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  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Complete with illuminating case studies and worksheets that guide readers to develop a personal framework for individual learning, this toolkit is an easy-to-use handbook of the basic HR functions of a public library.

Human resources is an area of leadership that requires its own specialized knowledge, but many library managers and directors assume their roles without any background knowledge of HR or adequate training. This comprehensive toolkit, which has been vetted by HR professionals as well as an attorney who specializes in employment law, is here to fill those gaps. Taking you through the lifecycle of an employee, and also providing a framework to develop skills and confidence, in this book you will learn

  • ways to incorporate an EDI lens into your employee processes, starting with accurately crafted job descriptions that are posted on diverse job boards; 
  • tips for hiring and onboarding new staff;
  • advice on individual employee development and retention, from the importance of continuing education to methods for increasing staff engagement and strengthening morale;
  • considerations for treating all employees equitably to maintain a welcoming and inclusive space for staff from marginalized populations;
  • an overview of the essential HR laws that come into play, helping you navigate difficult situations like discipline and termination;
  • first-hand accounts of HR successes and challenges; and
  • how to create a personalized structure around your HR learning and put it into practice, using a variety of worksheets, questions for reflection, templates, and tools provided in the book.  


Part I     HR Toolbox—Recruit and Onboard
Chapter 1    Job Descriptions and Job Ads
Chapter 2    The Interview and Hiring Process
Chapter 3    Salary and Benefits
Chapter 4    Onboarding 
Chapter 5    Personnel Policies and Procedures 

Part II     HR Toolbox—Develop and Retain
Chapter 6    Feedback and Evaluation
Chapter 7    Continual Training and Growth
Chapter 8    Employee Engagement and Strengthening Morale

Part III    HR Toolbox—Depart and Reassess
Chapter 9    Staffing Needs and Succession Planning
Chapter 10    Legal Issues
Chapter 11    Discipline and Termination
Chapter 12    Offboarding
Chapter 13    Applying Your Learning Answers

Part IV    Toolkit
Sample 1.1    Job Description Worksheet
Sample 1.2    Job Ad Worksheet
Sample 2.1    Hiring Philosophy Worksheet
Sample 2.2    Hiring Checklist
Sample 2.3    Interview Question Worksheet
Sample 2.4    Rubric Creation Worksheet
Sample 3.1    Compensation Philosophy Worksheet 
Sample 5.1    Manager Onboarding Checklist
Sample 5.2    Manager Training Checklist 
Sample 6.1    Communication Styles Worksheet
Sample 6.2    SMART Goals Worksheet
Sample 7.1    Training Framework Reflection Sheet
Sample 8.1    Core Values Worksheet
Sample 9.1    Succession Planning Checklist
Sample 10.1    When to Call an Attorney
Sample 11.1    Discipline Philosophy
Sample 11.2    Discipline and Termination Checklist
Sample 11.3    Written Warning Worksheet
Sample 12.1    Manager Offboarding Checklist


Kate Hall

Kate Hall is the executive director of the Northbrook Public Library (IL) after serving as director at the New Lenox Public Library (IL) and in various library positions in the Chicagoland area for over twenty years. In her eleven years as a library director, Kate has been in leadership positions in state and national library groups including the American Library Association, Illinois Library Association, and Reaching Across Illinois Library System. She has served on the committee and chaired Director’s University, an intensive training for new Illinois Public Library directors. Kate is the recipient of the 2021 Illinois Library Association Librarian of the Year Award and has just launched Illinois Libraries Present, a new statewide joint programming cooperative. She is the co-author of The Public Library Director’s Toolkit and The Public Library Director's HR Toolkit, both published by ALA Editions, and the devoted servant of one demanding cat.

Kathy Parker

Kathy Parker was the director of the Glenwood-Lynwood (IL) Public Library District from 2002 to 2018 after serving as assistant director at the Harvey (IL) Public Library. She has worked in public and private libraries for over forty years in nearly every department and cofounded Director’s University. She has served on numerous state committees including the Illinois Library Association and has served as library trustee for her local library and the regional library system, Reaching Across Illinois Library System. She was the 2016 recipient of the American Library Association’s Trustee Citation award. After retiring in 2018, Kathy launched the kathyparker consulting firm, which provides training to trustees and new directors. She is the co-author of The Public Library Director’s Toolkit and The Public Library Director's HR Toolkit, both published by ALA Editions.