Saturday, January 1, 2011

PL 1/11: Lead the way

Filed under: 1bib — plinius @ 9:53 am

Karen Schneider is one of my favorite library bloggers.

She does not lean backwards trying to be nice. She is willing to confront. When she writes, I can hear her talking,

We suffer from a lack of leaders. The profession recruits risk avoiders. Norwegian librarians avoid positions of power – because they involve risk and resposibility.

Currently I am teaching in a leadership programme at the doctorate level. The quotes below – from Karen – are aimed at leaders-to-be:


  • If I have to point to my professionally challenges for the year ahead, it is all about fundraising and politics.
  • All of my successes, my challenges, and my successes-in-progress directly relate to that role. It’s my job, the one I was hired to do.
  • If there’s something absolutely crucial your “admin” needs to know, you have a responsibility to make every effort to find a way to share this knowledge with them.


  • It is extremely hard to distinguish good ideas from bad ideas early in the iterative design process (and that goes for everything from writing and homebrewing to designing library buildings).
  • Sometimes the goal is right, but the method needs rethinking.
  • Sometimes the goal itself needs rethinking.
  • And sometimes a good idea just needs time, timing, and tweaking to triumph.
  • The significantly harder part of any idea is believing in it before it’s fully-baked, when the effort to make it happen outstrips the apparent payoff, and you feel the impatience of others, hear the negative voices, sniff the faint odor of doubt. That’s the point where you need to have faith in things unseen.

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