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The OPL Sourcebook: A Guide for Solo and Small Libraries

June 11, 2001, Medford, NJ — Information Today, Inc. has announced publication of The OPL Sourcebook: A Guide for Solo and Small Libraries, a new book by Judith A. Siess.

The OPL Sourcebook is a comprehensive handbook and directory for small and one-person libraries (OPLs). It covers organizational culture, customer service, time management and planning, budgeting, accounting, technology, collection development, education, outsourcing, and other key management issues. Taking an international approach to reflect the growing number of OPLs worldwide, author Siess provides a brief history of the OPL movement, shares tips, techniques, and case studies, discusses knowledge management strategies for OPLs, and offers practical advice geared to help OPLs thrive in an increasingly digitized (and downsized) future. The directory section includes organizations, publications, vendors and suppliers, discussion lists, and Web sites, and the book concludes with an annotated bibliography and an index.

“Often called a solo librarian, an OPL is the only librarian (or professional librarian) in a library or information center,” Siess says. “Most OPLs work in special libraries, serving a specialized or limited clientele, with specialized or limited materials and services.” She points to corporate libraries, law libraries, prison or jail libraries, and hospital libraries as some typical types of OPL.

According to Siess, the challenges OPLs face differ significantly from those of librarians working in larger organizations. “The OPL does everything, from acquisitions to cataloging, to circulation, to reference—even dusting the shelves and vacuuming the library, if necessary…. there are no peers with whom to share problems, ideas, or to commiserate with when things get tough. It is a challenging position, but also a rewarding one.” In focusing on solutions for the solo librarian, Siess feels her book fills an important need.

Judith A. Siess is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on solo librarianship. She was the first chair of the Solo Librarians’ Division of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), founder of the Agricultural Economics Reference Organization, and was a member of the first People-to-People Citizen Ambassador delegation of Information Management and Special Librarianship to the Republic of South Africa. She is editor and publisher of The One-Person Library: A Newsletter for Librarians and Management, and author of a previous book,  The Solo Librarian's Sourcebook (Information Today, 1997).

The OPL Sourcebook The OPL Sourcebook: 
A Guide for Solo and Small Libraries
By Judith A. Siess

The OPL Sourcebook: A Guide for Solo and Small Libraries is available by ordering direct from the publisher. For more information or to place an order, contact Information Today, Inc. Phone: 800-300-9868 (outside the U.S. call 609-654-6266); E-mail:, or simply click on the "Order Now" button (left). 

2001/390 pp/hardbound 
ISBN 1-57387-111-7 

Order this book
Information Today, Inc. • 143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750 
Phone: 609-654-6266 • Fax: 609-654-4309 •
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