Important contacts for anyone working in an Idaho public or school library.
Public Library Consultants
Patrick Bodily, Eastern Idaho
Kevin Tomlinson, Southwest Idaho
Jan Wall, Northern Idaho
School Library Consultant
Read To Me Project Coordinators
Library Consultant for the Underserved
Continuing Education Consultant
If you are reading this for the first time, you might be a brand new library director or manager. On the first day on the job, you might have looked around and wondered what you had gotten yourself into. What once looked like a nice quiet place where people sat around and read revealed itself for what it is: a maze of paper, policies, procedures, and politics.
Please rest assured, it will get better! Within a few months you will have a better idea of how your library operates. You will start to feel more at home in your job. Of course, you may still feel like telling off anyone who says: "I wish I could work in the library; it must be nice to do nothing but sit and read books all day." No library director or manager sits and reads books all day. In fact, many library directors or managers read less after they become librarians. They just don't have the time!
That doesn't mean we don't think reading is important. To be a good library director or manager, you must like to read, and the more you read the better you will be. Your enthusiasm for reading and libraries combined with love of people and all of the library skills you can develop are what will make you effective in this task.
The purpose of this Survival Guide is to get you started. It is not designed to provide in-depth information about any particular aspect of the library director. Instead, its purpose is to help you move through those first few months in the library. It will answer some of your questions, or least help you know what questions to ask. It will provide lists of resources you can use to access more information.
This document was originally created and published by Gard Hanks, Continuing Education Coordinator, in 1998 for new public library directors. In 2014 it was updated by development staff members of the Idaho Commission for Libraries and expanded to cover not only new public library directors, but also new school librarians.
If you have questions you can't answer or if you are just feeling a little lost, don't hesitate to call one of the Idaho Commission for Libraries' consultants. Their telephone numbers and email addresses are listed in the box on the left side of this page.
Idaho Commission for Libraries: The Idaho Commission for Libraries serves as a development agency whose mission is to build the capacity of Idaho libraries to better serve their clientele. This website provides a wealth of information about programs and support for Idaho libraries.
LiLI.org: Idaho Commission for Libraries supports online databases which provides resources for all Idaho residents.
Idaho Library Association: Professional organization for all Idaho library staff and trustees.
Libidaho: Listserv maintained by the Idaho Library Association. The best way to get connected with the Idaho library community.
LiLAC: Library Leadership Advisory Committee, a collaborative effort between the Idaho Commission for Libraries and the Idaho Library Association supporting development of a leadership culture throughout the Idaho library community.
SPLAT: Special Projects Library Action Team, a group of Idaho librarians dedicated to reaching out to their library colleagues with new technology and library trends.