Administrative and Management Skills

Wanna be a Branch Manager? Manage Yourself First.

Do you want to be a branch manager? Ok, I have a scenario for you: Let’s pretend you are a children’s librarian in a large multi-branch library system, with a personal passion for serving homeless adults in your city’s downtown district. Given the choice between facilitating an outreach storytime in a women’s shelter downtown or in a private Montessori school one block from your library (all other things being equal), which should you choose?

Administrative and Management Skills

Meet Your ALSC Board: Kirby McCurtis

In this regular feature, we profile ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. To continue this series, we invite you to meet 2019-20 ALSC Board Vice President/President Elect, Kirby McCurtis.

Administrative and Management Skills

Let’s Hear it for Process Committees and Task Forces!

ALSC’s book award committees are a big deal, and for good reason. There’s nothing quite like attending the annual Youth Media Awards ceremony and getting to hear which new author or illustrator will be honored. The audience goes wild in support–standing, clapping, cheering, and celebrating in the best way possible. I always love seeing the committee members stand and wave to the audience when their award is named. Serving on a book award committee is a ton of work, but also…what a thrill!

Administrative and Management Skills

2019 Summer Learning on Leadership and Management

Looking over the ALSC Blog archives, I was inspired by 2017’s Summer Reading for Managers list, which included a number of stellar titles (go read them already!) As part of my own professional summer reading and podcast listening, I’ve been focusing on the topics of time management and habit change, both of which help prevent burn-out by allowing us to play the long game. Currently, I’ve been inhaling Laura Vanderkam’s work, re-reading 168 Hours, I Know How She Does It and Off the Clock. I appreciate that Vanderkam starts from an abundance mindset, instead of one of scarcity. All of us have the same 168 hours in a week, which over the course of a month provides plenty of time both for obligations and the hobbies or causes that we are passionate about. Vanderkam is a big proponent of time tracking to pinpoint when we are spending our time on…

Administrative and Management Skills

One Last Thing Before I Go

May 3rd will be my last day at the Boston Public Library before moving to Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  I’m sad to leave Boston and my patrons, but am excited for my family’s new adventure! As I’ve been finishing my time at my branch, I’ve tried to take steps that will help my Branch Librarian and whomever my replacement is.  Since at some point, we all leave our jobs, I thought I would share some things I’ve done, that may help you get the ball rolling.  I should also share that this shouldn’t necessarily be done in a vacuum.  If you are comfortable communicating with them, ask your Branch Librarian what would be helpful to them.  I also included the Head of Youth Services in this conversation. Compile a list of performers, community partners, outreach sites, and schools you have worked with.  Share their contact information, the cost of the program…

Administrative and Management Skills

The (Mis)Conceptions of Serving on the ALSC Budget Committee

When I tell people I am serving on the ALSC Budget Committee (my two-year term ends June 2019), they often respond with a “whoa” or “yikes” and say “that must be taxing.” I have to admit that when former Budget committee member Carolyn Phelan approached me about serving, visions of calculators, enormous spreadsheets, and perplexing figures that do not add up filled my brain. What if I messed up one of the ledgers? What if I botched the balance sheets?