TOP MANAGEMENT TEAM COMPETENCIES FOR PUBLIC LIBRARIES

 

LIBRARIES

 

A. LEADERSHIP ABILITIES AND ATTITUDES: taking initiative, making things happen through the effective action of others.

 

Vision-Future

___Takes initiative to accomplish something, such as identifying and solving problems, overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, pursuing opportunities, doing things better.
___Establishes and maintains an organizational culture which encourages staff to develop their maximum potential.
___Recognizes changes in the economic and political environment that mandate change in the library.
___Initiates, implements, and manages change.
___Develops original and successful approaches, i.e., is innovative.
___Develops a shared vision which builds on the past and present of public library service and looks to the future.
___Understands and promotes the library's role within the larger governmental organization.

 

Develops Staff

___Coordinates activities of individuals and groups toward accomplishment of meaningful goals.
___Ensures that activities are provided to prepare staff for management functions using appropriate techniques such as coaching, counseling, and shared responsibility teams.
___Establishes a staff development program.
___Demonstrates respect, confidence, and trust in employees by allowing them to fulfill responsibilities with little or no intervention.
___Values and respects ideas of others.
___Encourages creativity and supports risk-taking.
___Accepts or shares responsibility as appropriate.
___Uses appropriate leadership and interpersonal styles to effectively guide individuals and groups toward task accomplishment.
___Creates an environment in which staff are committed to service concepts and policies and are recognized for accomplishing services and goals.
___Recognizes and uses the attitudes, behavioral styles, and personal traits of others to build a work team.
___Organizes activities for staff to learn and practice a variety of group process techniques such as building teams, managing projects, conducting meetings.

 

B.      ADMINISTRATIVE ABILITIES: Structuring one's own activities and those of others; coordinating the use of resources to maximize productivity and efficiency.

 

Personnel

___Selects the best qualified applicant for the job.
___Evaluates regularly the performance skills, knowledge and potential of employees based on standards.
___Uses constructive feedback to improve or maintain performance.
___Terminates employees based on objective performance criteria.
___Serves as a buffer between those in positions above and below one's own organizational level.
___Develops and administers personnel policies and procedures.
___Deals with personnel consistently and fairly.
___Interprets local, state and national laws and regulations concerning personnel, e.g., workers compensation, equal employment opportunity, social security, retirement plans.

Planning and Budgeting

___Uses appropriate planning techniques.
___Develops and communicates mission, roles, and functions of the library.
___Develops library services appropriate to the community.
___Sets challenging yet achievable goals and objectives.
___Develops and communicates written policies.
___Understands taxing and funding for public libraries.
___Uses cost analysis techniques.
___Prepares a budget to implement the goals and objectives of an organization.
___Negotiates and defends budgets with funding authorities.
___Selects appropriate strategies and techniques based on priorities to meet budget constraints or changes in funding.

 

Operations

___Recognizes the need for change in organizational structure.
___Implements plans and organizational changes.
___Develops strategies, tasks, and schedules to meet goals and objectives.
___Sets organizational priorities.
___Selects management structure appropriate to the activity.
___Allocates resources (material, financial, personnel).
___Administers a program within a budget.
___Integrates external policies and administrative regulations, e.g., A.D.A., civil service.
___Develops contract specifications and monitors contract compliance.
___Plans, conducts, and participates in meetings so that the collective resources of the group members are used efficiently and effectively.
___Committed to meeting performance standards, (such as output, service, individual).
___Assures that good and timely decisions are made at the appropriate level.

 

C.      KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS SPECIFIC TO PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND THEIR ROLE IN SOCIETY: Applying the technical knowledge and political skills needed to do the job, including competence in library and information management, familiarity with information policies and practices, and including political skills for integrating the library with other appropriate organizations and dealing successfully with political and governmental officials.

 

Professional/technical knowledge and abilities

___Is committed to the mission and direction of public library service.
___Is committed to intellectual freedom.
___Is committed to guaranteeing access to information for all people.
___Understands the basic technical functions of public librarianship (i.e., reference service, cataloging, collection development, etc.).
___Has basic knowledge of the technologies that have impact on library operations and services.
___Has knowledge of the historical development and trends in libraries and can relate this information to present situations and future planning.
___Has knowledge of the history and philosophy of the public library movement, including the legal basis for and laws and regulations affecting public libraries.
___Understands the roles and responsibilities of library board members and develops the board to make effective decisions in policy, planning, and financial issues.
___Keeps up-to-date with conditions, developments, and future trends in the library and information field.
___Understands the resources available via state, national and international library networks.
___Understands and is able to use social science research methods to support the decision making process.
___Participates in professional activities and associations by attending meetings, conferences, educational activities, etc., by reading professional literature, and by being active in state and national professional associations.
___Is committed to own professional growth and development, i.e., establishes career goals that maximize personal productivity and fulfillment and build on strengths and minimize weaknesses.

 

Political/Negotiating Skills

___Lobbies effectively for libraries with national, state, and local officials.
___Establishes cooperative working relationships with local government departments.
___Develops and maintains cooperative working relationships with government officials.
___Prepares the library board for its role in representing the library and lobbying.
___Negotiates and maintains effective relations with unions.
___Understands accountability to the general public (i.e., taxpayers).
___Relates library needs and goals to those of funding officials and agencies.
___Understands various organizational structures, funding and governing patterns.
___Recognizes decision making patterns and authority.
___Negotiates the best possible resources for the library in any given situation.

 

Community Involvement

___Is committed to public service including a commitment for the library to share, cooperate, and collaborate with other educational, cultural, and social agencies serving the community.
___Is committed to planning and implementing library services based on the needs of people of diverse backgrounds and interests.
___Understands the flow, use, and value of information in society as a whole and relates the role of libraries to this.
___Recognizes and articulates common interests among diverse organizations and agencies.
___Recognizes connections for libraries with other organizations and agencies and capitalizes on them.
___Articulates to staff the need and ways to be involved in the community.
___Represents the library enthusiastically to the community.

 

Fund Raising Skills

___Articulates a vision of the library to prospective donors.
___Utilizes fund raising principles and techniques.
___Has effective public relations skills to actively pursue funding.
___Involves staff effectively in fund raising.
___Develops a strategic fund raising plan.
___Uses Friends of the Library effectively in fund raising effort.
___Develops and writes proposals for state, local, federal and private funds.

 

D.  COGNITIVE SKILLS/ABILITIES: Processing information effectively to learn new material, identify and define problems, and make decisions. How a person thinks and analyzes.

 

___Recognizes and utilizes own learning and problem solving styles.
___Learns quickly.
___Uses complex and abstract concepts and recognizes subtle relationships and new patterns in information.
___Anticipates and identifies problems, their possible causes, and alternative strategies or solutions.
___Works with ambiguous situations.
___Draws accurate conclusions from financial, statistical, and numerical materials.
___Uses mathematical and statistical techniques to manipulate data.
___Defines parameters of and undertakes risks.
___Organizes systems and functions in a logical manner.
___Makes decisions, on a day-to-day basis, within the framework of organizational mission, goals, and objectives.

 

E. INTERPERSONAL ABILITIES: Interacting with others.


___Demonstrates confidence in self and others.
___Is persuasive.
___Uses negotiating techniques appropriate to the situation (e.g., one-on-one, vendor, union).
___Develops and maintains cooperative working relationships with staff.
___Establishes trusting relationships with staff members.
___Has credibility with staff.
___Is supportive of organizational policies.
___Deals with patron satisfaction/dissatisfaction regarding library services procedures and policies.
___Confronts and manages conflict.
___Informs others of decisions, changes and other relevant information in a timely fashion.
___Speaks effectively one-to-one, within groups, and in presentations to groups.
___Uses interviewing techniques.
___Listens effectively, (i.e., demonstrates attention to, conveys understanding of, and comments or questions others.).
___Writes clearly and effectively.
___Creates or develops an atmosphere which supports open communication among staff members.
___Is aware of how one's own behavior affects others.

 

F. PERSONAL TRAITS


___Allocates one's own time efficiently.
___Handles detail effectively and efficiently.
___Is adaptable, (i.e., responds appropriately and confidently to the demands of work challenges when confronted with changes, ambiguity, adversity, or other pressures).
___Is change-oriented, (i.e., recognizes the need to change, initiates and plans change, interacts with change, or reacts to change, as appropriate.
___Has self control (i.e., is able to remain calm in stressful situations).
___Meets the demands of work while managing physical and emotional stress.
___Is empathetic with ideas and feelings of others.
___Is self-confident.
___Counsels staff to use techniques to lessen the negative effects of stress.
___Acts independently or accepts direction as appropriate.
___Is committed to high professional and service standards.
___Is committed to ethical standards.
___Is committed to management of libraries and to the library profession, (i.e., sees work as a central figure of life, seeks self improvement as needed preparation for career growth, and keeps up-to-date on principles of library science, management and organizational behavior).
___Has a sense of humor.
___Has integrity.
___Exhibits optimism, energy and enthusiasm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Suzanne Mahmoodi and Geraldine King "Identifying Competencies and Responsibilities of Top Management Teams in Public Libraries" Minnesota Libraries XXX, no. 1-2 (Autumn-Winter 1991/92), pp. 26-32.




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