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July/August 2001
Volume 33,
Number 7 and 8

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Leadership Institute proves positive for all
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Leadership Institute proves positive for all

  • The Wyoming Library Leadership Institute (LLI), held July 16-18 in Casper, completed its first go-round and turned out to be a positive experience for all involved.

John Kanengieter and Missy White from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, and Jep Enck from Enck Resources in Fort Collins, Colo., were presenters at the two-day institute. They discussed and offered exercises in conflict resolution, leadership skills, communication skills, teambuilding principles and decision-making styles.

The institute, developed by the Resource Sharing Council (RSC), an advisory group to the State Library, was a tool for nurturing both degreed and non-degreed individuals in leadership roles.

Crystal Stratton, RSC member and Laramie County Community College librarian, said the group saw a need for the institute because there are a lot of changes in library leadership positions; therefore, leadership and management training are pertinent.

The two library directors who attended, Dale Collum of Uinta County, and Cynthia Twing of Johnson County, said they came away with useful information that they will try in their libraries.

Collum said he expected the institute to be something good.

“It helped to refocus on taking care of the people who help you along the way,” he said. “You always have to take into consideration other people on your team.”

He said he hopes to introduce the “awareness wheel,” a communication tool presented by NOLS, to his staff. “It’s a good way to make people aware of situations within the library and staff.”

Twing said the information she gained was on a personal level.

“I came away with a much better sense of myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and I feel more confident as a leader,” she said.

She plans to use the information from the institute in her “director’s bag of tricks.”

Both directors said they would encourage their library staffs and other library community members to attend the next LLI.

Scott Kinney, Laramie County Library technical services manager, also attended the institute.

“I thought it was a great experience, meeting new people and seeing first-hand that others are facing similar challenges within their library,” he said. “I think everyone who attended will be able to look back on this institute and say it changed how they interact with people.”

Sixteen people from Wyoming’s library community were chosen to participate in the competitive-application institute. Attendees were: Debra Adams, Marylou Bowles-Banks, Patricia Brose, Collum, Michelle DeSalvo, Sukey Hohl, Jenny Ingram, Katrina Jones, Kinney, Sue Knesel, Richard Landreth, Trish Palluck, Debora Person, Valerie Roady, Twing and Carolyn Groves Winkler. RSC planners were Frances Clymer, McCracken Research Library; Keith Cottam, University of Wyoming/Casper College Center; Bobbi Thorpe, WSL; and Stratton.

Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library training and continuing education librarian, helped coordinate the event and served as an observer.

“The speakers were enthusiastic and they stayed on task. The group was always responding and answering questions,” she said. “I feel confident about where the library community is headed concerning leadership roles,” she said. “All I can say is ‘wow!’ ”

The McMurry Library Endowment provided a two-year grant to the LLI.

For information about the next LLI, contact Van Burgh at the WSL at 307/777-3642, 800/264-1284 (opt. 1, then 3) or cvanbu@state.wy.us.


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