Re-Tooling Academic Libraries for the Digital
Missions, Collections, Staffing
California Academic & Research Libraries
Third Annual Conference
NOTES FROM PANEL SESSION
Librarians As Leaders
Introductions: Bonnie Gratch, Session Chair and Mary
Ellen Bobp, Moderator
Joanne Euster, University Librarian, UC-Irvine
"The Director's Role in Mentoring and Developing Librarian Leadership."
Judy Clarence, Music/Instructional and Interpretive Services,
"A Fresh New Voice: Librarians as Leaders in Academic Planing and Policy."
Najwa Hanel, Head of Reference and Information Services,
Science and Engineering Library, University of Southern California.
"Bridging the Academic Gap."
Lorrita Ford, Instructional/Network Serviees Librarian,
Diablo Valley College.
"Those Darn Committees: Partipation for Preservation and Growth."
Bonnie Gratch, Head of Information and Instructional Services,
Saint Mary's College.
"Influencing Curricular Reform Without Faculty Status."
Comments/Questions and Strategy Summarizing. Seek appointment
on library advisory committee; Friends of the Library; campus curriculum
committees; committee task forces charged with projects that interest you
or impad the library; or nomination to academic senate. Once appointed,
be an active member.
Volunteer to edit your library newsletter and solicit articles from academic
administrators and faculty.
Create alliances with other units to co-staff or co-plan workshops, information
technology training, and information fairs (e.g, library and faculty development
director; library and academic computing stati; library and student affairs
Participate in campus academic colloquia and celebratory events, such as
fluid-raising activities sponsored by the campus development office.
Solicit and involve disciplinary faculty and students to help plan and implement
Take initiative in preparing or coordinating a written response to academic
documents in draft form, such as academic strategic plans' accreditation
self-studies, campus technology plans, etc.
On a regular basis, request time on department agendas to keep disciplinary
faculty informed of library developments and to stay current with curricular
Seek involvement and endorsement of library research/information literacy
objectives at all appropriate levels-library director, disciplinary faculty,
curriculum committees, and academic senate.
Increase your visibility and contacts by seeking more informal outlets,
such as lunching more often at the faculty dining room and participating
in campus faculty/staff recreational and cultural activities.
As a committee member, use your library research skills to do bachground
research to help advance the work of the committee.
Join and become active in disciplinary and higber education professional
Attend leadership development workshops and institutes.
Instigate and participate in programming activities that promote library,
media center, and disciplinary partnerships.
Some of these ideas are taken from the upcoming, November 1995,
article in C&RL News by Stephanie Bangert and Bonnie Gratch,
"Accreditation: Opportunities for Iiibrarian Leadership."
Session A: Libraries as Leaders Stories From the Field
As a result of a posting to several listservs, the following individuals
shared their stories and tips for getting involved as librarian leaders.
Common themes that emerge are:
- Get out of the library, get involved in campus governance and other
activities, become visible.
- Volunteer and take initiative in the library and on campus, such as
- Promote, publicize, and share information. Never assume that others
know about library/media center resources and services.
- Be political and strategic in building partnerships/alliances, whlle
preserving neutrality and openness so that disciplinary faculty can depend
on our perspective being broad and nonterritorial.
Gabrida Sonnta-Grigera, Coordinator of Information Literacy Program,
CSU-San Marcos Initiative: She and her colleagues took a "top-down"
approach to having an information literacy component included in all the
lower-division general education courses.
Strategies: Invited thefr Provost to Redlands conference where Evan Farber
"sold" them on curriculum-integrated model of library instruction.
Provost then emphasized information literacy to faculty committee developing
general education program. Gabriela was a member of this committee and so
actively influenced committee to have information literacy included in all
the lower-division general education courses. After Academic Senate approval,
she was voted chair of the General Education Committee.
Comments/Tips: Very supportive library colleagues and library dean "talked
up" the program with other administrators. "It was a constant
conversation trying to educate admimstrators and disciplinary faculty about
meaning of information literacy and library's role. Important to be diplomatic,
prepared for any opportunity and persistent." Check out her homepage
Kristin Ramsdall, Coordinator for Library Instructional Services, CSU-Hayward
Initiative: Chaired the University Committee on Instruction and Curriculum
during the time that we completely revamped the process for course and program
approval. Consequenty, the library's efforts to have new course approval
have been greatly facilitated
Strategies: "I was elected from the library to the committee and served
four years. I was a vocal and active member, and in the last year I was
nominated by one of the other committee members to chair."
Comments/Tips: Very important to contribute once appointed to a campus committee.
It's really a matter of building trust and credibility with disciplinary
faculty; they need to get to know you. "Perhaps BI librarians have
an edge because we often get to know the faculty better. I think it's easier
to become involved if librarians have faculty status."
Ilene Rockman, Interim Dean, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
Initiative: As a member of a campus-wide task force for revising the undergraduate
curriculum, she helped educate the committee about importance of library
resources and use. As a result of her proactive membership and presence,
specific curricular goals related to information literacy skills -- "the
curricula will teach students how to access and evaluate information"
-- and learning outcomes -- acquisition of factual information as well as
higher order mental abilities, such a critical thinking, synthesizing, analyzing,
evaluating, were adopted
Strategies: She used her research skills to provide the committee with needed
background information. "I also found that my formal training in curriculum
development was useful in forging alliances with other faculty members."
This background in curriculum development, as well as experience as a secondary
school teacher, lent credibility to her comments. She attributes her appointment
on the task force to many years of service on the Academic Senate curriculum
committee and her ability to contribute to discussions about varying university-wide
Comments/Tips: "Best strategy is to visible on campus. Networking helps--establishing
a reputation through university service, as well as attending meetings faithfully
and doing the work. One also must be informed and speak to other higher
education issues, such as admissions criteria, quality education, teaching
loads, role of staff and students in university governance, etc., to gain
the trust and confidence of university colleagues. If we are perceived as
only one-issue individuals (Le., the library), our credibility can be diminished."
Darrow Wood, Chief Librarian, NYC Technical College, Brooklyn.
Initiative: During his career up through the ranks, he has purposefully
involved himself in academic governance in a wide variety of roles and committees.
More recently as chief librarian, he has represented successfully the library
point of view in curricular and budgetary areas.
Strategies: He took seriously the requirement of college service and was
a member or chair of numerous committees. By so doing, he gained knowledge,
eredibility, and access to individuals. "One advantage I had not coming
from a teaching department was appearing neutral. I was acceptable and credible
to faculty from both sides - career/technical programs vs. liberal arts."
"Get out of the library and mix with the rest of the college -not just
in ways that relate to functional library responsibilities. Seek appointment
to campus-wide committees and be vocal and active, such as being chairperson."
Karen Kieffer Gillette, Coordinator of Public Services, Foothill College
Initiative: Very active in campus governance, she currently co-chairs with
the Dean of Academic Affairs the General Education Review Committee and
participates in redrafting general education area descriptions and establishing
criteria. This role allows her the opportunity to keep library and information
technology concerns very visible.
Strategies: She has often offered research assistance to campus committees.
She also has used to advantage her broad knowledge of the curriculum in
an impartial way in committee discussions.
"Volunteer. Learn and apply knowledge of the curriculum and college
programs and services. Be ready and able to plug-in library resources. Listen
to students and faculty and be responsive to community needs."
Judy Jones, Head Library Media Center, CSU-Sacramento
Initiatives: She and her staff have been active in increasing the number
of faculty and students who use Media Center resources.
Strategies: Promoting the Media Center in every way possible! They offer
multimedia demonstrations, personalized training for the technophobe, and
publicize new acquisitions broadly. "Sometimes we offer theme weeks
and show ftlms at lunch time, along with other programming. We have also
relaxed circulation policies."
Outreach and promotion need constant attention. Be proactive about collection
development using media resources to support curriculum goals.
Ellen Meltzer, Head of the Teaching Library, UC Berkeley
Initiative: During her appointment to the Board of the Center for the Teaching
and Study of American Cultures she was able to represent the Library's servees
and put departmental faculty in touch with appropriate librarians. She was
also successtul in having the Center hire and pay for an American Cultures
Strategies: As a committee member she was conscientious and active, even
attending departmental faculty meetings at times. "These are useful,
as they are fairly small meetings. Talking to people about their own courses
is a good strategy to uncover what library support they may need"
"Get out there on campus and make yourself seen and known. Also, take
advantage: of every new thing the library offers to tell faculty about it."
Compiled and edited by Bonnie Gratch, Saint Mary's College Library,
Return to top | Return
to Conference Program page