Library Management for the 80’s

Managing the Public Library cover

Managing the Public Library
2nd ed.

In honor of National Library Week, we have a few bonus posts to make sure you are also thinking about your professional collection. (When was that last weeded?)

This relic was published in 1984. I’m not sure what was updated or revised (or if it was updated or revised…) because the second edition still cites data from 1981-1982. (Really, really old data like per capita expenditures and revenues.)

There is barely a mention of computers, other than to say that computerization and automation could really help libraries improve the use of tax funds through “more effective use of personnel, and better control of resources” (p. xiii). Well, that’s certainly true – and has been for thirty-odd years.

The page on audiovisual services talks about how libraries often separate collections by format. You know, so that a patron who does not have access to a film projector won’t waste their time looking through film reels.

The marketing section focuses on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, flyers, and direct mail. Libraries may still use those venues in marketing today, but a more useful book on the topic would have to include e-newsletters, social media, mobile apps, and other techie techniques.



per capita expenditures

audiovisual services

PR and marketing

PR and marketing


  1. A temporary budget for binding! Ha! That’s three employees at my library – all “library assistants”, one full time and two part time. No competitive bidding, no selection – not “library binding” on orders – that would “cost too much” according to our library director.

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