ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

ALA Midwinter 2008 – Emerging Leaders Training (Afternoon) January 17, 2008

Filed under: ALA Midwinter 2008,Conferences — ellie @ 9:46 pm
Tags: ,

I’d like to take my first sentence here to encourage ALA to think of the vegetarians, better yet the vegans, but I’ll settle for thinking of the vegetarians. Thankfully that had already come out about me and one of my teammates said we should run to the buffet before they were out of anything for me to eat (good advice as I heard they ran out of pasta salad later on). I particularly feel for anyone who doesn’t eat dairy because all they got was a roll. I managed to sneak away with an exorbitant amount of pasta salad and a cheese sandwich. But some fruit and/or veggies would have been nice. I guess I’m spoiled from living in Los Angeles and Austin. I need to remember to pack more contingency food when I’m traveling.

So with my pasta salad lunch in hand I returned to my table to meet with my group. We divvied up the team roles and chatted. I definitely lucked out with a great group of people. I won’t bore you with our whole project plan here, but if you’re interested you can visit our wiki page.

After our planning session (which was pretty much the perfect length – about two and a half hours) Maureen Sullivan (one of our facilitators) talked to us about the art of negotiation. I believe the PowerPoint or a handout is supposed to go up on the wiki at some point, so I didn’t go heavy on the notetaking. This was interspersed with questions and comments so a number of the bullets below came from participants.

  • Negotiating is a process through which you let others know your interest and in which you actively seek to learn theirs. (i.e. – it’s not just about conflict)
  • practice effective listening
  • map the territory – who are the opinion leaders
  • assume responsibility for selling yourself – letting others know what you have to contribute
  • elements of principled negotiation
    • separate the people from the issue/problem
    • focus on interests, not positions
    • generate a wide variety of possibilities before deciding what to do
    • insist that the result be based on some objective standard
  • introvert vs. extrovert decision making – introverts like time to mull over ideas internally and come to a conclusion before talking, extroverts want to chat about all the options and may change their opinions frequently as new ideas are introduced
  • how to encourage conflict? (vs. passive aggressive behavior)
    • “Let’s take a few minutes to think about what we think about this.”
    • Take a piece of paper, put your idea at top and pass to right.
  • leaders see the big picture
  • empathic signage – “no dogs” vs. “our children play here, please…”

And this last bit I like so much I want to highlight it:

  • What matters is how people feel about themselves in our presence (in our libraries).
  • How can we help people feel good about themselves when they think about the library?

This is something that has come up a few times in different readings – that people feel stupid when they come to the library. What can we do to combat that?

One (admittedly tiny) thing we’ve done at some of the campuses at ACC is to add some bookstore signage in addition to the regular LC info. We get a lot of students looking for anatomy and physiology to practice for an exam that lets them into the nursing program, so now there are signs that say “Anatomy and Physiology” at the end of that stack and above that section.


0 Responses to “ALA Midwinter 2008 – Emerging Leaders Training (Afternoon)”

  1. Donna Meadows Says:

    “What matters is how people feel about themselves in our presence (in our libraries).
    How can we help people feel good about themselves when they think about the library? ”

    I see this as an essential element of our attitude toward our users – every thing needs to flow from our respect for them and our endless efforts to welcome them and offer then comfort while we teach and inform them. The latter cannot come without the first. it might be as simple as looking at them and smiling as they enter to pointing out similar expereinces we’ve had – as we teach them how to do advanced searching of a database.

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