Category Archives: Leadership

Mentors Needed for Spectrum Scholars

Are you interested in directly contributing to the development of the next generation of academic librarians and ensuring a diverse workforce? Then consider mentoring an ALA Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program! The program links participating library school students and new librarians who are of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander descent, with established academic librarians who provide mentoring and professional guidance.

What’s Involved?
As a mentor, you will serve as a role model and provide career guidance, as well as help mentees find opportunities for involvement and leadership in the profession. You must be an academic librarian, have multiple years of professional experience (a minimum of ten years preferred), and be an active member of ACRL. The mentor program requires a commitment of at least one year and up to maximum of three years.

You will receive Web-based training from ACRL to assist you in building a successful mentoring relationship. Mentor responsibilities include:

  • Contacting the Spectrum Scholar on a regular basis (monthly is ideal).
  • Spending time with the Spectrum Scholar at library conferences when you are both are in attendance.
  • Completing two brief assessment surveys during the first year of your mentorship.

How Do You Apply?
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for a Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor program, just complete the application.

What Happens Next?
The ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee matches new pairs of mentors and Spectrum Scholars throughout the year, with most of the matches made in the spring. If we are unable to match you with a Scholar immediately, your application will be kept on file and you’ll be contacted periodically to confirm your ongoing interest in participating.

Please apply today to be an ACRL Spectrum Scholar Mentor. The profession benefits when you share your experience!

If you have questions about the ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program, please contact Committee Chair Harriett Green at green19@illinois.edu or ACRL staff member David Connolly at dconnolly@ala.org.

2013 Women’s Leadership Institute registration still available

ACRL is collaborating with other higher education associations to offer the 2013 Women’s Leadership Institute. This year’s institute will be held Dec. 3-6, 2013, in Amelia Island, Fla. The Women’s Leadership Institute is an experience which provides professional development opportunities on issues that affect women within the higher education community. Attendees are women who represent the many functional areas on campus who aspire to be senior leaders in higher education and share a passion for the field.

Leadership development and positioning continue to be concerns for women in society in general and is a focus for the development of the next generation of leaders in higher education. Research shows that while the gap may be narrowing, pay and promotion disparity continue to be problems for women working on campus. The Women’s Leadership Institute mission is to bring together women who represent the vast communities across institutions of higher education. It provides a special opportunity to learn, not just about leadership skills, but about how other parts of the campus function, what their priorities and challenges are and how to bridge the communication gap that may exist when we try to work across campus cultures.

The program is designed for directors of libraries and those who report directly to them in positions such as associate university librarian or assistant library dean. Institute content will also be useful to other campus administrators involved in senior-level decision making affecting the entire library operation and involving other important relationships on campus.

Registration fees include general and breakout sessions, program materials, an opening reception, one dinner, one lunch, one brunch and two continental breakfasts. Complete program details, cosponsors and a link to registration materials are available on the institute website.

Direct questions on the Women’s Leadership Institute to Margot Conahan at mconahan@ala.org or call (312) 280-2522.

Mentors Needed for Spectrum Scholars

Are you interested in developing the next generation of academic librarians and ensuring a diverse workforce? Then consider mentoring an ALA Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program. The program links participating library school students and new librarians, who are of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander descent, with established academic librarians who will provide mentoring and coaching support.

 What’s Involved?
Mentors will serve as role models in academic librarianship and provide career guidance, as well as help mentees find opportunities for involvement and leadership in the profession. They must be academic librarians, have professional experience (a minimum of ten years preferred), and be active in ACRL. Mentors must make a commitment for a minimum of one year and up to maximum of three years.

Mentors will receive Web-based training from ACRL to assist them in building a successful mentoring relationship. Mentor responsibilities include:

  • Contacting the mentee monthly or on a regular basis.
  • Spending time with the Spectrum Scholar at library conferences where both are in attendance.
  • Submitting brief status reports and an annual report (one page form).

How Do You Apply?
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for a Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor program, please complete the application before May 17, 2013.

What Happens Next?
The ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee expects to be matching new pairs of mentors and Spectrum Scholars by early June, and both parties will be informed of the match soon thereafter. If we are unable to match you with a Scholar immediately, you will be notified and your paperwork will be kept on file.

Please apply today to be an ACRL Spectrum Scholar Mentor! The profession needs you.

If you have additional questions about the ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program please contact Committee Chair Jade Alburo at jalburo@library.ucla.edu or ACRL staff member David Connolly at dconnolly@ala.org.

Sharing My Leadership Moment (And You Can Too!)

Leadership is the theme of the ACRL/LLAMA Presidents’ Program at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Academic librarians interested in adding leadership qualities to their skill set, or adding to their leadership abilities, will want to attend this program. It features noted author, executive coach and leadership consultant Karol M. Wasylyshyn, and her presentation is “Standing on Marbles: Ensuring Steady Leadership in Unsteady Times.” Experienced leaders, at any level in their library, knows their work occasionally involves uncertainty and that these times of ambiguity do indeed make us feel like we are standing on marbles. Having heard Wasylyshyn speak previously, I believe we can expect a great talk that will help all of us improve the quality of our leadership.

In conjunction with the program, the ACRL/LLAMA Joint President’s Program Committee is sponsoring a creative contest that will provide us with an opportunity to share stories and learn from each other so that we can all improve the quality of our leadership. Any ALA member is eligible to participate. All you need to do is reflect on one of your own memorable leadership moments and share the story about how it provided you with insight into your own leadership style or potential. The twist is that you can refer back to “an example from a book, film, play, TV show, presentation or any other context where a “leadership moment” might be found.” The possibilities, given the number of books, movies and more that offer leadership moments, are nearly endless.

Being a leader means making a commitment to continuous learning. One of the best ways to learn about leadership emerges from leaders when they share their most challenging experiences. We can learn from both the successes and failures encountered in confronting leadership dilemmas. The more memorable those experiences are the more likely we will learn from them. Some of these significant experiences are referred to as crucible moments. Their value is that they make us wiser leaders and give us the confidence we need to succeed in a leadership role.

I am looking forward to learning from your memorable leadership stories. As your ACRL president I plan to refrain from submitting an entry. I’m sure there is something in the small print that specifies my ineligibility.  In the spirit of the contest though, I’d like to share a memorable leadership moment from an inspirational book. I first encountered this book when I was a graduate student in the higher education administration program at the University of Pennsylvania. In a course on educational leadership we were studying decision making approaches in order to improve our own ability to make better decisions. One of the readings for this course was Graham Allison’s The Essence of Decision, the classic book about decision making under uncertainty that explains the Cuban Missile Crisis.

If you’ve read the book or studied the Crisis you know about the gut wrenching process that President John F. Kennedy went through on his way to deciding how to counter the Russians’ decision to place offensive weapons in Cuba. It is a case study of decision making under conditions of extreme ambiguity. For Kennedy and his advisers  the reasoning and rationale behind Russia’s action was murky, so the days leading up to the end of the standoff were much like a game of chess with the ultimate in high stakes. It was also marked by multiple “mini-crises” within the crisis, such as a U-2 spy plane being shot down over Cuba.

The book, along with class discussions, was an excellent lesson in leadership. Kennedy had his failings as president, but the Missile Crisis provided him with an opportunity to redeem past issues by demonstrating top notch leadership. Adding to the complexity of the crisis, Kennedy’s top advisers were split on how to deal with the Russians. One group advocated attacking Russia with nuclear weapons while the other wanted to wait out the Russians to see if they’d just give up. With help from his brother Bobby, President Kennedy used a blend of diplomacy and saber rattling to take control and develop a course of action that resolved the Crisis.

While initially impressed with the book, I have since come to think of Essence of Decision as a leadership manual for decision making under pressure. The big takeaway for me is that great leaders force themselves to avoid settling for the obvious solutions and instead think creatively about ways to develop solutions that are neither option A or option B, but rather a new and previously unimaginable option C. The book and the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis can also help leaders by reminding them that there are going to be dilemmas where there are no easy answers, but that if we maintain our composure, seek the guidance of colleagues and do our best to avoid causing damage, we increase the odds of a successful outcome.

I encourage you to consider composing an entry for this contest. Whether it’s a book, movie, television show, play or other form of expression, I believe that many of us can conjure up a memorable leadership inspiration that is worthy of sharing with others. This will be a learning opportunity for all of us. Many thanks to Valeda Dent and Lila Fredenberg, the 2013 Presidents’ Program co-chairs, and all the members of the committee, for designing a great opportunity for all ALA members to engage with what will surely be a “do not miss this” program in Chicago.

Women’s Leadership Institute Early Bird Deadline, Scholarships

The early bird registration deadline for the 2012 Women’s Leadership Institute is November 2, 2012. Co-produced by several higher education associations, this unique program will bring together administrators from across campus functions to help you:

  • Hone your leadership skills for working in a rapidly changing environment
  • Develop a better understanding of the campus as a workplace and culture
  • Share experiences with others about how campuses are adapting and adjusting to new realities
  • Create new personal networks and networking skills to better tap the higher education community

Additionally, the Spelman and Johnson Group have generously funded two scholarships to attend the institute.

The institute will be held November 27-30, 2012, in Dana Point, California, and December 2-5, 2012 in Amelia Island, Florida. Complete details and registration materials are available online.

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