"I never learned this in library school" is a common refrain from librarians as they take on leadership and management responsibilities throughout their careers. We all too often assume that effective and strong leaders are born and not made. That assumption can lead to feelings of imposter syndrome and a general distaste for serving in leadership and management positions. Given the lack of formal training, all too many of us have worked for and with poor and even toxic leaders and managers. To break this cycle we need to bring the same intentionality to developing leadership and management skills as we do to the functional areas, like reference, cataloging, and outreach. In this workshop, participants will gain practical advice for how to develop themselves as leaders, and how to help foster a development culture in their libraries. The 90 minute session will begin with conclusions Birrell drew from her 2017 research project, and will include activities that will leave participants with an action plan for developing their skills and supporting others.
Presenter Dr. Lori Birrell
joined University of Arkansas Libraries in 2017 as Head of Special Collections. In 2019, she assumed the role of Associate Dean for Special Collections. In this role, Birrell provides strategic leadership of the division and its stewardship of archives and rare books to best serve the needs of researchers at the University and across the globe.
Prior to coming to Arkansas, Birrell served for six years as the Special Collections Librarians for Historical Manuscripts at the University of Rochester. While at the University of Rochester, Birrell completed a Doctorate of Education with a focus on higher education administration and leadership. Her dissertation became the springboard for a monograph published by the Association of Research Libraries, Developing the Next Generation of Library Leaders.
Birrell believes passionately in the idea that leaders are made and not born. She has served as a mentor to emerging leaders and new librarians, and has co-chaired the program committee for the inaugural Conference on Academic Library Management.
Dr. Birrell earned a Masters of Library and Information Science from Simmons University, a Masters in History from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst, and a BA from Mount Holyoke College.
Code of Conduct
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Professional Development Hours: 1.5 (.15 CEUs)
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