ALA Code of Ethics 1: What’s in a code? | Podcast

Libraries | Ethics | Professional conduct

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Here’s BLL Season 2, Episode 2, In which I introduce my 3-part (though actually it’ll probably be 4 parts) series on the ALA Code of Ethics. What is the code? What are its implications in our daily lives as leaders? Just how blatant of a smart aleck will I be during my dramatic reading of the code?

Link to episode transcript

Links:

American Library Association Code of Ethics

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Why We Should Be Leading ‘Persons’

Leadership | Workplace | Motivation

by Larry Bonfante | September 21, 2017

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A number of years ago, I was interviewed by a major trade journal and was asked about my leadership style. One question the interviewer specifically asked me was, “How do you lead people?”

I answered him in a grammatically incorrect way (I’m having flashbacks to the nuns smacking my knuckles with a ruler!). I stated emphatically that I don’t lead people, I lead persons!

While this may be grammatically incorrect, I feel strongly that it makes a critically important point. You see, each of us is wired differently. Each person is a unique combination of talents, competencies, attitudes, preferences, etc. What matters deeply to me may not mean a hill of beans to you. What motivates you may be of no consequence to me.

Leading persons is about understanding what makes them tick as individuals and then tailoring a personalized value proposition that resonates with each of them. Read more…

 

Using our words: Getting it right on neutrality and libraries

Intellectual Freedom | Neutrality in libraries

by Joseph Janes | American Libraries | 09-01-17

I’ve always been a wordy sort of person. Yes, that too, but I mean word-y. I was the sort of kid who spent time with a thesaurus and dictionary as well as Tinkertoys and Matchbox cars. I was fascinated by words, their uses, and shades of meaning.

Even my amateur lexicographic interest ill prepared me for a world in which one of the more trenchant voices of political observation belongs to the Merriam-Webster Twitter feed (@MerriamWebster). If you don’t follow it yet, do so immediately, for its largely straightforward Word of the Day feature as well as its often wry and acerbic commentary on trending lookups based on “conversations” of the moment, not to mention words that aren’t really words (“covfefe”).

So the Webster’s dictionary has taken a side, or at least a perspective. Based on what I know of Noah Webster’s own colorful history and antipopulist views, I think he might approve. All of which puts an intriguing gloss on an emerging discussion within our own profession on what some may think a bedrock principle of librarianship: neutrality. This discussion includes my fellow AL columnist Meredith Farkas’s excellent piece on the critical librarianship movement (Jan./Feb., p. 70).

In one important sense, we aren’t neutral and never can be—nor should we be. Naturally, each of us has his or her own biases, prejudices, and preferences; we represent a sample of the breadth of society, so this is inevitable and necessary to avoid homogeneity of thought and action. Together, though, we advocate strongly on matters critical to our success. We fight in public for the rights of our patrons to read and think freely without fear of exposure, surveillance, or censure, as well as for open and equal access to a range of materials. We stand for the principle that government and public information shouldn’t depend on the whims of the moment. We are engaged with, represent, and fight for our communities and strive to improve them through our institutions and our work. Read more…

I want to be sure that we’re fighting the right fights on the right terms and, yes, using the right words.

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Technologies librarians need to know Current and emerging library technology trends in 2017

Career advice | LIS | Skills

kimdorityby Kim Dority

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Trying to get a handle on what library technologies LIS professionals need to know can be a challenge, as both the tasks that librarians are taking on – and the tools they’re using to do them – seem to be changing daily.

Nevertheless, it’s especially important for job hunters to be aware of technology skills and knowledge that are in-demand, because increasingly these tools will be central to successful performance of your career.

Two ways to frame key librarian work technologies

When understanding what may be relevant to your career, consider two variables:

  1. Where you work, i.e., whether the employer would be a traditional LIS or non-LIS setting.
  2. The responsibilities and type of work you might be doing for that employer.

LIS employer type or collection

Read more…

How to Bounce Back: 5 Resilience Building Strategies for Your Career | LinkedIn

Career advice | Resilience | Emotional Intelligence

by Dr. Marla Gottschalk January 24, 2017

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I’ve often wondered why building resilience isn’t a key business imperative. My opinion is such, primarily because being human, is often at odds with work life. Work can routinely bring stress, negativity, setbacks and outright failures — and most of us are challenged to combat the effects.

We often frame conversations about resilience with stories of extreme hardship or extenuating circumstances. However, resilience could serve as an ever-present, daily mentor, helping us to rebound from the collected pressures of work life. Most of us forge on — taking little note of the increasing toll — and building resilience isn’t considered.

This can be a serious mistake.

Through all of the trials and tribulation, we rarely notice that our psychological resources are waning.We muddle on. We develop idiosyncratic mechanisms to bolster our mood and maintain motivation. However, the damage accumulates. We become less able to bounce back. Months later, we may realize that we still lament the project that has been cut, laid off co-workers or failing to land an important client. Read more…

 

Sharing learning from an inspiring professional career

Mentoring | Coaching | Leadership | Management | Academic Libraries

by Kerry Parry 31 August 2017

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Kathryn Parry interviews Sue Hodges, former Director of Libraries and Archives, Bangor University. Sue talks about her career path, and her belief that with confidence and support you can go further than you might think, and achieve the career that you really want.

AS I start my new job as CILIP Wales Development Manager, I am making many new connections. I am struck by how many of these connections are with people who are at the opposite end of the career ladder to me. I see many experienced professionals retiring, but I cannot see much ­evidence of succession planning. How do we learn and carry forward the services these professionals have created? I want to hear how other professionals started out, what shaped their career and any advice they can give.

To gain more understanding of these issues, I recently interviewed Sue ­Hodges, who has just retired from her role as ­Director of Libraries and Archives at Bangor University. We talked about how her career developed, and how she aims to share what she has learnt over the years by mentoring and supporting people in their career plans.

Kathryn: How did you get into librarianship? 

Read more…

You’ll never be famous: And that’s O.K. | Op-Ed

Career advice | Emotional intelligence |Education

 

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Charlotte Ager

Today’s college students desperately want to change the world, but too many think that living a meaningful life requires doing something extraordinary and attention-grabbing like becoming an Instagram celebrity, starting a wildly successful company or ending a humanitarian crisis.

Having idealistic aspirations is, of course, part of being young. But thanks to social media, purpose and meaning have become conflated with glamour: Extraordinary lives look like the norm on the internet. Yet the idea that a meaningful life must be or appear remarkable is not only elitist but also misguided. Over the past five years, I’ve interviewed dozens of people across the country about what gives their lives meaning, and I’ve read through thousands of pages of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience research to understand what truly brings people satisfaction.

The most meaningful lives, I’ve learned, are often not the extraordinary ones. They’re the ordinary ones lived with dignity. Read more…