1st Edition

The Contrarian Manager Collected Columns

By Robert P. Holley Copyright 2023

    This book on library management presents a contrarian view with a humanities focus that reflects the author’s decades of practical experience as a library manager and professor of library science.

    This collected volume presents the author’s thoughts on teaching management to library science students, his management philosophy, and practical advice for library managers. The columns strive to teach students and managers how to discover their strengths and weaknesses, to collect as much objective evidence as possible, to examine both traditional and non-traditional solutions, and to brutally monitor results as a learning experience. The columns delve into subconscious motivation and avoid simplistic solutions that often do not consider the complexity of human behavior. The final section includes columns on common library problems such as budgeting, unions, management perks, promotion, and search committees.

    The Contrarian Manager presents the collected articles of Robert P. Holley published in the Journal of Library Administration.

    Part 1: Library Education  1. Why Don’t Library Science Students Want to Become Managers?  2. Providing LIS Students with Management Skills  3. The Challenges of Teaching the Introductory LIS Management Course  4. Thoughts on Online Teaching with A Focus on Management  5. Competition, Grading, and Group Work: The Path to Cooperation  6. Bridging the Differences Between IT and LIS in Management Education  7. The Value of Fiction as Management Training  8. Interview with Dr. Ken Haycock  Part 2: Management Philosophy  9. The Contrarian Manager: The Importance of Alternative Viewpoints  10. Managing Irrationality  11. Contradictory Advice – A Basic Examination of Decision Making  12. Cognitive Dissonance: A Barrier to Effective Management  13. Academic Library Users Are Not “Customers”: A Response to Steven Bell  Part 3: Practical Library Management  14. Library Planning and Budgeting: A Few Underappreciated Principles  15. Don’t Fear the Union: Successful Management in A Unionized Library  16. Promotion: An Intractable Management Problem for Academic and Public Libraries  17. First Class Tickets—Perks and Library Management  18. Search Committees: When Members Disagree on the Relative Importance of Candidate Qualifications 


    Robert P. Holley has had a long career of almost 50 years as a Library Manager, Department Chair, and Library Science Professor at Yale University, the University of Utah, and Wayne State University, USA. He has been a prolific author with over 230 entries in Google Scholar and six edited books.