#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


#51 Staff


Staffing in school libraries can be an extremely thorny issue for librarians. Often, librarians are subject to the whims of the local authority or the headteacher, and guidelines (below) are frequently ignored..

Often, the only way to get extra staff in for a lone worker is to argue your case professionally, make yourself indispensable to the school, provide services that the school cannot (or wouldn’t want to) do without, and keep requesting the cover your require. Of course, this has to be done in isolation, until you successfully argue your case. It can be done, but it’s not easy.

Whilst CILIP guidelines are a useful professional tool for making your case, many librarians crease up in laughter at the thought that their local authority or headteacher would take either the salary scales or the level of cover required seriously. It is also true to say that CILIP are not the most robust advocates for school librarian conditions.

It’s a tricky one. Successful application for reasonable staff levels will depend on the attitudes of your local authority and senior management team, how much you formalise processes to make your own case effectively, and your own performance and level of persuasive skills.

School Libraries: CILIP Guidelines