A Starter's Guide for Academic Library Leaders: Advice in Conversation

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Amanda Clay Powers, Martin Garnar, and Dustin Fife

The path towards leadership starts with you. But you don’t have to go it alone. For this book, the authors sat down with many of the library leaders they most admire for a series of conversations about the aspects of the job that they find the most fascinating (and challenging). Much like the chats you might have over coffee at a conference or with a mentor, these frank discussions will nourish you with nuts-and-bolts wisdom on a diverse range of academic library management issues. Among the topics and situations broached are

  • balancing personal values against the common refrain “you don’t get to be who you want to be in positions like ours”;
  • five questions to ask that reveal much about organizational culture and climate;
  • creating a culture of change, including why a newly promoted director chose to make the most drastic changes in the first 100 days;
  • forming a “dean team” to help frame responses with consideration to institutional culture;
  • the value of demystifying the budget for the entire library staff;
  • using tools such as a personal “learning journal” to fuel professional development;
  • cultivating a personal network by setting up meetings at local libraries during conferences;
  • the risks that result from jumping into a situation too fast and boxing yourself into a corner;
  • lessons learned from failed initiatives;
  • examples of navigating controversies, such as a director’s response to a WPA mural with a racist message; and
  • managing facilities, with an example of how injecting a previously ignored library voice into a building project led to a tripling of the space.

Between these covers you’ll find guidance, ideas, and inspiration as you continue your leadership journey.

Sku: 9780838919231

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