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Cultivating leaders in the Libraries

Participants in the Management Development Group program with Marianne Gaunt (far right) and Andrée Lockwood (seated, center).

Sometimes there's no ready-made or easily accessible remedy to a pressing challenge. In such a situation resourceful people create their own solutions.

Administrators in the Rutgers University Libraries noticed that they had a number of talented personnel who are qualified to take on added responsibilities. These personnel were ready for specialized professional development, to help them manage the unique challenges of a technologically-advanced academic library system working in a lean budget environment.

Not finding the type of training they envisioned, Libraries administrators created their own. Working with Andrée Lockwood, a professional trainer with over 25 years of experience who has worked with the METRO New York Library Council and the Westchester Library System, the Management Development Group program was born.

Sixteen Libraries staff and librarians, recommended by their supervisors, were invited to participate in the program. Participants attended six intensive and interactive workshops over six months, on the topics:

  • Thriving Through Change
  • Time Management and Effective Meetings
  • Personality Style Preferences and Workplace Interactions
  • Leading from Every Position
  • Communicating More Effectively
  • Conflict Resolution

Discussions and insights gained in the workshops were reinforced by journals that participants kept as they progressed through the program.

As a capstone experience, the participants were divided into three teams and given assignments that tested their skills in team-work, communication, problem solving, and planning. In a public program in June attended by senior Libraries leaders the three teams presented their reports.

A three person team from Libraries Administration offered their suggestions as to how the Rutgers University Libraries might revise food and drink policies to accommodate a new café in the Alexander Library. Suggestions included tips on how to publicize and enlist library personnel in enforcing the new policy.

A six person team from Access Services presented a detailed time-line to guide a consolidation of related library collections.. The group provided recommendations on how to involve effected academic departments in the move and how to allow sufficient time for packing, labeling, sorting, shelving, and organizing the newly integrated collections.

A seven person team from Technical and Automated Services tackled a complex assignment - to design a workflow for the Libraries to accept, assess, and process the research materials of Rutgers faculty members and make them available within RUcore, the institutional repository created and managed by the Libraries. Team members cogently explained the numerous challenges involved, including copyright clearance, digitization concerns, staffing, and collection management. The group concluded their presentation with a detailed color-coded chart that clearly illustrated the necessary work-flow and interactions.

After the presentations, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian Marianne Gaunt presented Management Development Group completion certificates to all participants and thanked them for their commitment to the program.

The Libraries congratulate all the participants in the Management Development Group: Georgina Alonzo, Fay Austin, Isaiah Beard, John Brennan, Krista Dandurand, Qian Hu, Kristen Ko, Priscilla Lee, Meghan Lord, Jamie Maguire, Chad Mills, Chiaki Mills, Cathy Pecoraro, Michele Petosa, Bill Puglisi, and Mary Beth Weber.

Posted July 1, 2010; July 9, 2010