This is the first of some more belated blogging of my notes and observations from TLA..that would be the Tennessee Library Association conference.
First this was one of the better programs at TLA because it was equally geared towards those who want to achieve as well as those looking to encourage achievement within the library.
The session began with this video:
This session was about building HEROes/leaders from within the library. The emphasis, luckily, was not only on how to bring people up to a more professional level, but also how to do it yourself if you work in an environment where there is no established method for growing and improving yourself professionally.
As a supervisor/manager:
H-hire forward thinkers
R-reach out (network)
What this comes down to is pick good people and continue to push them once they are on board. Push them by finding training through established routes and bringing in people you know who can teach a certain skill or provide guidance on an issue that you would like to grow within staff.
As an employee:
We can be heroes ourselves pretty much by trying and taking it all seriously. So when sent to training realize that it is because it is a skill that managers above you believe you need or believe can benefit the library. The self-directed hero also needs to be sure to tell those higher on the ladder that you have an interest/desire/opportunity to learn a new skill that will improve your job performance. We need to be sure to share what we learn and let others know that we've learned something, rather than keeping our skills & ideas to ourselves. Overcoming obstacles means that there might be something you really want to learn or a conference/workshop you really want to attend, but work won't send you or pay for it...well then you need to take the day off or pay for it yourself if it is really that important.
Some other take-away ideas for the self-directed hero:
Always send a thank you to the person who arranged for you to go to a training event
Apply for scholarships and grants
Remember to invest in yourself