At Lead the Change workshops, local library leaders help facilitate the presentation, adding their own perspectives on the concepts presented by program developer David Bendekovic. But they don’t usually bring their own visual aids. The Southern California workshop, held on May 15 at the Pasadena Public Library (PPL), was an exception. PPL director Jan Sanders brought a giant foamcore version of one of Bendekovic’s slides, on which she’d asked library staff members to plot where they felt their library stood.
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When librarian Elke Bruton from the State Library of Oregon (pictured) and four of her colleagues attended Lead the Change! Oregon at Portland’s Central Library in April 2013, they were told they should give a report when they got back. But, she tells LJ, “We said, we don’t want to do that. Out of context, it doesn’t mean anything.” Instead, the team met to digest their own takeaways and turn them into training for their coworkers.
Monroe County Library System (MCLS) and Rochester Public Library (RPL), NY, director Patricia Uttaro credits LJ’s Lead the Change event with turning multiple small projects that had been happening across the district into a more cohesive structure capable of affecting broader change.
There’s leadership. Then there’s library leadership. Or is there? Is being a leader in a library so different that it is a leadership entity unique unto itself? A library leader is ultimately, a leader who performs their work in a library, but what makes him or her a leader is not unique to the library setting.
THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY Library District had the honor April 16 of hosting LJ’s leadership event series “Lead the Change! Oregon.” In anticipation of the day, I reflected on the varied leadership roles I’ve assumed over the years—from my days as spaceship commander during first grade recess to choir president in high school to more formal leadership roles. I also reflected on those around me in leadership roles from whom I’ve gleaned so much.
If you are like me, your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator starts with a capital I, not an E, so networking with others does not come naturally. We have to work at it. But building connections with decision-makers, colleagues, and staff are essential to leading, supporting and defending our organizations, and to cementing libraries as vital to community livability.
(Editor’s Note: LJ’s Lead the Change program will be offered in eighteen additional cities in 2013 and will be in the Rochester, New York area on March 28. The upstate/western New York program is being hosted by the Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library System and will take place at the Greece Public Library, Greece, […]
When Lead the Change came to Darien, CT, on September 18, B.A. David Company founder David Bendekovic called on a variety of local experts to add their experiences to the core presentation. Among those experts was Matt Poland, CEO of Hartford, CT, Public Library (HPL), who shared the story of how Hartford started a library-based outplacement service that didn’t cost a dime.
How do you connect the dots and facilitate positive change in a State that is fragmented? Many people would argue that all states share similar dynamics, but I would argue that South Carolina is unique. We have progressive urban communities while parts of our State are reminiscent of third world countries. Our communities are fiercely independent as well as starved for resources. Our political climate is fragmented beyond the two-party system while our patrons, customers, users, and investors are screaming for help amidst a storm of bureaucracy. It seems no one is listening.
Peter Drucker once said that librarians are human change agents. That their product is a child who learns, a young person grown into a self-respecting adult; a changed human life altogether. When you first look in the mirror in the morning, do you say to yourself, “Today, I’m going to change someone’s life!”?