Take Control of Your Career!

Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success
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Moving into a library management position can feel like a daunting and solitary pursuit. Graduate school courses in management are expensive and often hard to find, and even having a mentor at hand is no guarantee of a successful transition. To help library managers improve their skills and acumen, renowned speaker and trainer Hakala-Ausperk presents a handy self-study guide to the dynamic role of being a boss.

Organized in 52 modules, designed to cover a year of weekly sessions but easily adaptable for any pace, this workbook

  • Covers major management topics such as success with stakeholders, staffing, customer service, planning, funding, leadership, and more
  • Offers an inexpensive alternative to seminars and classroom instruction
  • Requires an investment of as little as an hour per week, and is completely self-paced
  • Includes challenging questions and exercises, and a Web-based template to record learning progress

Suitable for all levels of management, from first-line supervisors to library directors, this book lays out a clear path to learning the essentials of being a great boss. Here are some reviews:


“Part of the ALA Guides for the Busy Librarian series, this is a convenient self-study guide that offers an opportunity to learn more about the art of management. As the author points out, this is a workbook, not a textbook, and as the title indicates, it is set up to allow for a year’s worth of lessons. The material is organized under 12 broad subject categories, such as “Attitude,” “Staffing,” and “Planning,” and within each of those, there are four lessons, each consisting of a brief introduction to a topic followed by a worksheet.

For example, the section entitled “Success with Stakeholders” covers your board, your community, your industry peers, and your staff leaders. For anyone who has ever attended a management seminar that bore little if any relevance to managing in a library, this book, written in a friendly, accessible style and grounded in real-life library experience, is like having your very own management mentor.

Recommended for new and veteran library managers alike.”

Carolyn Mulac

Booklist Online

“However much one learns while studying for that MSLS degree, some skills are learned on the job—perhaps with the help of a guide like Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success by Catherine Hakala-Ausperk. Part of the ALA Guides for the Busy Librarian series, the book provides a month-by-month program, starting with “Attitude” and ending with “Your Future.” In between are short chapters on hiring and firing, customer service, planning, budgeting, and other familiar management topics. Each chapter includes a worksheet. Though this won’t take the place of more in-depth guides, it offers a digestible approach to the basics.”

Mary Ellen Quinn

“Librarian’s Library,”, American Libraries Magazine

Broken down by week and month, this workbook takes readers through a year of “boss” training. The areas of study are tailored specifically to library management. This includes examining attitude, staffing, communication, funding, training, and other essential roles that managers and directors play in libraries. The methodical lessons are straightforward, with an emphasis on interpersonal skills and relationship-building. Despite their simplicity, these lessons are thought-provoking and include a worksheet and a few reading recommendations at th eend of each week Areas that are more process-oriented, likeing planning and funding, will likely require more reading and training, but these lessons provide a strong starting point.

Ideal for beginning managers, this book might also prove a nice refresher for experienced managers. With so many topics to cover, this will not answer every question, but it might help professionals get a handle on areas of management they have not examined before. The tone is friendly and the pace manageable for self-study. Pieces could also be used i group training. This professional reference is recommended for any type of library.”


“An excellent book and workbook to help all leaders, but specifically library bosses. Loved the workbook approach, and the information culled from a variety of sources (including From Good to Great). The worksheets make you apply practical steps to sometimes abstract ideas. Would definitely use/read/do another workbook by the author.”


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