Emerging Leader Project Update: We’re Almost Done!

Stacy GilbertIt’s hard to process that it has been six months since I met my fellow Emerging Leaders (EL)—time has flown by. As I reflect on what has occurred since our first meeting in January, I’m proud of all the work my group and I have accomplished thus far on our project. We started our project by conducting a literature review which helped us understand the current and past Sister Library (SL) partnerships and other library partnerships. Using the literature review and our project’s goals, we conducted two surveys: one to gauge librarians’ awareness of and interest in SL partnerships, and a second open-ended questionnaire directed at libraries who are currently in or formally were in a SL relationship. Using information collected from the literature review and survey responses, we wrote up our findings and proposed recommendations for how the International Relations Round Table (IRRT), our project sponsors, can improve SL partnerships. We are also in the process of creating supplemental materials to assist IRRT and the SL Committee in creating and sustaining SL relationships. We recently received feedback on our draft deliverables from IRRT and are looking forward to adding their suggested edits to our final deliverables.

Looking back, a handful of higher education classes prepared me for this project. In undergrad, I took a Small Group Communication course, and a few things stuck with me. One is the “two pizza rule” which defines the size of a small group. The group should be big enough, yet small enough, to share two pizzas. I’m pretty sure I remembered this rule because it involves food (I’m trying to find who wrote this rule and I’m only seeing a quote from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos). This class also introduced me to Bruce Tuckman’s stages of group development, which is forming, storming, norming, and performing. Despite not being a food reference, somehow, I managed to remember this. It is clear that my group went through all four of Tuckerman’s stages, and knowing these stages was reassuring. Any awkwardness and bumps in the road we encountered were a natural progression in a new group dynamic, leading to the productive and rewarding stage of performing.

The other classes that prepared me for this project were methodology courses from undergrad and graduate school and my master’s papers. These classes taught me how to perform and write a literature review, conduct interviews and surveys, and be an ethical researcher. This project relied on all of these skills and knowledge. I can definitely say writing two papers was good practice for this project.

The bulk of this project will conclude at ALA Annual in Chicago. I hope to see you at the Emerging Leaders Poster Session and Reception on Friday, June 23. Please stop by my group’s poster to say “Hi”, ask us any questions, and if you are familiar with Chicago, provide me with restaurant recommendations.

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