To be forged anew in the forthcoming fires of the Fortnight of Leadership

21 Dec

I’m coming up for air, baby.

It’s a sign of just what this semester’s been like that it’s taken me a full month to post about my recent election as President-Elect of the Upstate New York Chapter of the special Libraries Association. (In case they haven’t updated it by the time you click: yes, the election is actually done.) My term doesn’t officially start until January, but I’m already getting down to business: specifically, making arrangements to travel to the SLA Leadership Summit in Atlanta in January, and finding space and speakers for the April Chapter meetings.

Prez-elect is a one year gig, but it also involves spending 2013 as President, and 2014 as Past President. I’m looking forward to this; my involvement in UNYSLA, taken with my place on the SLA Academic Division Board, indicates that I made the right call backing SLA with my membership dues. I have a feeling the next three years will be highly educational, and not just because I’m on board for three straight Leadership Summits.

This year’s Summit comes hard on the heels of the week I’ll spend out in Trumansburg, NY, for a Cornell-sponsored leadership shindig. I’m a bit apprehensive about that one: not just because of an additional hour’s drive every day in central NY in January, but also because it’ll involve things like my first real 360-degree eval. I tapped about thirty folks for that one, so it should be interesting.

The whole thing’s gotten me thinking about leadership in libraries again, and specifically leadership in my current position. I’m worried that some or all of this stuff will end up conflating leadership with management, and while I’m sure my managerial skills could use work I’d prefer these events give me what it says on the tin. I’m the head of digital projects group, chair of a committee, I push the occasional project, et cetera and so forth… but I’m not sure that makes me a leader, though. Not sure these events will clear up the ambiguity, either.

But I guess we can hope, yeah?

In any case, I’m off on Winter Break starting tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, enough stuff will be squared away that I won’t have to bring nearly as much work home as I did over Thanksgiving. But even if I do, I still can’t feel other than blessed: 2011’s been a rough year for many, and I seem to be coming out of it with more than I probably deserve.

Happy holidays, all. And if, as seems likely, I don’t post again in the next week, Happy 2012.

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