What They Don't Teach You in Library School

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions
AP Categories

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

MLS programs do a good job of teaching the basic skills of being a librarian – how to catalog books, how to clarify a reference request, how to run a story hour. But as any working librarian will tell you, that's not the half of it. A long-time library administrator, Elisabeth Doucett gives new librarians a full dose of practical advice and wisdom that remains between the lines of most library curriculum, while also teaching seasoned professionals a thing or two. Gleaned from years of hard-fought experience, this book

  • Covers a variety of library topics that are truly relevant to the day-to-day job, such as management, administration, and marketing
  • Shows how librarians can use practical business and organizational skills to do a better job and further their careers
  • Presents information in a grab-and-go format that's ready to apply in the real world

For MLS graduates just entering the job market, as well as individuals interested in switching gears through promotion or advancement, Doucett offers the inside scoop on what a librarian really needs to know.


Part I Helpful to Know Before You Get Your First Job as a Librarian
1. The Right Job
2. Planning Your Career
3. Networking
4. Making "Librarian" a Brand

Part II Helpful to Know When You Are New on the Job
5. Understanding Your New Work Environment: Your Library
6. Understanding Your New Work Environment: Your Community
7. How to Manage Problem Patrons in the Library
8. Managing Confrontation Productively
9. Public Speaking
10. Teamwork

Part III Helpful to Know as You Gain Some Experience
11. Promotional Marketing
12. Thinking Like a Retailer
13. Strategic Planning
14. Trend Tracking
15. Facilities Management
16. Figures and Finances






Elisabeth Doucett

Elisabeth Doucett is director of the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine. She holds an MLS from Simmons College, where she was elected to the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society, and an MBA in marketing from the J. L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the author of Creating Your Library Brand. Her strategy and marketing proficiencies were developed over more than a decade spent in the consumer packaged goods industry as a marketing director at Quaker Oats and Dunkin' Donuts and as a brand manager at Kraft Foods in the Maxwell House Coffee Division.

"Its very readable format, simple style and practical advice make it a valuable book for a new librarian. For an experienced librarian it provides a reminder of what we do each day, plus some useful advice on marketing and management issues."
--The Australian Library Journal