Publication Title: Managing in the Middle: The Librarian’s Handbook
Publisher: American Library Association (Fall 2011)
Editors: Robert Farrell and Kenneth Schlesinger (Leonard Lief Library, Lehman College, CUNY)
Scope: This “grab and go” volume for ALA’s Librarian’s Handbook series seeks brief, real world articles of use to mid-level managers in academic and public libraries.
Topic and Audience: Top-level library managers, responding to contemporary trends, are increasingly delegating responsibilities to those in the middle, demanding innovation and entrepreneurial creativity, as well as accountability and day-to-day coordination of staff and services. Today’s mid-level managers face a variety of new supervisory challenges. Of the roughly 70,000 academic and public librarians, about a third find themselves “managing in the middle:” reporting to top-level managers while supervising teams of peers or support staff. Our target audiences are current mid-level library managers, new librarians assuming these roles, and library management students looking for grounded insight into the administrative issues they’ll soon be facing.
Authors: We invite essays from those who know the realities of the job best: those managing in the middle. We also seek perspectives from management experts, former mid-level managers, scholars, nascent supervisors, top-level managers, as well as librarians and paraprofessionals who have been “middle managed.” A variety of formats are encouraged: “how to,” interviews with practitioners, case studies, illuminating anecdotes, brief tips, theory in practice pieces, rants and confessionals, annotated bibliographies, etc.
Some possible themes for consideration include:
• middle manager as leader and entrepreneur
• management expectations of middle managers
• “sandwich effect” – getting it from above and below
• real world applications of leadership principles and management techniques
• developing reflective management practices
• project management: best practices and skills, challenges and successes
• managing the top-level manager
• supervising administrative units and empowering work teams
• risk taking and learning from failure
• both sides now: conflict resolution from the middle
• communicating and listening in the middle
• recruiting, training, retaining
• building trust and morale
• coaching, facilitating, mentoring
• goal setting and annual evaluations
• nightmare bosses and problem employees
• creative problem solving: achieving the impossible
Please submit a one-page proposal including a biographical sketch by November 1, 2010 to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Brief e-mail queries or questions about the project are also welcome.
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