Administrative and Management Skills

Leadership and Management Reading List

While the librarian stereotype is that we spend our days reading, we all know the truth as to how busy our workdays truly are. It usually takes intention to carve out time to develop and improve our skills. A couple of books and resources that I have loved over my career include: How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority by Clay Scroggins What I love about this title is that it is written for anyone interested in leadership. Every good organization needs leaders as they are your coworkers who inspire and motivate, but leaders aren’t always managers and many don’t have titles. Scroggins highlights various leadership lessons, such as building a support network and being a problem solver. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhou Julie was the V.P. of Design at Facebook and…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Manager Mistakes:

Management Mistakes and tips to solve them

and some tips to try to solve them. In my system, a lot of children’s librarians become managers. It makes a lot of sense, as children’s librarians are constantly juggling multiple priorities, have to deal with a high level of work, and are invested and passionate about library work. In fact, I think children’s librarians make great managers for all those reasons (but maybe I am biased)! If you are thinking of becoming a manager or are just starting out in management, check out these classic management mistakes and learn how to avoid them.

Everyday Advocacy

Supporting Staff Well-being

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. *Disclaimer* I am not a healthcare professional. I am a reader and a hard-working mental health advocate, both personally and professionally. Self-care and wellness are frequent buzzwords in articles discussing the workplace. Why? What’s changed (other than the obvious) to warrant an uptick in administrative discussions surrounding mental health and career? And why should we as managers devote time and space to discussions on well-being? There are a myriad of reasons why we should all be focused on mental health, but for brevity and deliverability, I will focus on three. I’m sure…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

It’s a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood: Creating a Serviceable Service Map

It's a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood

My system is rethinking, relaunching, and rediscovering what our community and neighborhoods are like right now, and how the library can fit into our local communities. It feels like the perfect time to start this work, as our neighborhoods have been pretty closed off the last couple of years to keep us safe. I warned my staff when our fiscal year started in October, that pretty much all they would hear from me this year is the word: Resetting. And that word is perfect as a launch to reset yourself in the community, and reconnect.

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Staff Love Languages

Examples of Staff Love Languages

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, it’s a good time to think about the love languages of your colleagues/staff. This is always important to think about, but it feels more important with the low morale, stress of Covid & handing out test kits, and winter blahs; I want to ensure that my staff feel appreciated and supported as much as possible. Below is my riff on the five long languages as they apply to working in the library.

Uncategorized

To Boldly Go Where They Have Not Gone Before

If you are lucky, you will have the opportunity to host a library school student; someone who thinks working with youth, caregivers, and families is absolutely the best.  Given that, I must be extremely lucky.  At last count, I have been able to do so fifty-two times.     Sometimes they are paid, sometimes not.  They can be called interns, or practicum students, or a number of other titles.  Whether they are just entering the professional workforce straight from college and graduate school, or have any number of years’ experience within or beyond the library world, an opportunity awaits for everyone involved.  In just one or two semesters, your investment of time, and sharing of knowledge, can turn out to be the pivotal learning experience for an aspiring children’s librarian. It all begins with a promise.  You promise to train them in all manner of library things.  They promise to apply…

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Leadership During COVID-19

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a post for the ALSC blog titled, ‘Leading Toward a Shared Vision and Common Purpose.’  I cited Richard Harwood’s book, Stepping Forward: A Positive Path to Transform Our Communities and Our Lives, for finding hope through common purpose and collective action. This call to step forward and find authentic hope is even more relevant in today’s pandemic-changed world. COVID-19 has been an extreme test of leadership across the country, causing even the strongest and most seasoned leaders to begin dreaming of early retirement. The library world is no exception. How can we be the kind of leader our teams need during so much uncertainty and change? What leadership skills and traits are most beneficial in these trying times? As a new library director (7 months in!), I’ve consulted many resources for ‘crisis leadership’ advice. Providing strong leadership for our teams is especially important…

Administrative and Management Skills

How to look ahead…

We are in a historical moment. A pandemic. We can’t do what we have always done, and maybe that’s a good thing. I hope that our systems, our peers, and ourselves take a second or eighth look at what we have always done and see the potential to do more or rediscover what we could do. As numbers increase across the country, and more uncertainty looms with the flu season upon us, it’s getting kind of hard to go work. Even if you love it. And so many of us really do. This is a difficult time to work in the public, and it’s a difficult time to manage those who do. Psst. I don’t actually have any answers. I keep going because it’s my job, and I want to serve my community and support my staff. So, to go on… I practice safety at work. I wash my hands…