Training of trainers in leadership for municipal libraries

iflaTrain the trainer workshop was held at BLIA’s headquarters from 19 to 21 April 2011. It is the first step of the project “Leadership for municipal public libraries: Training of 12 trainers who will deliver cascade training throughout the country.”

In the end of 2010 this BLIA project was approved and received financial support by IFLA’s Action for Development through Libraries Programme. The purpose of the project is to prepare 12 trainers in leadership, who will deliver cascade training for leaders of municipal libraries. In accordance with The Public Libraries Act, Section IV, each municipality has to appoint one chitalishte library serving as municipal library. The future leaders of this new structure in public libraries’ system have to face the challenge of changing the mission and vision according to the changing needs of the society, to function as live link between the chitalishte and regional libraries in resource sharing. Building leadership capacity will help them reshape the vision, significance and role of the library, make it an attractive place for people and receive additional funding.

Colleagues from public libraries with experience in leadership of bigger or smaller teams or local communities from Varna, Vratsa, Gara Bov, Dobritch, Kazanlak, Kyustendil, Montana, Plovdiv, Ruse, Silistra, Sofia and Targovishte were invited to participate. The purpose of the training was to encourage the participants develop their leadership talents and to be able to communicate their skills in leadership to the municipal librarians.

With IFLA’s support Ms. Lisa Hinchliffe was invited as a guest lecturer – President of the American Association of College and Research Libraries, librarian and lecturer at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, USA.  She introduced the participants to 21 century leadership: vision of the modern library, commitment, innovation. The participants came round to the opinion that library transformation is inevitable for their existence. Libraries need leaders with vision and skills to engage and motivate their staff for a radical change. Ms. Hinchliffe shared her personal experience as a manager of University’s Undergraduate library and gave valuable ideas for improving communication between staff members and involvement of all in decision-making process. Her introduction to the basics of active learning was of great importance, as well as the detailed lecture on instructional design and pedagogy for teaching adults. The participants had the opportunity to design their own action plan for the future steps of their personal development.

Key trainer on the Bulgarian side was Ms. Vanya Grashkina, President of BLIA. She introduced basic leadership concepts, management styles and strategies, which the present-day leader should be familiar with, and actively use. The participants outlined the differences between leadership and management, emphasizing once again that libraries need leaders most of all, capable of motivating people and creating prerequisites for the success of their employees and the organization as a whole. The leader ‘ outreach activity was the other cornerstone of the discussion, for the success of a public library depends most of all on its leader’s communication with local authorities, stakeholders and community groups.

The second step of this project, funded by IFLA, is pilot training for 20 managers of municipal chitalishte libraries. It will take place by the end of June 2011. The results and the conclusions from the pilot training will be considered in developing Municipal Leadership Program of BLIA’s Centre for Continuing Education for Librarians, which will be delivered onsite at regional or municipal centres. Over the next couple of years all municipal library leaders will be given the opportunity to participate in leadership training.

 
     
 
     
 
 
IFLA
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