quite revolting and we had to call in professional pest control people to sort it out. Overall, we lost a lot of time but we had built that in as our contingency so the project still met its deadline.

What about the people side of projects?

Leading and managing the people side of projects is vital if the project is to be successful. It is particularly important in strategic projects such as merging two libraries or developing shared services where major changes are taking place. These strategic projects may take 2-3 years to implement and there needs to be a management of change process in place to help support everyone through the change.

In all projects, the project manager needs to identify and think about all the stakeholders who are involved in the project or may be affected by it. She then needs to work out (with her team) how to work with and communicate with this diverse group of people who will all have different needs, expectations and concerns. In the No-nonsense Guide to Project Management, working with different groups including virtual teams and also volunteers is explored with practical guidance on how to work effectively. Nowadays, many projects involve partnership working, e.g. working with local, regional or international partners, and it is important to pay attention to establishing, developing and maintaining the partnership if it is to be successful.

What is your advice to librarians entering the profession?

My advice is to gain as much experience as possible. Take up opportunities to be involved in project work and, if possible, sign up for training courses on project management. Project management is an important skill for all library and information workers and it is essential for anyone wanting to move into management and leadership positions. Finally, it offers very interesting opportunities to shape your library and information service and the services and products on offer.

 

Barbara Allan is an author and trainer. Her background includes managing workplace and academic libraries. She has spent many years working in business schools where her focus was on enhancing learning, teaching and the student experience, and the internationalization and employability agendas. Her qualifications include a doctorate in education (on the topic of e-mentoring and women into leadership). She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2008.Barbara is a Member of CILIP and the author of several Facet Publishing titles including, Emerging Strategies for Supporting Student Learning (2016), The No-nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries (2013), Supporting Research Students (2009) Project Management (2004) Supervising and Leading Teams in ILS (2006) and Blended Learning (2007).

 

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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A practical guide to project management for library and information professionals

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Barbara Allan’s new book, The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management.

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Project work is widespread across the library and information sector ranging from small-scale and local such as introducing family history workshops within public library services, or large complex schemes, such as developing shared services across a number of libraries. Simple projects may be led by an individual working alone or in a small team whilst complex activities may involve people from other professions and may be managed by a team of professional project managers.

The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management completely revises and updates the author’s classic 2004 book Project Management to incorporate recent developments including; the evolution and wide-scale acceptance of formal project management methodologies; the use of social media to communicate information about projects; the use of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to develop and maintain projects and the large shift in the types of project library and information workers may be involved in.

Barbara Allan said, “This book provides a pragmatic guide to managing many different types of projects and using common project management tools and techniques. International case studies will help the reader to understand the practical realities of managing projects whether they are an individual working in a voluntary organisation on an extremely limited budget or someone involved in a large-scale international project”.

Barbara Allan is an author and trainer. Her background includes managing workplace and academic libraries. She has spent many years working in business schools where her focus was on enhancing learning, teaching and the student experience, and the internationalization and employability agendas. Her qualifications include a doctorate in education (on the topic of e-mentoring and women into leadership). She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2008. Barbara is a Member of CILIP and the author of several Facet Publishing titles including, Emerging Strategies for Supporting Student Learning (2016), The No-nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries (2013), Supporting Research Students (2009) Project Management (2004) Supervising and Leading Teams in ILS (2006) and Blended Learning (2007).

Sign up to our mailing list to hear more about new and forthcoming books. Plus, receive an introductory 30% off a book of your choice – just fill in your details below and we’ll be in touch to help you redeem this special discount:*

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Copyright, privacy, makerspaces & more! – a preview of the CILIP Cymru Wales Conference

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The CILIP Cyrmu Wales Conference 2017 in Llandudno is three weeks away but places can only be booked until Thursday 4th May. Our pick of the sessions are below along with some useful resources from us to help you prepare for what is sure to be a memorable event.

More information about the programme can be found on the conference website

Here’s our pick of the sessions:

Keynote: Copyright Education and Librarians: understanding privileges and rights

Dr Jane Secker, co-author of Copyright and E-learning is presenting this keynote speech.

Useful resource

Jane’s recent blogpost: Copyright and e-learning: 6 tips for practitioners

Keynote: Protecting the privacy of library users

Paul Pedley, author of Practical Copyright for Library and Information Professionals, is presenting the other keynote on the last day of the conference.

Useful resource

Paul’s recent blogpost: The 2014 changes to copyright law were welcome, but there’s still unfinished business to attend to

Session: How we made a makerspace- and how you can too! 

Allie Cingi, Library Manager at Awen Cultural Trust  and Rob Jones, Library Assistant st Pencoed Library present this session on makerspaces; innovative DIY studios known as makerspaces where people can build, invent, share, and learn.

Useful resource

Ellyssa Kroski’s blog on 5 maker ideas for your library, taken from her book, The Makerspace Librarian’s Handbook

Session: Marketing to thrive and survive

In this session, Sian Nielson and Giles Lloyd-Brown explore how they’ve strengthened outreach and engagegement with students and disparate teams at Swansea University’s libraries.

Useful resource

A series of videos that Phil Bradley made to support his book Social Media for Creative Libraries

Session: Supporting evidence informed decision making for public health practice and policy

This session is presented by Katrina Hall, Team Lead, Knowledge Management, Observatory Evidence Service, Public Health Wales.

Useful resource

Sample chapter from Denise Koufogiannakis and Alison Brettle’s book Being Evidence Based in Library and Information Practice

Session: Planning for Disasters or Literally Firefighting?

In this session, Mark Ludlam, Learning Resources Manager at Gower College Swansea describes the experiences and lessons learned from the fire destroyed the college’s library service at the Tyoch Campus last year.

Useful resource

Sample chapter on emergency planning from Alison Cullingford’s The Special Collections Handbook.

Remember, bookings are only available until Thursday 4th May so book your place today!

Sign up to our mailing list to hear more about new and forthcoming books. Plus, receive an introductory 30% off a book of your choice – just fill in your details below and we’ll be in touch to help you redeem this special discount:*


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Take control of your staff’s professional development

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Practical Tips for Developing Your Staff9781783300181.jpg

Part of the Practical Tips for Library and Information Professionals series, this new book offers a compendium of innovative tips and tried-and-tested best practice to enable library and knowledge workers to take control of professional development regardless of the budget and time available to them.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a key component of a successful and satisfying career and this book, written by Tracey Pratchett and Gil Young with Carol Brooks, Lisa Jeskins and Helen Monagle, offers a wide range of ideas and methods for all library and information professionals to manage the development of those who work for and with them. The flexible tips and handy implementation advice cover everything from appraisals and goal setting to using social media and networking.

The authors explain that the book “has been designed to be dipped into as and when required. Each tip or activity comes with an overview and detail, guidance on timing and some issues to think about when trying out the techniques. The important ‘more’ sections provide the reader with further suggestions and ideas to extend each tip.”

Tracey Pratchett has worked in the health sector for 9 years and many of the tips in this book have been used by her to develop her role and to benefit her team.

Gil Young is the NHS LKS Workforce Development Manager for the Health Care Libraries Unit North. She is a CILIP Fellow and associate member of the CIPD.

Carol Brooks has over 30 years’ experience in training and development and is the founder of Chrysalis Development.

Lisa Jeskins is a freelance training consultant who loves creating and delivering interactive, memorable learning experiences.

Helen Monagle is a Serials Librarian at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is one of the co-founders of NLPN.

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