Library Leadership and
Management
Paula Kaufman
2011
Leadership
Doesn’t rest on a title
Leadership vs Management

Leadership – directly
and indirectly
influencing people to
cause change

Management –
effective utilization of
resources to achieve
organizational goals
Think About Library Leaders
and Managers You Know

What attributes did they have?

What did they do that you admire?

What did they not do or do badly?
Politics
Always present
 Rarely understood fully

Seasoned Leaders Say:
Fundamental change is more likely
through effective leadership than
management
Seasoned Leaders Say:
Effective leadership can change
the culture of an organization,
management cannot
Seasoned Leaders Say:
Effective leadership is based on
values
Seasoned Leaders Say
What makes you successful is how
you treat people
Leaders instill in their staff
hope for success and belief in
themselves. Positive leaders
empower people to
accomplish their goals
Vision

Key to an organization thriving in the
future
Shared Vision

Leader’s responsibility is to build a
shared vision, which requires:
 Articulating a vision
 Listening to input from staff and others
 Reshaping and restating vision based on
input
Mission
 Central
to the life of the
institution
 Enhance
institution’s mission by
providing and stewarding
collections and content and by
offering a wide array of services
Typical U.S. Academic Library’s
Mission
Enhance institution’s goals
 Ensure unfettered access to information
 Provide expertise
 Be an information and knowledge broker

Values

Kinds or standards of behavior used to realize
vision and fulfill mission

Basis of guidelines and expectations of
employee behavior
Samples of A Library’s Values

Excellence in everything we do

Be a nimble and adaptive organization

Provide services that advance users’
endeavors
Sample of Librarians’
Personal and Institutional
Value

Protect users’ privacy and freedom of
thought and expression
“
Balance Security with Liberty
Leading Any Organization
 Learn
and understand the culture
of the institution and the library
 Understand
the values of the
institution and the Library
Leadership Challenges

Effectiveness and relevancy

Territoriality

Morale

Financial resources

Political position
Importance of Organizational
Structure
Clarifies reporting
relationships
 Establishes
authority
 Facilitates
communication
 Sets basis for
change processes

Know Yourself
Why did you take the
position?
 What is your decision
style?
 What are your strengths?
 What do you fear most?
 How will you measure
success?
 How will you stay fresh?

ATTITUDE MATTERS

Positive, supportive, empowering – share
information and engender trust

Reduce conflict and competition by role
modeling respect

Communicate values and principles that
characterize how you will function through
examples
ATTITUDE MATTERS

Distinguish criticism from critical analysis
- “blame and complain”

Don’t overreact – people have opinions
and different personalities

Don’t put off difficult decisions

Rumors are important to understand and
address
Outline a Clear Vision
 Identify barriers and facilitators for
achieving the vision
 Include key individuals that who will
support change
 Begin consensus building and unit
refinements of the vision
 Build shared vision with deliberate
speed
Outline a Clear Vision
 Reward behaviors that contribute
to achieving the
vision/goals/values publicly
 Link individual goals to group
goals
 Facilitate collaboration
DEALING WITH RESISTORS

Spend time to understand their concerns

Define consensus clearly & make
decisions transparent

Do not empower their position

Make true merit decisions
Two Important Keys to
Success
 Maintain
 Find
an open mind
a mentor
What is a Mentor?
A mentor helps you
 Set long-term goals and short-term
objectives
 Explore new directions to achieve goals
 Identify personal strengths and weaknesses
 Make career-worthy contacts and
engagements
Some Ways to Stay Fresh
 Read
 Talk
reports and other materials
with staff
 Familiarize
yourself with
institutional processes
 Identify
issues, aspirations,
concerns, perceptions
A Leader is a Coach for all
Staff
Good staff are key to
meeting library’s goals
Determine best ways to
involve staff in setting
and meeting goals
Measure performance
objectively against
progress towards goals
Encourage Leading From
One’s Seat
Leader’s job is to make employees feel
empowered
 Leader makes sure it’s ok for employees
to fail
 Employees must know their role and
what they’re accountable for

THE LONG HAUL

Talk to colleagues holding similar positions

Try to be fully informed before making
decisions and remain transparent

Remember what is said and what is heard might
be different

Suspend negative judgments as much as
possible
THE LONG HAUL

Role model desired behaviors

Cultivate distributed leadership through
influencing others’ decisions

Don’t worry about who is getting credit –
celebrate together

Challenge yourself and others to “figure
out a way to get there”
THE LONG HAUL
Distinguish temporary setbacks from the need to
revise goals
 Communicate
 Encourage & support
 Revise methodologies & processes
Identify potential leaders and create plan to
develop their skills
EVERYTHING IS
INTERCONNECTED

Management decisions are
financial decisions and vice
versa

Library services

Recruitment/retention

Fund-raising
Enjoy the Difference You Are Making!
Your Success as Leaders is
Measured
by the Success of Others
Create an environment that fosters achievement
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