Level Up Your Leadership Skills: Overcoming Perfectionism

Most of us in the library profession are high achievers aren’t we?

Our attention to detail has likely saved that flyer or that web page more than once from putting out incorrect information to a large amount of people. Can you imagine if that error would have gone out? Some of us might start sweating a bit just thinking about it.

Project planning? That’s our specialty! Months ahead we’re already thinking about decorations for the summer learning kickoff program or what the posters will look like for our annual film festival. Closer to the event itself we might even go so far as to lose sleep and take over most of the work ourselves just so we can make sure it’s done ‘right’.

Low attendance to a program? We’re likely mortified! We lose sleep again in thinking about how we could have gotten more teens to attend this author program that was advertised for months. The regular teen visitors even assured you they were coming. What could possibly have gone wrong?

Are you a perfectionist? Continue reading

Annual 2015: Oakland PL’s Youth Leadership Council

This is a guest post from Perla Casas, a 2015 high school graduate. She will be part of the panel speaking on Sunday June 28th at 4:30 pm as part of “Empower Your Teens! Civic Engagement Strategies That Work.”

The Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is a youth-driven advisory board for the Oakland Public Library. The YLC creates support strategies to improve its service for patrons and promotes the library simultaneously. The YLC is made up of twelve individuals from the ages of thirteen to eighteen. I was sixteen years old when I first stumbled across the YLC application at the TeenZone in the Main Library. I have always enjoyed reading and I am passionate about libraries, so I thought this group would be a perfect fit for me. After a nerve wracking three month application process, I was finally accepted as a member. Continue reading

Level Up Your Leadership Skills: Ways to Prioritize Your Work

If you’re working with teens in a library – any kind of library — you should be a leader. Being a leader doesn’t have to mean you’re the boss – or that you ever want to be the boss, but it takes intentionality and may mean thinking about your role in serving teens a bit differently. Level Up Your Leadership Skills is a regular feature on leadership topics for staff working with teens.

We all have a lot on our plates. Working the desk, doing outreach and working directly with teens are all important parts of our work. Depending on our role, we may not have direct control over our schedule or exactly how we manage our own time.

But we often have control over how we spend at least some of our time — so how can we decide what to prioritize within the many possible tasks we could be doing or new projects we could be starting?

Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: ALA Leadership Institute

We’ve all probably got an opinion or reaction when we hear the word “leadership.” Maybe we think, “oh that’s just not for me,” or “I want to be more successful at making change,” or perhaps “I think I’m doing a pretty good job but could always use more pointers” or even “I’m not a manager so this probably doesn’t really apply to me.”

If it’s all or none of the above, you’re in the right place. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes: ALA Leadership Institute-Part 3 of 3

We’ve all probably got an opinion or reaction when we hear the word “leadership.” Maybe we think, “oh that’s just not for me,” or “I want to be more successful at making change,” or perhaps “I think I’m doing a pretty good job but could always use more pointers” or even “I’m not a manager so this probably doesn’t really apply to me.”

If it’s all or none of the above, you’re in the right place.

Last month, ALA held an inaugural four-day’ Leadership Institute‘ in Illinois.’ Forty participants‘ from all types of libraries and all kinds of positions were invited to participate on an application basis. Six YALSA members attended. We’ll hear from three of them on the YALSAblog. Stay tuned to hear from others through’ YALS,’ as well as other upcoming publications that will share their excitement about the powerful experience.

Maribel Castro, Instruction and Electronic Resources Librarian with Lubbock Christian University, TX shares her experience ‘ via podcast here.

Several resources Maribel recommends that can help us further our work with young adults and the communities we serve that were shared at the Institute include:

Behind the Scenes: ALA Leadership Institute-Part 2 of 3

We’ve all probably got an opinion or reaction when we hear the word “leadership.” Maybe we think, “oh that’s just not for me,” or “I want to be more successful at making change,” or perhaps “I think I’m doing a pretty good job but could always use more pointers” or even “I’m not a manager so this probably doesn’t really apply to me.”

If it’s all or none of the above, you’re in the right place.

Last month, ALA held an inaugural four-day’ Leadership Institute‘ in Illinois.’ Forty participants‘ from all types of libraries and all kinds of positions were invited to participate on an application basis. Six YALSA members attended. We’ll hear from three of them on the YALSAblog. Stay tuned to hear from others through’ YALS,’ as well as other upcoming publications that will share their excitement about the powerful experience.

Annisha Jeffries, Youth Services Manager, with the Cleveland Public Library, OH shares her experience via podcast here. Several highlights of her interview include:

  • Community engagement was an important theme at the Institute. For example, letting teens know that the library is their place and belongs to them.
  • Listening to others was very helpful.
  • Engaging others to buy-in to ideas is possible!
  • Sometimes people are put into a leadership role without setting out to and we need the tools to be able to be effective no matter what our situation is.
  • Teens are the library’s best cheerleaders!
  • As a librarian you have the responsibility to be the leader that you are!

Behind the Scenes: ALA Leadership Institute-Part 1 of 3

We’ve all probably got an opinion or reaction when we hear the word “leadership.” Maybe we think, “oh that’s just not for me,” or “I want to be more successful at making change,” or perhaps “I think I’m doing a pretty good job but could always use more pointers” or even “I’m not a manager so this probably doesn’t really apply to me.”

If it’s all or none of the above, you’re in the right place.

Last month, ALA held an inaugural four-day Leadership Institute in Illinois. Forty participants from all types of libraries and all kinds of positions were invited to participate on an application basis. Six YALSA members attended. We’ll hear from three of them on the YALSAblog. Stay tuned to hear from others through YALS, as well as other upcoming publications that will share their excitement about the powerful experience.

Elsworth Rockefeller, Manager, Adult and Teen Services with the Oak Park Public Library, IL, shares his experience through an email interview: Continue reading

Emerging Leaders: A YALSA Member Perspective

ALA is currently looking for its next class of Emerging Leaders. Emerging Leaders (EL) puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism. But why should YALSA members consider applying for the EL program? We decided to ask Amy Fiske, librarian at Winchester High School in Winchester, Massachusetts, active YALSA member, and 2008 Emerging Leader.

Q: Why did you apply for the Emerging Leaders Program?
Amy: I guess because I’m ambitious! At the time I was moving from a branch position to a Library Administration position with system-wide responsibilities. It was a good fit at the time. I was also interested in being involved in ALA and Emerging Leaders seemed like a faster track to do that.

Connect, Create, Collaborate: The Next Big Thing Takes Leadership & Finding Your Voice

In 2011, I attended the Eureka! Leadership Institute in California. It was one of the best professional development experiences I have had to date. For 5 days, I worked alongside 31 other librarians around California with a variety of experience and years in the field—from directors to supervisors and managers to part-time and full-time librarians. All had a passion to be a driving force for change in their library systems and were eager to learn how to start the process.

We went through a series of planned exercises and discussions related to management, leadership, change, and the importance of vision. We exchanged some laughs and some tears, ideas and insecurities, and most importantly, we opened ourselves up to our fellow colleagues and really got the chance to examine what it means to be a librarian in the 21st century. After the intensive training was finished, we each went back to our communities, inspired, and committed to a year-long project that filled a demonstrated community need. Another valuable aspect of our training was to participate in an online grant-writing course, develop outcomes and evaluation measures for our projects, and write our own grant to secure funds.
Continue reading

YALSA Leadership – Annual 2009 Edition

In this series of audio files learn about some of the ins and outs of YALSA’s Committees, Interest and Discussion Groups, web tools, and projects. The short audio files (each is between three and 15 minutes) cover YALSA’s: