Library Supervision eCourse

 You must complete your registration by following the instructions contained in the PDF download that accompanies your purchase. The download can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase and may also be accessed from your account. Select "My Account" and then select the "Files" tab to see all of your digital downloads.

ALA Member: 
$ 51.30
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Estimated Hours of Learning: 
3 Hours
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions
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This item is also available for purchase as an eCourse/e-book Bundle.

This self-paced tutorial is adapted from the ALA Editions book Fundamentals of Library Supervision, Second Edition, by Joan Giesecke and Beth McNeil. It is organized in 7 Lessons and estimated to be 3 hours of instruction. This eCourse is licensed for single-site use. 

Today’s library supervisor is challenged with managing teams and collaborative work groups rather than the more traditionally hierarchical structures in library services. A good manager must be able to demonstrate technical skill, good writing and oral skills, and time management skills. Most importantly, a successful manager must be flexible. The Library Supervison eCourse provides information and tools to effectively manage your library staff. Whether you’re a newcomer to the library or have been promoted from within, this eCourse addresses specific opportunities to sharpen your management style. Quizzes at the end of each lesson test your knowledge, while “Further Reading” suggestions point you in the direction of additional information.


Upon purchase you will receive a registration PDF in the form of a digital download. This PDF contains a link to our Registration page and a password. You must download this PDF and follow the instructions in order to complete the registration. The download link can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed by selecting "My Account" at the top of your screen and then selecting the "Files" tab. Confirmation with login instructions will go to the email address used in the registration.

E-Lesson 1: Becoming a Manager

  •     Identify key elements to becoming a successful manager
  •     Explore myths about good management
  •     Understand the elements of a good relationship with staff and with your boss (superior)
  •     Appreciate the value in building good relationships with your peers

E-Lesson 2: Building Effective Communication Skills

  •     Recognize good communication skills
  •     Understand the audience
  •     Engage in active listening

E-Lesson 3: Teamwork and Group Dynamics

  •     Identify elements of an effective team
  •     Explore opportunities to develop a team-building program
  •     Understand the supervisor’s role in team building

E-Lesson 4: Hiring and Interviewing

  •     Design and create a job description
  •     Appreciate the elements of the hiring process
  •     Understand the components of a successful interview
  •     Assess a candidate’s core competencies

E-Lesson 5: Orientation and Training

  •     Identify key elements of an effective orientation
  •     Design a positive first day for your new employee
  •     Create strategies to support various learning strategies in your unit
  •     Develop an orientation checklist
  •     Design and implement a customized training program for the new employee

E-Lesson 6: Setting Goals and Objectives

  •     Highlight concrete opportunities to create workable goals
  •     Set reasonable goals and objectives for her staff and unit
  •     Understand how unit and library-wide goals can and should be aligned

E-Lesson 7: Managing Performance

  •     Identify performance standards and expectations
  •     Create and implement a performance evaluation system
  •     Address performance issues and problems

Joan Giesecke

Joan Giesecke (1951-2017) spent 25 years with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln libraries, including 16 as dean. During her tenure, Giesecke tripled the library's endowment, oversaw renovations to enhance the libraries in size and service, developed relationships to help colleges advance teaching and research, and enhanced the diversity of the libraries. She developed a training program for managers and presented a variety of papers on management and supervisory skills. She was a former editor of Library Administration and Management and published numerous articles on management issues.

Beth McNeil

Beth McNeil is professor and dean of the library at Iowa State University. Prior to joining Iowa State in 2015, she served in associate dean roles at Purdue University and at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She received a PhD in human sciences with a leadership focus from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and an MS degree in library and information science and an AB degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her publications include Patron Behavior in Libraries (1996) and Human Resource Management in Today’s Academic Library (2004).

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