New Technical Services Supervisor? Check Here for Help

New Technical Services Supervisor? Check Here for Help

Saturday, June 23, 2007 4-5:30 p.m.


Based on a book that the committee wrote. Available in the store tomorrow (only 20). ALA discount and no shipping because
ALA made a mistake on the count.

Dr. Joan Giesecke
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
Dean of Libraries

Getting Started – Command and Control does not work. Trust your staff – go to the experts. It is ok to show emotion. You do not always need to defend your staff – you will mess up. Fix it and continue on. You do not always have to be right – take a risk.

New Roles –
Mentor the staff – put them in positions where they will excel. Be a facilitator for managing conflict. Monitor the units performance – do not hide in your office all day. Be a coordinator of projects – meet deadlines. Be a planner. Be a negotiator with the rest of the library and your unit. Be an innovator – manage change well. Look ahead and plan for changes.


Beginning –

Stage 1 Assessment (3-6 months) – design an orientation, listen with an open mind, fix obvious and easy problems.

Stage 2 In Depth Learning – refine your understanding of your unit, learn more abut the organization, identify more subtle problems, and test assumptions.

Stage 3 Implementing Change – introduce new ideas, revise workflow but involve others, change the culture, and work with your unit (do not impose changes).

Stage 4 Consolidation – assess changes, refine changes based on assessment, and assess again.


Understand your style – you are a leader and a manager. Balance concern for tasks with concerns for people. Adjust your style to work effectively with members of the department.


Skills: Planning – long range, annual, strategic and scenario; Personnel – hire, orientation and training, coaching and motivating, assessing strengths of staff, build teams and evaluations; Communication – begin with your message, understand the audience, and pick the communication method; Time Management – stay organized, use technology, set priorities and remember deadlines; Chairing Meetings – types of meetings, have a purpose, prepare for meeting, and conduct the meeting summarizing key points, evaluate and follow up on meeting agenda.


Use checklists as outlines. Read and try new things. Have fun.


Angie Ohler

University of Maryland

Head of Acquisitions

Libraries struggle to find qualified applicants to replace retiring librarians. There is a difference in culture of new entry librarians. GenX and GenY value “organizational fit” and will leave if not satisfied. New librarians are taking on management positions early on.


Pay attention to the workflow. Examine what works and listen to the staff. Examine written procedural documentation. Poor documentation can cost the organization.


Identify staff strengths and weaknesses and training documentation. Identify timeframe and plan to train staff. Become familiar with software, systems, and hardware used by staff. Become familiar with interdependencies between departments that affect implementation/use of technology. Resist implementation or use of technology that does not meet needs or creates impediments to workflow.


Know when to let go. Know staff skills/knowledge. Periodically review the workflow. Accept that mistakes will happen.


Keep and eye on the statistics you are keeping. Are they still relevant? Will you have the statistics that answer the questions administration will ask?


Measure productivity – identify what should be measured and how to do it, why is it important and to whom, who will record the data, how will it measured, and set an implementation time line.


Measure performance – Learn the difference between positive and negative discipline. Do not ambush staff during evaluations with a list of things done wrong with no prior notification. Manage yourself and be aware of your faults. Ask for feedback. Know how you like to be managed and seek that information about those you supervise.


Communication/Networking – Use both formal and informal channels of communication. Facilitate communication with your staff and others. Ensure that you are accurately articulating your department’s work and its importance to others in the organization. Lobby superiors and peers for support and a place at the table for decision making.

Need to know information that will impact your unit.


Become politically savvy. Develop a network of peers and mentors whom you can trust. Know when to say “no” politely and constructively. Learn how to negotiate and resolve conflict.