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Mid-Career Library and Information Professionals

Book Description

As librarians move into the middle of their careers, they are more ready than ever to take on new leadership opportunities. Literature on leadership is expanding in the field of library and information sciences, and more and more seminars and workshops are being offered for new and seasoned leaders. This book asks the questions: ‘What about us?’ and, ‘Where is the leadership advice and training for those who are no longer new librarians, but are also not yet seasoned leaders?’ The title illustrates how to work the middle, from being in the sophomore slump progressing to the next leaders in the field, to look for perspectives from others who are in the middle of their career, and how they have developed into leaders, ways to develop one’s own style of leadership and grow one’s career and future as a librarian and information professional.

  • Perspectives on leadership from mid-career information professionals
  • Tips and tools on how to become a leader from the middle of your career
  • A how-to guide on making changes from the middle

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. List of figures and tables
  6. About the contributors
  7. Chapter 1: Saying yes, again: an introduction to leadership for mid-career librarians
  8. Chapter 2: What to do when you can’t do it all
    1. Time management in a hurry
    2. Communication strategies
    3. Planning for the present
    4. Knowing when to quit
    5. Conclusion
  9. Chapter 3: Empowering the reluctant new library manager
    1. How librarianship prepares us for management
    2. Effective tips for successful management
    3. Tales from the dark side
    4. Keeping a light touch
  10. Chapter 4: Stuck in the middle and loving it! Why middle managers have the ability to lead from the heart and the power to persuade
    1. At the beginning
    2. Crafting an engaging message
    3. Resistance
    4. Nimbleness
    5. Information sharing
    6. Attitude
    7. Ethics
    8. Skills
  11. Chapter 5: Making it work: leading without a pedestal
    1. Building a culture of shared leadership
    2. Utilizing consensus decision-making
    3. Handling constructive conflict
    4. Nurturing and sustaining a leadership climate
    5. Partnering for professional development
    6. The view from above and below
    7. Prescriptive tactics
    8. Observations, tips and techniques
    9. Connection to participatory librarianship
    10. Summary
  12. Chapter 6: Leading without authority: maintaining balance and relationships
    1. The library at St Cloud State University
    2. Challenges in representing your department
    3. Tips for representing your department
    4. Challenges in working on committees and task forces
    5. Tips for working on committees and task forces
    6. Challenges in reaching consensus
    7. Tips for reaching consensus
    8. Challenges in balancing personalities
    9. Tips for balancing personalities
    10. Conclusion
    11. Appendix 6.1: Tips for leading without authority
  13. Chapter 7: Career progression: mentoring to the rescue
    1. Of mythology and conceptualization
    2. Theoretical framework
    3. Methodology
    4. Data collection instruments
    5. Data analysis
    6. Discussion
    7. Conclusion
  14. Chapter 8: When life and leadership collide
    1. Life’s little curveballs
    2. Stay organized
    3. Take care of yourself
    4. Set achievable goals
    5. Make time to worry
    6. Know your rights
    7. When things are going well, don’t procrastinate
    8. Final thoughts: leading the way for others
  15. Chapter 9: Avoiding the Peter Principle: ‘Every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence’
    1. The Peter Principle explained
    2. The Principle in action
    3. Fortieth anniversary of the Peter Principle
    4. Avoiding a dead end
    5. Know thyself
    6. Final tips for reflection
  16. Chapter 10: Work envy, workhorses and the mid-career librarian
    1. What is mid-career?
    2. What is envy?
    3. Why we envy
    4. Leadership and envy
    5. Signs of envy
    6. How and why envy thrives in the workplace
    7. Generational envy
    8. Envy and the library workplace
    9. Costs of workplace envy
    10. Coping with envy
    11. Coping with being envied
    12. Managing envy as a leader
    13. Conclusion
  17. Chapter 11: Don’t get stuck in a rut!
    1. Trust the staff
    2. Assess the environment
    3. Grow one’s self and one’s staff
    4. Bring in outside ideas
    5. Selected resources
  18. Chapter 12: Out of bounds: developing a library outreach program using the ‘Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership’ model
    1. Get involved: Modeling the way
    2. Look into the crystal ball: Inspiring a shared vision
    3. Did you say what I think you said? Challenging the process
    4. Do you want to collaborate? Enabling others to act
    5. Awesome job! Encouraging the heart
    6. Conclusion
  19. Chapter 13: Technologically indispensable: leading when you’re technically competent but seen merely as a useful tool to get other folks’ ideas implemented
    1. Culture shock
    2. Thinking strategically
    3. Summary
  20. Chapter 14: Same song, different verse: critical followership as an act of resilience for second-career librarians
    1. The nature of second-career librarians
    2. Critical followership
    3. Resilience as characteristic of critical followership
    4. Conclusions: building on natural tendencies
  21. Chapter 15: New in town: leadership betwixt and between
    1. First steps
    2. Liaisons
    3. Reference
    4. Instruction
    5. Listening as a tool
  22. Chapter 16: Making your mark: scholarship, ‘niche-building,’ and other ways of defining and marketing your expertise
    1. The case for librarian scholarship
    2. Step 1: Enunciating your interests, specialties, and opinions (what do I find fascinating or essential, or even: what do I find to be archaic or unnecessary)
    3. Step 2: Identifying the potential within your field (do my perceptions align with others, or am I bucking the trend, or even: what’s the optimal outcome?)
    4. Step 3: Gathering institutional support (why your director should be excited about your scholarship)
    5. Step 4: Identify appropriate venues (conferences, publications, workshops)
    6. Step 5: Finding opportunities to collaborate with others who have similar abilities, mindsets, or goals (who else do I know that shares my ideas or abilities, or would be interested in exploring this topic?)
    7. Conclusion: the snowball effect of good ideas
  23. Chapter 17: Exercise your leadership potential
    1. Inertia
    2. Exercising your potential
    3. If at first you don’t succeed …
    4. Try, try again
  24. Index