Eleanor Cook, Assistant Director for Collections & Technical Services, East Carolina University
During the week of January 9–13, 2012, East Carolina University (ECU) Joyner Library’s staff and faculty took the opportunity to view the ALCTS Virtual Midwinter Symposium, “Launching Your Star Potential: Leadership for Today’s Libraries.” We were able to fund the entire series with the assistance of our Friends of the Library Staff Development Fund, which was established to assist with staff travel and registration needs.
We had a total of thirty-nine people attend the sessions in person, with an average attendance each day of twenty-two people. Seven people attended all five days. Monday’s session was the most attended and Friday’s was the least attended. We also had a number of people (we don’t know how many, unfortunately) who viewed some of the session recordings.
After each webinar we held a thirty-minute discussion, with faculty and staff officers from our library and staff assemblies serving as discussion leaders.
We conducted an in-house evaluation, and also encouraged participants to submit ALCTS evaluations. We found that each day’s session had a different flavor and emphasis, although some basic principles of leadership were repeated at least once. The in-house discussion sessions were generally viewed favorably. The fact that all library employees were invited to participate was welcomed.
East Carolina University bills itself as “The Leadership University,” so it made sense for us to take advantage of this series to build some principles of leadership into our staff development efforts. Our paraprofessional staff members are especially interested in finding new ways of getting exposure to such principles. Library faculty members are already expected to participate as leaders through their service activities. Our assessment of the week’s sessions clearly showed that leadership is an important concept for all, and that there is a real need for additional sessions on leadership “from any position.”