Administrative and Management Skills

Meet Your ALSC Board: Maggie Jacobs

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 2019-22 ALSC Board Member, Maggie Jacobs. I am a somewhat maverick member of the ALSC board in that I am not a librarian. I am a lawyer who had a career awakening in my 30s about my true vocation as an educator. And more specifically, an awakening to a deep sense of disillusionment and anger about the educational inequities in our country that belie the Horatio Alger story of yore that anyone who is hard working can climb their way up to the top. The idea of this country as an individualistic meritocracy is simply not true in today’s world…

Administrative and Management Skills

Update Your Disaster Plan! Part 2

  Overnight, on September 22nd, 3,500 gallons of water poured from the mechanical room on the third floor of the Rochester Public Library (MN). Staff opening the building on Sunday found several inches of standing water in the central core of all three floors of the building. In October I shared 13 lessons from the disaster, here are 11 more: It is going to take longer than you think to get back to normal. Two months after the water leak we have the 2nd floor partially open, and no access to our Auditorium space. After initial estimates for repairs were made, we exceeded the state expenditure threshold, and we needed a formal bid process. This process will add months to our recovery. Be creative! Is there a way to get part of the building back up and running while you wait for full recovery? We were fortunately able to expedite…

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…