PLA Symposium: Lead by Example: Work, Change, Self & Others

Lead by Example: Work, Change, Self & Others

Al Gini, Loyola University Chicago, author of “The Importance of Being Lazy” spent a lively session discussing how to better manage our lives: on and off the job beacuse so few of us are happy with work. He illustrated points with numerous Dilbert cartoonms featuring the evil head of Human Resources and the unfortunate employees who encounter “Catbert.” Gini pointed out that happy staff must experience the four Rs of working: Recognition, Respect, Relationship and Rewards from supervisors and colleagues.

Dealing with change is a concern, he stressed. Librarians sometimes resist change because of a fear of innovation, thier own personal habits, social customs, peer pressure and fear of leaving their comfort zones.

He also gave a gentle reminder to the room that the MLS they received is not the MLS new library school gradutes are getting as well as stressing the importance of technology to today’s library professional. “If you got your MLS more than 15 years ago, the program is much different,” he said. The first thing you’d do if you went back was to get a laptop. “This is your laptop, learn to love it.”

To reinvent your job and yourself, Gini urged the librarians to seek out learning opportunities, get a mentor or be a mentor, attend seminars, attend classes, conferences, and make yourself more marketable in the profession, without losing sight of our passions. “It’s about loving what you do and doing what you love.”

Note from MS:

It was interesting for me to compare the 6 hours I spent in workshops with Stephen Abram to Gini’s session. I must admit when I saw he was using an overhead projector and transperancies, I clucked. BUT he was engaging, on the money and got the whole idea of PEOPLE being a library’s number one resource. He also got the idea that all librarians must embrace technology: “Here’s a laptop, learn to love it!” NICE!