10 Library Management Tips for Running a Great Library

By | June 14, 2016
Library management skills

To effectively run a library requires the right management expertise.

10 Library Management Tips for Running a Great Library

If you are looking to running a great library where your patrons are fully satisfied with your delivery, you would certainly need to have some library management knowledge and skills, and this post provides valuable tips to help you achieve that.

While running a library may seem like an easy task, however, performing the day to day librarian duties of making books available to readers may not be as easy as we see it to be.

Managing a library is an enormous task that has now required that people earn advanced degrees in other to know how to plan, organize, collect and disseminate information.

Below are 10 tips that will guarantee an effective and efficient management of a library of any size.

Knowing that most of these practices may not be applicable to certain situations like personal libraries, however, they can be tailored to suite the size of library that you run.

1. Know what it means to manage a Library: Managing a library is much more than sitting behind a desk and waiting for individuals to declare interest in any material or even sign out stuff. Library management involves a lot of stuff like planning, making decisions concerning the library’s goals, organizing; assembling, and if need be coordinating human and other resources required to actualize the library’s goals; controlling; monitoring the various performances of the library, and even leading by way of putting efforts to stimulate high performance.

2. Define the objectives of your library: You need to know and state clearly the reason for running your library. This may require that you have knowledge of the people and various knowledge gaps your library is expected to serve, the various categories of books which your library will have in its possession, likely materials that will fascinate your audience, and book selection policies, as well as your pricing model should you offer membership facilities.

3. Understand the library authority: This involves having knowledge of the various persons that will hold positions in the administration of the library, and the likely hierarchy to operate; identifying requirements and tasks, and delegating responsibilities in areas such as finance, Information and other resources needed to have a great library.

4. Know about the tools and systems for library operations and services: It is important to find out in the case of a large library the government approved requirements in tools and systems, and physical structural, and what the library should possess. Some government demand provision for a stack room, a librarian’s room, reading room, and structural provisions according to the number of books to be made available even with the required sitting capacity to match the number of books.

5. Make provisions for maintenance of library: While it is important to have well stocked books, not updating your collections on a regular basis will make them unappealing to readers. A number of procedures may also help in maintaining a library and preserve its materials against decay or deterioration. These include dusting and cleaning, which should be carried out on a regular basis with adequate air and sunlight exposure. Other procedures include carrying out pest control, paying attention to the environment in which the library operates, and replacement of renewable resources like fixtures and fittings and worn out seats.

6. Allocate a budget for running the library: It is important to provide funding for adhoc expenditures. Some expenses for resources which the library may need to function effectively can arise within the course of running it; not making adequate provision for such occurrences may affect the quality of service you are rendering to your patrons.

7. Updating to the latest trend: Technology has had a huge effect in the library system, and so getting the technological equivalent of certain resources in the library will not only provide an alternative source of knowledge, it can also add to the zeal to use the library facility. Keeping up to date with the latest practices in library management can also help ensure that you maintain the appropriate standards.

8. Provide proper inventory taking: Proper and detailed records should be taken of what comes in, borrowed, and even what remains at a particular time of the year. This helps the management in making provisions for what needs to be replaced and what becomes priority at any point in time.

9. Be creative: It is important that you design strategies and games that can engage library users. Since users are generally inclined to book games and quizzes, you can form a club or category for people according to their taste for materials. This can be engaging and fun, and can help to retain and encourage people to frequent the library.

10. Create connections. As a library, it is important to create a form of bond with individuals and institutions that can support your constant need for materials. Seeking partnership or fellowship with them will not only encourage the exchange of ideas, but will also provide a source for new materials for your library, especially if such individuals or institutions have a thing or two to do with books.


Running a library and making a success of it requires having the right skills and knowing what to do or not do. Putting the above tips to work will certainly help you to create a great library that will provide not only library resources to users, but also fun and engagement.

Do you have additional tips to share on effective library management? If so, please make your contribution in the comment box below, we shall be pleased to read your view.