Library Leaders

November 17, 2006

Organisational respect and burnout

Filed under: employee issues,management issues — wenlib @ 3:26 pm

Knowledge @ Wharton ( has an interesting article this week on employee burnout, and the importance of staff feeling that their work is respected. 

A familiar example: “Barsade, for example, cites a project she did for the real estate, accounting and legal departments of a large financial services agency. ‘The people in these departments were known as “non-producers”. That wasn’t their formal title, but it was what they were called because they were not revenue generators…”

Libraries can easily fit into this trap as well. The current and ongoing woes of the staff of the Health Canada libraries is a clear example. Because the political decision-makers do not value the services of the libraries, they are under threat of closure -employee stress climbs.  In other workplaces, it may be more subtle, as seen with the “non-producers” epithet.

The article goes on to describe some of the questions used to measure “respect” . Staff feel respected when they are treated with dignity ; when their ideas receive attention from supervisors ; when cultural diversity is valued ; and when staff are encouraged to be creative when solving problems. 

I worked for a time in a very large firm – and bless them, they tried to make staff feel appreciated. They had superstar programs, and encouraged staff to recognise special efforts and distributed kitschy gee-gaws. It all rang hollow. Ultimately, it’s what you experience between your immediate supervisor and your officemates which make you feel as though your work matters.

As leaders, how well do we receive information/ideas from others?  Do we allow our staff to be creative and to take reasonable risks?  (Very hard to weigh the benefits of letting a junior learn from a mistake vs making sure something is done right the first time).  Are we burning out our employees by doing all their thinking for them?



November 14, 2006

Generations in the Library – Sources

Filed under: employee issues,library profession,management issues — connie @ 11:20 am

I am currently working on an article regarding generations in the library, and thought you might find some of the sources I have found to be interesting:

The Millenial Invasion: are you ready? by John J. DiGilio and Gayle Lynn-Nelson, Information Outlook (November 2004).

You Walk with Your Walkman; I Run With My Ipod: The Challenges of Multi-Generational Teaching by Gayle Lynn-Nelson.

Generations at Work – website – see especially papers section

GenX/GenY Caucus of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) – resources webpage


November 10, 2006

The Library at night – interview with Alberto Manguel

Filed under: library profession — wenlib @ 3:46 pm

Last Sunday morning, there was a fascinating interview with Alberto Manguel on Sunday Edition. I’ve been waiting until now to mention it, so that I could provide a link to the interview, which is now up on the CBC’s website. Here you go: ( choose “Audio” from the toolbar, and see the stories dated November 5 – I don’t seem to be able to link directly).

Manguel is a big fan of libraries, and tells some interesting stories about how literacy and libraries arise in the most unlikely spots (the burromobile, for example). But his advocacy extends pretty much only to “library” as place – in the interview, he seems unimpressed with libraries making internet connections available, or giving up collection space to install public computer terminals.

I’m really looking forward to reading his book , which I purchased this week.

I’d love comments on either the book or the broadcast.


November 9, 2006

SLA Leadership Summit 2007

Filed under: events,leadership — anabel1 @ 7:44 pm

I want to draw your attention to the upcoming SLA Leadership Summit. It will be held in   Reno, Nevada, from January 24 to 27, 2007. The summit is primarily intended for SLA’s leaders – the presidents and presidents-elect of the chapters, chairs and chairs-elect of the divisions and SLA’s international board – but is open to anyone who is interested in developing their leadership skills. I’ve attended the last two summits and both have been very worthwhile. If you would like more information about the summit go to

I hope to see some of you in Reno.


Notes from the October 2006 Institute

Filed under: admin,Library Leaders Institute — connie @ 2:11 pm

Notes from the October 2006 Institute are now available from this page.   The document also includes a lot of terrific photos of the Institute!  A link to the page is also available from the blog on the right sidebar under “About this blog” for future reference.  

 Thanks to Vicki for putting the notes together and making them available to us! 

Mentoring Our Future Colleagues – Call for Mentors @ Western

Filed under: current awareness,library profession,mentoring — connie @ 2:11 pm

Western University has put out a call for librarians to mentor our future colleagues: “The Mentorship Program of the CLA Student Chapter at the University of Western Ontario is currently recruiting mentors for the upcoming winter term.”

The mentorship program has been successfully matching students in the MLIS program at Western with professionals in the LIS field since its inception. Suggested topics for discussion between mentors and their student mentees include:

  • resume review
  • course recommendations
  • industry overviews
  • professional trends
  • current issues
  • job shadowing
  • library tours
  • attending conferences
  • introductions to other professionals in the field

They have been receiving very positive feedback from both mentors and mentees involved in the program and we invite you to participate!
If you would like to learn more about the program or to register to be a mentor for an LIS student please email:

More details on the “Inside OLITA” blog.

Leaving a Legacy

Filed under: leadership — vickiw @ 11:49 am

There was an interesting review in yesterday’s Globe on a new book by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, “A Leader’s Legacy” The book published by John Wiley is a series of essays on the theme of legacy. The excerpt speaks of courage and standing up for our values and what we believe in. It reminds me of the conversation we had at the Institute.

November 8, 2006

Alumni Tea at U of T – Nov. 15th

Filed under: current awareness,events — connie @ 2:39 pm

The Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto is holding an alumni tea to honour the 2006 November FIS grads on Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.   More details.

 I have been to a couple past alumni teas at FIS and found them to be a great way to connect with students, faculty, and fellow alumni.

November 6, 2006

C&RL Article on Leadership

Filed under: leadership — lauriescott @ 3:04 pm

There is an article in the November issue of College and Research Libraries News entitled “Cultivating your leadership skills“. Vicki, you need to write to the author and let her know about the Library Leaders Institute!


November 3, 2006


Filed under: Library Leaders Institute — vickiw @ 3:56 pm

Welcome to the Library Leaders blog, an outgrowth of the Library Leaders Institute. 

The Institute was successful in the way that I had hoped that it would be. It brought together a group of influential, interesting and thoughtful leaders of the library profession. You worked together well, were open and honest with yourselves and with one another and you created an atmosphere of trust and support.  I thank you for coming, for participating and for making suggestions for future Institutes.

I hope that this blog will keep us together in a virtual way, giving us an interactive space to continue to think about leadership, managerial courage, change, recruitment and retention and getting the leaders we need and deserve. We will work together to solve the problems that are keeping us awake at night and be able to share that which gets us excited about our jobs, our profession and our lives.

 I look forward to the discussions that we are going to have.

 Thank you very much Connie Crosby for putting this Library Leaders blog together.  Vicki

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