Like a Ship in the Sea
The Lake Superior Libraries Symposium conference continued with several more excellent sessions on the day.
One of my favorite sessions was “Like a Ship in the Sea: Super Community Collaboration in the Archives.” With my background in Archives Management, it was fun hearing about Shana Aue’s project for the University of Wisconsin Superior. Her project was massive in scope and she came up with some innovative ways to handle the situation.
One message she had that I really liked was to simply “tell people what you’re doing (even if you have no idea what you’re doing)” because otherwise no one will know. This will help you “find your community” that can really become a big factor in helping move the project forward. This was a really simple, key message that I think can be forgotten at times. She found that people really do want to help.
Another strategy that helped her was to find a story and add it to the grant narrative. She was able to tie the story to national events, and this helped in securing a grant. In addition she talked with consultants in the shipping industry and other librarians while working on the grant.
One other easily-overlooked option she pointed out was to identify and use your own existing resources. For her the big resource turned out to be the Campus Grants Office at the University of Wisconsin Superior.
Another interesting aspect about this project was that it has “helped make the University look good” and more students are starting to come in, and awareness among faculty has risen.
Ten Biggest Mistakes
Another entertaining session that I attended was “10 biggest mistakes”, by Marge Loch Wouters, a retired Children’s Librarian and Manager. This session was really unique – I have never seen a session quite like it, where a librarian comes out of retirement to give a talk. It was refreshing and valuable to learn from someone who has worked in our profession for years as a manager.
Her mistakes/lessons ended up being more than ten, and all valuable:
- Perfection? HA! No such thing
- Reactions to deadlines/stress all different
- Mistake: Want to be your friend
- Friendship can get in the way
- Might not be liked, but should not be based on how much people like me
- “I’m busy don’t bother me” attitude a mistake
- Not working on behalf of people you manage
- What do you do to honor people you are working with?
- Don’t fight every battle
- Stop worrying about all the things
- Concentrate on listening
- “Let me tell you exactly what I think” really can be destructive
- Need to be a lot more tactful with communication – verbal and email
- Realize impact of what you say and write
- Mistake: Do all the things
- Slow down you have time career is a marathon
- Opportunities grow and build/don’t have to say yes
- “Seriously you can’t read my mind? Mistake!
- Stop, evaluate – why doing this?
- Many things fail
- “Freeing” to admit failure
- Staff need to see they can fail
- Especially as manager, need to own it (failure)
- Stress: Most mistakes revolve around stress
- What are your stress points?
- Remember self-care, take time for mindfulness
- What recharges your battery?
Needless to say, this was quite a good – and packed – session.
I greatly enjoyed attending this years Lake Superior Libraries Symposium, and look forward to attending the next one, especially if the weather is as good as it was this year.