The Right Leader at the Right Time

Report
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The Right Leader at the
Right Time
Leslie + Alan Burger
Library Development Solutions
Princeton, NJ
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So your director is leaving, now
what?

Panic

Fear

Who will run the library?

How will we ever replace her
or him?

We don’t know where to look
for a new director
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First Things First: What is the
reason for the change

Retirement

New opportunity

Life event

Separation
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Manage the Transition

Communicate with staff,
stakeholders and the
community

Plan for interim leadership

Think about what you want in
your next leader

Identify challenges for your
library

Devise a search strategy
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Interim Leadership

Identify internal leadership

Interim director
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Who Do You Want for Your Library?

Do you want someone to
change the community’s
relationship with the library or
change the hours?

Keep the doors open or
remove the doors?

Pull or push?
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What are the Challenges You Face?

Creating the library of the
future

Building improvements

Increased support

Build the right staff team

Effect a turnaround

What’s going on in your
library?
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Getting Started: The Recruitment
Process

Agree on the search process

Establish a timeline

Create a leadership profile

Recruit a great applicant pool

Conduct interviews

Interview again

Design a compensation
package
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Leadership, Skills and Talents for
Your Next Director: Must Have List

Vision

Understands the “why” of libraries and is passionate about
what they do

Follows trends

Knows what needs to happen to create the library of the
future

Understands library fundamentals: talent management,
planning, budgeting, technology, collections, services,
programs, marketing

Talents: strategic thinker, leader, articulate, engaging
speaker, good listener, risk-taker, confident
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Search Process: Step One – The
Search Committee

Who will serve on the search
committee?

What is their charge?

Who will do the work?

How will you keep your
deliberations confidential?
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Search Process: Step Two – The
Candidate Pool

Advertise

Recruit

Sort

Interview

Final candidates
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Search Process: Step Three – Make
an Offer

Identify the best candidate

Check references and
complete background checks
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Employment agreement: at
will, union, civil service,
contract
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Make an offer
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Negotiate

Written acceptance
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The Employment Offer

It’s not only about the money

Consider the total package:

Salary

Benefits: health, dues, cell phone, car allowance, etc.

Work environment
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Hours, vacation, sick leave, personal leave

Relationship with the Board, Town Officials

Community support for the library
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Effective Searches

Managed transition
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Results in the right choice for the next leader

Demonstrates Board leadership
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Results in a library that is ready for and embraces the future
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It’s All About Change
It’s not so much that we’re afraid
of change or so in love with the
old ways. It’s that place in
between that we fear. Like Linus
when his blanket is in the dryer –
there is nothing to hold onto.
Marilyn Ferguson

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