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Posts Tagged ‘leadership’


Together, Sally Pewhairangi and Megan Ingle are Heroes Mingle! If that looks a little superhero-ish, well, that’s because I think they are. They are doing some excellent work collaborating with each other to facilitate their own professional development.

“Heroes Mingle is our collaborative name. It tells a story about two librarians who do more than dream big. Two librarians who want more from the profession than just turning up to work to do a good job. Two librarians who, just like many other heroic characters aren’t going to wait for someone else to solve our problems; who have the guts to say yes, take a leap of faith; and make something happen.”

Recently they gave a presentation ‘Creating the professional development opportunities you want’ at the Worldwide Virtual Library Conference 2.013. They’re also writing about it. Part one is by Sally, Part two is by Megan.

I watched them do this work from the sides (on Twitter) and was impressed at the momentum they created (facilitated?) in the people who were participating. It’s heartening to remember that there are people doing good work for the future of librarians in New Zealand.

Ngā mihi nui ki a kōrua.

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Tomorrow April comes around, which not only means a large number of silly jokes, but that also the first quarter of the year has passed us by. In the yearly library cycle for LIANZA it means that soon (I am pretty sure I haven’t missed it) a call will go out for nominations to fill the vacancies on council. A number of the regional councillors will be finishing their term, and there will be the annual vacancy of President Elect.  

When these nominations come around people should have a good think about whether they can give back to the professional body by contributing in some way on council, or on the committees, either on the SIG’s or the Regional committees. One thing that has troubled me since I became active in LIANZA is the lack of elections. We seem to only get one person nominated for a position, which they then get by default. I would like to see elections, especially for the president elect position, as that would mean the membership would get a better idea of what our leaders stand for, and what they want to achieve.

For myself, after three years chairing the Ikaroa committee, I have been seriously considering the standing for council. The regional Ikaroa councillor is coming to the end of her term, (thanks Heather for a sterling job), so I am considering standing for that, but at the same time I must confess that standing for President Elect also appeals. I believe that the council and LIANZA has been making good progress in leading the professional body, and instead of commenting from the sidelines, I should be making the step up to an active leadership role. The sensible conservative part of me realises that probably the best route is to stand for council, serve a term learning the ropes, and then stand for President Elect. The leap-before-you-look, self belief, what’s a bit of risk between friends side says “go for it”. Or maybe I should stand for both and see what happens?

What do you think?  

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Before I get too far into this one, I will solemnly swear not to talk about conference for a long time. It’s just that there’s one more thing that has been praying on my mind, which I would like to rant on.

As you know I am involved with LIANZA, being the current regional chair for the Ikaora region.  I enjoy my role, and when not dwelling on whether that next great bit of technology will be useful to the library, my thoughts recently have turned to what advantages membership brings, and what role the organisation has within the profession. Actually if anyone can come up with a short blurb about why joining is a good idea, let me know. I am not the greatest salesman, and often have trouble when asked that question, as I get tongue tied answering.

So what’s that got to do with conference? Apart from the obvious?

LIANZA has an important role to play within the profession, and I think that conference should be a central part of that.  Mostly it is, but where I think we failed at the conference is in promoting ourselves, and in showing leadership at conference. Sure LIANZA is splashed all over conference as it’s the LIANZA conference after all, but how many people actually pay any attention to that or really link it to the organisation? This year I felt that despite the prominent branding the presence of LIANZA was lacking. Next year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of LIANZA and the first conference. I think we need to step up and provide not only stronger leadership, but also a stronger presence.

The first thing that needs to happen, is for the AGM to be transformed from a mere set piece AGM, that been relegated to the dead zone of last thing on Tuesday, to the centrepiece of the conference. The AGM should be, I think must be, the first item on the agenda. Monday morning should have the welcome, and then move into the AGM.

As part of the AGM there should be at least two standing agenda items beyond the legal necessities. First the LIANZA awards should be presented at the AGM. They too are relegated to last thing, and while attendance is higher than at the AGM, it’s not what it should be.  The awards are a time to celebrate our own, and they are a central element of LIANZA. They should be prominent and tied more firmly to LIANZA.

Also there should be a keynote speech from the incoming President Elect. This is an opportunity for the incoming leadership to give a vision of what they wish to achieve over the next two years.

The second thing to happen beyond the AGM, is for the current President to give a full Keynote address, first thing on Wednesday morning. This year, and in previous years, any presidential addresses have been last thing, at the closing of the conference, and have often been curtailed for time.

The understandable sidelining of LIANZA from its own conference must end.

The next conference is a celebration of a hundred years of professional librarianship in New Zealand, and a hundred years of a professional organisation for librarians. Let us seize the moment to drag the organisation back into the centre stage and to inspire the next generation of librarians!  

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