Project Management in Libraries: On Time, On Budget, On Target

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A recent study showed that only 53 percent of projects come in on budget and only 49 percent on schedule. So what does it take to be an on-budget, on-time finisher? Successful project management may seem like a quixotic pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be. Searcy, a certified Project Management Professional as well as a librarian, takes readers through mastering the key skills that will make it happen: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing. Applying project management principles in a library-project context, this book provides to-the-point guidance on

  • running effective and productive meetings by using a checklist approach;
  • treating people fairly while openly sharing information;
  • ways to simplify workflows by choosing the most suitable software program;
  • how to write a project charter;
  • the agile concept of self-organizing teams;
  • identifying risks and planning for the downside;
  • managing scope creep by maintaining realistic expectations; and
  • using a checklist to close projects so they stay closed.    

Library staff at all levels will be feel confident planning and executing projects with Searcy’s expert tutelage at hand.


Chapter 1    The Basics
Chapter 2    Characteristics of a Project Manager
Chapter 3    Meeting Management 101
Chapter 4    Find and Use the Right Tool for the Job
Chapter 5    Initiating: Charting Your Course
Chapter 6    Getting to Know Your Stakeholders
Chapter 7    The Planning Team
Chapter 8    Planning Your Deliverable
Chapter 9    Planning for Risk
Chapter 10    Schedule Planning
Chapter 11    Planning Who Will Do the Work
Chapter 12    Costs and Budget Planning
Chapter 13    Executing
Chapter 14    Monitoring and Controlling
Chapter 15    Closing



Carly Wiggins Searcy

Carly Wiggins Searcy holds an MIS from the University of Michigan and has worked in public, special and academic libraries for 20 years. She is a certified Project Management Professional with experience that includes managing software development teams, implementing RFID systems, and surviving three library building projects. She currently lives in Louisiana, where she is the Government Information Librarian for McNeese State University.

"Any library that undertakes projects regularly should consider adding this title ... Administrators and library staff will learn a great deal about the process of running smooth, fulfilling, and successful projects.”

"A solid playbook for managers overseeing all types of projects. Those who have struggled with this skill in the past, as well as those new to it, will find this title invaluable.”
— Library Journal

"Easy to follow and approachable to both the new and experienced projectmanager, and to the whole range of libraries and library staff – from librarian to IT manager. Each chapter provides a list of further reading focused on that topic, with a comprehensive bibliography at the end. The book is an invaluable guide to project management in the library, and to those involved in project management as a leader or participant – which is all of us! It is highly recommended.”
— Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association