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The Frugal Librarian: Thriving in Tough Economic Times
Edited by Carol Smallwood
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1075-7
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $43.00
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This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

280 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1075-7
Year Published: 2011
AP Categories: A, C, E, G, I

Check out a sample of the book now!

Fewer employees, shorter hours, diminished collection budgets, reduced programs and services—all at a time of record library usage. Don’t fret and fritter away scarce resources. Be frugal! In this book, library expert Carol Smallwood demonstrates that despite the obvious downsides, the necessity of doing business differently can be positive, leading to partnering, sharing, and innovating. This collection speaks to universal concerns, presenting creative and resourceful solutions from dozens of librarians representing a wide variety of institutions. The Frugal Librarian helps library professionals
  • Find supplementary funding sources, including grants
  • Save money by sharing resources, using tiered staffing for technical services, and implementing green IT
  • Tap into grassroots movements to save neighborhood libraries
  • Preserve and enhance important library functions like programming, outreach, and staff development, despite a tight budget
This book offers plenty of ideas that can be implemented immediately.
Table of Contents


Part I: Helping Patrons Job Search
1. Knowledge-Based Job Hunting and Interview Preparation
Michael A. Germano
2. Start Your Job Search Here
Jason Kuhl

Part II: Librarian Survival
3. Entrepreneurs in the Library: How an Entrepreneurial Spirit Expanded the Patron Base and Elevated Its Political Standing
James Lund
4. Laid Off? Here’s One Way to Land on Your Feet
J. James Mancuso
5. Low- and No-Cost Development Opportunities for Librarians
Colleen S. Harris
6. Online Resources in Michigan: A School Librarian Survives Hard Times
Margaret Lincoln

Part III: Grants
7. Grant Proposals for the Working Librarian: From Idea to Implementation
Lois Stickell and Lisa Nickel
8. Tools for Grant Searching
Victoria Lynn Packard
9. Writing Grant Proposals for Diverse Populations
Vandella Brown

Part IV: Programming
10. Creating and Sustaining Community-Focused Programs
Wayne Finley and Joanna Kluever
11. Nothing to Lose: Creative Programming for the Frugal Librarian
Lisa A. Forrest

Part V: Sharing
12. Increasing Resources in Tough Times: A New Funding Model for the Purdue University Career Wiki
George Bergstrom and Mary Dugan
13. Innovating and Saving with Joint-Use Libraries
Emily Dill
14. Multitype Regional Library Responses to the Economic Crisis
Tom Taylor
15. Museum Passes: A Low-Cost, High-Impact Partnership
Rebecca Tuck and Lisa Fraser
16. Saving by Sharing: Using Open-Source and Shared Catalogs to Do More with Less
John Helling

Part VI: Management
17. Bringing the Outside Back In: Creative and Cost-Effective Outreach Strategies
Kacy Vega and Kim Becnel
18. Cost Factors in Digital Projects: A Model Useful in Other Applications
Lisa L. Crane
19. Data-Driven Cancellation Decisions
Leslie Farison
20. Green Information Technology Saves Money, Saves Resources
Sarah Passonneau
21. Managing Staff Stress during Budget Crises: Lessons for Library Managers
Colleen S. Harris and Mary Chimato
22. Student Assistants: Maximize Effectiveness through Coordinated Training
Ken Johnson and Sue Hisle

Part VII: On-the-Job Success
23. Bidding Service Contracts in Public Libraries
Tom Cooper
24. Digital Projects on a Shoestring
Emily Asch
25. Developing Partnerships for Added Value
Aline Soules and Sarah Nielsen
26. Organizing in the Streets and in the Stacks: A Grassroots Movement Saves Neighborhood Libraries
Edgar C. Bailey Jr.
27. Turning Gifts and Discards into Gold
Robert Holley
28. A Small School Library Meets the Economic Challenge
Colleen Driscoll

Part VIII: Staffing
29. Leveraging Internal Resources to Fill Library Staff Shortages Temporarily
Marwin Britto
30. Making Good by Making Do: Using Student Staff to Drive Library Technology Innovation
Gwen Evans
31. Tiered Staffing for Technical Services
Mary S. Laskowski and Fang Huang Gao
32. We’re All in This Together: Solutions for Creative Staffing
Heidi Blackburn and Erin Davis

Part IX: Professional Development
33. Building Sustainable Professional Development Opportunities in Technology Literacy
Marwin Britto
34. $40 A Day, or Attending Library Conferences on the Cheap
Regina Koury


About the Author

Carol Smallwood received her MLS from Western Michigan University and her MA in history from Eastern Michigan University. She is the author or editor of numerous books for Scarecrow, McFarland, Libraries Unlimited, Pudding House Publications, Peter Lang, and others. Some other credits include The Writer’s Chronicle, Journal of Formal Poetry, Detroit News, Instructor, English Journal, and Michigan Feminist Studies. Her novel, Lily's Odyssey, appeared in 2010; she coedited the anthology Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages (2009), and she has a short story in Best New Writing 2010. A 2009 National Federation of State Poetry Societies Award Winner and a finalist for the 2009 Eric Hoffer Award for prose, she has experience in school, public, and special libraries and has served as a library consultant. Smallwood appears in Contemporary Authors, Who’s Who in America, and is a member of the American Library Association.
Praise for The Frugal Librarian

"The boundless energy and creative spirit of the librarians writing in this book will inspire others in the field to make more of their limited resources. The timeliness of this topic makes this book a must-have for library employees at every level."
--Melissa J. Clapp, MA, MS, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, University of Florida

"The Frugal Librarian is the perfect guide for libraries struggling to meet increasing demand with decreasing means. The resourcefulness of the contributors will ignite hope and fire up fresh ideas for librarians facing challenges in programming, staffing, funding and professional development, and a host of other pressing issues. Our mission to provide valuable resources to our patrons grows exponentially in a bleak economy, and there are a wealth of welcome ideas, tips, and experience herein for the overburdened but determined librarian. Carol Smallwood has once again gathered helpful information from our knowledgeable and creative peers to help light the way to successful service against the odds."
--Roxanne Myers Spencer, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Educational Resources Center, Western Kentucky University Libraries

"Although the main intended audience of this anthology are professional librarians, its content would be useful to a broader group of readers. From new job seekers to people who have been laid off, from librarians to managers, many can acquire and increase their knowledge about job hunting, fundraising, developing and utilizing partnerships, management, and programming on a reduced budget."
--Vera Gubnitskaia, Youth Services Manager, Orange County Library System, Orlando, Florida

"With perfect timing, The Frugal Librarian provides one-stop shopping for librarians in need of creative ways to manage reduced budgets. Articles cover grant writing, resource sharing, and professional development, as well as basic survival skills for economic uncertainty. This essential collection serves as a spell book for librarians needing pull rabbits out of their hats."
--Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, Associate Professor and Faculty Outreach Librarian, East Tennessee State University

"The Frugal Librarian delivers innovative solutions for today's profound economic challenges.  Readers will find renewed hope within its pages!"
--Suzann Holland, Director, Monroe Public Library, Monroe, Wisconsin; 2010 Winner of Public Libraries Feature Award                                                                     

"The Frugal Librarian goes straight to the heart of library service. It also happens to be exactly what I need at this point in time. As a librarian working with 30% less funding in a community that recently suffered the loss of over ten thousand local jobs, I am thrilled to be on the receiving end of so many creative and practical ideas. Thank you, Ms. Smallwood et al, for reminding us that our current challenges actually present us with incredible opportunities to do what libraries do best--give the people access to resources that will positively change their lives."
--Elaine Williams, MLS, Branch Manager, Highland County District Library, Lynchburg, Ohio

"Many librarians come together with wisdom on finding a librarian job, preparing for unemployment, grant writing, keeping a quality staff, and much more. With useful indexes, The Frugal Librarian serves a dual purpose as a very strong resource to be kept in a personal and business collection."
--Midwest Book Review

"I’m seeing more titles written for librarians that reflect new economic realities. The Frugal Librarian: Thriving in Tough Economic Times is one, geared to all of us who are coping with severe financial constraints. In it, contributors representing various kinds of libraries offer guidance on topics such as providing service to job-seeking patrons, finding low-cost and free professional development opportunities, writing grant proposals, partnering with other institutions, conserving resources, and more."
--American Libraries

"A useful, sensibly priced collection."
--The Australian Library Journal

"I recommend the book for providing good suggestions and generating ideas for different libraries in different settings. It also provides a very good overview of challenges in library work for newer professionals."
--Library Resources & Technical Services

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