Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Time Management: Practice Strategic Underachievement

Do you nurture your work self by experimenting with new ways to meet the library’s mission? Are you known for your clever new programs? If so, like most youth services folks, you’re an idea person. We like variety. We stay current on kid trends. We keep it fresh. There’s a downside to being an idea person, though: the alluring possibilities always exceed the time to try them. “There are never enough hours to get everything done,” we might bemoan to coworkers. We feel caught between what we need to do – like scheduling – and what we want to do: projects that move the library closer to our youth services vision. This dissonance may cause us to feel perpetually behind. Or to struggle with uncertainty about whether we’re doing the “right” things. Each diminishes our energy and equilibrium, and affects our job satisfaction. What’s to be done? Let me tell…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Developing Social Skills . . . in Your Staff

How are your social skills post-pandemic? Not your party repartee; no doubt you still sparkle there! We’re talking about your ability to listen and to communicate clearly, respectfully, and often as you lead your team at work. And about that team . . . how effective are your staff’s social skills?

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Bullet Journaling

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. There are so many things on a Youth Services Librarian’s to-do list. Add managing a department and the to-do list gets longer and complex. Attempting to keep to the deadlines efficiently can be stressful. It is helpful to have a good planner system in helping accomplish long to-do lists.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Tips and Tricks for Those Dreaded Difficult Conversations

Being a manager can be rewarding in so many ways: you get the chance to set the tone of your department, greenlight exciting new programs and services, and hire and mentor wonderful staff. But, unfortunately, being a manager sometimes means having to initiate those conversations where you need to tell a staff member that there is a problem with their job performance. To help you make difficult conversations as painless and productive as possible, here are a few tips: Keep it private. Never discuss behavior or performance issues when others can overhear. Publicly criticizing or punishing a staff member is incredibly hurtful and embarrassing for them, and doing so can permanently damage your relationship with that individual, as well as with your entire team. Be prepared. These conversations are stressful for both parties and it can be easy to get sidetracked or overwhelmed. I’ve found it’s helpful to compile everything…