October 16, 2017

Managing Libraries

Leading Though VUCA Times | Leading from the Library

It can be hard enough to lead when outcomes are clear and the path to achieving them is relatively smooth. The real test is leading followers through times of ambiguity and uncertainty.

Moving to Management: More a Coach Than a Boss | Blatant Berry

“I love that mea culpa, John!” said the president of the company at which I was working. I had just told the folks at a meeting that a problem had been my fault. I don’t even remember what that problem was, but what the president said was one of the most important lessons of my career.

Measure the Future Enters Next Phase

Measure the Future, an open source, open hardware project that enables libraries to collect and analyze data regarding how their physical space is being used, will soon deploy new sensors at libraries participating in its public beta launch, including the Meridian Library District (MLD), ID; the State University of New York, Potsdam; the New York Public Library; the University of Boston Law Library; and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Albany Public Library Partners with Transportation Authority

New York’s Albany Public Library (APL) has formed an alliance with a city agency that isn’t often associated with the library—the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA)—on several innovative programs designed to bring library workers and patrons to its branches by bus and bike.

What Not to Do: Tips for New Library Leaders | Leading from the Library

A new role leading in any capacity, but particularly as a library director, can be stressful. New leaders usually get lots of tips on what to do. A good honeymoon period strategy can also benefit from a few what-not-to-do tips.

Patrick Roewe, Spokane County Library District’s New Director

While many incoming library administrators find their jobs by way of a national search, Patrick Roewe, the new director at Spokane County Library District (SCLD), WA, did it the old-fashioned way—by working his way up through the ranks.

Nashville, Salt Lake City, Columbus Eliminate Fines

Starting the first week of July 2017, the Nashville Public Library (NPL) and the Salt Lake City Public Library system (SLCPL) have joined the increasing number of public libraries in the United States that no longer collect overdue fines from patrons. These changes will also wipe out fines that users have already accrued. For both systems, this shift reflects their missions to remove a barrier to library borrowing—blocked card privileges due to fines and to provide equitable access to as many patrons as possible.

Teach Library Politics: Missing and Neglected Content in LIS Programs | Blatant Berry

My alma mater, Boston’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, just asked me to complete a survey on what ought to be in its LIS curriculum. The survey’s hierarchy descended in priority from “core,” the things every graduate should have studied. There were five or six levels offered, but I only used the top three: “core,” “very important,” and “important.” The questions covered nearly everything I would have tried to fit into the crowded LIS curriculum.

The Politics of Being a Trustee

November’s presidential election led to a surprising result for many. Even among those who voted for the current president-elect, a lot of people did not actually expect him to prevail over a former senator and secretary of state. And almost immediately, everyone from regular people to media pundits were chiming in on what the election will mean for the country.

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME, each received between $35,000 and $250,000 to help realize a range of creative concepts addressing the digital information needs of their communities. Simultaneously, KF released a report, “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” examining opportunities and challenges within the lifecycle of library innovation.