Academic Librarianship | Professional Media

Recommended for academic library staffs, library managers and LIS students, a look at several case studies about staff development; A valuable look at using the physical space of the library to create better experiences for patrons; An important text filled with practical exercises to prove the worth of academic libraries

Academic Library Management: Case Studies. ALA. 2017. 192p. ed. by Tammy Nickelson Dearie & others. index. ISBN 9780838915592. pap. $69. PRO MEDIA

Fourteen librarians selected to participate in the 2014 UCLA Library Senior Fellows program share their experience, presenting case studies related to academic library management. Editors Dearie (interim univ. librarian, Univ. of California, San Diego), Michael Meth (associate dean, research & learning svcs., Florida State Univ.), and Elaine L. ­Westbrooks (univ. librarian, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) cover a range of significant issues confronting academic librarians: shared governance, strategic planning, collaborative collection development, staffing and reorganization, and archives management, as well as budgeting, creating safe environments, rethinking liaison services, reconfiguring space, and closing branch libraries. Each entry provides a description of the institution and the challenge, along with details on how the issue was addressed. The introduction offers readers a list of questions to consider—an approach that encourages creative problem-solving rather than suggesting there is a single right answer. VERDICT These relevant case studies might be of value in academic library staff development programs as well as useful for library managers and LIS students.— Judy Solberg, Sacramento, CA

Assessing Library Space for Learning. Rowman & Littlefield. 2017. 274p. ed. by Susan E. Montgomery. illus. index. ISBN 9781442279261. $75; pap. ISBN 9781442279278. $45; ebk. ISBN 9781442279285. PRO MEDIA

Acutely aware that the physical layout of an institution impacts the user experience, Montgomery (public services librarian, Rollins Coll.; The New Academic Librarian) has compiled germane essays from academic librarians as well as psychologists, architects, and administrators, who examine the role of space on learning in academic libraries. The book places equal emphasis on theory and application and highlights the variety of users who can be found in library spaces, including student athletes and first-generation students. The chapters on learning theory and psychological approaches will be particularly helpful to readers new to the subject. Similar to titles such as Barbara Schader’s Learning Commons: Evolution and Collaborative Essentials, this work takes the topic a step further by focusing not just on specific physical spaces (learning commons, information commons) but also on how particular users learn in these spaces. VERDICT A valuable read for administrators and library staff involved in space planning, management, and assessment.—Brittney Thomas, Hardin Lib. for the Health Sciences, Univ. of Iowa

Oakleaf, Megan. Academic Library Value: The Impact Starter Kit. ALA. 2017. 214p. ISBN 9780838915929. pap. $62. PRO MEDIA

Oakleaf (iSchool, Syracuse Univ.; The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report from ACRL) provides 52 practical exercises to help with the daunting but necessary task of proving an academic library’s worth to stakeholders and administrators. There are three ways to complete the activities: by purpose, by theme, or in order of interest or organizational goal. The purposes are “listening to stakeholders,” “planning for action,” “focusing on impact,” “getting to work,” and “communicating & decision-making.” Themes consist of “re-thinking,” “listening,” “getting organized,” and “taking action.” Each activity (e.g., “impact on student retention”) is only a few pages long and has short lists of bullet points, charts, or fill in the blanks. Suggested readings and the T3 process (“think,” “talk,” and “target”) conclude each exercise. “Think” and “talk” are questions to be answered after completing the activity, while “target” charts “action,” “timeframe,” “responsible parties,” and “follow-up.” VERDICT In times when all libraries need to demonstrate their value, this is an excellent tool for academic librarians.—Jason L. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI

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