#89 Policies, Documents & Reports

It’s useful to have a library ‘bible’ where you pull together all documents that can help you justify, detail, guide and promote your service.

This could include your staff manual or handbook, yearly reports, mission statement, policies and guides.

You might get some further ideas here.


#64 Staff Manual

Staff Manual

For a lone librarian, this one might seem impossible. Where am I going to get the time to create a staff manual?

Also, it will only be of benefit to other people, won’t it?

Well, no. Not really. It’s a good CPD exercise for a librarian (or any other professional) to create a staff manual. It gives you a snapshot of what you’re actually doing and how you’re doing it. You may look at some procedures along the way, and decide that change is required.

It may also save your bacon if you’re off ill for any length of time, or anyone needs to take over your operation for any reason.

What kind of things should you look at? Here’s some suggestions:

University of Waterloo Library Manuals

School Library Handbook (Philidelphia, USA)

Handbook For High School Librarians

For Visually Impaired Users

#29 Administration


Let’s be honest; most of us find administration a huge bore. It’s one thing to have professional pride in our library and the way it’s set up, it’s quite another to garner that kind of enthusiasm for the day-to-day paperwork that comes flying at us.

Bore or not, it’s essential to keep good records, and to keep them in good order. It is a fact that if you don’t keep your records in order, and have all documentation to hand, then at some point you will miss out on a funding opportunity, miss that important committee meeting, or just end up looking incompetent when you are caught unprepared when asked for the facts. Most people will make allowances for the fact that none of us are perfect administrators, but it’s not wise to go banking on that allowance.

There are some simple things you can do to keep on top of the daily information flood and the paperwork.

  • Lay aside an area for administrative documents, or find a filing cabinet.
  • Categorise documents in your administration areas. Use folders or filing boxes.
  • Label things (stickies are good with status and date). This will save your administrative life often, and is worth the small time investment.
  • Don’t let a stack build up on your desk. Try and put things away at least once a week.
  • Prioritise documents on your desk. You should have areas where you keep urgent, non urgent, reference and filing items.
  • Create a spreadsheet or accounts book where you record details of your budgetary spend (also see ‘Budgets’).
  • Lay aside time to do your administrative work, preferably not at the end of the day when your mind is at its most frazzled.
  • Review things from time to time, especially your ‘urgent’ tray!

Possibly, Lipstick Librarian has the right idea.