Blog - Jo Alcock Consulting
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I'm pleased to see so many people interested in the Library Leadership Reading Group (see earlier blog post and Google Document for further information) and from the tweets quite a few people have decided to join in this month's book discussion based on Margaret Wheatley's Leadership and The New Science. The first discussion will take place on Twitter using the #llrg tag on 31st July at 7.30-8.30pm (UK time). If you haven't participated in a Twitter chat yet I'd recommend reading this blog post in preparation. Essentially all you need to do is to have a Twitter account and to...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="130"] ALA NMRT logo[/caption] I've recently taken on a new committee position in ALA as Chair of the NMRT (New Members Round Table) Online Discussion Forum committee. As the name suggests, this is a committee that operates virtually so is perfect or someone like myself who is based in a different geographic location to most of the organisation. I really appreciate the fact that I can still be involved in ALA committee work even if I am unable to attend the conferences, and hope CILIP will also increase options for getting involved in committees even if you can't...

Next week I'll be participating in a panel discussion at the LIS DREaM (Developing Research Excellence and Methods) closing conference on the topic of the future of LIS research (tweets on #lis_dream5 if you're interested in following). I have my own views on this (some of which are in the interview questions I was asked to respond to), but at the conference I'll be mainly representing the views of the LIS DREaM cadre (i.e. those of us who have attended the LIS DREaM workshops). I'd like to understand other's views too so if you are part of the LIS DREaM...

I wanted to share some of what I think will be the highlights of ALA Annual Conference 2012 for me and why they're going to be so great (Disclaimer: I may be slightly biased about some of these!) Association Options Fair I've been working with the task force (as part of my Emerging Leaders project) to help organise this session to introduce people to how they can get involved in ALA. It's part of ALA President Molly Raphael's "Empowering Diverse Voices" diversity leadership initiative. There's a full press release available online, but to give a brief overview: The Association Options Fair was developed to...

My time as an ALA Emerging Leader is almost coming to end as we're in the countdown to the ALA Annual Conference 2012. It's been such a great experience and I'd like to share some thoughts. What is ALA Emerging Leaders? According to the official website: American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders (EL) program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as...

Following some discussions at the CILIP in Wales Conference on leadership, there seem to be a number of people interested in reading books/articles on leadership as part of a reading group. I put together a list of any of the works mentioned from the conference and shared it as a Google Document which others have added to (and added their details if they are interested in joining in). A few people have asked about the Library Leadership Reading Group so here are some FAQs on how I see it working. Can I join in? Of course, this is just a group of people...

Leadership is one of the areas I'm focusing on for my CILIP Chartership and as a result I've been involved in a number of different activities based on this topic. I thought it would be useful to consolidate them and share some of the key lessons I've learnt. These have derived from my involvement in the following activities:
  • ALA Emerging Leaders program (including leadership training at ALA Midwinter)
  • Chairing CILIP West Midlands committee
  • Joining Future Faces Birmingham
  • Giving a presentation on Developing leadership skills through professional engagement
  • Attending the CILIP in Wales Conference on leadership
  • Reading core leadership texts, articles and blogs

I've been keen to read some of the leadership books I've read reviews of but not found time to read. A few months ago, some people involved in ALA activities who wanted to do the same decided to set up a library leadership book club. we all voted on the books we wanted to read and the most popular one was How to make meetings work: the new interaction method. We had around a month to read it and then set a date to discuss it via Google Hangout.

I was invited this year to give a presentation at the CILIP in Wales 2012 conference on leadership. As leadership is one area I'm really keen to develop skills in I was delighted - this enabled me to both share my own progress so far (and hopefully help others plan their leadership journey during my workshop), and also to attend the conference to learn from those more experienced than myself. My presentation focused on how you can develop leadership skills through professional engagement, particularly through supporting professional organisations. It's no secret that I'm a keen advocate for professional organisations - my volunteering for them is a reciprocal relationship. I benefit greatly from getting involved in a wide variety of things I wouldn't ordinarily be able to do within the scope of my day job (thus developing a broader skill set), and the organisations benefit from my input to committees/projects/task forces/working groups.

As part of a new network I have joined (Future Faces in Birmingham) I was invited to an event this evening on 'How to network effectively'. As networking is one of my areas of focus for my CILIP Chartership and an important element of my job, I was really keen to attend. I'm not sure what I was expecting but it was a mixed experience. Some was very common sense, other bits were really useful as they addressed areas I struggle with. The networking afterwards however, well I'm not so sure. I guess I just have to accept that I'm well outside my comfort zone and that corporate networking events are likely to attract a certain type of person.