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!One of the main differences in the meeting were what was called ‘leadership mini sessions’. All of the attendees could go to a topic of their choice for 20 minutes and then switch to another session. The topics included:
- Communicating Effectively
- Excelling in a Team Environment
- Positive Leadership Traits
- Producing Results
- Successfully Managing Others
The sessions were facilitated by the YALSA Executive Committee (President, President-Elect, Past President, Fiscal Officer, Secretary, and Councilor). They were informal but I thought very useful and very productive. The sessions themselves were testament that YALSA listens to its members and works to improve situations.
Before the conference, we were given questions to do a self-assessment and determine which sessions would be most beneficial to us. While it’s not realistic to cover a topic’s entirety in such a short amount of time (we could probably have an entire pre-conference on any of the topics!) I felt it gave the right amount of information in a way that left me feeling recharged and gave me some food for thought as a YALSA Committee chair as well as a librarian at my library.
A few thoughts about what I think having the mini sessions did:
- shows members the strengths of our board members and other facilitators
- shows members that we are great resources ourselves (note the facilitators were not experts and did not present themselves as such)
- we’re all learning to become better together
- YALSA is helping grow leaders
- helps to professionalize the profession
The structure that did stay the same was meeting with our Board member who is the liaison for our committee. We talk about what is working well and what we might need help with which is a useful part of the meeting as well.
Please feel free to share your own experiences about the Leadership Development meeting.