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Wednesday, April 27 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Managing Sideways: Leveraging Social Capital Skills for Librarian Peer Leadership

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A common practice across librarianship is the distribution of workload across a department that often sees an individual librarian taking on multiple roles. These librarians will typically take on the portfolio of job duties that could exist themselves in a unique position. Unsurprisingly, women are often placed in these dual roles and the increased workload comes with no additional compensation. While this practice is noted in the field, it is also observed that librarians in these roles go above and beyond to create successful engagement opportunities for their communities. In one such scenario, three liaison librarians at an academic library took on the additional responsibilities of coordinator roles that would add functional positions to their existing subject specialties. These coordinator positions encompass virtual reference, digital scholarship, and outreach and engagement.

Through the practice of peer leadership and sideways management, these coordinators leveraged their own social capital and soft skills in order to dismantle a system that asks librarians to perform as managers without the administrative power to manage a team. They also used these opportunities to amplify the voices of their colleagues and the users of the library who may not have been represented before.

This presentation will explore the existing power dynamics within roles that do not officially bestow power upon the librarian yet demand the librarian to occupy a position of authority. Drawing on their experiences and established best practices, they will discuss how to leverage relationships and soft skills to successfully manage and elevate peers, create inclusive and user-centered practices, and develop their own leadership skills.

Speakers
avatar for Marcela Isuster

Marcela Isuster

Coordinator, Digital Scholarship Hub, McGill University
avatar for Amanda Wheatley

Amanda Wheatley

Liaison Librarian for Management, Business, and Entrepreneurship, McGill University
I am the Liaison Librarian at McGill University, in addition to the Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for the Humanities and Social Sciences Library.My research interests include artificial intelligence, gamification, and entrepreneurship.
avatar for Sandy Hervieux

Sandy Hervieux

Liaison Librarian, McGill University
Sandy Hervieux (she/her) is the Virtual Reference Coordinator and the Liaison Librarian for Political Science, Philosophy, and the School of Religious Studies at McGill University’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her research interests include... Read More →


Wednesday April 27, 2022 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Zoom