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We are updating the Small Library Management Training Program!

2018 August 9

Small Library Management Training ProgramThe Small Library Management Training Program is an ongoing educational program to provide management and foundational library skills to those without Master’s degrees in Library Science who work in small community (25,000 or less population) libraries in Texas. SLM has long been intended to provide intensive training for small community library managers and staff in the areas of administration, management, policy development, collection development, reference services and technology planning. This has historically involved face to face workshops throughout the state, and more recently an increasing variety of online courses.

It is hard to believe, but the SLM program has been around for nearly a quarter of a century! In order to ensure the program is keeping up with the continuously evolving Texas library landscape, we at the Texas State Library have decided it is time to update the program. There will be several planning stages of this update, and we want to include you! This will involve a forthcoming survey, online focus groups, and brainstorms.

You may have noticed there are not currently any in-person SLM workshops scheduled. In order to provide the space and time to provide a well thought out, intentional update to the program, we are taking a short hiatus from our in-person Leadership and Management workshops. We expect to be back on the road some time during the 2019 calendar year. In the meantime, please feel free to continue to complete our online SLM courses, including Technology, Collection Development, and Reference. We will honor any SLM completions that involve these courses and the current course structure.

To receive updates to our current online and face­-to-face trainings, and to receive further information on the upcoming surveys and focus groups, please follow the Library Developments blog and the Public Library eNewsletter. If you are a Texas library employee, you can also join the SLM Facebook group at

Your feedback will be driving this process. We need your help to design a program that supports the 21st century needs of small libraries in Texas. If you would like to participate in one of the focus groups this fall, or have any additional questions or feedback, please email Kyla Hunt at Thank you!!

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  1. August 9, 2018

    I’ve never attended a Small Library Management Training session since I’ve always worked in libraries that serve a larger population. However, I have visited and worked with many small libraries in the past with my involvement with CTLS. First, I want to comment that I really respect the small libraries and what they do for their communities. I only add my 2 cents in hopes that it will help these libraries flourish. The main thing I have observed is a lack of leadership on the part of library directors. Just dealing with leadership skills, not the nuts and bolts of how to run a library, will be more beneficial. Teaching change management and risk taking. Small libraries need to think of themselves as community centers versus a warehouse with books or the keeper of the books. They need to move away from the old school library rules and embrace the library as a third place. The biggest challenge for small libraries is convincing a board or group of volunteers to change. That is where leadership comes in. Often sweet little old ladies control the library and they are resistant to change. If the library director is cow towing to the little old ladies, I guarantee that library isn’t thriving. Dealing with those issues are probably the greatest teaching one could learn in Small Library Management. The other suggestion is to create a mentorship program in which small libraries are matched with a larger library in their region. Librarians are always willing to assist another library. It would greatly benefit the small library to have a resource to bounce ideas of another professional. Just my 2 cents.

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