ALA Emerging Leaders Training at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim
Tina Chan, State University of New York at Oswego
I attended the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim for the conclusion of the Emerging Leaders training and to present my team’s poster, Noche de Cuentos @ the Library. We worked with REFORMA to create a website that will serve as a national clearinghouse for Latino programming resources (national listing of bilingual storytellers, authors, program ideas, recommendations, etc.) that will help librarians everywhere plan Latino heritage programs for their communities. Our goal is to provide a national platform for literacy through the art of storytelling and the sharing of oral traditions, provide an umbrella for programming resources, training, and a promotional toolkit to help participating libraries and organizations organize their storytelling events. The website we created is http://nochedecuentos.org, and our poster informed the library community about the Noche de Cuentos website so they may take advantage of the website’s resources and services.
Our leadership training discussed the dynamics of collaboration and the role leadership plays. We discussed the pros and cons of collaboration. Some of the pros include building on individual strengths, learning from others, and brainstorming. Some of the cons include working with schedule conflicts, different personalities, and various levels of commitment. We can maximize collaboration by discussing problems early on, helping each other, and setting rules at the beginning. We also learned how to influence strengths by empowering others, building relationships, finding a common vision, and by logical persuasion. Influencing involves being open, finding common ground, delivering the goods, admitting what you do not know, and serving interests besides your own.
When it was time for the poster session, many people attended to learn about the 16 Emerging Leaders team projects. The time flew by for only a one hour session. My team stayed beyond the hour because people wanted to learn more about every project. We brought two iPads and a laptop to demonstrate the website, as well as gave away bookmarks with the website address. We received positive feedback about our project.
Later that evening, ALA President-elect Maureen Sullivan hosted a reception for the Emerging Leaders Class of 2012 and ALA leadership. I had the opportunity to meet and catch up with fellow Emerging Leaders, ALA leaders, and other library professionals.
I had a wonderful time with the Emerging Leaders program! I encourage newer library workers who want to build their critical thinking, interpersonal skills, networking, leadership, and problem solving skills to apply. I am extremely thankful to APALA for sponsoring me as an ALA Emerging Leader. My attendance to this conference would not have been possible without their generous support.