Developing & Managing Career Resources

Book Review by Brian M. Montalvo

Book Review

Susan A. Epstein & Janet G. Lenz, Developing & Managing Career Resources, NCDA, 2008.

What are career service centers without a strong career resource library? They would resemble a turtle without a shell, a football player without a helmet, a helicopter with out its blades!  Career resources provide the foundation and structural support for career service centers. A comprehensive career library can provide immeasurable assistance for both users (clients) and practitioners. But how do you manage the resources and stay current with the abundance of career information available nowadays? How do you properly use the Internet to best serve your client's needs?

Ms. Epstein has been a career resource center librarian at arguably one of the largest and most comprehensive university career centers in the nation. Dr. Lenz has worked hand-in-hand with Ms. Epstein in creating innovative ways to deliver career information in an efficient and timely manner. Together they have over 40 years of combined career resource management experience coupled with numerous career development publications, national and international conference presentations, and thousands of students who have greatly benefited from their direct involvement with career libraries.

They use their extensive knowledge and experience with career information and resources to deliver the following information to readers:

  • Using information in delivering career services
  • Systems approach to developing and managing career information
  • Best practices for handling administrative issues
  • Evaluating, and acquiring new technologies
  • User issues for practitioners and clients
  • What the future holds for managing career resources
  • Sample career resource center floor plans
  • Career information resource purchase exercise
  • Career resource center classification categories
  • Resource evaluation checklist for the career resource center (CRC)
  • Selected publishers of career information
  • Sample career center library collection development policy
  • Sample comment form
  • One career resources center's approach to collection evaluation
  • Sample resource indexing instruction sheets


The intended audience of this monograph includes all career practitioners who currently manage or would like to mange career resources and/or career counselors utilizing career resources in their practice. Career practitioners can use this monograph and its appendices as a guiding tool for their career resource centers/libraries. The information can be utilized and applied to any of these settings, e.g., universities, community colleges, technical schools, K -12 schools, private practice settings, government agencies, and one-stop centers, business and nonprofit organizations.

The authors have written a truly comprehensive and thoughtful monograph that will help career practitioners develop and manage career resources. The monograph is filled with insightful and detailed information that has been used successfully for many years. The monograph provides information about various aspects involved in creating a well-designed career resource center that can be used by a wide variety of clients. The authors' ability to break down complicated tasks, such as (1) managing the extensive amount of information available, (2) organizing job postings, and (3) purchasing the best career resources possible, enables librarians and counselors to better manage career resources. They eloquently point out that  "it is essential that career service practitioners have basic counseling skills, it is equally essential that they know how to locate and use career information resources effectively, regardless of the format or delivery system associated with a particular resource."  The authors have covered every aspect of career resource management, ranging from who should be hired to handle the resources, to policy development for managing resources, to making acquisition decisions, and to everything in between. 

Another great and unique feature this monograph offers is its practicality. In order to achieve this goal, the authors have provided over 20 appendices, including sample forms for a wide variety of common career center functions, practical advice on career center layout, and suggested steps for common processes in career centers.

Whether you have extensive experience developing and managing career resources or are new to the field, this monograph has something valuable for you. This is one book you will pick up time and time again to help you organize your career center! 

 Brian M. Montalvo, Ed.S, NCC is the assistant director of career development and career education at Florida Atlantic University's Career Development Center- Boca Raton campus. He recently updated and co-authored a chapter (Future of Career Centers) in "How to Plan and Develop a Career Center" (2nd ed.) edited by Don Schutt. If you have any questions, comments, or book recommendations reach him at bmontal1@fau.edu

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