Everyone has posted such beautiful pictures of San Francisco. I am envious of your photographing abilities. I think for me though, it is official; I am just not a huge fan of the big city. While there the following lyrics just kept ringing in my ears. Green acres is the place for me. Farm livin’ is the life for me. Land spreadin’ out so far and wide. Keep
Manhattan San Francisco, just give me that countryside.
Ok, so the city may have not been appealing, but the conference was great. After finishing my BCALA Executive Board responsibilities, I spent Friday afternoon in a LLAMA sponsored pre-conference entitled: “Mind Over Matter: Sustainable success for library leaders.” Presenter, Kim Nichol spoke of mindfulness as engaging curiosity in an intentional way. Mindfulness has to do with the quality of your attention, your awareness of self and of others, your ability to keep an even keel, and lastly your being responsive and not reactive. Practicing mindfulness is a necessary component for effective leadership. Mindful leaders bring their best selves to work each day. How? They recognize that they are human and so are those who work with them. We each have a human need for physical rest. We have an emotional need to feel valued, welcomed accepted and even loved. We have an intellectual need to explore, to learn and to participate in. We have a spiritual need for community, for purpose and for legacy. Being mindful of these needs and bringing them to the forefront of our daily interactions, will aid leaders in their ability to lead others. This not only ensures that they bring their best selves to work, but also those around them will be more likely to do the same.
The ACRL Personnel Administrator’s group discussed practices and timelines around academic librarian searches. Three to six months was about the average length of time for search from post to offer. Many of the practices shared were similar to those we have in place here. Such as the use of grids/metrics to evaluate each applicant by the same set of criteria. The one option discussed, not in practice here, that I found appealing was that of establishing of timelines up front. So in the beginning of the search process dates of the search committee members as well as other key players were identified and held as possible phone interview and onsite interview dates. The onsite interview dates are then shared with the applicants during the phone interview. Attendees confessed that in most cases delays around bringing candidates to campus resulted from scheduling conflicts at the Dean/Director levels. This was the one step that I thought could impact our ability to keep the search moving along. Discussion followed on the topic of when reviewing of applicants took place. Many agreed that starting the review early in the process, rather than waiting for all the applications to arrive also helped to move the search along.
Supervision of millennials in the workplace was another topic of interest. Student assistant and supervisor training were amongst the areas most in need of attention discussed. Communication, collaboration and the setting of clearly defined expectations were equally deemed as necessary components to a successful partnership. This topic was slated for further conversations.
Below is a list of the BCALA Literary Award winners. One of the winners currently works right here in North Carolina.
The winner of the 1st Novelist Award went to Forty Acres: A Thriller by Dwayne Alexander Smith (Atria Books). The Fiction category winner was Citizens Creek: A Novel by Lalita Tademy (Atria Books). Award winners for Honor Books for Fiction were, Saint Monkey: A Novel by Jacinda Townsend (W. W. Norton & Company), Til the Well Runs Dry: A Novel by Lauren Francis-Sharma (Henry Holt & Company and Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Crown Publishing Group). The winner in the Nonfiction category is Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas by Jeffrey B. Leak (University of Georgia Press). Leak is an associate professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of the New South at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Honor Books for Nonfiction went to Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland with Charisse Jones (Touchstone), Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University; Building a Legacy of Black History by Janet Sims-Wood (The History Press); and The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology, edited by Katie G. Cannon and Anthony B. Pinn (Oxford University Press). The winner for BCALA’s Best Poetry Award is Books of Hours: Poems by Kevin Young (Knopf).
As always, I am happy to continue conversations around any of these topics, just let me know.