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One-Person-Librarian. 1. Job Quiz 2. Nature of the job 2.1 Personal background and work experience 2.2 Tasks of an OPL 2.3 Disadvantages of the job 3. Library organisation vs. library management 3.1 Studies on special libraries/OPL

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  • 1. Job Quiz
  • 2. Nature of the job
  • 2.1 Personal background and work experience
  • 2.2 Tasks of an OPL
  • 2.3 Disadvantages of the job
  • 3. Library organisation vs. library
  • management
  • 3.1 Studies on special libraries/OPL
  • 3.2 Main requirements for an OPL
  • 4. Tools to gain the big picture
  • 4.1 Be sure of your role in your organisation
  • 4.2 Know tasks and workflow in your library
  • 4.3 Guidelines provide protection
  • 4.4 Time management
  • 4.5 Networking
  • 4.6 Continuing education
  • 4.7 Co-operation and outsourcing
  • 5. Enjoy the big picture – advantages of
  • working in a theological library

By Elke Siemienski

tasks of an one person librarian 1

Holdings check

Information about new titles

Bibliographic reference


Overdue notices


Delivery control

Processing bills

Processing of donations

Exchange of publications

Stock record

Budget managing

Annual closing of account

Bookbinding lists

Acquisition of periodicals

Acquisition of continuation records and loose-leaf publications

Stock exploitation

Descriptive cataloguing

Subject indexing (classification and subject heading)


Serial cataloguing

(Card catalogues: card printing, filing)

Book preparation:

Label printing


Tasks of an One Person Librarian (1)
tasks of an one person librarian 2
Library using

Responding to requests (e-mail, telephone, letter post)

Literature research

Acquisition lists

Book circulation


Searching for missing books

Circulation file

Reserve collections

Reference service

Library introduction

User introduction



Collection maintenance and Miscellaneous



Duplicate lists, duplicate exchange

Book repair


Library regulation

Public Relations

Team Meetings in institute

Annual, monthly reports


Developing of forms

Library planning (mission statement/overall concept)

Collection development policy

Developing of manuals

Connecting with partner institutions

Training for volunteers

Office organisation: corresponding, telephone calls, filing


Tasks of an One Person Librarian (2)


An OPL is NOT the downsized version of a large library system but an “Allround-Business in One Hand”

guidelines provide protection

Guidelines Provide Protection

Mission statement of the library

Collection development policy

Clear authority structures

Job description

Library regulations


Time Management

  • Siess, Judith: Time Management, Planning, and Prioritization for Librarians. Lanham, Md. 2002
  • 2) Patterson, Karen: Time Management.
  • 3) Peterson, Lisa C.: Time Management for Library
  • Professionals. Chapel Hill, NC.1997
  • 4) Morgenstern, Julie: Time Management from the Inside
  • Out. New York, NY. 2004

Participating conferences and local meetings

e.g. Conference for Theological Librarians

Email discussion lists /Newsletters, e.g.


Verband kirchlich-wissenschaftlicher Bibliotheken / Arbeitsgemeinschaft

Katholisch-Theologischer Bibliotheken:

Special Library Association (USA)

Association of British Theological and Philosphical Libraries

Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association (members only)



Library Associations

General Library Associations

Berufsverband Information Bibliothek e. V.

American Library Association (ALA)

Special Library Association (SLA) (Membership, discussion list free)


Theological Library Associations

American Theological Library Association (ATLA)

Association of Bristish Theological and Philosophical Libraries

Librarians‘ Christian Fellowship

Fellowship of Christian Librarians and Information Specialists

European Theological Libraries

Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association

continuing education

Continuing Education