Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries


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Brief pondering on the leadership/management divide

I just came across this quote, and it’s got me wondering –does it treat the Manager fairly? Is it a description of a good or a weak manager? And if it’s description of both Manager and Leader are accurate, how can those chasms be bridged for the goal of developing managers who lead? Are they completely contradictory?

The manager administers; the leader innovates. The manager is a copy; the leader is an original. The manager maintains; the leader develops. The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people. The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust; The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective. The managers asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. Managers have their eyes on the bottom line; leaders have their eyes on the horizon; The manager imitates; the leader originates. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it. The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his own person. The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

- Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader, quoted in Leadership, June 9, 1992


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Desperately seeking a re-entry strategy!

First day back after a week out, and I’m spinning madly trying to figure where to start. Usually when I’m out this long, so is everybody else (I’m usually gone this long for ALA or int he dead of summer). This time, I was at Internet Librarian, and in addition to be going gone a week int he heart of the semester, I am ridiculously inspired and motivated in 6 different directions (there are 4 blog posts trying to write themselves in my brain right now, not including this one!), I am doing an IL wrap up next week, and giving a paper at Library 2.011 the following week. I made an18 point to-do list while waiting for my computer to boot, and and writing this post in hopes that it will help me figure out where to begin. Alas, no luck.

Do you have a re-entry strategy? I really want to harvest the energy I’ve got swirling and inspiring me, but I feel like the most important things to knock off are the administrative details which by nature will kill all that marvelous energy.

I feel a bit like the White Rabbit, running mad. Advice?


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Internet librarian, arriv’e!

I’m sitting on the couch at one of my favorite hotels, in one of my favorite seaside towns, at one of my favorite conferences. I’m in Monterey, at Internet Librarian, and even though I know I love this conference, it was really nice this evening to be reminded why.

First, it’s a smallish conference. I don’t know the numbers offhand, but somewhere between LOEX and ACRL, and like those it’s focused, but with reach. Technology and Public Services, talking together. And learning from each other.

One of the things I love most about the conference is the people. These are smart, funny, engaged, innovative folks. And the conversations outside of sessions are unbelievably valuable. Today, i attended the Gaming and Te enology Zoo, where I played a fascinating cooperative board game, but I learned so much outside of that one conference event! I played with a Motorola Bionic webtop computer/ phone with its owner, and we miraculously resolved a full screen issue–while sitting on a bench enjoying the sun. I went to dinner with a former SUNY colleague and she convinced me that I really can build yahoo pipes to do what I want, and turned me on to a resource for finding the answer to my need for a platform agnostic PDF annotation tool. And, who knew? Evernote has competitors! I shared some info about Google Bundles, we talked about a tutorial tool I’ve been investigating, and joked about turning that conversation in to a web series (wouldn’t you want to watch two geeky library gals discuss their favorite collaborative web tools!?!?)

Tomorrow, the conference starts in earnest, and I’m really looking forward to my chosen sessions. I’ll blog some about them, but I’ll also be reporting out at the free ACRL-ULS post-Internet Librarian webinar on October 24. Most likely this week, the blog will be full of insights and new tools to explore that come up in out-of-conference conversations.


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IL2011 Cybertour: Web 2.0 Resources andTools #IL2011

I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting on the Cybertour at Internet Librarian next month. It’s a fantastic conference, with the best location (I really miss the ocean!). If you’ve never been, I’d recommend adding it to your list of must-do conferences.  Really. How often do the tech experimenters and the public service folks get to sit down together and drive the conversation?  It’s not just me, either — here’s a list of reasons to attend.

I’ll be talking about:

Web 2.0 Resources & Tools

Hear about one tech librarian’s cool tool picks as she shares her experimentation and thoughts on their possible use in libraries.  She has been playing with tools for easily creating tutorials, with “mother blogs” using Posterious, and getting deep into sharing and bundling features for info dissemination on Google Reader.  Hear her tips and opinions!

I’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas — are they easy tutorial tools you love, or want to know more about? Have you played with a new tool for information dissemination but want to get me to dig deeper into it? Leave a comment, let me know; I’ll be working on this presentation next week.


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Help me create an ACRL Leadership Discussion group?

I have put together a petition (with assistance from the always awesome Beth DuPuis!) for the creation of a Leadership Discussion group within ACRL.

I envision this group having 2 sessions at each ALA, one discussion group and one program.

Creating a Discussion Group requires 10 signatures from ACRL personal members, so, if you meet those qualifications, please sign the petition!

The text of the petition is as follows:

The Leadership Discussion Group provides a forum for conversation, communication and collaboration about leadership and management issues important to academic librarians. Leadership and management challenges in the higher education environment are unique in many ways from other non-profits or corporate arenas. Developing a platform for sharing our experiences, insights and challenges is important for enhancing librarians’ skills and developing future leaders and managers. This group embraces leadership in the broadest sense including topics such as leading from the middle, leading project teams and informal groups, leading within professional organizations, career paths for leaders.

 


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Julian Treasure on Listening

I just watched Julian Treasure’s TED talk on listening, and found it fascinating.  I have so deep in thinking about listening as a part of communication between people, as a key element in team work and collaboration, as a feature of varying strength in the various DISC personas, I forgot about listening as an active action. Attention, attending, being present are all such important behaviors, and I am so glad I took the time to let Julian Treasure remind me of them

On a  disappointing note, though, he spoke about his book on listening, and I wanted to check that out. It looks like the book is about the ways businesses can use sound to improve their business, which to me is not the same thing as listening at all! Have you read the book? Is it worth the time, if what I’m interested in is listening as a social act, about communication, not sound applications for profitability?

Here’s the talk.

5 ways to listen better

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

pretty cool


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An infographic of me

My friend Courtney just posted her cool visual.ly infographic and I decided to see how I came out. Pretty interesting (if you don’t get me started about the Disney-esque parody of the female form in the infographic). Except for the tiny fact that I am apparently not very interesting on my twitter stream! Consider the gauntlet thrown, and the challenge accepted twitterverse! Time to get freaking interesting!

(if you make yourself one, let me know in the comments)

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