Managing the Successful School Library: Strategic Planning and Reflective Practice

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

This book is available in e-book format for libraries and individuals through aggregators and other distributors—ask your current vendor or contact us for more information. Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

To ensure their libraries survive and thrive, school library managers need to be both responsive and proactive. Looking past the day-to-day operations of a school library, Farmer's book serves as a reality check: school libraries must align with school mission statements and policies, while simultaneously negotiating for proper budgets and resources alongside other departments. It's a daunting prospect, but Farmer demonstrates how it can be done with the proper attention and systematic planning.  Taking a deeper, more professional look at management that applies theories and principles to real-world situations, this book

  • introduces the concept of school library programs and provides an overview of school library program management;
  • examines professional and legislated standards for school libraries, and discusses the part a manager plays in meeting them;
  • links management with leadership, differentiating the two, and showing how the school librarian can carry out both roles;
  • helps readers assess their own skills, knowledge, and dispositions in order to set short-term and long-term goals;
  • explains how to manage resources and learning environments to meet the needs of teachers, administrators, parents, and other stakeholders;
  • offers guidance for developing and working with budgets, obtaining additional funding, and using collaboration to support the school library program;
  • provides concrete advice on hiring, training, supervising, assessment, and recognizing library workers and other library team members; and
  • includes tools for communicating effectively and getting the message across.

More than just a compendium of management theories, this book provides much food for thought that will help readers gain important insights into their own roles as school library managers and leaders.


Chapter 1    Introduction

  • A Few Definitions
  • Managing School Library Programs
  • Management Principles and Theories
  • Management Roles
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 2    Ideal School Library Programs

  • Guidelines and Standards for School Libraries
  • Making Ideal School Library Programs Concrete
  • REAL School Library Programs
  • Impact on Management
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 3    The School Library's Context

  • The School as an Organization or System
  • School Vision and Mission
  • School Curriculum
  • School Resources
  • Facilities and Utilities
  • Material
  • School Culture
  • Factors That Impact the School
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 4    Starting with Yourself

  • What's Your Vision?
  • Another Growth Spurt
  • Looking from the Inside Out
  • What Is Your Role as a Manager?
  • What Do You Bring to the Role?
  • How Do You Decide?
  • What Is Your Management Style?
  • Issues in Personal Management
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 5    Planning

  • Why Plan?
  • Types of Plans
  • Steps in Planning
  • A Few Words about Change
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 6    Managing Resources

  • The Role of Resources and Their Management
  • Analyzing the School Community
  • Analyzing the Library's Resources
  • Selection
  • Collection Development Policies and Procedures
  • Acquisitions
  • Processing
  • Cataloging Issues
  • Access
  • Circulation
  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Deselection
  • Green Resource Management
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 7    Managing Facilities

  • The Impact of Space on Learning
  • Learning Theories and Space
  • Learning Spaces and School Libraries
  • Functional Areas of the School Library
  • Access Issues
  • Furniture Issues
  • Technology Facilities Issues
  • A Word about Maintenance
  • Making Adjustments
  • Moving
  • Thinking Green
  • Renovations and New Facilities
  • Virtual Spaces
  • Disaster Planning
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 8    Managing Funding

  • The Hidden Cost and Funding of School Library Programs
  • Budget Basics
  • Ways to Optimize Fiscal Management
  • Finding Alternative Funding Sources
  • Administering Grants
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 9    Managing People

  • What Needs to be Done?
  • Matching Functions with Personnel
  • Staffing from the Start
  • Training
  • Using Volunteers
  • Supervision, Performance Evaluation, and Improvement
  • Interpersonal Issues
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 10    Managing Services

  • A Systems Approach to Library Services
  • Optimizing Services Through Management
  • Managing Specific Library Services
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 11    Managing Communication

  • A Communication Model
  • Marketing
  • Advocacy
  • From Communication to Relationships
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References

Chapter 12    From Manager to Leader

  • Who Are Leaders?
  • Leadership Skills and Characteristics
  • Conditions for Leadership
  • Student-Centered Leadership
  • Representative Leadership Styles
  • Making the Change
  • Leadership for Results
  • Bringing It Down to You
  • References


Lesley S. J. Farmer

Dr. Lesley S. J. Farmer, professor at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), coordinates the Teacher Librarian Program and manages the CSU Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy Project Literacy Project. She earned her MS in library science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received her doctorate in adult education from Temple University. Farmer has worked as a librarian in K–12 school settings as well as in public, special, and academic libraries. She chaired the Special Libraries Association’s Education Divisions and IFLA’s School Library Section. Farmer is a Fulbright scholar and has received national and international grants. She has also been honored with several professional association awards, including the Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. Farmer’s research interests include ICT, media literacies, and data analytics. A frequent presenter and writer for the profession, Farmer has published three dozen professional books and more than two hundred professional book chapters and articles. She received the Special Libraries Association's 2023 Rose L. Vormelker Award, which recognizes mid-career members for teaching and mentorship.

”Whether readers have just begun their careers or have years of experience, they will benefit from this thorough dissection of each aspect of managing a school library. An excellent addition."
— School Library Journal

"This is one of those rare professional books that school librarians will want to keep on the shelf and refer to time and again. Farmer packs a lot of information about managing a school library into the book’s twelve chapters ... Farmer’s book will prepare school librarians to become more strategic as well as more reflective in their planning and practice."
— School Library Connection