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Special Interest Group Archive: Leadership SIG 10/12/2022

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

October 12, 2022

The Leadership SIG was held on Zoom on October 12, 2022


Introductions & Welcomes

Let us know: your name, where you work, what your relationship is to management


BIG QUESTION: What is a library for? 

Support research, teach information literacy, outreach, collaboration

-Library is there to be the hub of the community, give info to the community about what is happening - everything relevant to those who live in the community is what it’s for

Community services - information, research, public good, programming 

Academic libraries - same thing, but mainly work with faculty members and students

One of the only places people can go for support (with no expectation of paying, generally)

We’re more than just a service entity - so much of it is social

In management you need to be a people person - good communication skills - ability to work with all sorts of personalities

Need to be flexible, welcome, opening, creating a space people want to come to - difficult task

We serve many purposes - library serves many purposes for a multitude of interests - we want people to feel comfortable and view the space as a comfortable place to “let their hair down”

Multifaceted space - it’s a different place for each group of patrons (youth, adults, students)

Working in different types of libraries is a huge asset to a librarian’s perspective (i.e. both academic and public)

One person’s former library served as a tornado shelter

It’s the building, the books, the service - all-encompassing

Academic library perspective - what is being asked of us is changing as well - library full, promoting other spaces on campus - problem solved itself over COVID -

Strict mask enforcement made library less of a welcoming space

Reference questions way down

Employing people to be here long hours - but all numbers are down

Built online resources - traffic on those is high - students still get answers from the library but in a different, less satisfying way and not easy to justify staffing now

Big challenge from a public library perspective - what do services look like in 5 years? 2-3 years? justifying getting out of building to current staff, bookmobile, providing services in a different way

People/librarians are finding new ways to use and utilize their skills - not going to work in the same place for 25 years


Anyone dealing with book challenges?


Drag story hours still controversial


Have to buy in from your board and support from your director - have to know what’s going to happen in those challenges and be prepared for WHEN, not if, someone challenges you about this - reasons you believe this is important for the community


Library advocacy day in Albany


Have a wish list handy - be prepared to make your case for what you need. Programs, services, or items.

Get feedback from your patrons. Ask what they want more or less of. 


Topics from previous meetings:

  • Dealing with book challenges

    • Have they come your way? 

    • Do you have a policy ready?

  • Encouraging library advocacy

    • Are you going to advocacy day in Albany?

    • Do you have stories and data handy?

  • Generational challenges

    • How do you respond to “that’s how we’ve always done it?”

    • How do you motivate someone who is running out the clock?

  • Tough Conversations

    • What happens when you run into an HR problem?

  • Managing up

    • Best practices when your manager isn’t the best.

    • Advocacy Day 02/28/22

  • Always good to have a wishlist prepared 

  • Feedback from your patrons 

  • Challenges with management 

  • Generational challenges - the library means different things to different people

  • Creating a balance with staff and upper management - Issues that may impact the staff, patrons, and the director.  

  • Libraries are not stagnant - getting buy in from stakeholders - being a relevant entity 

  • How do we maximize our services on a low budget? How do we prioritize what the library needs? Getting feedback from faculty is hard. Learning the culture is always a challenge. 

  • Academic librarians always have to inform our non-library colleagues. 

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065