Public Library Director Crash Course: Getting the Skills You Need

A three-part webinar series taking place Mondays, February 26, March 4, and March 11, 2024 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 is a retired library director, now library consultant, who does work as an interim director and provides training and mentoring to library trustees and staff. She is passionate about educating people in the library field and is the co-founder of Director's University, an Illinois training program for new library public directors. Prior to retirement, she was the director of the Glenwood-Lynwood (IL) Public Library District for 16 years and has over 40 years of library experience in public and private libraries. Kathy has served on numerous state committees, including the Illinois Library Association, and has served as a library trustee for her local library and the regional library system, Reaching Across Illinois Library System. In 2016, she was the recipient of the American Library Association’s Trustee Citation award.

Kate Hall is the Executive Director of the Northbrook Public Library after serving as Director at the New Lenox Public Library and in various library positions for over 20 years. Kate is the recipient of the 2021 Illinois Library Association Librarian of the Year Award and has served in leadership positions in state and national library groups, including the American Library Association, Illinois Library Association, and Reaching Across Illinois Library System. She has served on the committee and chaired Director’s University, an intensive training that has trained over 300 new Illinois Public Library Directors.

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after the event ends.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at ce@ala.org or at 312-280-5100.