How To Thrive as a Library Professional: Achieving Success and Satisfaction

Libraries Unlimited. 2019. 130p. ISBN 9781440867118. pap. $45. PRO MEDIA
With this general guide to succeeding as a librarian, Markgren (Lib. for Technical Services, Manhattan Coll.) and Miles (Eugenio María de Hostos Community Coll.–City Univ. of New York) misstep with shallow dives into too many topics, including networking, culture, communication, self-promotion, mindfulness, and reflective practice. With several outdated and questionable sources and lackluster writing, this addition to the oversaturated self-help genre isn’t very helpful. The authors ignore systemic problems, such as overwork and undervaluing of already low salaries, lack of equity and diversity, and problematic management, and instead put the onus on individual employees to fix themselves—a naive and privileged position. Markgren and Miles do bring up a study on library worker morale but are quick to dismiss it; researching problems in the field, in their view, contributes to a negative worldview, which sums up the takeaway of their book—rather than addressing the issues plaguing librarianship, they stick their head in the sand and tell readers to manage their time better and craft a few elevator speeches.
VERDICT Librarians need information on how to obtain fair salaries and workloads, create more welcoming workplaces for librarians of color and LGBT colleagues, get more women and people of color into management, and navigate burnout; this superficial work offers little new or useful.

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