Skip to main content

Survival Guide for Idaho Librarians: Public Library Directors

This guide is designed to be a quick start for an individual who suddenly is in charge of a public or school library in Idaho.

Idaho Commission for Libraries Contacts

Below are important contacts as you begin your journey as a library director in an Idaho public.  Call 208-334-2150.

Public Library Consultants
Patrick Bodily, Eastern Idaho

Emily Sitz, Northern Idaho
(208) 882-8882

Kevin Tomlinson, Southwest Idaho

Broadband Consultant
Dylan Baker

Continuing Education Consultant
Annie Gaines

Youth Services/Read to Me team
Staci Shaw

Kristina Taylor

Library Consultant for the Underserved
Sue Walker

LiLI Librarian
Allison Floyd

Grants Officer
Jamie Mott

School Library Consultant
Jeannie Standal

Public Library Directors

Quick reference resources designed for new library directors on the operation and management of public libraries.  Click on the heading to view individual topics.

I.   Administration

  1. Boardsmanship: Or, Who Does What?
  2. Budgeting and Finance:  Or, Free Libraries Aren't Cheap!
  3. Library LawOr, Is All This Legal?
  4. PersonnelOr, ...And I Thought We Were Friends?
  5. PlanningOr, If I Knew Where We Were Going?
  6. PoliciesOr, Can You Put That In Writing?
  7. ProceduresOr, Where's the Light Switch?
  8. StatisticsOr, Count On It!

II. Collection Management

  1. The CollectionOr, Do You Have Something for Everyone?
  2. Acquisitions: Or, How Do I Stretch the Budget?
  3. CatalogOr, Where Did You Find It?
  4. Cataloging with MARC: Or, How Would You Describe It?      

III. Resource Sharing

IV. Programming

  1.  OutreachOr, Who Is Not Being Served?
  2.  Special Populations: Or, How May I Help You?
  3.  Summer ReadingOr, How To Avoid the Summer Slide?
  4.  Youth Services: Or, How do I Connect With Young Adults?

V.  Public Services

VI. Technology

VII. Additional Topics

  1.  Common CoreOr, How Can We Help Students?
  2.  Community Building:  Or,  How Do I Find a Good Partner?
  3.  Continuing Education:  Or, How Do I Learn More?
  4.  Grant Writing:  Or, Where's the Money?
  5.  Idaho Commission for Libraries:  Or,  Your Friends In Boise!
  6.  LeadershipOr, Me? A Leader?
  7.  MarketingOr, What Is My Message?
  8.  VolunteersOr, Who Can Help?


The purpose of this guide is to provide a new library director essential information needed to get started. It will help you find instruction for specific topics as you discover all the duties involved in running the library. This guide is full of links to tutorials and expert advice, help with planning and policy making, and sources to help find the way in Libraryland.

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 document was originally created and published by Gard Hanks, Continuing Education Coordinator, in 1998. In 2014 it was updated by development staff members of the Idaho Commission for Libraries.

Training Resources

Online Tutorials on Library Basics -- Free

Alternative Basic Library Education  (ABLE)

  • Collection Development
  • Technical Services
  • Public Services

Supplemental Alternative Basic Library Education  (SABLE)

  • Early Childhood Services
  • Services to School-Aged Children
  • Young Adult Services


Resources any Idaho librarian should know about

Advice for New Public Library Directors - from members of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries

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 will provide a wealth of information about programs and support for Idaho libraries.  Statewide database which provides online resources for all Idaho residents.

Libidaho:  Library Listserv maintained by the Idaho Library Association.  The best way to get connected with the Idaho library community

Idaho Library Association:  Professional organization for all Idaho library staff.

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.

Public Library Directors' 101 Series - short videos designed for new public library directors.

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.