Dialogue with Directors Discussion Group (LLAMA - Library Leadership & Management Association) Community
Meeting Minutes: February 2015
About 20 in attendance in a cold, snow covered Chicago
- Low Staff Morale
- Cause: changes in performance systems
- Cause: sudden changes
- Cause: poor communication; not knowing "why"
- Solution: group shares & conversations
- Solution: If give higher rating in reviews, next set of goals has to be more challenging
- Book: Drive by Daniel Pink (http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivates/dp/1594484805/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422933143&sr=1-1)
- Challenge: public/political ramifications
- Preparing/encouraging staff to make changes to align with money
- Can you answer "who are you"?
- Physical building concerns: spaces for all
- Tie things to strategic objectives & metrics
- Define an annual theme
- silo versus group think
- People in branches identify with location first
- Bring all parties together to hear and negotiate (i.e. budget)
- New directors: use group decision making to learn about culture
- Analyze existing data to make decisions
- Is there an internal candidate?
- learn from each interview; keep trying
- fit goes both ways
- internal candidates have the challenge of existing friendships that take new dynamics with promotion
- look for matching passion/interests/focus
- cultural & behavioral
- Success can be threatening to others
- There may be unmentioned/hidden needs of an organization
- Know the rules, documentation
- Know the key people; meet with them ASAP if you get a new role
- Effects what you can ask people to do
- relationships are still the most important
- read all about shared governance in preparation for an interview in an union shop
- You need "thicker skin" as people may file grievances more often
- Technical Services
- not always at table in digital conversations - should be
- skill changes
- transition/consolidation will hurt morale, at least in short term if not longer
- print to electronic transitions
- "right size" of department
- people may leave during transitions - no matter what you do
- open communication
- look for alternatives roles and professional matches
- Difficult conversations upward
- Know when to fix, recommend, or report
- Sometimes the answer is a person must "suck it up"
- A positive experiences such as a tour with a higher ranked person can be used to establish a relationship that may lead to more honest open conversations about negative concerns
- employee satisfaction surveys
Dual reporting lines
- Iowa has expectations in the review documents
- Making sure define 51\49 split
- Define everything up front
- Define time expectations
- Defined needed versus being comfortable
- Understand stress of these employees
- Do not underestimate the training needed for non-MLS
- Secondary supervisor writes a letter during review process
pressure from admin. outside pushing for non-MLS people candidates in library
Budget metrics to charge for services and get money for around campus
Defining model to get money to library
Define collection model in library
What allows a director to sleep?
- Succession planning
- Help the younger staff advance
- Staff teams so backups exist internally
- Lunch conversations
- Acknowledgements and teamwork from outside library
- Relationships of peers outside library to share mutual challenges
- Budget especially late fiscal changes
- Open staff positions
ame your leaderships style - how especially in an interview?
- Give examples, especially situational
- Give specifics to show personal knowledge of your own skills
- Presentations to demonstrate fit and style
- Learn their environment
- Staying through entire interview even when you decide you do not want position is a successful interview too
- Can you articulate what you learned about that library?
- How do you educate yourself? Books read on leadership?
- Who is your campus office or expert? Policies?
- Do not be forced into answering on the spot? Ask what is the deadline.
- People play with deadlines
- Sometimes no matter how well your message is prepared media can write something totally different in the end
- Reporters never come to the table with your knowledge
- Critical to listen to interviewer for gaps of knowledge
- Always close with a thank you
How do you get media attention within organization?
- Leverage social media
- Highlight good stuff
- Get in the conversations that lead to media opportunities
- All stories are great on campus but external media only can run so many stories
- One library hired a communications project manager
- Writing versus graphic skills are 2 different styles and same person may not have both
- Double edge sword of social media
- Is everyone giving the same and leadership defined message?
Creating a family friendly environment especially in academic library
- Baby changing stations
- Breast feeding options such as lactation room
- Task force and discussion with new moms to help plan
- Children friendly furniture
- Children collection
- Noise versus quiet areas
- Programming opportunities or sponsorships
- Partner with others such as College of Education
- Fixed toys
- Therapy animals
- Tie efforts to student retention
- Embrace who you have and provide for them
New interest group: programming librarians
Random nature of provosts and even presidents
- Coming from outside academia
- Fundraising interest or not
- Library versus IT tensions
- American Council on Education
- Provost professional group?
- Libraries promoting faculty scholarship
- Charleston conference thread on what provost expects
January 28, 2013
- demographics of profession
- workforce development (21st century)
- maker spaces
- staff wants top change after 20 years of same roles, how?
- literacy/assessment, impact on student learning
- organizational change and succession planning
- planning for variability of libraries into the future
- e-books (vendors versus librarian views)
- mobile, wireless projectors and furniture
- assessment for open access
- We had open social sciences librarian position and experienced "poor candidates". Other's experiences? 2nd library had the same.
- using more residencies to bring in novice candidates into organization because of poor searches and candidates (1 person at a time for 2-years)
- Circulation and part-time candidates applications are extremely overqualified for positions advertised; staff positions being swamped with MLS holders as applicants
- search committees must be more clear in expectations and plans
- librarians do not promote their experiences and qualifications well enough
- libraries have failed searches because salary expectations coming in too high for early career positions (ask them up front)
- Gimlet = software for statistics and knowledgebase
- value" anecdotes/narratives versus data
- people/human dynamics
- succession planning: made hard as we become less hierarchical so leaders must create copportunities
- rotate experiences and leadership roles
- must be done in combination with experiences and training
- experience a predictor of leadership? - maybe not
- do well versus enjoy versus tired of
- library schools are not preparing managers or leaders
- consider external consultants or experts
- Rebecca Jones, strategic planning & training
- Maureen Sullivan, process & planning
- Sandra Nelson & June Garcia, structure/organization
- furniture: Herman Miller
- silo, fiefdom, "cylinders of excellence"
- people burned out in long-time roles
- start job rotations (same role in new building, new role in new building, role in different organizations such as neighboring library)
- take opportunities to talk in-person with those changing roles
- "crazy" at first but it did settle down and move to excitement among staff
- advantage to cross training = easier scheduling
- service models
- Apple store
- stopping the passing of person to the next service person
- skills gaps, some people to "task" oriented
- "23 things" trainings customize to things other then Web 2.0
Approximately 15 attendees
Proposed topics advice for new directors/administrators, how to survive with smaller staffs, dealing with upcoming retirements, and how to "spark" ideas when the economy is tough.
Someone shared their experiences of starting a new university and library.
Some discussion on ethics, including copyright in what is becoming more and more an international environment.
- Following copyright without being the "police"
- create culture of integrity
Books suggestion: Atlas for Librarianship
Creating a new culture within an organization
Using best practices; not recreating the wheel
Transition from "we know what people want" to "they tell us what they want"
"home depot model": We have the stuff but customers need help with "build", not the getting of stuff.
Transition: information to access to experience
Book: Craft of Research
It is not a privacy issue to learn the patron's needs.
Not every moment has to be a teachable moment - sometimes they just want the information.
Patron transactions need not be about a librarians demonstrating their knowledge.
Computers and technology have given some librarians the ability to hide from patrons. Some of our policies do the same.
Libraries need "high touch" people and processes.
Library schools are not preparing librarians focused on people & people skills.
Too many libraries based on product (# of...) instead of service/quality. Measure of "value" is sometimes misplaced.
June 25, 2012
- Reorganization at one library = used committees to review jobs and roles
- University of Arizone = "teams"
- Consider job rotations
- Public library share: Moved behnind the scences collection people to the public side (5 month transition)
- Book someone suggested: Nudge
- Cross department training & trading
- Someone mention King county reorganized to push librarians out into the community
- "We are no longer the grocery store. We are now the kitchem pantry."
- Blanacing chain of command and sensitivity to staff