Public Library Director Crash Course: Getting the Skills You Need

A three-part workshop series taking place Mondays, January 24, 31, and February 7, 2022 at 11:30am Pacific/12:30pm Mountain/1:30pm Central/2:30pm Eastern each session.

So you’ve finally made it—you’re a library director…now what? You can learn about management, but it’s hard to find a library school course that teaches you how to be a boss. This three-part workshop is a primer on how to be a library director provided over three sessions that dive into key topics necessary to run a library. Covering library finances, trustee and director roles, relationships, personnel, legal issues, building upkeep, and the different types of insurance needed, these webinars will offer core competencies for every director. Learn how to stay organized and set yourself up for success in each area with practical tips and checklists woven throughout the sessions.

Whether you have just become a director, want to be a director someday, or have been a director for a number of years, this workshop will answer the questions you might not have known to ask while increasing your understanding of the key topics needed to run a library.

We’ll begin with understanding and preparing your financials, and then move on to trustee and director relationships. In the second session, we will dive into hiring, evaluating, retaining, and disciplining personnel and the legal ramifications that come with having staff. We will end the series with what you need to know about your building and insurance needs and review general legal practices and pitfalls to avoid. You will leave with a solid understanding of the core competencies you need to run a library in addition to checklists you can start using immediately to help ensure your success.

By participating in this workshop, you will

  • Gain a solid understanding of the core competencies necessary to be a library director.
  • Receive answers to questions you might not have known to ask.
  • Discover practical tips to effectively manage the various areas every director needs to know.
  • Know why and when you need to contact an outside professional for help.
  • Learn about effective resources you can use to help you become more organized and productive.

Kathy Parker has over 35 years of library experience, with 16 serving as library director at Glenwood-Lynwood Public Library.  Kathy has participated on various library boards and has served as a library trustee at her local library and in the regional library system, and started several continuing education initiatives for library staff and trustees.  Kathy retired in summer 2018 and has started her own consulting business serving as an interim director, offering coaching to new directors, and helping boards hire directors.

Kate Hall has been a Library Director since 2010; first at New Lenox and now at Northbrook Public Library.  Kate has held numerous library leadership positions and has worked with Kathy Parker on the successful Director’s University program that has taught over 100 new library directors what they need to know to run a library. Kate is active on many boards, including serving previously on the Illinois Library Association Executive Board and as President on the Reaching Across Illinois Library System.