Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Personality Tests (for Management)

Well, when I first went to take these, my laptop's internet browsers (yes, browsers plural!) kept telling me that both sites "timed out" every time. Turns out it was something with the on-campus wireless. I don't know if my frustration with this reflects something about my personality, but there it is!

While I was trying unsuccessfully to get to the Myers-Briggs type test, I found another Myers-Briggs type that I took instead. It was interesting in that it didn't just give me one type. It said I shared 77% of the profile for both ISFP and ESFP, 76% with ESFJ, and 75% with ISFJ. One thing that doesn't surprise me about this is that I tend to be right on the line for I/E. I see this in my life: sometimes I just want to be left alone to read my book, but sometimes I don't want to be alone at all, even if the other person and I are just going to sit next to each other engaged in "parallel play" with occasional comments to each other. Apparently, this shows that I'm on the line for P/J, too, which is weird, because when I finally got to the "official" practice test for class, I came off as a very strong "J." I'm not sure what really defines the judger vs. the perceiver; however, when speaking about my overall type, ISFJ according to this test, it talked a lot about being concerned with propriety, and that definitely defines me.

Both the information from the Myers-Briggs and from the Enneagram, where I got the highest score in the "helper" type, talked about liking to help others, but more in a low-key, from the sidelines way. That is definitely true. I don't think I want to be the CEO. I don't mind the idea of being a branch manager, but I don't ever want to be the library director. This is partly because of the weight of responsibility, but also because I like to be a "big fish in a little pond." I like to help people in my little universe, fixing things that can actually be fixed.

One somewhat funny result, considering this is Management class and we're talking about Leadership this week, is that I got a 0 for the "Leader" type on the Enneagram. Granted, the description looks like it's talking about a more high-profile leader than some of what we've discussed in class, but I thought it was funny.

Overall, since I've taken personality tests before, I was unsurprised by the results. Still, it's nice to see that I tend to be consistent in different personality tests given at different times--seems like there may actually be something to them! :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ethical Principles (for Management)

1. As the community library, we treat each patron with the same respect and committment to high service.
-This means that each patron's request is just as important as every other; do not show partiality.
-Show respect and helpfulness even to patrons who are difficult to get along with.
-Children are patrons, too, and should have their information needs treated with the same respect as adults.

2. Be honest.
-This seems self-explanatory, but is important to remember, and includes some of the situations below.
-Do not use library supplies for personal reasons.
-If you can not help a patron, explain why and seek another solution rather than trying to hide a difficulty.
-Give reasonable estimates on when broken machinery will be fixed.
-Seek help when needed.
-If you encounter a dilemma, consider which option will allow you to uphold the highest standard of honesty.

3. Keep patron records confidential.
-This directly supports ALA Code of Ethics, Article III. Maintaining confidentiality is becoming increasingly important in a society in which the Internet makes confidentiality less certain.
-Confidentiality can not always be extended to children under 18, but parents and guardians must have a reason for requesting information and be able to show their identification.

4. Show support for the library's mission and policies.
-When asked for an opinion on a policy change by a member of the public, give a neutral answer.
-Report concerns and complaints through proper employee channels, not to patrons.
-Maintain an understanding of current library policy and apply it to your work life.

5. Give patrons and staff the benefit of the doubt.
-Realize that everyone has a bad day and that you may also need the benefit of the doubt sometime.
-Help your co-workers when you can.
-Recognize when exceptions should and should not be applied.

The last principle was an actual part of the code of ethics at one of my jobs, and I really liked this. It reminds us that we are all humans and need a break sometimes, and, I think, led to a smoother and happier work environment. It also made "problem patrons" easier to shake off!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Elevator Speech (for Management)

I gave an elevator speech aimed at showing my qualifications for a part-time media specialist permission at a nearby elementary school that serves as a magnet school with an IB-Primary Years Programme. I spoke to one of my library school friends, who is also interested in school libraries and had her provide feedback. Here's the written text of the speech that I prepared beforehand:

"I think I would be an excellent match for the part-time media specialist position at Covington Farms (name changed)Elementary. I have a great deal of experience working with elementary school age children, most notably from a year as a
third grade teacher, but also from earlier jobs and volunteer opportunities. I have specific school library experience
through an internship in a middle school media center. I enjoyed getting to know the middle schoolers, but I truly love the
elementary school setting. I am comfortable working with students of all ability levels and would welcome the
academically rigorous environment of an IB program. I especially like working with other media specialists and teachers,
so I know I will enjoy the collaborative atmosphere of Covington Farms."

When I actually delivered the speech, I didn't read it, since I would never do that in real life, so it didn't come out exactly as written. I felt very weird giving this speech in an entirely unrelated context, and I explained the setting for my friend, which was also a little weird. I think it was good practice, but I definitely get the most out of practicing for an actual upcoming interview or speaking requirement.

I was very glad to have read over the text several times before delivering it, because some of my initial drafts just sounded ridiculous to me out loud. The idea of "selling myself" is still hard for me, and I think it was even harder in a straight speech from me, without the usual give and take of an interview. I actually think that, in real work situations, I would be better able to deliver an elevator speech about a project or a goal that I supported, because I could focus on the external "thing" that I wanted to accomplish, instead of squarely on myself.

The main feedback given was that I need to speak slower (I had "one minute" ingrained in my head and seemed to think a buzzer would go off) and that I should also have mentioned volunteering at another elementary school's media center regularly last year, since that would tie together my elementary school and library experience.