Staff Training

Creating Library Leaders

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina plans the establishment of an Executive Leadership Institute for Egyptian Librarians. This training program is a response to the urgent need to train our future leaders according to the highest management standards applied at the world's best libraries.

As one of the newest major libraries in the world, the BA finds it imperative to hold such a training program for confronting future shortages. While Egypt has been experiencing a new library boom, Egyptian universities offering library science degrees remain unattractive to many students, with a short supply of librarians to cover the needs of the current market. Meanwhile, graduates of fields other than library science work in Egyptian libraries, acquiring their skills on the job. At the BA, many of its librarians, promising future leaders, are quite young in age and experience. It is an important institutional need for the BA to maintain its current spirit of reinvention and creativity in responding to the changing community needs, to the everlasting technological advances, and to the international standards.

The project's goals are

  • To create a leadership track within the BA that provides both recognition and support for new generations of BA library leaders. This will offer BA librarians the opportunity to acquire the new skills and perspectives essential for success in running a library of the 21st century. Such skills may not be possible to acquire without joining such a program.
  • To build up a high level of understanding and mastering of managerial concepts, practices, and skills within a considerably large number of BA librarians. Furthermore, this will prepare them for undertaking higher managerial responsibilities, which will enable the BA to always have, within its own staff members, in-house calibers and expertise adequately capable of filling in the gaps in leadership positions whenever needed; from the first-line-management level (i.e. supervisors and unit leaders) to the highest position of top-management in the library (i.e. Chief Librarian).
  • To create an effective model of action learning within the library profession.
  • To support the major projects undertaken by the library in the coming years.
  • To nourish the continuous refreshment and reinvention of the library in a time rich in both threat and opportunity.

The ‘Executive Leadership Institute for Egyptian Librarians’ program consists of three levels of training

I.  Basic level

Applies for ...... senior and/or junior promising librarians aspiring to be leaders.

Prerequisites ...... 1-2 years of experience in the fields of information and librarianship with high potential of leadership and managerial skills.

Qualifying to ...... first-line managerial positions, i.e. supervisors and unit leaders at the BA.

Consists of ...... modules in basics of management and other module in advanced techniques of library operations/services. Candidate selects the technical branch of librarianship that suites his/her capabilities and potentials in accordance with the priorities and needs of the BA.

Duration ...... 6 months

Location ...... two thirds of the training of this level will be delivered on the BA premises in Alexandria. One third will be obtained overseas.

Skills acquired ...... Basics of Management

  • Skills of creating a supportive and challenging environment for staff
  • Time management
  • Staff evaluation and appraisal
  • Motivation, performance, and commitment
  • Power dynamics and influencing skills; i.e. recognizing and expanding the ability to influence others
  • Coaching employees to resolve performance problems
  • Effective decision-making
  • Understanding behavioral styles and shaping preferences
  • Working in groups and teams
  • Learning and applying standard project management tools
  • Practicing facilitative leadership for librarians

 

Note: To fill in the gap that is present in Egyptian undergraduate university curriculum, a short culture course concerning appreciation of music and art, the historical awareness of the different historical periods of Western Art and mainly art criticism will be given. Basically, the course will provide the type of knowledge and experience that leads to the making of a culturally well rounded librarian/citizen, a Renaissance person.

Advanced librarianship:

  • Advanced technical training on the technicalities of library processes; in technical services, reference/instructional services, collection development and management, services for the blind and disabled, services for the young/youth, research services, digital and virtual library services, etc.
  • Understand the role of the library as a community asset as well as a complex changing institution
  • Library site visit(s) to major renowned international libraries: 2-4 weeks.

II. Upper level

Applies for ...... first -line managers, i.e. supervisors and unit leaders

Prerequisites ...... 1-2 years of experience in the fields of information and librarianship as a first -line manager

Qualifying to ...... Mid-management positions, i.e. sSection heads and department Directors

Consists of ...... Advanced library management skills and advanced knowledge and skills of library and information sciences

Duration ...... 6-9 months

Location ...... half of the training of this level will be delivered on the BA premises in Alexandria. The other half will be obtained from overseas.

Training subjects ......

  • Strategic planning for libraries
  • Advanced library services marketing
  • Fundamentals of fundraising and philanthropy
  • Fundamentals of political action, public relations and managing community collaboration
  • Organizational strategy and institutional planning skills
  • Basics of financial management and budgeting
  • Basics of project management and forming project teams
  • Measuring library service quality
  • Conflict management
  • Collaborative leadership and delegation
  • Motivation, performance, and commitment.
  • Power dynamics and influencing skills, i.e. recognizing and expanding the ability to influence others
  • Coaching employees to resolve performance problems
  • Effective decision-making
  • Understanding behavioral styles and preferences
  • Working in groups and teams and practicing facilitative leadership
  • Library site visit(s) to major/renowned international libraries: 1-3 months.
III. Advanced level

Applies for ...... Mid-managers, i.e. Section Heads and Department Directors

Prerequisites ...... 1-2 years of experience in the fields of information and librarianship as a mid-manager.

Qualifying to ......Top management position, i.e. Sector Head/Chief Librarian

Consists of ...... selectively top-quality training courses tailored in cooperation with major training specialized training centers/institutes or a Master's degree in Library and Information Science

Duration ...... 12-18 months.

Location ...... A short preparatory phase for the training of this level will be delivered on the BA premises in Alexandria. The remaining part of the program will be obtained overseas.

Training Subjects ......

  • Advanced skills of public relations, fund-raising and philanthropy, and managing community collaboration
  • Advanced organizational strategy and project management
  • Advanced financial management and budgeting
  • Change management
  • System thinking and strategic change
  • Self and leadership
  • The high performing non-profit organization
  • Negotiation and conflict management
  • Becoming a master learner

 

Library site visit(s) to major/renowned international libraries: 3-6 months including one-on-one coaching/mentoring (with practice under the direction, of the library top management of these libraries).