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7 Tips for Success in Your 1-person Library

person holding a stack of books in a 1-person library

When you’re running a 1-person library, there are many strategies you can employ to ensure success. From organizing and managing your time, to leveraging technology, and getting creative with marketing, there’s a lot to consider. These tips are from a recent webinar we offered, and in this blog, we’ll be sharing those 7 tips to help you out:

1. Organize yourself and manage your time: Prioritizing tasks and projects, setting achievable goals, and leveraging technology and automation can help you stay on top of your workload. This may take the form of daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists; taking the time to break down large tasks into smaller tasks, or using online tools such as Trello or Asana to keep track of tasks and projects.

2. Help your patrons help themselves with technology: Use an ILMS (hosted and cloud based), online databases, digital collections, and your physical space to make it easier for both you and your patrons to find what they’re after. In your 1-person library you might develop a library website (or intranet page) to promote library services; create online tutorials for patrons on how to use library databases and digital collections; offer self-circulation and promote digital resources such as online reference services.

3. Stay connected: Use different methods of communication (e.g., alerting services, text messages, social media) to reach potential and existing users, and get feedback on what they’d like to see in the library. You may create a virtual community to share ideas and resources; and create a library newsletter to promote library materials and services.

4. Dig into data: Using data to identify trends, track usage patterns, and uncover new insights can help inform decision-making. Integrate with data tracking software to help automate processes. Use this data to identify trends and determine areas of improvement; track usage patterns to identify user preferences; and integrate with data tracking software such as Google Analytics to help uncover even more!

5. Collaborate: Building relationships with other libraries, organizations and individuals to support and grow your library is essential. Share resources and information, borrow materials, and outsource tasks. In your 1-person library you could develop partnerships with other libraries and organizations to share or borrow resources and information.

6. Stay informed: Setting aside time to stay informed about new products and services, attending conferences and seminars, and using online resources and tools can help you stay up to date with the latest trends. There are some fantastic blogs (like ours!) and podcasts you can follow and subscribe to!

7. Blow your own trumpet: Once you’ve evaluated and assessed library processes and services, make changes as necessary and use effective marketing tactics to promote library materials and services. Create email campaigns or social media posts; create library newsletters to share library news and updates; and create your own custom QR code and image for your library catalog. Visit to get started.

As our recent webinar discovered, running a 1-person library can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these 7 tips, you’ll be able to make the most of the environment and ensure success for your library. If you work in a 1-person library and you’re looking to invest in a library management system, get in touch today to learn more.