I was on the Information Desk in Widener today and my friend and colleague, Joshua Parker, stopped by for a moment. It so happens I’ve been looking into MOOCs lately, with special interest in edX and Coursera, and when I saw Josh it occurred to me that he should be teaching a MOOC on supervision and management. Why? Because Josh is that rara avis, an effective library manager who is hugely well-liked and well-respected.
When I suggested that he teach such a MOOC, Josh laughed and replied that he could sum up his secrets to supervision on a tiny scrap of paper (such as we keep at the Information Desk for researchers to write call numbers out) and he proceeded to do so.
Here’s what he wrote:
- Be a mensch (Josh credits his father in Minnesota with teaching him this)
- a. Care… at least a little
- b. Don’t lie (you may not always be able to convey the entire truth, but do not lie)
- c. Don’t be a coward (you don’t have to be stalwartly brave—just don’t be a coward)
[he credits one of his former bosses with these three bits of wisdom; I know the boss, and it makes perfect sense, because he, too, is well-liked and well-respected].
There are three things you need to know about Josh in addition to his secrets for library supervision:
- Admittedly, he has an edge on common decency since he comes from Minnesota
- You’ll notice he credits others for his secrets for success—a revealing trait of the successful manager
- He cares about the work a lot. A whole lot.
I’ve worked in libraries for 36 years, and have seen good, bad, and indifferent supervisors and managers. If everyone in a supervisory role could incorporate the characteristics and behaviors from that little piece of paper, it would be a vastly improved library world. And I simply can’t improve on Josh’s secrets—can you?
|Data-Driven Libraries: Navigating Options & Measuring Outcomes: Librarians today are facing the inescapable reality that data is slowly beginning to govern much of what they do, and they need to determine the most constructive way to deal with this ocean of information that a growing number of software companies and applications are making available. Sign up for this free webcast series to learn innovative data-driven solutions that will help you navigate through the data to create viable plans for your library's future.|
|Data-Driven Academic Libraries is a free three-part webcast series, developed in partnership with Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L), that will touch on just some of the many areas where libraries are gathering, analyzing, and using data to change how they work—fueling your ability to better put this information to work in your own libraries.|