March 22, 2017

The Next Level: Library leadership starts here | Editorial

Rebecca T. MillerIt’s a pleasure to bring you LJ’s class of 2015 Movers & Shakers. As each cohort has since the first round in 2002, this year’s crop of leaders shows us all just how robust the talent impacting the future of libraries can be. Hailing from all types of libraries and beyond—and three of them from beyond the United States as well—they illustrate the range of creativity in the field and point to a bright future for libraries.

Notably, for the first time, an organization joins the ranks of Movers & Shakers. As we finalized the judging, the editors of LJ felt that We Need Diverse Books transcends the individual efforts of the many leaders involved. While the instigators did and still do great work, the collective conversation materialized into a broad movement that called for special attention.

This decision led me to reflect on how much of library work is collective, and yet we can miss that when we focus our accolades and attention on personal accomplishment. We’ll keep looking for collaborative initiatives to celebrate in the mix, even as we continue to recognize that a great deal of the positive change in our work comes from individuals taking inspired actions as they move our libraries and communities forward.

We relish the opportunity to support all the Movers in their work ahead.

To that end, it seems fitting that the reveal of the newest class of Movers & Shakers coincides with the launch of a new professional development platform from LJ. This platform expands on the work of our Lead the Change (LTC) live events to support better leadership development in libraries. LJ has always been about professional development, sometimes formally, sometimes quite informally. More recently, however, we have taken another look at that role and examined what more we can do to help you build the talent we know is at work at every level in your libraries.

Lead the Change, now entering its fourth year, has illustrated to us just how deep the need is for leadership development. A 2014 survey of 550-plus Movers & Shakers stressed the need for the entire staff to be up to speed on innovations in libraries and personal leadership. This inspired a new live event program from LTC cofounder David Bendekovic: Professional Development for Library Staff—full-day, interactive workshops designed to help the whole staff develop together. Another new workshop is from branding expert David Vinjamuri: Transform Your Stacks To Drive Circulation shares insights into collection trends and out-of-the-box marketing and merchandising tactics.

The live events will be complemented by the new LTC Leadership Academy–Online, a series of intensive digital courses; our inaugural course, Create Your Career Road Map, starts on April 22. These are designed for deep, instructor-led learning, complete with homework on targeted projects and coaching. Also in the mix, more LTC webcasts, including six on-demand sessions moderated by Sandra Hirsh, director of the School of Information at California’s San José State University.

Also, since learning sticks when people can engage around their discoveries on an ongoing basis, we have added the online forum LTC COMMONS—free for LTC alumni to date and, yes, all of our Movers & Shakers. This moderated program allows these leaders and emerging leaders to share resources and ideas, discuss issues with peers, and connect with library experts through scheduled Ask Me Anything–style discussions.

We are very excited to be realizing this extension of LJ’s natural role in professional development and hope it helps all the leaders out there, at every level, to bring more to their communities. Check it all out at libraryjournal.com/leadthechange.

First, though, prepare to be impressed by the great work of the 2015 Movers & Shakers. Pick up strategies and tactics you can apply. Identify the traits you want on your team. Show your community just how dynamic libraries can be.

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Rebecca T. Miller About Rebecca T. Miller

Rebecca T. Miller (miller@mediasourceinc.com) is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal.

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