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Leadership in Small and Rural Libraries
An Infopeople Online Learning Course
|Fee per learner||$200.00|
Instructor: Kieran Hixon
What does it take to be a director or manager in a small town library? Roughly one-third of all U.S. public libraries serve areas with populations of 2,500 or fewer. The folks that work in these libraries often come to libraries as second careers. Do you feel like an imposter in a job you didn’t train for? Two-thirds of these small & rural library directors have not earned a Master’s in Library Science. But, leadership is a set of skills that can be learned and practiced. We look at leadership in terms of skills for leading oneself, others, the library, the community and our profession, to meet the needs of small, and rural communities.
This course is for folks who are emergent leaders in libraries, those that are seen by colleagues as having leadership potential and hold a position in which they can apply leadership lessons.
If you are not a supervisor, yet it’s possible you will be soon, or if you are a newer supervisor or director with the need for more skill in managing staffing and the organization, this course may be a good fit for you.
By looking at leadership as a set of skills and taking into account the reality of small and rural community libraries, this course focuses on leading self, leading others, leading in the library, leading in the community, and leading in the profession from an asset based perspective. Focusing on using your strengths and style, we will look at core values, develop personal mission & vision statements, explore managing difficult conversations, delve into skills for coaching others, and explore ways to discover community needs.
This 6-week course will include three 60-minute interactive online sessions:
- Week 2 - Your Leadership Style and Strengths - Thursday, October 26th - 10:00 to 11:00 am PST
- Week 4 - Managing Conversations - Thursday, November 9th - 10:00 to 11:00 am PST
- Week 6 - Your Library Leadership in Action - Thursday, November 30th - 10:00 to 11:00 am PST
By the end of this course, learners will:
- Identify and practice individual, authentic leadership styles
- Cultivate professional peer network as a solo librarian from a rural community
- Build professional capacity
- Build practical skills in leading and developing others
- Develop skills and confidence to lead a strong library for effective capacity and culture
- Recognize the importance of participation in broader community initiatives
- Lead community development
- Contribute to improving the library profession
This interactive 6-week course will be presented asynchronously with the integration of readings, video, discussion forums, online meetings, and assignment options. The instructor will be accessible to assist attendees as needed. Learners will be provided with essential resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately in their library.
Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:
- Week 1:Orientation to LEADERS with a growth mindset
- Distinguish between fixed and growth mindset
- LEADERS Model
- Identify behaviors of effective leaders
- High5 Strengths Test
- Discover your natural leadership style
- Determine how you will practice LEADERS behavior in your work
- Week 2: Your Leadership Style and Strengths
- Defining leading, managing, and coaching
- Plan for using strengths with intention in work
- Identify and leverage other’s strengths
- Practice coaching others based on strengths
- Week 3: Your Core Values & Mission
- Identify core values that motivate decisions and behaviors
- Develop a plan for using values with more intention in daily work
- Gain strategies to navigate values conflicts with others
- Draft a personal mission statement
- Week 4: Managing Conversations
- Learn models and tools for direct conversations
- Practice and get feedback on “radically candid” conversations
- Gain confidence using caring and candor to resolve issues and build relationships
- Week 5: Can Do, Positive Disposition Strategies for Effective Libraries
- Understand the importance and impact of a positive frame
- Gain strategies for strengthening positive disposition and resilience
- Practice “Yes, and…” techniques to build stronger relationships
- Week 6: Your Library Leadership in Action
- Reflect on course learning and personal development
- Discover opportunities for leadership projects and activities
- Plan for taking your library leadership to the next level
This course uses the Nexus Leading Across Boundaries (LAB) Layers of Leadership across Libraries, Archives, and Museums as the basic framework altered to fit small libraries by Dr. Sharon Morris and Kieran Hixon.
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2 1/2 hours per week, for a total of fifteen course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: Library staff in small rural public libraries
Are you a member of ARSL or do you work in a tribal library? If so, you may be able to sign up for a no-cost seat in this course. Limit is five no-cost seats per course. Make your request here and if a seat is available you will be notified.