Help Us “Build a Librarian” for the 21st Century #NEXTLIBRARY2017 #LIBRARYCHANGEAGENT


From Michael:  Greetings all! I am thrilled to be traveling to Denmark next week for the Next Library Conference in Aarhus at the Dokk1 library. One of the most resonating statements I have heard in recent years came from Dokk1’s  Marie Østergård at PLA in 2016:

“We don’t hire for librarians or nonlibrarians but based on competencies,” Østergård said. “You must be ready to work hard and meet people all day.”

I am looking forward to sharing some ideas about skills and mindset in a workshop I am co-teaching with Jan Holmquist, Assistant Library Director, Guldborgsund Public Library in Denmark and Mylee Joseph, Consultant, Public Libraries and Engagement Division, State Library of New South Wales, Australia. Through some playful and interactive work without our participants, we will explore of what it means to be a catalyst for learning and change within out institutions. I am excited to see where the conversation will take us. Below is a post authored by Jan Holmquist about the workshop – please share your thoughts! PS: The formula is a sneak peak at my next “Office Hours” column in LJ.

Jan writes:

I am very excited to be able to learn with NEXT Library conference participants in Aarhus in mid June. Together with Dr. Michael Stephens and Mylee Joseph,  I will be leading an interactive workshop at the conference and we need your input to help us make this workshop really effective for the participants at this year’s conference.

“Change” and “disruption” are not only popular buzzwords. Technology, economy and politics are forces that are changing the world as we know it and our communities at a fast pace. Libraries are embracing and responding to these changes and have different strategies for maintaining and increasing their relevance to their local communities. But to embrace change, and be a driving force for what rapidly changing communities need, librarians must have skills to both anticipate and adapt to change as well as being effective community connectors to drive change.

CHANGE

In business and leadership literature “dynamic capabilities” describes the characteristics of a firm that can adapt to changes in the environment and survive, while businesses that fail to adapt can slip from world domination to bankruptcy with examples often mentioned like KODAK and NOKIA.

In the global economy our countries, cities and communities compete on skills, know-how,  adaptability and connectivity to get knowledge jobs in their area. Communities need assistance to anticipate and adapt to the world as it changes around them. Libraries can play a vital role in providing opportunities, tools and experiences for their communities to learn and to develop the dynamic capabilities needed. Librarians as effective “community learning connectors” can be change agents and drivers for development in our communities for many years to come.
How do we insure the folks serving our varied constituents have the skill sets and attitudes required of the modern library worker.

In our workshop we will use Michael’s “formula for success” to facilitate participants own ideas:

Essential Skills + Mindset² X Support = Success

Each part of the formula is vital. The outcome does not work if any of them are removed.

What do you think:

  • What are your thoughts on the content in Michael Stephens Essential Skills + Mindset² X Support = Success
  • In what way can libraries enhance a community’s adaptability to change?
  • Do you have examples of libraries in your community acting as community learning connectors and helping to respond and adapt to change?
  • What skills are needed for library staff to be effective community learning connectors?
  • What skills and mindset will help library staff continue to adapt to rapid change into the future?

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #LibraryChangeAgent  all kinds of contributions are welcome. Make a short video, use words – or draw your perfect set of skills… Be creative. We think that is one of the important skills needed ?