Monday, October 17, 2011
Nancy MacKenzie and Lisa Hardy, Calgary Public Library, Alberta, Canada

Calgary Public Library - 800 employees, 18 branches, serves city of Calgary, a little over 1 million people.

Organizational structure – barrier to change, need to figure out how to create a space in the structure to innovate.

2 initiatives at Calgary PL.

1st Learning Initiative: Librarian Led CPL Supported Training


1-Explore relationship between traditional reference and community info question.

Librarian – lead the exploration, articulate the unique contribution of the library, have courage.

CPL – provide the space and structure to start the conversation.

2-establish organizational direction in working with our communities in different ways.

Librarian – identify opportunities, personal learning requirements, provide leadership and direction.

CPL – create structure that supports innovation, creativity and leadership, and success in and for the community, alignment with strategic directions – how what librarians are doing aligns with organizations directions, measure success – identify strategies and measures.

3-Provide real leadership opportunities for librarians.

Librarian – seeing what needs to be done and doing it.

CPL – Leadership Action Team (LAT), provide opportunities to emerging leaders, mostly librarians but not exclusively. Series of workshops, traditional staff development day. develop valuable public speaking skills, participants say being able to work with CEO is a great benefit.

Emerging leaders training program – develop managerial skills.

Formal project management training – planning, project reporting, timelines, alignment with strategic directions.

Coaching – managers learn about effective listening, following intuition, less about problem solving and direction and more about supporting people in their training.

4-Support librarians in taking responsibility for their own learning- in a system supported way!

Librarians – identify what their learning needs are, come up with strategies to share and further system learning.

CPL - $$, structure and time.

5-Explore the relationship between who we are in the community and who we are as a community.

2nd Learning Initiative – Future Action Think Tank

Engage staff in thinking about future of libraries, sharing ideas, influencing innovation and being a part of change instead of just having change happen to them.

Future Action Team runs the think tank.

Staff engagement very important. How do you plan an event for everyone?

-Pre-conference – blog, ”what is a library future?”

Engage staff and spark curiosity.  Encourage conversations.  Open tumbler blog. -feel free to read and contribute.

Imagine the Future – 1 day event, scheduled for Dec. 7. Needed to do something different from previous traditional leadership training, which was too formulaic and didn’t encourage innovation.

-Futures Fair – departments present on what they do, like IT, etc.

-Field Trips – send staff out to different organizations to talk about Collections, Services, Spaces, Staff & The Workplace, Technology. Asking other organizations who serve the same community the library does, to further understand the community. 80 staff. $5000 budget. Return midafternoon. 1 hour of reflection time.

-Tackle Teams – informal groups, formed based on common interest in a topic. Read, discuss share with peers, provide a channel for them so ideas will be heard throughout organization.

To attend, Staff submit ‘expression of interest’, why they want to come and participate. Not just required attendance like previous training.
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