Director's ASK! (that stands for: Administrator Secret Knowledge) guides the new or experienced library director through the range of documentation crucial to effectively carrying out the responsibilities of a library administrator, including working with the Board, the budget and personnel. It also covers legal activities and reporting, marketing, programming, and recommendations for keeping on track of it all.

The course is your guide to creating files of all the important administrative information---either to prepare your successor for a smooth transition or to get yourself organized and operating more efficiently.

Since the author works for an Illinois library, there are many specific examples that apply to libraries in the state of Illinois. The learner is encouraged to use the information as a guide to locate or create equivalent resources applicable to another state or library system.

Learning Objectives

Library administrators will:
* Examine current library practices and procedures.
* Identify key pieces of information that serve as a backbone for managing their library.
* Create a resource document using the templates provided by this LibraryU module.
* Have the basis for an accurate description of their responsibilities to share with their board.

Course created by LibraryU, a program of the Illinois State Library and the regional library systems.

Length: 1 hour

This course will aid a library director, or anyone charged with creating a library disaster plan. The course covers three main areas of disaster preparedness that are critical to your library's ability to respond to, and even prevent major and minor disasters:

  1. Planning - Begin by understanding how to identify both potential hazards in the library and the environmental emergencies likely for your location that could lead to a disaster.
  2. Preparedness - Once potential disasters have been identified and possible damage to the building have detailed, a list of actions can be determined, reviewed and practiced in order to ensure the safety of the patrons, staff, and building should disaster strike.
  3. Documentation - Writing a Disaster Plan establishes the strategies for recovery and salvage of equipment and materials, responsibilities and priorities in the event of a disaster, as well as identifying the location of backup copies of information.

Please Note: This course is describes a disaster plan model for localized disasters and is based on the assumption that local telecommunication capability will still be intact or will be working in a short period of time. It is not suited for large-scale disasters.

Course created by LibraryU, a program of the Illinois State Library and the regional library systems.

Length: 1 hour

Giving feedback to staff is one of the most important parts of being a manager or supervisor, yet we often avoid giving feedback, especially to those who need it most. This course will help you improve your skills in providing constructive feedback to your staff.

Course Objectives:

  • Articulate advantages of giving feedback
  • Describe the qualities of constructive feedback
  • Identify organization specific resources to support/enhance desired behaviors
  • Apply strategies for handling difficult conversations

Length: 1.5 hours

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and through a collaborative partnership between WebJunction and Infopeople.

Course designers:

  • Tiffany Hayes, Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center
  • Kelly Woodside, Massachusetts Library System
  • Meredith Lowe, UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies
  • Christine Kreger, Colorado State Library

Are you new to the public library director role? Or considering becoming a director in the future? 
This series will introduce you to the many and unique facets of public library directorship. Each of the four on-demand recordings provide a broad overview that both informs and inspires.

Overview
Public Library Directors 101 is an introduction to some of the key concepts every new public library director needs to know on the day they start their new job.

This four‐part video series was designed by state librarians, library development directors, and CE coordinators around the question: “What do public library directors tell us they wish they had known when they started their job?

The videos are under ½ hour each and apply to any library director in any size of library in any state. It is recommended that new library directors view all of the videos within the first month they begin their job. The videos are as follows:

1. Your New Role – Whether you have served in a different role at your library or you are brand new to the community, this video explores how a library director needs to refocus when assuming this new position.

2. Community Relations – The directorship is an outwardly‐focused position in the library. This session explores the concept and considers the library as a community anchor institution.

3. Planning and Project Management – The director is the futurist for the library. While he or she may have participated in planning activities in the past, now the director will be leading the charge in planning for the library’s future and implementing the plan.

4. Asset management – Finally, this episode looks at how the director will be managing all the assets of the library system ‐ which includes buildings, the collection, revenue, and staff.

Length:
 3 hours

Public Library Directors 101 was produced through the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) Continuing Education Connector project and supported through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.