Opportunities for librarians to develop leadership and management skills are offered by multiple organizations and associations. Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of American Library Association, hosts a series of webinars, resources and publications. The Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at Harvard University offers intensive short duration programs such as Library leadership in the Digital Age.
Librarians from developing countries can benefit greatly by participating in the International program offered by Mortenson Centre for International Library Programs, where librarians from 90 countries have participated in these programs from 1991. I had the benefit of participating in the 2014 program with 16 librarians from 12 countries. International Network for Library Innovators (INELI) launched in 2011 by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering leadership programs in India, Oceania, and other countries; the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship program and the IFLA International Leaders Program are some of the training programs available. Two studies – Training the 21st Century Library Leader (2014) and Cultivating Global Library Leadership (2015) give reviews of 30 such programs being offered worldwide.
Free training programs are being offered on OCLC Webjunction. There are four self-paced training courses available on library management in the Webjunction course catalog. Some interesting blogs to follow are Library Lost and Found, a blog focusing on library leadership, and 21st Century Library Blog.
Finally, don’t forget to value the skills you may already have – this article on 10 signs you really are a leader (and might not know it) is a great reminder that sometimes the challenge is in identifying our strengths, not just our weaknesses. Are you perhaps closer to being a leader than you thought?
Here are some questions you might like to discuss with your partner:
- Have you participated in a management/leadership training program before?
- How was your experience?
- What were the key insights you gained from such a program?
- What opportunities exist in your area to develop leadership and management skills?
–Bhakti Gala, ILN Content Officer