Library Links: Libraries, Literacy and Leadership

Blind Faith- Blind leading Blind

The Blind Leading the Blind / By Leemclaughlin (Lee McLaughlin) [CC BY 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

I have been incredibly busy this spring. From attending a leadership academy in April to presenting at a conference in May to planning our adult summer reading program, I haven’t had time for the blog these days. But I have been spotting a number of interesting articles from around the web that I had to share. So sit back and prepare yourself for another round of Library Links.

  • Stephen Fry Defends Livesaving Libraries – While it has been disheartening to see so many colleagues struggling across the pond, it has been amazing to see the supporters of British libraries come out of the woodwork. Stephen Fry is an incredible actor and human being and I do not think he is exaggerating when he contends that “libraries save lives.” They certainly saved my life, considering that the toll the stress of newspapers was beginning to take on my emotional and physical well-being. But, I know from some of my own patrons that they can be more literally lifesaving, from providing resources on addiction to being a warm place to shelter in the winter for the homeless who have nowhere else to go.
  • Weeding vs. Censorship: A personal experience – The writers over at Hack Library School are always tackling interesting topics from difference perspectives. Weeding has always been a hot-button topic for libraries, but HLS brings up an important point about the fine line between weeding and censorship.
  • Audiobooks: An effective tool for improving literacy – No Shelf Required shared a recent study confirming “the positive impact of audiobooks in literacy development.” They also bring up an interesting point about the blurring line between eBooks and Audiobooks, considering that there are plenty of nifty tools that can allow you to listen to your eBook, thereby making it easier for some learners to absorb the material. I myself love audiobooks for the unique take narrators can bring to the story, but that doesn’t necessarily improve the format’s impact on literacy.

Ever since I attended a two-day intensive leadership academy in April, I’ve been hungry for anything I can get my hands on involving leadership in libraries. And the internet, apparently, has good timing. Here are just a few of the recent leadership-related posts I’ve been reading.

  • Lead From Where You Are – This post is about “recognizing your individual power and leading from whatever position you’re in.” For librarians especially, leading from where you are is a requirement. And it is an important reminder for those of who may not have seen ourselves as leaders, but find that there is a gap for us to fill in that area.
  • Leadership and Management series – The International Librarians Network blog has been running a series on different aspects of leadership and management in libraries. Topics have included development opportunities, followership, and cultural differences in management styles. I have found this organization to be a great way to get a wider view of librarianship and this series has been fascinating.
  • Gender and Leadership – Jessica Olin and Michelle Millet gave a presentation on Gender and Leadership. The recording isn’t up yet, but you can see the slides and read what Jessica and Michelle have to say on this important topic. Let me throw a stat at you: “Even though men are only 20 to 25% of the profession, they make up 40 to 50% of administration.” That’s the kind of crazy insight you get from this invaluable post.

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