Core Library Leaders and Managers Interest Group

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Purpose: Organizes, moderates, and distributes summaries of virtual and face-to-face discussions on topics of interest to leaders and managers at all levels and types of libraries.

This interest group is part of Core's Leadership and Management Section.

Portraits of three Core members with caption Become a Member: Find Your Home: Core.

 

  • 1.  Mentors in your leadership journey

    Posted Jan 06, 2020 12:03 PM
    Edited by System Nov 20, 2020 11:43 AM
    Several people have mentioned mentors in their introduction messages. Jennifer Rosentstein mentioned feeling "lucky to have an excellent, supportive mentor" in her new director's position.  Sarah Kortemeier indicated that her mentor moved out of state (creating the management opening she has since moved into).

    How have others worked with mentors in their professional journey?  How did you find your mentor?  Has there been more than one?  How do you interact with them?  Is it formal or informal?

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    Erik Nordberg
    Dean of Libraries
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
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  • 2.  RE: Mentors in your leadership journey

    Posted Jan 07, 2020 03:02 PM
    I met my mentor through my last position. He ended up letting me know when my current position opened which I felt really demonstrated his faith in my abilities as leader. We stay in touch pretty informally. We are still in the same state just on opposite sides. We see each at our state library conference and quarterly library administrator meetings.

    We also stay in touch by phone and email between times. I still find myself picking up the phone to consult with him if something stumps me.

    Mentoring is so important in libraries at all levels. I've openly talked to my staff about the fact that I do in fact have a mentor and how it has helped me on my journey.

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    Ashley Teagle
    Executive Director
    Wicomico Public Libraries
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  • 3.  RE: Mentors in your leadership journey

    Posted Jan 09, 2020 07:33 AM
    Unfortunately, the jobs I've had where I was in management or leadership I didn't have anyone in the library over me to provide that sort of guidance and help. So I've had to find mentors where I could - at least for leadership anyway. The Dean of Academic Affairs for my last job was really helpful at times in helping me to navigate issues with faculty and with starting my Ph.D. program. Instructors in my Ph.D. program were helpful in broader, higher education and leadership context. I also participated in the LLAMA mentorship program which, while I didn't find it especially helpful, still provided some benefit.

    I think it's very important as a new leader to be able to learn from those with more experience than yourself and having a more longterm mentor would have been very useful at times.

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    Daniel Wilson
    Director of Library & Learning Services
    American InterContinental University
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  • 4.  RE: Mentors in your leadership journey

    Posted Jan 09, 2020 02:02 PM
    My first mentor wasn't formal.  We met when I began service as a board member to a statewide nonprofit, for which she was the executive director.  This was a new activity for me, as I had only ever been a board member for local organizations (the ones with minimal budget, few paid staff, and in which board members were operationally engaged with the group).  Her first job was to help me to understand the different approach needed in the governance model she was using at a large nonprofit with many staff. But she also apparently saw some potential and helped me to rethink the direction of my career path. At one point, she just bluntly told me that my talents were wasted at my employer at the time and there was so much more that I could contribute to the world at large. It sounds corny, perhaps, but that really resonated with me and did indeed spur changes in my journey.   We never talked formally about our mentor/mentee relationship, but that's what it was.  I still keep in touch with her, though she has retired and I'm in a different state now. But I value what she did for me during that transition period and I try to provide a similar sort of support -- and try to be as subtle if I can - to others I encounter.

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    Erik Nordberg
    Dean of Libraries
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
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  • 5.  RE: Mentors in your leadership journey

    Posted Jan 09, 2020 02:58 PM

    I'm not a director, but am responsible for two out of three sections in the Alaska State Library.  I've been the Head of Information Services, which is the part of the library most like a public library, for quite a while, but just took on our special collections about a year ago.  I've had several mentors in different contexts, but Locke Morrisey supervised my internship at the University of San Francisco and is the person I always connect with mentorship.  He has since passed away but was an amazing person.  I still strive to be like him.  He was supportive and helpful, but also gave me room to figure things out on my own.  He mentored not only by being available for ideas, suggestions, and the like, but also by consistently providing a sterling example of someone who truly cared for the people he worked with and for and showed that caring in concrete ways.  I will always be grateful for his generosity.

     

    Freya Anderson

    Alaska State Library