The Utah State Library will be offering a series of five free webinars, Hiring a Quality Library Director, that you might find useful. To register for each session, please click on the data/title links below.
2 May 2012, 12-1 PM: Hiring a Quality Library Director #1: How & Why
Having good, strong, effective, appreciative leadership can bring any organization to success, especially as it relates to: motivating staff for productivity, engaging supporters, serving the community, and keeping library operations legal and solvent.
It’s just so important to hire the right director…the right way. Here are some practical steps that help you know how. Each session builds on the last, so plan to attend all 5
- What do you like about the library’s current operation?
- What about the outgoing director’s performance?
- What improvements would you like to see.
Learn how to turn those answers into a list of characteristics and criteria on which the advertisement, the selection of interviewees, and the interview questions will based.
- Learn the most effective, fair and replicable way to compare applicants and make interview decisions, which involves the use of a matrix/graph that allows both for required characteristics and skills (as identified in Section 2, above) and for “surprises” that could add value to the organization.
- Learn the “nuts and bolts” of how the interviews should be set up, what presentations or other documentation might be required, how to include staff and community in the process, checking references and negotiating an offer.
Clear, open communication, that begins during the interview and continues through probation, should set the stage for true analysis of the job fit that results. No surprises, no personal value judgments, but, rather, professional guidelines, support, goal-setting and measurements should govern the process of performance review and subsequent disciplinary steps (if needed). This is critical to know, yet often ignored.
Keeping with the established performance needs identified earlier, an evaluation tool should be created and used several times during the new director’s probationary period. Critical also is the collection of input from peers, community stakeholders and subordinates, as it’s often impossible for Board members to truly see how one person’s leadership is affecting the whole. Also, at the point of offer, clear expectations, goals and consequences must be articulated so all avenues for potential success are open.