About Better Library Leaders

A slightly wordy explanation of what BLL is, how it can help, and why you should care what I have to say.

You’re a Library Leader! You finally made it happen!

…Now What?

I know you, because I was you. You’re a new-ish library leader. You might be a recent library school graduate supervising your first volunteer or student worker, or you might have just been promoted into a branch manager or department head position and be managing other librarians for the first time. You might even be a first-time library director. Taking a break from unpacking your stuff in your new office, the enormity of your new commitment just slammed into the pit of your stomach. Being an ambitious sort, you were simply focused on the goal of becoming a library leader. But now that you’ve made it, you suddenly realize you didn’t actually consider what would come next.

New Problems require New Solutions

You were always the librarian who wasn’t content to do the same old things in the same old ways. With luck, your first leaders called you creative, or a “change agent”. If they were smart they saw your potential,  took you under their wings and started mentoring you. And in time, your hard work and dedication paid off with a leadership position!


You’re starting to run into the stuff they didn’t teach you in library school, because they were too busy just teaching you to be a librarian in the midst of the biggest shift in how mankind consumed information since moveable type became a Thing. Sure, you got a nod toward a management theory or two, maybe a unit on planning or HR law if you were lucky. Those lessons just seem a little inadequate the first time you become a leader. To add  one more stress, you may well not have your mentor any more. You may have been promoted into their position because they moved on, or you may have moved to a new library to take advantage of this fantastic new opportunity. All of a sudden, you realize that for the first time, It’s All On You. Spending 30 years doing the same old job in the same old department may not sound as stifling a prospect as it did when you were a new graduate.

Am I striking a chord yet? If so, keep reading, because you’ve got the humility and insight needed to be a truly great library leader with a little guidance. And that’s exactly the person I built Better Library Leaders to serve.

How Better Library Leaders can Help...

...and why you might be interested in what I have to say.
Better Library Leaders is a podcast, blog, and Facebook community designed to explore the elements of great libraries and great library leaders.  I provide helpful tips, insightful interviews, and other resources that will help you make your career and your library the best they can be. It doesn’t matter if you’re Public, Academic, School, or Special–If you’re a librarian, Better Library Leaders is for you! Of course, library blogs are a dime a dozen. Library podcasts are even getting more common these days. And there are dozens of Facebook groups for librarians of every description. However, Better Library Leaders has one thing they don’t have: Sarah Clark, PhD.
I have a PhD in Higher Education Leadership as well as an MLIS, and I’ve worked in just about every job from front desk paraprofessional to associate library director. I currently work at a small public regional university which serves primarily first-generation and nontraditional college students. It isn’t Harvard, but you know what? I think the Harvard kids can manage just fine without me. I much prefer working at jobs where I can make the biggest net change in the well-being of humanity. (Before you ask…yes, I’m a Gryffindor.)

I’ve learned a lot about leadership in my time as a librarian (some of it the hard way). I learned even more during my doctorate. However, there are a lot of you out there who have found yourself in leadership positions that you feel unprepared for. I want to teach you what I’ve learned. That’s the purpose of Better Library Leaders. And as I say at the end of every podcast episode, when librarians lead with purpose, we can never become obsolete.

All that said, I’d rather show you than tell you. Check out my FREE 5-part video course on Mastering Difficult Conversations. You’ll also be subscribed to my weekly newsletter, which contains a thought-provoking leadership quote and links to all my newest stuff.