Cultivating Civility: Practical Ways to Improve a Dysfunctional Library

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Like other workplaces, libraries can sometimes be stressful, with library workers bearing the brunt of such problems as uncivil patrons, poor communication, inadequate leadership, and toxic behaviors by fellow employees. But there’s hope. Following up their acclaimed examination of the dysfunctional library ("should be essential reading for library leaders" raves Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association), here the authors present a book of proactive solutions and guidance culled from their own research, including interviews with library administrators and staff. Sharing valuable insights that will stimulate thought and discussion towards the goal of a healthier and more harmonious workplace, this book

  • addresses the subject from four viewpoints—individual, team, leader, and organization—focusing on solutions and practical steps in each area;
  • shows how self-reflection and self-awareness can be key starting points for exploring workplace issues;
  • offers numerous suggestions for wellness and self-care;  
  • provides tips for improving interpersonal communication and conversations in ways that prevent silos and span boundaries;
  • sheds light on forming and sustaining cohesive library teams, then provides solutions for misaligned teams and dissenters;
  • discusses why effectively conveying vision, role modeling, and demonstrating empathy are all crucial behaviors of library leaders;
  • shares actions library leaders can take to engage employees in the change process;
  • examines how organizational structures can either detract or contribute to a library’s success; and
  • details types of training that can be utilized to minimize dysfunction, including training for bias, empathy, conflict management, and diversity.

Filled with beneficial advice on every page, this resource will help libraries be better workplaces for everyone.

ISBN: 978-0-8389-4716-6
Published: 2020
Publisher: ALA Editions
Pages: 232
Sku: 9780838947166

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