Review: The New Professional’s Toolkit

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in our new Hack Library School review series, which will feature reviews from library school students on books, technology, and multimedia. We welcome review suggestions and we are in the process of developing formal submission guidelines for reviews from those outside the HLS community . For more information on how to get started writing book reviews, please consult the recent guide from HLS writer Anna-Sophia Zingarelli-Sweet.


The New Professional’s Toolkit. By Bethan Ruddock. Facet Publishing, 2012. 237 p. ISBN 9781856047685.

The New Professional’s Toolkit, by Bethan Ruddock, is intended to provide new professionals with the tools needed to begin a successful career in the field of library and information science. Ruddock provides basic information and insight on the following topics: project management; teaching, training, and communicating; meeting user needs; marketing services; technologies; social media; funding; managing money and budgets; information ethics and copyright; professional development; networking; and professional involvement. The introduction describes the text as “continuous professional development’; i.e., beginning where library school starts off. The topics are not covered in depth, but the toolkit will give readers an overview of the many soft skills required in the profession and the further reading sections at the end of each chapter provide a starting point for detailed exploration. The result is exactly what the ideal toolkit should be: a quick and easy reference guide.

The book has a fantastic companion website complete with additional resources, contributor profiles, case studies, and a “my first month” series written by new librarians. The first chapter on project management, which I found to be an interesting and refreshing choice for the beginning of the text, is completely available online. I think this text is ideal for students and new professionals alike and, whether you want to work on developing a stellar conference presentation or building your professional brand, everyone is bound to learn something.

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