Skip to Main Content

Special Interest Group Archive: Leadership 07/27/2021

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

July 27, 2021

The Leadership and Management Skills SIG met on Tuesday, July 27 at Southeastern's office. The meeting was facilitated by Kristin Charles-Scaringi.

You don't have to be a manager to be a leader.

What are we looking to learn?

  • Comparing notes, when those of us in different jobs have similar experiences.
  • How do you create a sense of authority with people who were formerly your colleagues? 
  • Know how to tell when people are not willing to take on extra responsibilities.
  • Learn how to be a mentor to others in the field.
  • What to do when no one trains you or gives you a job manual.
  • How to manage a board, and interaction between the staff and a board. 

What can you do to support staff?

Ways to foster communication channels. 

  • Build trust - people don't always complain to the correct person. 
  • Do you respond to a rumor, or do you let it go? 
  • People who are complaining might not feel confident to speak out. 
  • Have a nicer culture at the job to establish trust.
  • Keep in mind that Covid has made everyone extra stressed out.

Yes, but how do you deal with difficult people or people with personal lives that infiltrate into the work environment?


Library Directors

Being new in a leadership position is not always a choice. How do you navigate this job when you have limited power? 

Everything you need to know you can probably learn at the circ desk.

Library directors don't have the same skill sets as librarians. But it often feels like directorship is the only way to advance in this region.

The director job is more like administration than like librarianship. That's a good degree or training to have. 

Advice on working as a director:

  • have open office hours, or at least an open door policy.
  • Try to see the big picture and explain the why of things.
  • Be able to read people and remain service oriented.
  • Just talk to a person if they are doing something wrong. (You don't have to change the policy or the rules for everybody.)
  • Keep in mind: people will not read signs. 

Advice from the cohort

Dealing with uncertainty in future jobs:

  • it's important to admit fault
  • when you stop caring about what other people think, the job gets easier.
  • Not taking on other people's emotions helps.
  • It's normal to want to scream "I need an adult!"
  • Make your decision, and apologize later if it was the wrong one. 

Training in another field, like teaching or public service administration helps.

Outside resources

NYLA has the LAMS group, but this group's purpose is to be local to the Hudson Valley and to keep and attract talent in this region.

Next meeting

We will meet on Tuesday, September 28 at 9:30am. This meeting will be in person at Southeastern's yard. 

In case of rain, we will meet via Zoom.

The facilitator will be Joanna Goldfarb of RCLS. 

Homework for next time: Identify an organization and/or manager who is working very well and report back on what is happening there.

Event photo

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