In public libraries, most managers have an impressively broad range of duties. Our training and background may be primarily in some audience or service specialty and our day-to-day responsibilities may still include significant quantities of work related to that area. Whatever our duties, they can leave us little time or energy to develop our supervisory, management, or leadership knowledge and skills.
Posts Tagged ‘leadership’
Anyone who has ever been in a managerial position has experimented with handling conflict and a variety of personalities. From an autocrat to an “in the trenches” type of leader, I have seen the various personalities and reactions that are activated when one has to exercise their managerial obligations. In her article “Top Skills for Tomorrow’s Librarians,” Library Journal’s Executive Editor Meredith Schwartz collaborated with library directors to see what leadership attributes future managers should have. Good communication, teamwork, and excellent interpersonal skills are the types of leadership skills that seem to work best.
The EL program seeks to develop leadership skills in new professionals. Each year, fifty library school students and professionals working in the field for fewer than five years are chosen to participate in leadership seminars, networking events, and work groups that span the Midwinter and Annual meetings. These activities lend insight into the structure and workings of ALA and offer a fast track to serving on committees within the organization. Truly the heart of the program is the work teams formed to complete projects devised by the divisions. Catering to a variety of interests, these projects allow participants to develop new skills and contribute to the profession on a meaningful way.
Deanna Marcum, managing director of consulting firm Ithaka S+R, has many thoughts on library leadership. At 2016’s annual meeting of the National Federation of Advanced Information Systems Marcum delivered a lecture on how leadership is changing as libraries move towards a more digital environment
For this first blog post I want to focus on the issue of building trust. Lencioni addresses this in his book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. According to Lencioni, before you can get healthy as an organization, you need to establish a strong team. To establish a strong team, you must establish trust.
The August 1 deadline is quickly approaching for consideration in next year’s group of ALA Emerging Leaders. According to ALA’s website, this program “enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and [provides an] opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity.”
Since 2005, future Minnesota library leaders have come together to learn more about leadership styles, library trends and professional network building.
If anyone doubt that libraries respond to their communities in times of emergencies, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library remained the one calming and stable constant in this Missouri town’s tumultuous life as schools, businesses, and other government agencies closed after the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.
To be honest, insurance was not something I really thought much about. Of course I held personal insurance (home, auto, etc.), but for the library? I recognized the importance of the library having a basic liability policy.
The Public Library Association (PLA) is now accepting applications for the PLA Leadership Academy: Navigating Change · Building Community, March 23-27, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. This special event will offer intensive, empowering leadership education for public librarians who want to increase their capacity to lead not only within the library, but also in the community. Developed […]
In the last decade, public libraries have faced drastic changes due to technological advances (e.g., smartphones and e-readers), and the changing information-seeking behavior of library users. More recently, public libraries are facing additional changes brought on by the continued economic downturn, which has forced many of them to undergo budget cuts that have resulted in the reduction of facilities, staff, hours, and resources. Yet public library use has increased as more people are coming to the library to take advantage of the services and resources offered. Public libraries function in a climate where budget cuts and the realignment of services are a reality. They have to find a balance between providing core services and offering new ones that meet the information needs of their communities.
As libraries move into the future, how can we ensure professionals entering the field are prepared to lead? Steven Bell references library professional Joseph Branin’s concern that current library leaders may not be doing enough to prepare the “next generation.” Stemming from this, Bell’s Library Journal article notes that there are five skills that are necessary for successful leadership. These skills include team building, being collaborative, “tech savvy,” “globally focused and culturally attuned,” and “future-focused.” While the article tends to center on academic libraries, these skills can be translated into any library environment, including public libraries. Despite the challenges all libraries face, it is worth reflecting on these ideas to keep the profession moving forward.
Some people think leadership can be taught and others believe that you are born with it. To me, leadership is a skill that is learned. I believe this because of professional development opportunities that I’ve participated in over the past few years.