Alchemical Thoughts

Items on librarianship and leadership

Posted on: December 7, 2007

These are some links I have kept in my aggregator for a while. At one point I was thinking about reflecting on leadership in our profession, but I did not want to write the usual stuff, which is reflected in some of these links. I probably will not write the post, since I have written some of my ideas in the personal journal. Anyhow, in case I change my mind, I am saving the items anyhow, who knows why.

I am not sure what I would have done with this. Sometimes I think I may be the wrong person or audience for ALA's ideas on leadership. Not just ALA's; it's the notion that somehow gaining an administrative/management position equals leadership. It does not, and those who make it sound like it is have got the wrong idea of leadership. Management and leadership are not the same thing. A leader does not have to be a manager or some mover in an organization. But this goes against a lot of the mainstream, so, we'll leave it as a passing thought or musing.

Update note (12/12/07): Here are a few other things to add:

  • Steven Bell, again for ACRLog, asking "Are You Where You Want To Be Professionally?" I wanted to write a more thoughtful response in a blog post, but to be honest, it is not calling to me at the moment. When I read it, I just wondered what is it about this profession that if you are not advancing up a ladder, then there must be something wrong with you? To be honest, I would have expected some A-list librarian blogger to say something about this, but I guess they already went up the ladder as well. Anyhow, I often notice that the ones who, like Mr. Bell in his post, tell you not to worry about where you are professionally tend to be the ones who are already at a professional pinnacle.
  • Bell just keeps them coming. Same blog. This time it's "Every Librarian a Leader But…" on growing the future administrators. This is the post he wrote after the previous one I just listed above. Given what I have seen regarding some library directors, I am not quite as ready to give them as much credit. Like everyone else, there are some good ones and there are some not so good ones, to put it mildly. Just because directors make the "hard choices," it does not follow they are leaders. They are just administrators higher up in the chain of command. Whether they prove themselves leaders or not is a different question, and it is based on other things than just "getting the big bucks." Again, something I would consider writing about if I actually had some time to think about it some more.
  • Michael Stephens, of Tame the Web, has a small post on "Library Directors: Meet your future leaders." He is pointing to another post and then drawing out some key traits.

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