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Public Library Management

Public Library Management

Develop essential management skills, from budgeting to marketing, to thrive as a public library manager or director.

The University of Michigan Online Course Highlights
  • 4 weeks per course
  • 4- hours per week, per course
  • Learn for FREE, Up-gradable
  • Self-Paced
  • Taught by: Larry Neal, Kristin Fontichiaro, Lionel P. Robert, Josie Barnes Parker
  • View Course Syllabus

Online Course Details:

Whether you earned a library science degree or entered the profession from another career, this Professional Certificate program will help you take your career as a public library manager or director to the next level. With our team of professors and expert practitioners, you’ll hone your skills in budgeting and finance, personnel, diversity, identifying community needs, strategic planning, managing infrastructure, marketing, and grant writing.

The program will be taught through job-embedded assignments that will help make the learning relevant while strengthening your capabilities. Those who complete the program and earn the Professional Certificate will be well-prepared for public libraries’ common management responsibilities.

Job Outlook

  • In a series of recent Pew research studies, 95% agree that public library materials and resources “play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.”
  • 94% of Pew respondents say “having a public library improves the quality of life in a community.” 81% say public libraries provide services hard to find elsewhere.
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts a 2% growth in public library jobs between 2014-2024. Our goal is not so much to grow jobs but also to allow for professional development to extend existing capacity for those interested in career growth.
  • There is a critical opportunity to strengthen American communities by bolstering the expertise of those who work for the nation’s most-trusted institutions and helping them develop future-friendly, community-driven institutions.


Identifying Community Needs for Public Library Management
  • Learn how to conduct research, surveys, and interviews as well as how to analyze data to better assess the local needs and wants of a public library community.
Managing a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace for Public Libraries
  • Learn management skills to support workplace diversity and inclusion in a public library setting.
Personnel Management for Public Libraries
  • Learn the foundational principles of personnel management and leadership.
Budgeting and Finance for Public Libraries
  • Understand financial concepts as well as effective practices in budgeting and auditing for library managers at all levels.
Infrastructure Management for Public Libraries
  • Learn how library managers and directors make key operational decisions regarding maintenance, insurance, technology, and more.
Strategic Planning for Public Libraries
  • Learn how to develop, implement, and adapt a strategic plan to fit the needs of your library.
Grant Writing and Crowdfunding for Public Libraries
  • Learn how to increase your impact, innovate, and overcome often static funding through various fundraising and grant writing approaches.
Public Library Marketing and Public Relations
  • Learn how to develop effective marketing and PR strategies to help share your library’s programs, services, and value with the broader community.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Understand your community’s wants and needs via various assessment tools and synthesize them into a plan;
  • Be an effective fiscal steward via budgeting, long-term planning, and savvy financial practices;
  • Gain an awareness of how to plan for maintenance, infrastructure, utilities, technology, and related expenses;
  • Manage a thriving workforce via effective diversity practices, hiring, evaluation, and other personnel issues;
  • Promote the work of the library through marketing and public relations practices;
  • Expand the library’s impact via effective grant writing and crowdfunding efforts.

Take This Online Course