The Career Development Group in collaboration with the Academic & Special Libraries section of the LAI are organising a workshop for librarians interested in developing leadership skills that empower them to tackle the challenges facing libraries in the current environment. Tickets are available here
The last of our series of blog-posts ties together the visions of leadership in Irish libraries presented by our inspiring speakers at Lead to Succeed and is written by CDG Chairperson Marta Bustillo.
This year’s annual seminar and AGM of the Career Development Group sought to present a variety of views on leadership from librarians at all career stages, as well as from non-librarians. We invited John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy prison, as our keynote speaker and we also had Kate Kelly, head librarian at RCSI; Siobhan McGuinness, 2016 winner of the Career Advancement Award from the Special Library Association’s Leadership & Management Division; Hugh Murphy, Senior Librarian at the Collection Management Division in Maynooth University Library, and Marie O’Neill, head of library services at Dublin Business School. All of them came at the issue of leadership from very different angles, yet a number of common themes seemed to emerge from all of the talks, which I would like to reflect upon in this post (slides available at links above & on our Slideshare).
At a time when even the need for libraries is being put in question, and when library staff are increasingly being replaced by so-called ‘open libraries’, effective leadership will make the difference between a thriving and well funded library, or no library at all.
Hugh Murphy asked: “a leader of whom? In what?” These are unequivocally the core questions we should ask of ourselves and of our profession. If we want libraries to flourish and play a central role in society, we must provide visionary leadership that can demonstrate the value and relevance for the future of what libraries offer and what librarians are trained to do. However as Marie O’Neill highlighted, where are our role models for leadership? Do we know sufficiently about the history of our profession to understand who our leaders were, and what they contributed to the world as we know it now? How many working librarians can actually name the founders of our profession and why what they did was important?
As a profession, we have remarkably little knowledge of our own history, of our own successes, and find it particularly difficult to adopt a style of leadership that works for ourselves and for our institutions. This of course could change if, as Marie suggested, we introduced modules on the history of our profession and on developing leadership into the LIS curriculum. Nevertheless, we would probably still come up against what could be considered as character traits of librarians: the unwillingness to ‘blow our own trumpet’ and the preference for keeping a low profile. As Kate Kelly highlighted in her talk, the ‘vision thing’ is difficult to achieve, particularly, it seems, for women, in a profession predominantly populated by women. It requires influencing and persuading ‘up, down and sideways’, something that librarians are rarely trained to do.
Responsibility, integrity and vision
John Lonergan defined leadership very clearly when he said that it is about taking responsibility for everything that happens in an organisation. It requires integrity, vision, the ability to get the best out of others and the humility to acknowledge mistakes. Without integrity, nothing else will work because staff won’t know what is true, what is expected of them and whether leaders can be trusted to stand by them when things get difficult. Without vision, staff won’t be enthused about their work and will not contribute their most creative ideas. Leaders must be committed to getting the best out of others, fostering an equal and respectful atmosphere at work, making good use of the expertise that staff bring to their positions, recognising the achievements of their employees and investing in their personal and professional development. When they fail to do so, this translates into high staff turnover and losses for their organisations. Finally, leaders must have the humility to acknowledge mistakes in order to foster a trusting relationship with employees, one which encourages staff to report the failures as well as the successes, and to try even when they may fail.
Ultimately, as Hugh Murphy pointed out, managers choose whether to be leaders or ‘power mongers’. One possible way of ensuring that leaders get the best out of their staff is by applying the concept of Appreciative Inquiry, defined as a system that ‘advocates collective inquiry into the best of what is, in order to imagine what could be, followed by collective design of a desired future state that is compelling and thus, does not require the use of incentives, coercion or persuasion for planned change to occur.’
The CDG’s seminar was meant to start a conversation about leadership in Irish libraries, and certainly our five speakers achieved this very successfully. Now the question is where we go from here: what do we need to do in order to encourage leadership at all levels, to train leaders and to foster a culture of leadership in our libraries?
Watch this space – we hope to organise more events in the future that explore the concept of leadership and train future leaders.
 Bushe, G. R. (2013). Kessler, E., ed. ‘The Appreciative Inquiry Model.’ The Encyclopedia of Management Theory. Sage Publications.
Following on from Tuesday’s keynote recap, our second post below on Lead to Succeed: a vision for Irish libraries on Friday the 14th October in the RCSI is written by Committee member Andrew Moore and describes the remaining three speakers urging the Irish Library community to embrace leadership in all its forms.
After a short break…Siobhán McGuinness gave her presentation entitled “Learning and developing leadership: opportunities, influence and motivation.” Siobhán gave real world examples of how she has forged a professional profile winning national library awards in career development. She stressed the importance of being “bold and brave” at the level of new, and mid-level management positions, within libraries. She then gave evidence of her recent achievements winning a prestigious award in career development, the Career Advancement Award from the SLA (Special libraries association) Leader and Management Division. Despite a temporary setback in her career, she has continued to liaise with her professional network; by having a library mentor, being involved on committees and teams, attending conferences, having a lively website, as well as blogging and tweeting about events. It is abundantly clear that Siobhán fully understands how to actively promote yourself as an important voice in the library profession. She gave sound advice:
“No matter what your rank – we are all leaders”
“Do we fully embrace leadership?”
Following our highly engaging event Lead to Succeed: a vision for Irish libraries on Friday the 14th October in the RCSI, we have split our recaps and reflections into a series of three blog-posts to be released over the coming days. Today’s recap on the keynote speakers was written by committee member John Wheatley.
“Instead, we should strive for a collective improvement in performance and agreed targets without resorting to individual criticism.”
“Begin with the end in mind” and “Life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans” – two quotes worth keeping in mind!
Need an inspiring library event to ease you into Autumn? The CDG is proud to present this year’s seminar/AGM in association with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Library – Lead to Succeed: a vision for Irish libraries.
This half-day seminar will focus on sharing experience and knowledge in Irish libraries with a focus on leadership in times of change. It will be opened by keynote speaker Mr. John Lonergan (former Governor of Mountjoy Prison) who speaks passionately on social-justice issues, the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and community-building within your organisation. We’re also excited to announce speakers from four different Irish libraries and further details will be released here over the next few weeks.
When: Friday 14th October 2016 9.30am – 4pm
Where: RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), 123 Saint Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Lunch will be provided and you’re welcome to head off after or stay on for the LAI CDG AGM 2016 with reports by committee officers on a busy year of events and activities as well as our plans for the future, and of course our ritual networking in the local pub!
Get your tickets now so you’re not disappointed!
€12 for students/unwaged
€20 for LAI members
€30 for non-LAI members
(plus booking fee)
Written by Lara Musto
Despite its name Library Camp does not imply camping in a library with a sleeping bag and a tent! It’s known as an “unconference” – an informal gathering where experienced and new professionals alike share their ideas; or it can be seen as a springboard to your future in public speaking! The Career Development Group in collaboration with the Academic and Special Libraries group of the LAI (A&SL) have been organising library camp since 2013.
Thanks to DBS Library, this year the LAI CDG and the A&SL were able to hold library camp at Castle House in the Common Room on 21st May. The venue got the thumbs up by attendees, with bean-bags and comfy sofas widely appreciated – according to the tweets on the day! On Twitter the event ranked fourth in Dublin for a while! Past camps used to start with a speed networking type of session to break the ice amongst participants. Instead this year a quiz was introduced with prosecco for everyone in the audience. The questions covered general knowledge and only one was about librarianship. The innovation was approved by seasoned attendees and by newcomers alike. The lucky (aka the nerdiest) team – Going Postal – won a golden ticket for a free entrance to one of next year’s LAI CDG events. After 3 rounds there was only half mark of difference between the first two teams. A combination of prosecco and networking made the game highly competitive amongst the 8 teams!
Then being slightly chirpy but still focused, it was time for the first set of pitches. The marketing campaign for lib camp generally includes the theme and starts a couple of months before the date. This year the subject was a direct question: Are all librarians teacher librarians? Pitches are emailed to the LAI CDG for approval – there is no need to set up a group of slides, because a pitch is carried out with a flip chart, a marker and any other prop selected by the pitcher. Being an open space event, participants can wander in and out of a pitch as they pleased. This year there were so many pitches that it was decided to run 4 pitches at one time, to give each one an opportunity to speak. Each pitch tends to be very lively; it lasts approximately 30 minutes and if you feel lonely you could ask a colleague to co-host. In three years there have been pitches with games, with group work and some with animated discussions.
If you pitch or sit at a pitch you won’t have time to get bored at Library camp! Library camp is known for baking an interesting pitch to entertain a small group of participants and also a cake (savoury or sweet) to help fuel the hungry crowd. However, for those who are timid at showing off their baking skills, there is always the option of topping up the wide variety of food (or drink) items brought in for the occasion. The brain needs to be fed to function properly and to face the rest of the pitches lined up for the day! This year it was worth a king’s ransom sitting on a bean bag or on one of those sofas in the Common Room, sipping away at prosecco or tea/coffee, stuffing your face with so many goodies and your brain with a mammoth of useful info about teaching and librarianship. So roll on next year’s edition!
By Elaine Chapman
My pitch at Library Camp this year was an interactive pitch that was designed to question what up and coming professionals in the library world know about interacting with users with disabilities.
I specifically wanted to question how we can learn, as a profession, to be better able to adapt our services towards users who are currently under-served.
My belief is that the way forward for libraries is to use outreach to market ourselves. The best way of bringing new people in to our world us to get out there and show them what we can do for them. The key to this is the ability to be adaptable, so that we can best meet the needs of individual users.
Many people forget that the majority of people with disabilities are adults, not children, but most of the non-residential services for disabled people are aimed at children and their families.
Disabled adults are often forgotten about, but I believe libraries can help fix this through adapting our services for them and making use of outreach to market ourselves as mentioned above.
With that in mind, I came up with the questions listed below.
These are the main questions I want to ask
-Are libraries doing all that we can for users with disabilities?
-Do you think budgetary issues impact on library services to peripheral groups? Are there ways around this?
-Do you know how to approach or help a disabled user? Would your library consider staff training on this?
-Do you consider your library fully accessible for those with disabilities? Consider visual and sensory disabilities as well as physical.
-Do you think that current and future librarians should be taught adaptive teaching?
I am not going to give you the answers to the questions listed above as I had one more purpose in giving this talk, and that was purely to get you thinking on these issues, because the more they are thought about, the quicker they are solved.
That said, I will give one example of how current programmes can be adapted to better help all users, but especially those with disabilities. That example lies with the reading programmes for children that many libraries operate. Introducing the use of a therapy animal in these programmes benefits literacy levels, but for children with autism, it can also have a huge impact on relieving social anxieties. Plus, who doesn’t want a library cat? Or dog, if we must!
Finally, I would like to say a massive thank you to Marta Bustillo, Therese Kelly, and the CDG. I could not have done it without you! They took a quiet autistic girl, and enabled her to spread her wings. Now we just need to do that for others.
Written by Elaine Chapman
By Genevieve Larkin
My Pitch at LibCamp this year was two things. On the one hand it described a few of the highlights of LILAC 2016 (which I attended thanks to sponsorship from the ever-supportive Academic and Special Libraries Section of the LAI), and on the other it was an attempt to generate some discussion on how teaching librarians could support each-other in Ireland by forming a community of practice.
Mapping to standards
Challenges that I face (and I’m sure I’m not alone) include the formidable one of mapping any teaching I do to internationally recognised professional standards. Having studied information literacy standards and models during my M.Sc LIS I know what’s out there and which ones I like (ACRL’s framework for information literacy for higher education and ANZIL) but the more conceptual aspects of these models can make generating meaningful learning outcomes and content for classes time-consuming and tricky.
This is where good lesson planning comes in – concepts familiar to educators such as learning outcomes, scaffolding, sequencing and assessment can all seem baffling but they are the tools of the trade and allow you to structure what you’re doing so that it makes sense for learners.
For those of us working outside of traditional University support structures (which come with perks such as in-house teaching and learning support/training) it can seem doubly-daunting and we must find help where we can – from instructional designers and academics to the internet and each-other!
Most librarians have other duties in addition to the teaching aspect of their roles – such as management of electronic resources and institutional repositories, website and social media maintenance, outreach, acquisitions, etc. (the list goes on!)
The solutions I’ve come up with so far are the following:
- The Library Juice Academy offer online training in how to structure learning meaningfully, specifically geared towards librarians. I took a six week course called Backward Design for Information Literacy Instruction: Fostering Critical Habits of Mind through Learning Outcomes, Assessment, and Sequencing. It was very worthwhile but remote study has it’s drawbacks.
- CILIP have a weeklong course in “Pedagogy for Librarians” which Irish ILG members can apply for a subsidised place on. Unfortunately there have been some hicccups this year and it seems to have been postponed but check it out next year.
- There are accredited courses in teaching and learning in Higher Education in most Irish Universities, although these can be expensive and possibly not fit into your work schedule.
- You can develop a teaching philosophy yourself on why and how you go about your teaching which can help to guide you and your students towards success. The University of Texas Libraries have some great tips and exercises here to help you to write your own.
- Look at best practice elsewhere – apply for bursaries to attend conferences such as LILAC and A&SL’s Annual Conference where you can learn from colleagues.
My Highlights of LILAC 2016:
Instructional Design and how to apply it to IL work
Instructional design is the process of analysing learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. I came across Kimberley Mullins IDEA model at LILAC which she has adapted to allow librarians to integrate information literacy into most courses. She provides templates for the stages: interviewing, designing, embedding and assessing. I hope to try this approach with my first embedded course. You can see her slides from LILAC here.
Reflecting on my imposter syndrome
During Char Booth‘s inspiring keynote speech at LILAC she talked about the journey from librarian to teacher to administrator – planning and overseeing information literacy programmes. She eloquently described how pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can be a “heinous trauma.” This was by far my favourite part of the whole conference as I (and the rest of the audience!) identified strongly with her brave acknowledgement of the fear that many of us have at some time felt about learning to teach. Later on I found her blog-post on banishing your professional imposter here. Top tips from Char:
- “Cultivate experiences that rip you out of your comfort zone while still providing support
- Be mentored and seek mentees
- Challenge your perceived limitations
- Build a community of allies…”
I think all of these are highly applicable to teaching librarians. Find Char’s LILAC slides here.
Researching your practice
The importance of taking the time and effort to research and reflect upon your practice came up time and again at LILAC as the main differentiator between meaningful engagement with our colleagues and students and just rehashing mistakes while failing to capitalise on user needs and preferences. Some key trends in library research evidenced at the conference were:
Ethnographic research in libraries (or UX) involves taking an ethnographic approach to library service design – in other words, thinking like a student instead of presuming to know what they want/need etc. It did occur to me that it might be very difficult to use this approach in a small or special library context.
Librarians doing doctorates: Why? Because this allows us to base our practice in evidence or at the very least to deepen our understanding of the research process. Why not? I’ve had this discussion with lots of librarians and the reasons are many: time/expense/the perils of over-qualification etc…doctorates are not for everyone!
Appreciative inquiry allows the researcher to embrace the positive, start from what the library is doing right, what you want to retain, what the ideal outcome of your activities would be, and how to reach as close to that as possible.
Brainstorming on creating a community of practice for instructional librarians using appreciative inquiry Qs
“Communities of practice” were made famous by Wenger and are often the focus of educational research. For this brainstorm, we collected ideas on how to create a local community of practice for instructional librarians. There were many imaginative and exciting ideas, with Marie O’Neill from DBS Library suggesting DBS as a meeting place for a group of like-minded librarians who would like to come together to share their methods and resources. We also thought about a repository of open access materials such as lesson plans for librarians which could be hosted by eDeposit Ireland. Michelle Dalton (LibFocus/UCD Library) pointed out the opportunity for further TeachMeets in UCD Library after a successful one run a few years ago. I came away feeling there was great scope for building a COP and lots of potential ways to actively support each-other. See further ideas generated in the snapshot below:
Written by Genevieve Larkin
by Carolanne McPartlan
Presenting at Library Camp this year was a very different experience: last year I was in the middle of my wonderful six-week work experience placement, in the Cregan Library in St. Patrick’s College, DCU; this year I pitched from the perspective of a library advocate, with an outside perspective and opinion, on how librarians should use networking, and cross-discipline collaboration, to further their role as teachers. The afternoon was both interesting, and most definitely, rewarding. I put forward my thoughts and observations below. Librarians, you do a very valuable job: ‘May the Force Be with You’… Always.
The main points of my pitch were:
- I passionately believe that in a true republic, where education should be available to all of the people, equally, libraries are both central, and essential.
- However, I have been thinking that librarians should be involved wherever, and whenever, possible in the wider skills/ teaching/academic world: at local/grass-roots level, in addition to a national level.
- People on the floor/at the coal-face are powerful, and need to feel engaged and empowered.
- Having followed various #’s of library/information, academic/student, and Career/Guidance Counsellor’s workshops/conferences, it seems to me to me that there is room, and indeed a need, for a coordinated approach from all stakeholders.
- My pitch mentioned such things as the ‘T-shaped’ graduate and ePortfolios as an example of how, and why, librarians need to network, and join the conversation in associated arenas, with associated stakeholders, in order to demonstrate viability and secure their future.
- Librarian Get Loud…Get Involved…if you are involved Get More Involved!
- If you get a chance to look through the feed from the #eportfoliohub16, and you’ll perhaps be struck, as I was, regarding the similarity of ideas, concerns, and motivations with some of those at #lilac16.
- Librarians need not only to get LOUD, but, in these days of adaptability/innovation, should be leaders in reaching out to other interested parties regarding these issues.
- Ok, let’s think big here…Imagine what could be achieved through a coordinated workshop, moving to a full-on conference and road-map/agreed or imagined approach?
- Library/information professionals are under pressure to make their positions relevant, imagine if librarians could become involved in something like the research/composition of Eportfolios for example?
- Using all your research/teaching expertise, giving you access to another department within an organisation, opening the door to administrative, training, HR and academic departments, and the students/colleagues therein?
- Also, it would further diversify your role…. Having worked in a commercial environment myself, I really believe that to innovate, and diversify is crucial to survival, and a means to show the value of the service been given. Synergy is a given in business.
- Are the LAI or associated institutions represented/present at conferences such as Career Guidance, NALA, various Professions or Teacher’s conferences?
- Do these important and influential bodies know how progressive librarians are?
- Have any of their reps been invited to CDG initiatives, Librarians ALOUD, LILAC 2016? Not necessarily to present, just to attend….
- Do they know what you are doing, what you can offer, what wonderful allies you can be?
- It seems to me that if you join forces on matters such as IL/ePortfolios for example, you may forge other areas where literacy, career, research and academic initiatives can be work-shopped, and a uniform approach, with librarians very much involved, could be agreed upon, and acted upon, keeping libraries/librarians at the core of whatever is happening in education/training
‘An e-portfolio is a purposeful aggregating of digital items – ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback etc., which ‘presents’ a selected audience with evidence of a person’s learning and/or ability.‘(Sutherland and Powell, 2007).
- Paper-based portfolios have been used in education for many years.
- In recent times the electronic portfolio or eportfolio has emerged as a preferred option, allowing portfolio owners to take advantage of digital technologies, often supported by specific eportfolio software.
[Incidentally, for any of you not involved in academic libraries, could this service be used in career/training initiatives within your organisation?]
- This three day workshop event, which takes place in DIT Aungier Street, will explore themes such as ePortfolio projects, tools and platforms, assessment and reflection, and digital identity and career progression.
- DIT, ITB, ITT and Hibernia College, along with the support of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, are delighted to host a National Irish ePortfolio Workshop event ‘ePortfolios in Ireland: What Now, Where Next?’ on 21st – 23rd March, 2016.
- Some of the presenters came from DIT, IADT, RCSI, Teaching Institutes of education, LIT, TCD…
- LILAC16 — same dates! – Was there a library/information specialist at DIT conference – not necessarily presenting, just attending, what did they think?
- ‘LILAC is a fantastic opportunity to meet like- minded professionals and develop your information literacy practices. However, LILAC is not just about the programme, there are plenty of opportunities for meeting old and new friends, networking…’ What associated professions, other than library/information specialists, were attending at LILAC? What did they think?Fri, May 20, 2016 – Irish Times – ‘Why we need more T-shaped graduates’
Opinion: Young workers who combine knowledge with an ability to collaborate across different disciplines are in high demand
- Concerns are growing that education systems are failing to equip students with the knowledge and attributes they need to flourish in the workplace.
- Following extensive consultation with employers nationally and internationally, we identified six key attributes (including communications, leadership, problem-solving, innovative mind-sets, global awareness), underpinned by specific proficiencies (such as digital literacy), that are fostered in all our students.
- [DCU] From this year, all incoming students will be provided with an e-portfolio that will act as a digital archive of personal development and will be framed around the headings of the six generic attributes. What’s happening in your institution?
- But, how do we get associated groups/stakeholders to engage/enable/support our initiatives?…Networking
- Following Twitter, it appears that the same people/interested groups are talking, and interacting with each other, which is fab, but is it time that other associated groups, from outside the library sphere also joined your conversation…or are reminded to include you in theirs?
- #Futurelibrary Vs. #wordcon (writers/literary conference) same day…being held in the NLI!) … ASTI conference also happening!
- Was there a library/information specialist at these conferences? What did they think?
- Was there a writer/literary festival volunteer or expert/teacher at #Futurelibrary? What did they think?
So, do you know —a relative, friend, neighbour, someone in your sports club, drama club, PTA, a committee you are on, stitch ‘n bitch group?! Who is a:
- Teacher – Educate Together/ Early school leavers/ DEIS
- Lecturer in yours, or another, institute of education
- Career Guidance [use library story if time]
- Someone involved in a committee in their particular profession
- NALA volunteer/co-ordinator
- Someone in Science
- Medical field
- Colleague or lunch buddy involved in a different Dept/area within your organisation
- Associated NGO – e.g. Fighting words, JobCare, SUI, [across whole demographic]
- Grad Ireland
- Organisers of a course/CPD you undertook, e.g. 12 Apps…
- These are all people who have the potential to engage with libraries and recognise what libraries can offer in terms of education/skills/training :
- As importantly/conversely they have a professional or social skills/connections and/or the professional/philanthropic/altruistic outlook to offer advice/feed-back and support to library initiatives…
- But How?!! Engagement with associated professional fields, or advocacy groups. Show & Tell!
- Ask! – I was delighted to be invited here today. People like to help! Or Tell! – leave the door open…
- Virtual: Know what’s going on in their world
- Good Examples:
- Books Upstairs (@BooksUpstairs) tweeted at 0:14 PM on Thu, May 19, 2016:
“Bringing the mind-set of performance theatre production to literary events” @sarahkeegs @WordsIreland #wordcon
- @gutterbookshop – masters of the network: but not crass & staying true to their community….involved in ILF Dublin & Dalkey Book Festival
- Books Upstairs (@BooksUpstairs) tweeted at 0:14 PM on Thu, May 19, 2016:
- Virtual: Let them know what is going on in your world that may be of interest in their world
- Virtual ‘invitees’ to conferences – let them know about your # – offer to mail your follow-up slides that may be useful…encourage them to RT…
- Real: Invite them to your workshops, think-ins, dare I say it, conferences: go to theirs!
- Two for one entry? Bring a friend initiative?
- Engage first…involve them…it may lead to a reciprocal arrangement…
- And then, slowly, but surely, build on those relationships, expand what you’ve done in library/library school circles to neighbouring organisations!
- You owe it to yourselves, and to future librarians/information specialists.
- You have to show that your teaching initiatives, indeed, your library, or your role within an organisation has merit, and consequently receives the funding and recognition it deserves…it is within your power.
- Otherwise, you are going to be dealing with ‘the Horse has bolted’ situation: initiatives such as # my library my right are worthy and correct, but, in my opinion, the damage is done, the horse has bolted, someone has closed the stable door…
- Start the conversation, engage, show your knowledge, and show how you can help: take advice, observe what is going on in associated spheres. Learn as well as teach.
- However, constant CPD/Certification/upskilling is not the only answer, [maybe sponsor a workshop for CPD on networking?]…
- co-operate, and stay connected, that way, people are dealing with people, and not competing organisations/entities: competing for recognition and funding:
- Show that Libraries are friendly allies, not the conquering or vanquished enemy: not a Trojan horse!
Feed-back: Comments from attendees to pitch:
- [agree…librarians] ‘need to be less self-effacing’
- [librarians] ‘are too humble’
- [need to] ‘get out there…[show] their skills’
- [demonstrate] ‘their added value’
- [concern] ‘Use CPD for myself…attend conferences for me….’ [in response suggested that this could still be the case, but, perhaps also invite people to follow the twitter feed/# for the event]
- [comment] ‘cross-pollination of ideas a good thing’
- [Reaching out to others] ‘not just for events’…[Rudaí 23 had an educator involved [who] ‘added dimension’
Written by Carolanne McPartlan
We’re very excited to be collaborating with our friends and colleagues in Australia: LARK Library Applied Research Kollektive to bring you a Twitter chat discussing a fantastic article on evidence-based librarianship by Denise Pan (Associate Dean for Collections and Content at University of Washington) and Zaana Howard (strategic designer and human-centred design coach). The article we’ve chosen describes a range of innovative research methods which can help to transform libraries into evidence-based communities of practice (scroll down for more info!)
The Twitter group #EBLIPRG (Evidence-based Library and Information Practice Reading Group) began in August 2015, led by Suzana Sukovic, Fiona MacDonald and Liz Walkley Hall. They were inspired by the conversations that they’d had at the EBLIP8 Conference, and wanted to find a way to continue their discussions. And so their Twitter reading group began – a first for the Australian library community! (For the full back story, see here).
Check out #EBLIPRG on Twitter for a quick idea of what it’s all about.
If you’re new to Twitter chats you can find out how to participate here, but the short story is it’s a great way to connect with other library professionals, researchers, students within your own network and around the World – anyone who’s on Twitter can have their say!
How to join:
Read the article we’ve chosen to discuss (link to full-text, details, and abstract below!)
Have a quick look at the discussion questions we’ve come up with
Get online at 11am on Thursday 30th June and lurk, listen, join in!
Make sure to use #EBLIPRG in your Tweets!
Pan, Denise & Howard, Zaana (2010) Distributing leadership and cultivating dialogue with collaborative EBIP. Library Management, 31(7), pp. 494-504.
1. Do you think the experience and knowledge of library staff is utilised by library management to make decisions?
2. The article describes a reorganisation of library staff and workflows to flatten the hierarchical structure & better reflect library priorities. Have you ever worked somewhere with a shared leadership culture?
How was it achieved?
3. What obstacles prevent a shared leadership culture from thriving?
4. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a distributed leadership model? (see pros and cons on p.7)
5. Have you or your organisation ever used an appreciative inquiry model to research your workplace, and if so, what were the results?
6. Where have you found a community of practice for librarians? (Associations, organisations, committees, groups, workplaces, ex-colleagues, etc.)
7. Think of three initiatives that could help convert your workplace into a knowledge creating community
8. The article acknowledges library personnel as assets by recognising that when libraries maximise the talents & skills of a diverse staff the organisation becomes responsive & innovative. Discuss.