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Where, primarily do I direct my energy? How do I prefer to process information? How do I prefer to make decisions? How do I prefer to organize my life?
Complete online the Personality test at http://www.personaldna.com/. Based on the results, provide a brief written answer to the following questions about your learning behavior: 1. Where, primarily do I direct my energy? I love information and learning. When I am not working I spend up to 14 hours a day reading emails, exploring the internet just following where links and information lead me and watching YouTube, and other rich media viewing outlets. I like providing aggregated information like the “Drudge Report” but via mass distribution of opt-in emails to media outlets and individuals as opposed to passive methods like a website that requires people to go to a site. If Drudge came to me like through a RSS feed, I would be prone to read or review it more often, but there are too many websites – too little time. 2. How do I prefer to process information? I am not sure exactly what this means, but I am completely multi-media oriented. I watch a lot of Netflix documentaries, Movies, read emails, the internet and listen to Podcasts. I am visual, kinetic and audio based on where I am at and what the environment allows, but I am ‘always on’, but unplug for hours or days at a time to allow for ‘processing’ of the information by my brain and allow my sub-conscious to ferret out what rises to the top in terms of importance and urgency to act on or followup/follow-through on investigative queries [to the ‘answers’ of life I have questions to]. I like tactile magazine and books that I can write notes in the side margins and circle and highlight information to preserve ideas. 3. How do I prefer to make decisions? I like to receive input via brain-storming sessions, input from involved parties and any relevant research that can be done from a variety of sources, depending on the subject or line of inquiry being done.
4. How do I prefer to organize my life? I save everything on yahoo because it has unlimited storage. Some old stuff does not retrieve well so I also .CC & .BCC to gmail and inbox.com. Backups are essential and email address to individuals become ‘virtual folders’ so when I go to search for something I can locate by association of WHO I sent it to as well as the subject to narrow the 14,000 or so emails, drafts and other data I have interacted with over the years. As I said this is about your learning behavior and life styles since that all comes into to play in Management of Individuals and Organizations. I hope that this is helpful. I am interested in seeing how others approached these questions, so this is my personal response to you. Managing in the information age is somewhat different than management in other industries. Because of the speed of technological change and the adaption of that technology there is a tension between the ancient and archaic methods of library systems and the edge of progress that represents new frontiers of that change. The term web 2.0 has immersed itself in a generation of capabilities that have come to represent some of the fundamental changes of our culture and society. How those tools represent age disparities and technology perspective and advances becomes critical to understand as a library information director who has the duel role of understanding where libraries have come from and have to be maintained and converted as well as offering products and services that keep libraries relevant for social purpose, maintaining spaces for individuals to get away from distracting environments at home and work to focus, study and concentrate on the academic pursuit of learning. The new information age is clouded with benefits as well as distractions that function to dilute learning efforts. The balance of managing these two realties becomes the challenge of the new library director. Human nature tells us that we fall into two general categories as people who respond to change. There are the ‘pioneers’, those who thrive on change, advancement and new technologies and challenges and there are the ‘homesteaders’ who prefer to put down roots, develop policy, running day-to-day operations and creating a community base for the settlement
of that which is. Both of these types of people are necessary in any civilization and society. Both of these people are required. Often the challenge is rectifying the needs of both as problem solvers, administrators and agents of change. The conflict of emotional readiness to accept new responsibilities and added workloads often falls on the homesteaders to facilitate the changes that the pioneers develop. This often leads to resentment of the load that falls on their shoulders. This needs to be understood by those desiring change and relevance of library systems as well as the need for a kick in the pants to those who desire to stay in their comfort zone and resist change. The process of change is slow in beauracratic environments where decision by committees and policy-makers must not only be considered, but often act as a major inhibitor to changes desires. Often the very threat of losing relevance and purpose to the community it serves becomes the agent for change within these environments. People’s jobs and livelihoods have to come into jeopardy for them to see the value of change. Since libraries are funded through state, county and city initiatives, it often behooves decision makers to let stakeholders know the process to which the library system is supported. The process of understanding the police(security and stability of a community and society), Fire persons (physical property security), teachers (societal evolution and development for job functions and to keep industry going) and Libraries (social literacy and skills base to keep up with changing demands of work advancements and societal economics). All of these are funded by property taxes of residents that essentially fund these services. In recognizing this important cornerstone to community stability, the needs of the community and the development of programs and initiatives that speak to the need of those communities that pay for the existence of libraries becomes a central focus of the charter, mission statement and vision statement of today’s libraries.
This liberating knowledge then lays a foundation for the second revelation. Libraries are often on the bottom of the list for funding and are on the top of the list for financial cuts by city governments. Education becomes the second most vulnerable to budget constraints followed by the essential services of police officers and firemen (we cannot allow the city to burn down or descend into chaos). This revelation should prepare us to become prepared us to be armed for the next reality of libraries. We are often under-funded, have few resources and can end up defeatist and sluggard’s who just do a minimum job of directing people from the reference desk instead of taking a proactive role in learning sales, customer service, grant writing and community involvement in getting local community sponsors to help alleviate the constraints that are naturally built into the system. Technological development is of no use if programs for people to be trained, educated and be productive on library systems that attract a community customer base are not able to be fulfilled. Our first charter after learning about library systems and management theory should be internships and training opportunities that allow student to explore the essential learning of writing grants and proposals for funding (finding the money), practicing building community relationships with government and social groups that use and participate in library program development. Using elementary marketing methods of making fliers, sign-up sheets and promotional banners for children’s story-time, teen rock concerts that allow local businesses to sponsor food and drink for advertising opportunities and community coalition building are examples of these types of outreaches. Since City and state facilities are driven by fundamentals such as internet usage, foot traffic, catalog and database reference, attendance at events and activity based, number generated results platforms, our skills as sales people, marketers, advertisers, social creatures and advocates
for libraries as representatives is much needed. The past role of cuddling up with a good book while looking to not be disturbed by patrons cannot exist in the demanding customer service environment of today’s library services. Too often we forget the old business axiom of “The customer is not a distraction from your work; the customer IS your WORK!” [Emphasis added]. Once that realization occurs and is enforced in libraries, the due respect for the position and role of librarian begins to become clear. As people, we become magnets for people to be attracted to us as representatives and advocates for the library and library system as well as advocates for the community. The old view of sitting behind a desk and taking whatever incoming assault of emails and telephone calls and massive interruptions to a work flow become the norm of the job. The ability to multi-task while planning strategic initiatives in weekly meetings that are embraced by administrators and functional implementers of those people on the front line. They become the second tier of the balancing act that is the new role of the 21st century librarian. Taking roles outside of a typical 9-5 and being willing to develop community resources becomes imperative to advancing library goals and ingratiating the function and role of the library in a community. We can exist, do as little as possible and resist as much change as possible and the results will be a suffering small library with few outreaches and programs, and little more to offer that a building withy books, movies and videos like a multi-media blockbuster video store. There is value to libraries as repositories, but those past functions mean fewer library jobs, less expertise to run those facilities and minimal services that meet the expectations of minimal funding from state and local government. The purposes and mission of technology advancement demand the social and government interaction of publicity, public relations and a bit of a sales effort make city planners and government officials aware of the progress and
evolution of needs that local libraries are fulfilling. With this knowledge it gives government and city officials the needed inspiration to focus and contribute a larger piece of the pie to the resource bearers that are most effectively using them.
Management Skills Before
Management Skills After
Understood Sales and Academic environment management Understand driving results for sales efforts Understand student committee participation of Academic Environment Communicated pressures of results Communicated strategy for successful student organizations
Understand Dual Conflicts of managing Library Information dynamics
Understand the dual conflicting objectives and impact to administrators as well as front line operations requirements to fulfill library initiatives
“Big Picture” communication and letting stakeholders on each side of the equation understand how planning, implementation and administration of policy and programs has a significant impact on all in the organization. There is a lot at stake, so everyone needs to be on board to execute plans well. External development of community and public relations efforts to government officials and city planners become a much more important component to advancing the cause of individual libraries as well as library systems in the community. Planning with the all stake-holders in a more horizontal fashion
Internal goals were paramount
Planning with leaders (Top Down Approach)
Fewer soft skills of meeting emotional needs in regards to change
More feeling and empathy skills due to a larger female librarian population and understanding how all stakeholders feel about their roles, responsibilities and function in the library. This needs to include stressors in each individual environment and finding solutions to daily obstructions before implementing new loads and stressors that do not evaluate cause and effect (Teen programs that may be more noisy, require more management of patrons or security needs etc.)
Sales was “Just Do It” generate the numbers and the sales will come
Academic was developing people to see their potential as leaders
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