LITA, Library Supervision, & Mobile Technology | Pro Media Reviews

The LITA Leadership Guide: The Librarian as Entrepreneur, Leader, and Technologist. Rowman & Littlefield. May 2017. 152p. ed. by Carl Antonucci & Sharon Clapp. illus. index. ISBN 9781442279018. $75; pap. ISBN 9781442279025. $37. PRO MEDIA

In addition to exploring the traditional leadership role of a library director, this work by Antonucci and Clapp (both, Central Connecticut State Univ.) proposes models of librarians as leaders in technology and entrepreneurship. According to the authors, libraries are conservative organizations, often at odds with risk-takers and disrupters, much of that disruption coming as a result of technological innovation. The book begins with an examination of open-source software, the adoption and abandonment of new technologies and software, and the impact of technology on libraries’ operations and overall mission. The entrepreneurial spirit in librarianship is defined not by taking the considerable financial risk of operating a new and untried business but by shaking up the traditional organizational model. At risk is the very character of a library. Is it a library if there are no physical books? What if there is no dedicated physical location? The librarian/entrepreneurs here haven’t quite reached that level of disruption, but those questions are in the air as large physical collections shrink and space in library buildings is dedicated to other uses. VERDICT Recommended reading for all librarians.—­Margaret Sylvia, St. Mary’s Univ. Lib., San Antonio

McNeil, Beth. Fundamentals of Library Supervision. 3d ed. ALA. May 2017. 256p. illus. index. ISBN 9780838915547. pap. $59. PRO MEDIA

Effective workplace supervision is a learned set of practical skills and well-developed interpersonal relationships. In libraries, as with small businesses and large corporations, government agencies, and private and public enterprises, management is at the heart of a supervisor’s daily work. Driven by technology, competition, customer expectations, a changing workforce, and globalization, successful supervisors must balance staff support and leadership with institutional goals and objectives. In the newly revised and updated edition of this text, McNeil (Iowa State Univ.; Human Resource Management in Today’s Academic Library) places standard management topics such as hiring, performance review, budgeting, teamwork, and communication within the context of 21st-century libraries and a rapidly changing workforce. In addition to real-world examples and scenarios, supplementary text and tables provide further evidence of the rewarding and challenging work done by library supervisors. Chapters on diversity and inclusiveness as well as policy in new legal environments are timely. VERDICT Clear and concise, this classic text is recommended for new and seasoned library managers.—Linda Frederiksen, Washington State Univ. Lib., Vancouver

Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries: Innovative Services for Research and Learning. ACRL. May 2017. 284p. ed. by Robin Canuel & Chad Crichton. illus. index. ISBN 9780838988794. pap. $68. PRO MEDIA

Coeditors Canuel (McGill Univ.) and Crichton (Univ. of Toronto Scarborough) examine the implications of today’s mobile technologies across a spectrum of library services and contexts. They maintain that the evolution of mobile technology poses both “risks and opportunities for academic librarians,” who accordingly must seek to understand the impact of such technologies on patron behaviors, expectations, research practices, and learning. This editorial message is given further weight by 17 chapters, which cover practical manifestations of mobile technology such as mobile library websites, selfie-guided library tours, mobile apps for research and teaching, gamification in the classroom, and virtual reality library environments and tools. The effect is an eclectic, specific, and somewhat uncentered portrait of the many ways that libraries are trying to respond to the mobile context while staying true to their core values and strengths. VERDICT A convincing thesis on the importance of mobile consciousness to the future of academic libraries’ research and learning services. Recommended for LIS students or professionals looking for practical ideas and case studies.—Robin Chin Roemer, Univ. of Washington Lib., Seattle

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  4. Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media, per our Terms of Use.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind