Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work—eEditions e-book

The download link for this product can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account Profile. For more information about ALA eEditions file types and how to view them on eReaders, desktop computers, and other devices, see this page.

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

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

Listen to a podcast about this book now!

Unplanned careers affect everything and everyone. They can lead to frustration, negativity, and apathy at a time when we need to be focused, energized and motivated. Though your library career might have started “accidentally,” you can overcome organizational restructuring, changing job titles, and shifting responsibilities by cultivating a mindful existence in the library workplace. Building on the simple and fun approach that have made her previous books bestsellers, Hakala-Ausperk offers up a DIY-style program for revisiting personal values, understanding your options, identifying skill gaps, and creating plans for growth. Whether you’re a library veteran who’s feeling burned out, a new LIS grad just starting out, or somewhere in mid-career, this book will

  • introduce methods to help you examine your individual interests, desires, and goals;
  • show you how to understand your workplace’s priorities and culture, and offer tips for identifying where there’s either a match or a gap;
  • demonstrate how you can improve your current position;
  • prepare you to move forward through the creation of a personalized strategic professional plan that addresses professional development, gaining additional experience, and other options for growth;
  • include tips for effective self-marketing, networking through colleagues and friends, and acing an interview;
  • present ways to stay happy and engaged in a new role or position; and
  • offer guidance for sharing your skills and experience through mentorship, and retiring with grace. 

Ideal for both self-paced study and team-based staff development, this six-step plan will help readers renew themselves, their careers, and their organizations.




  • Why Did I Write This Book?
  • Why Are You Reading It?




  • How Does This Book Work?




Who Are You?

Things That Really Matter
Your Renewal Plan: Step One—Who?
Life So Far . . .
The Process
That Old Life Ladder
Stay Out of Your Way





What Do You Want to Do?

Define Mission
What Is Work?
Your True Identity
What Did You Do?
What Do You Do Now?
What Would You Love to Do?
The Secret Formula: Values + Mission = Action
Your Renewal Plan: Step Two—What?
“Night, Montreal”





When Is the Time Right?

Timing Isn’t Everything
When Does Success Begin (and Will You Recognize It When You See It)?
Meet Anna, Successful Writer
The Life Cycle of Purpose
Your Renewal Plan: Step Three—When?





Where Should You Be?

Right Place, Right Time
Stay or Go?
The Boss
Work/Life Balance
Starting Over
Before You Go
While You’re Looking
What to Look For
Values Are Everywhere
Your Renewal Plan: Step Four—Where?





Why Bother?

Why Not?
What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
OK Then, Why?
Your Renewal Plan: Step Five—Why?





How Do You Do It?

How Do You Eat an Elephant?
It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built the Ark
Your Renewal Plan: Step Six—How? (Part One of Three)
Your Renewal Plan: Step Six—How? (Part Two of Three)
This Is Happening
Your Renewal Plan: Step Six—How? (Part Three of Three)

My Renewal Plan



Catherine Hakala-Ausperk

Catherine Hakala-Ausperk is an author, speaker, and trainer with over 35 years’ library experience in everything from direct customer service to library management and administration. She is an Adjunct Instructor at the iSchool at Kent State and also teaches for the American Library Association’s Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) Program, The Public Library Association, ALA’s eLearning Solutions, the Urban Library Council, InfoPeople, and multiple other organizations.  An active speaker, planner, and trainer in libraries across the country, she is the author of seven books:  Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success (ALA, 2011); Build a Great Team: One Year to Success (ALA, 2013); Renew Yourself: A Six-Step Plan for More Meaningful Work (ALA, 2017); and a unique series of Leadership Planners, including Future-Proof Your Team; Win ‘Em Over; Dynamic Discipline; and Hot Ticket Meetings. Catherine’s passion is for supporting, coaching, and developing great libraries, successful teams, and – especially – strong and effective leaders. You can check out her clients and projects on her website or follow her on Facebook at Catherine’s full resume is available at

”Through her engaging, encouraging style, the author guides readers to find their own answers by providing a path that makes the renewal process clearer as she offers renewal strategies to help readers make smart choices and take positive action in their careers going forward … Relevant and applicable to individuals across all professional lines. The need for self-renewal – and the benefits of doing so – is a common theme for all of us today."
Career Convergence

”There is no better time than now to explore new career paths, plan that adventure you’re dreaming about, or jump in to that degree work! … [this book] is a professional development tool that is useful to librarians, career and life coaches, social workers, and others seeking a pathway to meaningful occupations."

”This book will help the new LIS graduate, a mid-career staffer, or a library veteran who is burned out. The author discusses strategies to help a stifled or frustrated worker cope with their existing situation. This is a wonderful work to encourage the reader to learn to flourish and grow in their work life and add meaning to their work life. Highly recommended!"
— Journal of Hospital Librarianship

”Each chapter provides examples and motivational/inspirational quotes, but most importantly asks readers to think long and hard about their lives and to answer pointed questions that will help narrow down what brings happiness and how that might translate into professional success ... There are many books out there advocating doing what one loves, finding peace in difficult situations, and changing careers. The great advantage of this one is the step-by-step approach to identifying and acting on one’s mission."
— Catholic Library World