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Administrative Essentials: Introduction

Serving as a public library director can be one of the most interesting, challenging, and rewarding jobs that our society has to offer. The opportunity to make a difference in a community and in the lives of the people who live in that community is limited only by your abilities, training, knowledge, commitment, and desire. This handbook will provide you with some of the essential information that you need to succeed in your position as a public library director in Wisconsin.

A scanning of the table of contents of this handbook quickly demonstrates how complex the position of public library director has become. As a public library director you are expected to know everything from how to work with a board of trustees to how to interpret copyright law. You are expected be able to develop and administer a budget for the library and to comply with complex government regulations on a wide variety of topics. Most importantly, you must oversee the effective delivery of library and information services to the community.

This handbook can be particularly helpful to directors of small public libraries and those with limited prior administrative training and experience. At the same time it will offer a valuable review for experienced library directors and can help focus thinking and suggest resources when dealing with particularly challenging or unique situations.

If you have not yet taken or are in the process of taking the courses required by the Department of Public Instruction for certification as a Grade 3 or Grade 2 public library administrator, it will serve as a valuable resource.

Although the primary audience for the handbook is public library directors, it can be useful to public library trustees and public library system staff members who have a responsibility for assisting and supporting public library directors. It can be used by both of these groups to assist in the orientation of new public library directors. Public library trustees may find the handbook useful in gaining a better understanding of just how complex and challenging this position can be.