Post of PLA Posts

So, I’m coming through the PLA “Educational Sessions” (aka Programs) page finding handouts and such that I want to keep…and I thought I’d share.  I’ve also found some useful posts by other compulsive note-takers who attended stuff I didn’t get to attend.

  • Commando Diplomacy with Amy Hartman and Meg Delaney – Laura attended this one and the Bibliography looks very good and they recently posted the powerpoint presentation with notes (.pptx).  I’ll be picking her brain.
  • Abolishing Performance Evaluations: Why They Don’t Work and What Does with Amy Helm and Carrie Herrmann – I’ve already shared their A.P.O.P (Annual Piece of Paper) with Jim and Laura and the Performance Development and Management (.docx) portion of their Employee Manual is so straight forward!  I love it.
  • Now What?  12 steps to thriving in a different world  with Karen Hyman and Peter Bromberg – Handout and Presentation – Step into the Present, Connect authors and readers, re-evaluate safety and control, Yes and… – all stuff we’ve been talking about here at NEKLS – woot.
  • Technology Petting Zoos in Public Libraries with Lisa Varga and Cindy Church Presentation Slides – I have carrying case envy – their Pelican Case 1650 is bad-ass…but Dan says it was WAY too expensive for our Toy Box.
  • Transforming Public Libraries from Institutions of the Industrial Age to Change Agents for the Networked Society with Rolf Hapel, director of Aarhus Public Libraries, Denmark- this one I shouldn’t have missed.  Lucky for me, there’s a YouTube video.  Additional notes on this one from 23 Things on a Director’s Mind. Oh, and here’s the Presentation….wow, that woulda blown my noggin.
  • Creating a Vibrant Organizational Culture with Richard Mott ad Cheryl Gould  – this is a recap of the Trustee Training I gave!  They talk about change, engaging employees, and how a vibrant organizational culture is more about “customer’s needs” than “My job is…”  Right on!  Here’s the Entire Presentation, Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and a handout on Why Change Efforts Typically Fail from Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard.  Laura went to this one and will share her notes.
  • Management Without FearMy Notes are Here.  I really  enjoyed this one.  A pep talk of sorts to do what needs to be done, even if it sucks.
  • Program-Palooza with Jennifer Lawson and Pat Downs. Library Journal did a “rundown in brief” of this one – some good ideas for programs!  Anything pet-related will work or consider inviting police/fire folks to have a touch-a-truck program or consider doing a food-related event (this worked for Kelly at Tonganoxie, her International Bread Tasting program to promote Mango languages brought in 60 people, easy).
  • The alt+library: Designing Programs for a 20s-30s audience with Lori Easterwood and Jessica Zaker – this was a popular ConverStation.  Thank you to Nic Bits for these great Notes. I’d love to host a Broke A** Holidays clothes swap/craft session and I could definitely get behind a program on brewing beer!
  • Sustainable Thinking: Passageway to Better Buildings, Budgets & Beyond – This is the slickest Presentation I think I’ve ever seen.  I’d support a green future.  This reminds me of the MPLA program about Environmental Building Designs.
  • The Future of Libraries: Trends in Building Design, User Experience, and Community Partnerships with Ruth Baleiko and Dri Ralph.  Nothing up yet as far as handouts go, but I found some lovely notes from 21st Century Librarian.  I also did some digging into the Miller Hull firm and found a blog post by Ruth Coates on Libraries.  I like these ideas: Lots of Windows so the library activity is visible from the street.
  • Losing My Religion: Crafting Meeting Room Policies that Keep You In Charge and Out of Court with Deborah Caldwell Stone and Theresa Chmara  – Given that we’re talking about this topic at our System Consultant meetings…I thought I’d pull this and post it.
  • The Elusive Non-User: How Can Libraries Find Out What Non-Users Want? with Donna Fletcher and Paula Singer.  This one seems pretty straight-forward.
  • Can’t, Won’t, Don’t, Couldn’t, Shouldn’t, Wouldn’t: Combating Negativity Nellies in the Workplace with Vicky Baker – this one rated an encore!  Can’t Won’t Participant Guide (.pdf) and Negativity assessment and great Notes from the SELCO – thanks Mollie!  I’ve already shared this with Laura and Brenda – I think we should invite Vicky to NEKLS for a third encore.
  • Leaders as Readers: What Happens When Directors Chose Reading as a Core Initiative with Many People – Kelly went to this one. I need her notes…dammit.

Management without Fear

“Put on your big girl panties and deal with it” – original title (tee hee).
“What keeps you from managing the way you think you should manage?” and
“What’s keeping you up at 3 am?”

Our Answers:
Very few of us “LOVE” managing people. You spend so much time on the problem people, you ignore the happy, normal people. Fear of confrontation. Doing harm. Age differences. Unionized staff. Children’s staff act like children – personality conflicts. Towing the party line can be difficult. Situation gets out of hand before it can be managed. “When It’s all festery.” Knowing that if you fire staff, they won’t be replaced – someone is better than nobody?” Difficult to get proper pay. Multiple unions and civil service. Managing managers. Disengaged employees who resist change (knowledge but no involvement). Negative nellies and the 2% of problem staff. “Don’t want to get sued.” FMLA. Merging changing leadership – change lovers, change resisters. Transforming the culture of the library. Staff who still want to work at Borders – need a new model. Differences in managing men v. women. Middle management – overworked staff v. innovation from admin. Managing staff who are tech challenged. Hiring quality, but without the pay and benefits.

Six takeaways:
1. Know the Rules:
Understand governance structure, and know the basics like FMLA. FMLA can be asked to re-certify. Know the contract if unionized (to protect staff from the union). We all have a fairness gene and it’s fair to hold people accountable. Have the Discipline steps in writing – a matrix. “Showing up for work is an expectation of the position.” Document discussion (time, date, maybe use a template). Can’t go back – start from square one, even if they’ve been a problem for years. Jot down the behavior, date, and follow through–who/what/when/why/where. Manage the Human Resource – it’s the most valuable in the organization. Sticky note it or make HR part of the weekly routine. First offense – have staff send you an email summarizing what we just discussed. Document conversations, too – early on, sign.

2. Sometimes you have to be a hard ass:
Don’t let things go. Take your time. Deal with it. “Don’t shoot the Dog” by Karin Pryer. Behavioral reinforcement – is it encouraging behaviors we want? Address the behavior immediately. It’s not OK to waste taxpayer money through lack of HR management. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Difficult discussion strategies: write down the issues, meet about concerns, see if becomes a discipline issues. What you say may not equal what they hear. Need to know your staff. Tell some what you need from them or need them to do – identify what motivates them and use the words they will respond best to. How do we learn to do this – that’s my issue. Have to run the library like a business – be nice, but get the work done. Be consistent, be good at documenting the behaviors impeding their job and then the fear of being sued goes away. Look up your Yelp reviews… How do you document ‘hearsay’? “It was reported to me that this happened on this day.” Eye of Mordor…

3. Compartmentalize your relationships:
Difficult to supervise former co-workers! Friend v. supervisor time…from Buddy to Boss. Difficult to give constructive criticism to people older/wiser than us. Remember the good of the institution. Have a conversation about the friendship now that you are the manager – talk about it…before there’s a problem! Know your own style, too. Bias issues/playing favorites. Accept your new role as a supervisor – establish some ground rules.

4. Develop a hard candy coating:
Develops with experience. Management is difficult – have to do what we don’t enjoy and is emotionally difficult. Don’t. Take. It. Personally. Focus on the organization’s goals, mission vision and what you and the people who work with you can do to further that goal. “I need your help.” If civility is an organizational goal, then get staff buy in (Miss Manners team example) “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” Embrace the ego. Speak the truth, even if it is very hard.

5. Put on your big girl pants ( or big person underwear):
Here are my cards and I’m putting them on the table. Most problems are a communication issue. Share your expectations – know them yourself. Understand personality/motivation/color/etc. and try to keep it simple.

What is #6?
We want a script – the words that are effective for delivering difficult conversations – soften the hard edges or harden the soft edges.

Others: Pick your battles. “That is a hill I am not willing to die on.” “A rat turd that you’re willing to pole vault over.” Email for the disciplinary process. Create clear expectations of managers and staff. Team approach. Focus on the positive and see it as an opportunity. Know when to ask for Help. Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer…but sometimes you have to ask the question even if you don’t want to hear the answer. Working Girl – great management movie. Stop the festering – anonymous mechanism for ‘talk to the director’ in Sacramento. Have someone you can be 100% honest with – a vent. fake it til you make it.

Tribal Leadership Dave Logan, John King and one other. – managing as a culture, rather than processes. Manage based on how teams work together.

This was good and surprisingly interactive. I enjoyed it, along with 800+ other librarians…

iPad in Philly

My plan for tech at PLA is the Toy Box iPad and Heather’s adonit keyboard docking station thingy. This is my test post for the WordPress app. So far, so good. I think I can do my live blogging using this tiny little keyboard. I also need to personalize this a bit – make sure I can get into my gmail, chat, know all the passwords in case I need to upgrade or install some exciting new app I hear about at Conference.

Speaking of Conference…I’m looking forward to chatting with the 3M reps, Recorded Books, and maybe Bywater. The Admin/Management track has the most stars by it – “Leaders as Readers,” “Can’t, Won’t, Don’t, Couldn’t, Shouldn’t, Wouldn’t: Combating Negativity Nellies in the Workplace,” and “Saying Yes to the Community” all look good. Of course, I’ll be going to “Isn’t it Romantic” with several very good Romance authors and “Why Libraries Matter: Empowering Community Voices” also looks interesting. As for Tech – not much of interest. Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian fill that need, I suppose.

OK, time to get through my email so I can go home and pack! Right after I see if I can insert a photo…