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Thursday, May 7, 2015

TASL Talks: Attend TASLA - Becoming a Leader, Part 1

By Donna Kearley, Coordinator for Library Services, Denton Independent School District

As Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?”

Advocacy is all about being a leader on your campus, in your district, or maybe even as a district Library Leader someday.  Why lead?  It is our job to educate our administrators on what we bring to the table.  Unfortunately, administrators don’t learn that by osmosis, and they have absolutely no training in libraries.   So in order for our program to flourish, we have to teach them. 

Some of us are very comfortable with leading, others...not so much.  So “let’s talk” about ways to coach ourselves into being the leader we need to be.  Remember the saying, “Fake it until you make it?”  Here are some suggestions of ways to build leadership skills.

The Texas Association of School Library Administrators (TASLA) Conference.  This conference is designed for Lead Librarians, Sole Librarians, Managers, Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of School Library Programs.  But it is also a good way to build leadership skills for future leaders. 

Registration this year is $75 plus your hotel bill.  Meals are provided.  The 2015 conference dates are June 16-18, 2015 in Austin, Texas.  You can find information on registering at http://www.txasla.org).  The draft schedule should be posted soon and includes workshops on Communicating Your Message and Grassroots Advocacy.   Past topics include: Coping Skills for Today’s Challenges, Envisioning Solutions and Translating Ideas and Strategies, I Do Make a Difference, Personnel, Advocacy, Professional Practice:  Where Standards and Dispositions Meet. [Dorcas highly recommends this conference - biggest bang for buck around!]

The Texas Library Association.  Did you miss conference this year?   If so, make plans for next year.  Where can you find leadership training at TLA? Webinars - Ted Wanner puts together some wonderful webinars for little or no cost.    Most are recorded, so you can watch them later if you aren’t available to watch live. Examples include  Dr. Julie Todaro’s workshop on Digital Age Management and Leadership:  Five Critical Steps to Integrating Digital Age Techniques into the Workplace. (April 7, 2015, 1-2 PM CST).  The webinars in the archives include Gretchen McCord’s workshops on Copyright and Joel Castro’s  Are we Speaking the Same Language?  Librarians, Principals, the School Library Program, and Taking the Lead.  These are only $10 in the TLA store.

The Tall Texans Leadership Institute is led by a nationally recognized leader in building leadership.    This year’s attendees have already been selected so start putting together a plan to apply next year.  Tall Texans serves all types of libraries so if you don’t get in the first time, try again.  Ask another librarian to read over your application and give you some critical feedback before submitting.  Many Tall Texans applied more than once before being accepted.

The Program Committee works hard to bring in nationally recognized leaders for all program tracks including management and leadership. Look at sessions offered, but choose wisely. Just like you wouldn’t eat a steady diet of cake, broaden your horizons and attend sessions that are tied to your district goals.   Then, bring reports and staff development sessions back to your campus to share with teachers and administrators.

We will continue our conversation in the next part as we discuss regional and social media options for building leadership skills.


1 comment:

  1. To become a leader we need to follow several kinds of instructions from experts; to be a good leader we should have a strong personality, effective managerial skill, good decision making capacity, able to deal with tough and worst situations and many others. Apart from these above we also need some extra qualities that we can get from this article. I am really thankful for this post it delivers good amount of quality instructions.
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