Reading ALIA, or – that pile of reading material on my desk. Pt2

That pile is still little, but you should see what is in a large plastic crate at home! Not long ago, every time a colleague posted about an interesting or must-read paper, if it caught my eye, I printed it out. I’ve also kept required reading from school … I know I know!! 🙂

Romaniuk M and Haycock K, 2011. Designing and evaluating library leadership programs: improving performance and effectiveness. TALJ vol 60  no 1, pg29-40

There is a small pool of library leader candidates with the interest and capacity to fill these roles. This is a pressing issue since the numbers of retiring leaders in this sector is growing. There is some leadership training available (based on corporate models) but adequate evaluations of these programs are sorely lacking. Given the peculiar make-up of this profession (largely female introverts), tailoring leadership programs is a must as well as a long-term evaluation plans with specific outcome measurements. Leadership development programs resonate with change management in that leadership development implies behaviour change. My question is – are these two concepts considered together?

Hicks D, 2011. The practice of mentoring: reflecting on the critical aspects for leadership development. TALJ vol 60 no 1, pg66-74.

Deborah Hicks looks at the negative side of mentoring for leadership and the variety of pitfalls that can occur. Should you divide the mentoring from supervisory roles or retain the supervisor as mentor? This is not always the answer to reducing conflict as the mentor and supervisor can have different ideas as to what makes a good leader.  On the other hand, the supervisor has other employees to consider with the overarching responsibility to the organisation. If mentoring for leadership is totally divided from mentoring and supervision (ie – employee attending leadership training) this could interfere with the supervisors responsibilities.  Mentoring, as with all relationships, can be dysfunctional. The main dysfunctions occuring here have a common cause – power imbalance. Negative mentoring experiences can impact on the organisation: lack of trust in management, reduced team work, less desire to engage in organisation wide activities, staff turnover and absenteeism. With this in mind, Hicks points out that working within  guidelines for the mentoring relationship and establishing  reflective practice can make mentoring a positive experience.

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