Reading in ‘Leadership’ has been particularly interesting – when one is also working within a system (and in a position) to observe ‘leaders in action’, and can relate the theory to experiences both current and from the past. The differing styles and evident success of some leaders, seems to be most obviously influenced by communication skills and established relationships. Three of the references I valued most as having a positive influence on my learning in my present situation, are cited below with some critical annotation.
Hay, L. & Foley, C. (2009). School libraries building capacity for student learning in 21C. Scan, 28(2), 17-26.
This paper succinctly references various studies that have identified model school library programs and elucidates the essential abilities a TL should be demonstrating in ‘an effective school library’. A well-structured article that then promotes future action in relation to trends and challenges, and concludes with a very useful table of ten capacity building elements to use as a basis for developing the value of any school library. Good tool to share with stakeholders!
Haycock, K. (2010). Leading from the Middle: Building Influence for Change. In Coatney, S. (Ed) The Many Faces of School Library Leadership. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited.
‘Leadership is essentially the ability to guide, direct, or influence people.’ It’s about the positive and productive relationships you have at all levels. Briefly considers the essential and elusive nature of ‘leadership’ and associated theories, before detailing the specific competencies and behaviours, relating these to a TLs role. Significant for me was the final suggestion that there’s a need for ‘knowing yourself’ (cites supporting research to help find your strengths), and inspired me to believe I can learn and develop these traits over time.
Toor, R. & Weisburg, H. (2011). Being Indispensible: A School Librarian’s Guide to Becoming an Invaluable Leader. Chicago: American Library Association.
This easily accessible step-by-step approach reveals the importance of, and provides support for TLs to write a mission statement pertinent to their passion and workplace. It introduced me to the value of a ‘tagline’. Subsequent chapters deal with leadership and an essential ‘vision’, and the development of both a personal and a program strategic plan in a clear way. Most significant, was the revelation that advocacy and leadership are very closely linked and essential if the community is to hold a positive image of the library program and its personnel. Each chapter usefully concludes by recapping the ‘key points’.