I have enrolled in the Advanced Public Library Leadership Institute through the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS). The program is for public library professionals who are in management positions or who aspire to management positions. I'm looking forward to the next two years of learning from our instructor, Anne Marie, and the women in library leadership positions all over Ontario who are enrolled as well.
1. In one or two sentences describe your primary job responsibilities.
As the Branch Services Librarian at Haliburton County Public Library I am responsible for supporting the day-to-day operations of the eight branches in our system which includes things like staff training, liaising with other departments (admin, IT, etc.), maintaining our website, implementing automation, and promoting branch programming. I split my day-to-day between our two largest branches and visit our smaller branches as needed. Another major aspect of my duties includes marketing and readers' advisory outreach through the local media and social media.
How about a picture of my cat? This is my cat.
Another fun fact. My name is Erin and my husband's name is also Aaron. So we cause no end of confusion when answering the phone.
3. What is it you like about libraries?
I started out liking libraries because of the books, of course. But don't we all?
I've spent a lot of time in libraries, whether public, academic, or special. I think the common thread through each is providing access to a piece of your own narrative. Whether it's knowledge to fill a gap in your own, a story to touch a piece of your heart not touched, or a place to be when you don't have a place for yourself.
I also think libraries represent, and offer, the basic human right to acquiring knowledge, and that as librarians we can provide the tools to people who seek knowledge. I've met many interesting people who are on the fringes of society who use the library in exactly that way, and we're the only ones who give them that free unencumbered access to something that fills a need in them. That never fails to touch me.
4. Why are you interested in leadership?
More importantly, I am looking to fill those gaps that I find my MLIS didn't address when it comes to leadership in libraries. Things like the intricacies of dealing with municipal government, budgeting, facilities, etc. As well, my leadership experience is in more corporate (albeit, non-profit) environments, and I think there is a difference in library leadership, especially in terms of the library as public institution. I think I have an idea of those pieces, but feel they can come together more in my own mind. I'm lucky in that I have a really great mentor in my CEO at HCPL, but I am also looking forward to learning with and from my fellow professionals in APLL as well.