On a + note

Eight keys to success in library land. #14: 2011

Posted in on a + note by Admin on May 16, 2011

What makes one librarian successful and another not so much? I was asked this question a few weeks ago as I was giving a leadership workshop. There are a million reasons for success: environment, personal attitude, opportunity, experience. However, I think there are a few fundamental reasons that really produce success in library land.

There are many keys to success but my list would include, in order of importance:
• Passion for libraries and librarianship is fundamental to success. You have to love what you do. If you are passionate, people notice, and staff respond.
• Teamwork. We can’t do all we do on our own; we need peeps!
• Know where you are headed; have a strong grasp on your mission, your vision, and your values.
• Be open to opportunities. You can’t move forward if you don’t take the next step.
• Focus on actions. They speak much louder than words.
• Listen to your inner voice, your team, your customers, and your community. A good listener makes a successful leader.
• Always take the high road, and give the customer the benefit of the doubt.
• Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you and a smile.

You have to love what you do and love the folks you do it with to be successful. In order to be relevant and prosperous, you need to know where you want to go, but be open to opportunities and taking calculated risks. Instead of putting all your energy into the plan, focus your efforts on the actions that will move the organization ahead. Make the conscious change in workflow and focus, and expect huge dividends. Finally, listen up and smile!

Successful librarians are many, many things, but most of all, I’d say they are happy in their own skin and love what they do!

There you have it: my eight keys to success in library land. The list looks daunting, but I suspect that most Library Directors already know and put into practice these keys to success!

Have a great week.

Kitty Pope #14 May 2011

One Response to 'Eight keys to success in library land. #14: 2011'

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  1. Mary Heyens said,

    *This comment was edited by Administrator to remove personal information*

    Hello Kittty Pope,

    Thank you for the recent new and improved changes to the GPL. I am a volunteer with the GPL annual Friends of the Guelph Public Library Book sale. I also volunteer with the Chalmers Community Services Centre in downtown Guelph.

    Please read my letter to the Guelph Tribune Editor which I sent on May 26th. To date, ‘he’ has not published it for the Guelph readers and I hope it will appear in next week’s Tribune. Thank you.

    Mary Heyens
    From: “maryheyens
    To: Chris Clark
    Sent: Mon, May 30, 2011 11:26:04 AM
    Subject: Fw: May 24, 2011 Guelph Tribune Editorial, Page 6.

    Chris Clark, Editor
    Guelph Tribune Newspaper
    27 Woodlawn Road
    Guelph, ON N1H 1G8

    Chris Clark,

    I sent you this letter (see below) last week and mis-spelt your email address. I am re-sending my letter to you again. Please publish my letter for your readers. Thank you.

    M. L. Heyens

    Chris Clark, Editor
    Guelph Tribune Newspaper
    27 Woodlawn Road West, Unit 1,
    Guelph, ON N1H 1G8
    E: clark@guelphtribune.ca

    Chris Clark,

    Re: May 24, 2011 Guelph Tribune Editorial, Page 6.

    THE LANGUAGE BARRIER. I have worked in the Skilled Trades and have a combined 10 (ten) years training and work experience. The Guelph Tribune May 24, 2011 Editorial page displayed negative stereotyping on two fronts. First, your image (cartoon) regarding the Guelph Public Library Bookmobile show women and men in stereotyped roles and this undermines your message. Second, your use of speech “…She’s in real good shape and it would be an awful shame to take ‘er off the road…it’ll cost…to keep her going…”, refers to trucks as women. What made you think that only men can drive, operate and mechanically service trucks and public works equipment, and, that all City Counsellors are women? Language can both reflect and shape the way people are treated in our society. It can be used to open doors when it is gender inclusive, or to create barriers when it is not. Gender has nothing to do with the GPL Bookmobile.

    Words create images more powerful than any definition. If you do not choose your words with care, they may send a message you never intended: in this case, that it is a man’s world. Language is always evolving to keep pace with the times. If you wanted your prose to leap off the page, describe the action rather than the gender?

    References to gender serve no useful purpose, because they put emphasis on personal characteristics rather than occupational knowledge and skills. I recommend to the Guelph Tribune suggested readings, “Rosalie Maggio, The Nonsexist Word Finder: A Dictionary of Gender-Free Usage”, and, “Casey Miller and Kate Swift, Handbook of Nonsexist Writings: For Writers, Editors and Speakers”. Both of these books can be found at the Guelph Public Library. Thank you.

    Lastly, the ‘Thumbs Up’ section bottom left hand corner of this Editorial page uses the word “sportsmanship” and the words “athletic events” best speak to your audience.

    M. L. Heyens

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