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Managing in the Middle
Edited by Robert Farrell and Kenneth Schlesinger
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1161-7
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $57.00
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192 pages
8.5" x 11"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1161-7
Year Published: 2013
AP Categories: A, B, C, D, I, J, Z

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Foreword by Maureen Sullivan, American Library Association President, 2012-13

Fully a third of all library supervisors are “managing in the middle:” reporting to top-level managers while managing teams of peers or paraprofessional staff in some capacity. This practical handbook is here to assist middle managers navigate their way through the challenges of multitasking and continual gear-shifting. The broad range of contributors from academic and public libraries in this volume help librarians face personal and professional challenges by
  • Linking theoretical ideas about mid-level management to real-world situations
  • Presenting ways to sharpen crucial skills such as communication, productivity, delegation, and performance management
  • Offering specific advice on everything from supervision to surviving layoffs
Being a middle manager can be a difficult job, but the range of perspectives in this book offer strategies and tips to make it easier.
Table of Contents

Foreword, by Maureen Sullivan

Part I. Middle Management 101

Starting Out

1. It’s a Job, Not a Reward!
Gayle Hornaday
2. Stepping Right into the Middle of . . .
Anne C. Barnhart
3. Testing the Waters: Creative Role Playing for Management Success
Amanda Lea Folk
4. Learning the Ropes: LIS and Professional Training Are Not Enough
Amanda Lea Folk
5. Is an MBA a Good Choice for Middle Management Librarians?
Elizabeth O’Brien
6. Expertise, Influence, and Magical Thinking: Interviews with Middle Managers
Melissa Laning and Neal Nixon
7. Business Books for the Library Middle Manager: An Annotated Bibliography
Joe C. Clark


8. Rethinking Interpersonal Communication for Managers
Marie L. Radford
9. The Middle in the Middle: Maintaining Your Sanity while Mediating Conflict
Amanda Lea Folk
10. Horizontal Communication: Social Networking in the Middle
Nancy J. Kress
11. Feeling Good in the Middle: Emotional Intelligence at Work
Robert Farrell
12. Top Communication Rules for Effective Library Management
Louis Howley, Kathryn Bock Plunkett, and Nicole Sump-Crethar

Part II. The Middle Ground

Advanced Skills

13. Formal and Informal Communication in Meetings
Robin L. Ewing
14. The Power of Un
Maureen Diana Sasso
15. Checklist for Productivity
Samantha Schmehl Hines
16. Procrastination and Willpower
Samantha Schmehl Hines
17. The Critical Path for Middle Managers: A Project Management Technique for Librarians
Dorothy A. Mays

Performance Management

18. Supervision
Debbie Schachter
19. Firm but Fair: Dealing with Problem Employees
Cees-Jan de Jong
20. Performance Management: Making Difficult Conversations Easy and Managing Soft Skills
Robert Barr
21. Performance Improvement: An Overview for Middle Managers
Barbara Petersohn

Professional Challenges

22. Consult Me First: Building Consultative Relationships between Top-Level and Mid-Level Library Managers
Jeffrey A. Franks
23. Managing Perceptions
Liza Weisbrod
24. Surviving Layoffs
Curt Friehs
25. The Poor Administrator and You: Survival Tips for the Mid-Level Manager
Jeffrey A. Franks
26. Coping with Reorganization: An Interview with Sally Decker Smith

Part III. Empowerment


27. The Self-Determined Middle Manager
Kristine Condic
28. Developing Leaders
Debbie Schachter
29. Being an Entrepreneurial Leader
Jennifer Rowley
30. Managing Change: A Reading Guide for Today’s Middle Manager
Keith Phelan Gorman and Joe M. Williams

Career Development

31. The Need for Middle Managers: Turning Today’s New Librarians into Tomorrow’s Leaders
Bernadine Goldman
32. Building Strong Middle Manager/Paralibrarian Relationships: Middle Managers as Mentors
Allison Sloan
33. Moving Up the Ranks and Back Again: Lessons Learned as an Interim Library Director
Elisabeth Tappeiner
34. Working with the Plateaued Employee
Janet Butler Munch
35. Taking Risks and Letting Go, Creating and Coaching Teams: An Interview with John Lubans


About the Editors

Robert Farrell has served as coordinator of information literacy and assessment at Lehman College, City University of New York, since 2008. He received his BA in philosophy from Columbia University in 1999, an MLS from SUNY Buffalo in 2002, and an additional MA from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2010. Over the past decade, Professor Farrell has worked in libraries at Columbia and CUNY, managing at various levels. His research interests include library management, the phenomenology of professional skill acquisition, and information-seeking behaviors as well as a variety of topics in philosophy.

Kenneth Schlesinger has been chief librarian at Lehman College, City University of New York, since 2007. Previously he was director of media services at LaGuardia Community College and also worked in the archival collections of Thirteen/WNET and Time Inc. Professor Schlesinger has an MLS in information and library science from Pratt Institute, MFA in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism from Yale School of Drama, and BA in dramatic art from University of California, Berkeley. His research and publication interests include library management, performing arts collections, digital preservation, and international libraries.

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