Tag Archives: ALA Emerging Leaders

ALA Emerging Leader Application – My Advice

I was asked by someone considering applying for the ALA Emerging Leader program what my advice was for the application and personal statement.  I’m also on the EL Sub-committee (though I don’t do anything related to applications, reviews, etc.), so I didn’t get in to a lot of detail with my advice.  However, I still think what I said holds true and while it might seem obvious to some, focuses on things folks in our profession sometimes forget about:

  • Explain what made you want to become a librarian in the first place
  • Describe your short and long term goals
  • Be honest and don’t be afraid to show why you love being a librarian/library professional
  • Tell about your past successes – don’t be modest
  • If you see an unfulfilled need within ALA or within the profession, describe how you’d attempt to fill that gap

So, now you know!  Stay cool folks!

A survey option to consider…

**The graphics are a bit funky – this is due to my poor graphics skills, and not the eSurveysPro website.

If you’re in need of a free web-based survey option that provides a lot of customer service, I want to recommend eSurveysPro.

Our American Library Association Emerging Leaders team recently used  eSurveysPro to accomplish a major part of our assigned task.  Our project involved trying to survey thousands of small and rural librarians across the country to understand how they build community relations.

 Compared to other competitors in the online survey industry, we found eSurveysPro to be very easy to use.  Upon logging in, the options are neatly laid out and explained.  The site is very user-intuitive in that manner and it was a feature we appreciated.

This is the main page you see after creating a log-in.

The survey set up is very clear and easy to understand – we liked the tabs and the clear instructions available on the page to help in every aspect of sign up:

Survey options were easy to set!

Survey options were easy to set! We began our project as a free account, but when we contacted customer service with a question, we received very fast service and the answers we needed. Once we deployed our survey, we found it very easy to manage.The survey management page allows you to see the status of your survey.

With one click, we were able to change many functions, including opening or closing the survey, change survey options, or generate reports.  The “bread crumb” trail at the top of the software helps users keep track of where they are – in the case of the image above: You are Here > Manage Surveys > Survey List.

screen shot 4

You’ll notice we needed to ask a variety of questions and eSurveysPro allowed us to build the questions we needed very easily.

As you can see, the final survey looked very professional and easy to understand:

screen shot 5

As you can see, the final survey looked very professional and easy to understand.  Our whole team recommends eSurveysPro – the website is easy to understand, it’s a painless product to use, and customer service was GREAT.

If YOU are a rural library administrator, we recommend you take our survey at: http://tinyurl.com/CommunityRelations

Let me bare my librarian soul…

Part of the Emerging Leaders project meetings involved the following exercise:

Pair up with someone in the room you don’t know. You each have one minute to tell your life story. First, I’d like you tell your life story from the perspective of a victim.
I’ll let you know when one minute for each of you has passed.
Great.
Now that you’ve shared, tell your life story from the perspective of being a hero.
Great.
Now tell your life story but relay it only from the perspective of the life lessons you’ve learned.

I thought it was going to be a really stupid exercise. I was really, really, really resentful that I was being forced to share my life story with someone I didn’t know at all. I did my best to share but edit gently.

Luckily, I had a really cool partner.

And you know what? I’m thinking of that experience today, and I’m not resentful. I really enjoyed it, and I really learned a lot about myself and my perspective of myself from that exercise.

It was really hard to be the victim. I kept trying to leap to the most positive things that happened, but that wasn’t really allowed. “Yeah, that sucked big time but later on something great happened!” I guess I’m a more positive person than I really thought.

Secondly, I was a bit embarassed to try and be the hero. But I couldn’t tell the story without making it funny. I think that’s true of librarians – we have a hard time making ourselves and our institutions into heroes.

And the life lessons…I hmmmed, and hawed and muttered something about learning to be patient. And now that I’ve had three or four days to think, I’ve realized how many life lessons I’ve really gained. And how I don’t appreciate or refer to those life lessons nearly enough. Wow…crazy…it’s like having an amazing personal resource center and never bothering to use it…

So, I went from resentfully baring my soul to really learning a lot. That six minute exercise is still making me think, days after the fact.

Something to ponder…

(p.s. I tried to find clipart a naked dude wearing a barrel.  No dice.  It got kinda kinky!  Yikes!)

I represent the Mitten.

Hi All.

Okay, so the official list of American Library Association Emerging Leaders went out yesterday and I am on it!  That was a nice honor…a little pat on that back that let’s me know I must be doing something right.

I am the lone representative from Michigan however, so I suppose that means I need to be on my best behavior at ALA Annual and Midwinter.  Update!  I just looked at the list again and there is ANOTHER Michigan person!  Yeah!

Have a phenomenal day!