Succession Planning in the Library: Developing Leaders, Managing Change

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  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Drawing on her expertise as a leading consultant on human resource issues in the library, Paula Singer addresses the often fraught issue of planning for change: not just at the top but at all levels of an organization. With Singer's help, administrators can

  • Evaluate the readiness of their current administrative structure
  • Identify the critical management and technical positions
  • Project and plan for future vacancies
  • Identify the key competencies for critical positions

Readers will discover techniques for spotting potential leaders and encouraging professional growth of current staff.



1 Succession Planning and Development: Ensuring the Library's Future
2 A Framework for Building Bench Strength
3 How Do We Know What We Need? Key Positions, the Right Work, and Library Competencies
4 Succession Planning and Development Process
5 Strategies for Developing Staff: Talent Pools and Beyond
6 Succession Planning for the Library Director
7 Additional Stories of Library Succession Planning and Development Programs



Paula M. Singer

Paula M. Singer is the president and principal consultant of The Singer Group, Inc., a management-consulting firm she founded in 1983. Paula provides consulting services in the areas of talent and leadership development; succession planning; compensation and performance management; strategic planning; organization design and development; training and other human resource development services to clients in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Public and academic libraries, as well as library associations, state libraries, and Boards of Trustees throughout the country have engaged The Singer Group to conduct a variety of human resources studies and projects. She is the coauthor, with Laura Francisco, of Designing a Compensation System for Your Library, Second Edition, coauthor of Winning with Library Leadership: Enhancing Services through Connection, Contribution, and Collaboration (with Christi Olson) and Human Resources for Results: The Right Person for the Right Job (with Jeanne Goodrich), all published by the American Library Association. Paula has written numerous articles and is a frequent speaker at ALA, PLA, and state library association conferences and events.

Gail Griffith

Gail Griffith has enjoyed a 35 year career in libraries, with over 25 years as a public library administrator responsible for public services, organization development, and human resources. In 2008 she retired as deputy director of the Carroll County (Md.) Public Library. Since 1992, Griffith has consulted with library, local government, and nonprofit clients. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning and organization design, and she is also a skilled trainer, particularly in the areas of leadership development and team building. She holds a BA in sociology from Otterbein College, an MS in applied behavioral science from Johns Hopkins University, and an MLS from the University of Maryland.

"The vision of the book is to help directors identify key issues in competencies of current employee, spotting potential leaders, professional growth and retention of employees in an ever-changing multigenerational workplace. This professional reference is a valuable tool for all library managers, directors, and trustees in developing long-term goals that address the current and future needs of their library, regardless of the size and scope of the library."

"The wealth of examples and sample work sheets makes this a useful resource for first-time planners and library administrators facing a 'graying' workforce."
--Library Journal

"An informative and accessible book on the necessity of planning for staff changes, not just at the top but at all levels of the library ... Intended to be a helpful guide to the library HR manager, the director, library trustees, and/or a staff succession planning/retention committee, this book would likely become a well-thumbed resource at most libraries."
--Public Libraries

"All elements considered, this book impresses as a useful, innovative resource that forms a convenient basis for library and information management planning. Its illustrative accounts represent a good cross section of settings, mostly public institutions and some academic. The subject matter is arguably critical in practical library human resource management plus evolutionary, transformative terms."
--Australian Library Journal

"One of the best features of this book is its many charts, illustrations, checklists, and figures. Almost every other page has some type of visual chart, list, or checklist, so it is a practical and step-by-step guide for working in this area. While the challenges and case studies used throughout the book are mainly geared toward public libraries, the topic itself and the many guides provided can be used by any type of library to help with succession planning. I highly recommend the book for any library having to consider staff and leadership development and planning."
--Public Services Quarterly