The Transparent Library: Six More Signposts

Check your ego at the door. Good leaders don’t surround themselves with “yes” people. And good leaders know that if their message is not being heard, or it’s being heard incorrectly, then the fault does not lie with the listener but with the speaker. Stop worrying about the snarkiness of survey responses and start worrying about the meaning behind those negative comments.

Be sure to listen through the criticism. Behind relatively unconstructive criticism may lie a real concern. Show those critics you can listen, and show them that you’ll respond.

Recognize and grow your talent. Talented staff reflect better on you. Talented staff can help you take your organization places you didn’t think possible. However, if you view talented staff as threats, or, worse, ignore them completely, then you are doing a disservice to yourself and an injustice to your organization.

Embrace change. Build change into everything you do. Don’t plan, implement, and forget. Recognize that the tools will change, but the purpose and mechanism will stay the same. Not trying a library blog because “next year there’ll be something new” is not a workable excuse. We need to communicate now with our users.

At a recent conference, we overheard someone say, “Every time people really like something, we get rid of it.” Wouldn’t a better solution be to examine the reasons that something becomes popular or well used and find ways to deliver it as much as possible, be it Facebook access, more tables and chairs, or niche materials?

Properly handled and managed, adaptation to change ensures our survival. You can build that change into your organization through the use of review teams and community forums, drawing on staff and users alike.

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