The Indispensable Librarian
Surviving and Thriving in School Libraries in the Information Age, 2nd Edition
by Doug Johnson
May 2013, 207pp, 8 1/2 x 11
1 volume, Linworth

Paperback: 978-1-61069-239-7
$45, £35, 40€, A62
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-240-3
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How should technology be utilized in today’s school library? How should librarians fulfill their secondary roles as staff developers? What strategies can be employed to survive and thrive under budgetary constraints without compromising library values? These are but a few of the questions and tough challenges facing librarians in the information age.

This readable and practical book examines the changes in school libraries brought by the digital revolution—and describes how new and experienced librarians can take advantage of them.

Both a book of practical solutions to today’s budgetary and staffing problems in school libraries as well as an advocacy book, The Indispensable Librarian: Surviving and Thriving in School Libraries in the Information Age, Second Edition provides a practice-based overview of all management topics that also supplies real-world scenarios, step-by-step instructions, and pragmatic solutions to specific problems.

In this follow-up to his original book, Doug Johnson offers more practical methods and sage advice for leveraging technology’s popularity and effectiveness to build stronger programs and cultivate beneficial professional connections and friendships. He defines and clarifies the role of the school library media specialist in a technologically enhanced school, providing relevant examples and useful advice on a variety of topics; and underscores the importance of strong management skills, especially regarding collaborative planning and communications. The book is written especially for K–12 school librarians, both new and experienced, and is also suitable for pre-service librarians as a textbook.


  • Provides both practical and visionary insights from an experienced, currently practicing librarian/library supervisor
  • Supplies accessible and often humorous coverage of the subject without being simplistic
  • Includes provocative ideas to stimulate thought and discussion
  • Highlights the impact of technology on the library program and serves as a straightforward guide to changes needed in the field
  • Offers an essential foundation of all aspects of managing a school library program
Doug Johnson is director of media and technology for Mankato Area Public Schools in Mankato, MN. His teaching experience has included work in grades K–12. His published works include 6 books, a long-running column in Library Media Connection, the Blue Skunk Blog, and numerous articles published in over 40 books and periodicals. Johnson has worked with over 160 organizations around the world and has held leadership positions in state and national organizations, including ISTE and AASL.


"This revised edition is 90 percent new, making it a valuable asset even to those who have dog-eared copies of the first edition."—Booklist Online, September 24, 2013

"This is a book that belongs in school library collections for frequent reference—and even more in the hands of administrators whose vision of the possibilities inherent in a school library might just be approaching the twenty-first century."—Library Media Connection, August 1, 2013
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