I recently left the museum field to return to work at an academic library, so the books I refer to have changed slightly over the past year, but in many instances, are applicable to both jobs.
The one book I keep on my desk is the Essential Manager’s Manual (1998) by DK Publishing that I picked up used years ago. It covers everything from interviewing techniques to how to run a meeting. This book is my go-to if I need a refresher on management practices. Another book currently on my desk is the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order (2011). I am the President of the library’s Friends board and I needed to brush up on by-laws revisions best practices and the parameters of setting up a nominating committee.
I also have two books checked out to me because I am the chair of the library’s special collections exhibition committee. They are Exhibits for the Small Museum: A Handbook (1976) and Help for the Small Museum (1987), both by Arminta Neal. We are working on an exhibition standards manual for the library and I am responsible for the section on installation techniques. Through OhioLink, I was able to obtain more recent publications on the same topic.
At my home office, I still refer to several of the books I used as an MLIS student at Kent State and as an adjunct professor while teaching The Museum System. These include MRM5: Museum Registration Methods (2010) by Rebecca Buck and Jean Gilmore (on my Kindle); Museum Administration 2.0 (2017) revised by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, and Library and Information Center Management (2007) by Barbara Moran and Robert Stueart.
For training my new hires, I use the following websites: The Museum of London’s “Handling Museum Objects e-learning tool” and Kent State University Libraries’ “Library of Congress Tutorial - Call Numbers and Shelving.” I like the interactive aspects of these sites and they make training a little more fun for everyone.