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:

Thumbs Up to YALSA Leadership Development

Saturday morning of conference, YALSA schedules what is called the Leadership Development for Chairs meeting.’  This time the meeting was quite a bit different.’  Even if you are not a chair of a YALSA committee-keep reading-the meeting had something for everyone! Continue reading

YALSA Leadership – Committees, Tools, Projects

In this series of podcasts learn about some of the ins and outs of YALSA’s Committees, web tools, and projects.’ ‘  The short podcasts (each is between three and ten minutes) cover YALSA’s:

Leadership Development

I’ll be at leadership development bright and early on Saturday morning. This morning I was looking at the agenda for the meeting and it looks really full. A couple of things jumped out at me as things I’m interested in learning more about.

It looks like we’ll learn more about ALA’s Online Communities. That’s great. It will be good to have a collaborative space where committee members can meet online and talk about work, goals, and such. I’m not sure how it’s going to work but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Also, I thought it was great that on the agenda there are items that should specifically help committee chairs expand their committee work by getting involved in YALSA in a broader sense. We’ll get to hear about how to help publicize committee work in YALSA publications. I think that lots of committee chairs and members would like to let others know about the work they do, but are never quite sure how to do that. Maybe this part of the agenda will get the word out.

I also noticed that it looks like there are going to be time for small group discussions during leadership development. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that at one of these meetings before. That sounds great. We tend to sit at Leadership Development and listen or ask questions as part of a large group. To be able to talk to others in small groups will be great.

Once the meeting is over I’ll blog back to let readers know what really happened at the meeting.