A comprehensive, navigable resource for both experienced and new librarians.



A librarian shares the tips and tricks that helped keep the shelves straight and organized over a 30-plus-year career.

In this short and simple guidebook, Couture outlines the day-to-day operations of a library, from shelving to personnel management and stocking materials. Many tips address proper planning and good organization in both the short and long term. A daily planner helps organize the most pressing tasks and identify moments between those where smaller, 5- to10-minute jobs can be completed, like filing catalogs or other minor maintenance, a technique the book refers to as “batching.” This can be augmented with a monthlong and yearlong style of planning, allowing librarians to prepare for seasonal projects, special activities, and other events well in advance. As with many busy, multifaceted professions, time management is key, whether it’s identifying assistants’ and volunteers’ strengths to best assign them jobs that can be completed effectively to selecting books and other materials by evaluating their reviews (recommended review publications include School Library Journal, the New York Times, and Kirkus Reviews) and awards. The handbook includes links to helpful resources and catalogs, many free, to aid in the latter. Couture brings 32 years of experience as a school librarian to her debut guide. Its large print and to-the-point instructions are easy to absorb, navigate, and revisit. Template tables offer useful examples for managing schedules, tracking book sources and reviews, and even blocking out shelves. Documentation and scheduling are presented not merely as tools for completing tasks, but also as ways to revisit achievements for self-encouragement. Some strategies, however, seem impersonal. In one example, training and instructing volunteers via “task cards” placed on a work-board is dealt with in the same detached fashion as books or inventory. Despite the author’s experience being largely centered in primary and middle school facilities, the book can be applied to public libraries as well.

A comprehensive, navigable resource for both experienced and new librarians.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5351-4193-2

Page Count: 54

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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