This morning I filled out my survey for the Emerging Leaders Program. I have been pondering what exactly I wanted to write for this space about it for a couple weeks and I have been unable to formulate anything coherent. In an effort at transparency, below is the exact survey I received and my responses. Well, exact minus the logo and the welcome salutation.
What worked well for you in EMERGING LEADERS 07?
My group, Project P, had a great mentor. I think having a mentor that is involved is very important. I also liked that the other members of my team were from different kinds of libraries. It gave us a variety of viewpoints, which for our project, was good.
What did you learn?
Sometimes, who you meet during the process is sometimes more important then what you do.
Packaging a proposal is important and sometimes that does not help. (this is not a reflection of what happened with my project, but rather what I heard from others)
There is a large number of impatient young librarians that want to improve our profession and be leaders, but we are held back by (pick from a large bag of reasons). Getting us all in one place can itself be an instigator of change.
Is there anything you would have liked to learn, but didnâ€™t?
I felt that we did not have as much leadership training at Midwinter as I was expecting. The discussions at Annual were more what I was expecting. I would have liked more discussion about how to effect change from the bottom. At all of the trainings I have attended (here and elsewhere), this is only vaguely discussed. We want to be able to improve our libraries, ourselves, and the profession, but we are all at the bottom. We need actual strategies to take small, or not, steps forward in our profession and at our places of work. Theories are great, but we also need real applications.
At Midwinter, when we sharing some of our frustrations, that was the best part of the day. It was a â€œhooray, I am not the only crazy person in the worldâ€ moment for me.
How do you think what you learned will help you in your career?
The contacts I made will benefit me more then anything else about the program. The understanding and managing conflict topic area at Annual was the most enlightening. The discussions the group had during this time were engaging. I think leaders are called upon to make tough decisions and knowing how to manage conflict helps enormously.
Would you recommend the Emerging Leaders program to another librarian?
____Enthusiastically __X__With reservations ____No
With the following caveats: The projects are work and may or may not be meaningful to the group that proposed it and thus may be futile. You will have to work between sessions. Being attached, sponsored, to/by a group will make the process more meaningful, so look for opportunities to apply for sponsorship.
How could this program be improved?
I would have liked there to be more talking on the blog and I do not think the content should be expected to come from the participants. We could have had, for example, a topic of the week (or every 2 weeks) that Maureen, Connie, or someone else would post to the blog with some background. Then, we could have commented on it and discussed it. Asking the participants, who are already busy with life, work, other ALA obligations, and working on a project to create all the content for our program was not what we expected. We needed some direction for the blog to work well and I do not feel we received enough.
How would you rate your experience with the project?
Great +5 +3 +1 0 -1 -3 -5 Terrible
The project my group worked on has a fairly good chance of being implemented in some fashion. Some of the other projects seemed liked futile exercises in meaningless work because the chance of the work ever coming to fruition was so incredibly low. We experience enough futility in our jobs and in other parts of ALA. We should strive to keep it at a minimum in this program.
How much did you learn from the team?
A lot +5 +3 +1 0 -1 -3 -5 Not much
I had a great team that meshed and worked well together. The team was one of my favorite things about this program.
How much did you learn about ALA?
A lot +5 +3 +1 0 -1 -3 -5 Not much
I did not feel we discussed the inner workings of ALA at all.
How would you like the group to keep in touch? _X__wiki _X__blog ___listserv ___At ALA ____not interested
Things like chat and Meebo Rooms could also be an option. I was pretty vocal about my abhorrence of listservs, but I know other people like them and multiple channels of communication can be good.
My library is ___Public ___ School __X_Academic ___Special ___In school ___Other
Name (optional):______Michelle Boule____________________________________
Thank you for your help!
–Jane, is emerged