Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Still Reading


Professional reading... it never really ends, does it? Just as I finish an article or a book, I find five more that I should and want to read. Funny me, though, I don't mind. Imagine that - a librarian who likes to read. 

Nevertheless, I haven't had as much time for sustained professional reading this past year, what with getting up to speed on my new job. I have managed to sneak in a few that, despite the fact that they aren't library science specific (or because of that?), I think you might want to read.

Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

I'm almost done reading this as part of ramping up to the in-person seminar with the rest of my cohort of the College Library Directors' Mentor Program. I had taken the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test previously, as part of the Frye Leadership Institute, but I'd never read the book. I'll tell you, I really like the idea of leading from your strengths - working with what you're already good at - instead of trying to be all things to all people. Truth is, we're all leaders, even if we are in the middle or bottom of the pecking order, so everybody could benefit from reading this book.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The ideas shared in this book can be boiled down to six words: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories, with the catchy acronym of SUCCESS. Reading this book changed how I communicate with my staff and my community. In fact, it has largely informed the new mission statement we are about to debut. Highly recommended reading for everyone, but librarians especially.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

If you had told me, even a year ago, that I was going to read and thoroughly enjoy a book about behavioral economics, I would have laughed. But that's what happened. Further, this book has shaped how I think about everything at work - understanding what motivates people, and using that understanding to benefit my community, has been a huge thing for me. It's a smidge long, at 512 pages, but it was worth the time I invested.

So, what all are you reading?

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