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Mentoring & Managing Students in the Academic Library
Michelle Reale
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1174-7
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $57.00
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120 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1174-7
Year Published: 2013
AP Categories: A, B, I, J, Z

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Most academic libraries could not operate without a host of part-time student workers.  But employing students is different from filling a professional position with an experienced worker; often their library employment will be their first job experience. Since many student positions make them the public face of the library, effective mentoring of such student employees is vital. In this book Reale explores the challenges and opportunities involved in recruitment. Her guide
  • Shows how a library job can be more than just employment, teaching students important responsibilities and life-skills
  • Covers the entire scope of a student’s tenure at an academic library, from bringing new hires on board and training them to disciplining student employees and the unpleasant but sometimes necessary task of firing
  • Offers mentoring advice for helping students navigate the cultural contrasts, irregular hours, and other day-to-day issues faced by young people away from home for the first time
With Reale’s guidance, supervising academic librarians can effectively mentor students while maintaining an enjoyable, productive workplace that functions efficiently in support of the institution.
Table of Contents


1 Mentoring Students in the Library Setting 
2 Hiring Students: Not Business as Usual 
3 The Nuts and Bolts of Hiring and Training Students 
4 Cultural and Other Considerations: Many and Varied 
5 Partnering with the Educational Process 
6 Engaging Students: The Library as Learning Lab 
7 How Students See Their Place in the Library; or, What Is Work, Anyway? 
8 Teaching Professional Behavior; or, “Cruel to Be Kind!” 
9 Motivation Is a Muscle 
10 They Will Carry You Far: Emphasizing Soft Skills 
11 When Things Derail (as They Sometimes Will) 
12 When All Is Said and Done 
13 What a Difference Four Years Makes!; or, The Inevitable Disengagement 

Afterword: One Student's Experience 

About the Author

Michelle Reale is the access services and outreach librarian at Landman Library, Arcadia University, located in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

"A slim but powerful guide … this is packed with insights recommended not just for library hires, but for any looking to hire and train student workers."
--California Bookwatch

"Highly recommended for all student supervisors."

"Written by an experienced academic librarian in a first-person, narrative style, information is largely based on the author’s personal experiences and knowledge; however, featured material is interesting, relevant, and applicable, with a resource list ending each chapter … a good resource for an overlooked area."

"Does an excellent job of showing how each step of the hiring, training, employing, and even firing process can be a learning opportunity ... an easy but very valuable read ... strongly recommended for all academic libraries."
--Journal of Access Services

"The book is useful and enlightening to any librarian tasked with coaching distinctive individuals of varied cultural backgrounds, communication styles, and raisons d’ être ... A handbook of ideas, Reale does a great job of reminding librarians that it’s okay if we have to be firm and it’s okay if we make mistakes, because above all, the largest part of mentoring is letting students know we’re human too."
--Journal of Library Innovation

”This book is the first to address mentoring of student assistants in a systematic way, and it fills a gap in the recent literature about mentoring in academic libraries … Reale’s management experiences emphasize mentoring as one of librarians’ most basic duties: the duty to educate. Her matter-of-fact tone is successful in conveying personnel management information without condescension."
— Reference & User Services Quarterly

”This book is a welcome addition to the literature of personnel management in academic libraries, and the useful information provided in this volume is applicable for any size library and any number of students."
— Australian Library Journal

  Also of interest:  
Becoming an Embedded Librarian: Making Connections in the Classroom
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1367-3
Readers will feel confident applying the lessons learned from Reale’s first-hand account to their own experiences both in and out of the classroom.
Price: $54.00
Managing in the Middle
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1161-7
This practical handbook is here to assist middle managers navigate their way through the challenges of multitasking and continual gear-shifting.
Price: $57.00
Mentoring in the Library: Building for the Future
Item Number:  978-0-8389-3593-4
In this useful book noted reference librarian and researcher Marta K. Lee shows librarians how mentoring can be both satisfying and good for career development and personal growth.
Price: $52.00