This is the fourth post in the series Leading From The Stacks, an examination of leadership in the library industry. It was initiated by my course Leading From Any Position.
I recently read about Harvard Graduate School of Education's Leadership Institute for Academic Libraries (LIAL), reading about is on the blogs of K. D. Schneider and John Dupruis. It sounds like an amazing experience, bringing together leaders from across North America for a week for an in-depth conversation about the management of academic libraries.
For a week during the summer, participants gathering in Boston, where they are encouraged to unplug from their computers and dive into in-depth readings and discussion focusing on leadership development in academia and libraries. LIAL creates a safe space for the group to examine both what is happening in their own institutions as well as wider trends that effect all of them From Schneider and Dupruis's descriptions it seems that a lot of introspection and excitement is generated during the week.
Reading their posts, what I come away with most in the notion that leadership development is an ongoing process. While most directors and managers of academic libraries are certainly hired for their leadership skills, it is understood the continued development is necessary to be an effective leader. This seems to be a common element of organizational culture for institutions who focus on learning and information sharing. Theories and best practices are always evolving and reacting to outside influences. I think this is an element that draws me to a career in libraries: lifelong learning is not just expected but celebrated.