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Management of Media Staff Beth Clark & Dana Turner December 8, 2007 EDIT 6900 Dr. Fitzgerald.

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Presentation on theme: "Management of Media Staff Beth Clark & Dana Turner December 8, 2007 EDIT 6900 Dr. Fitzgerald."— Presentation transcript:

1 Management of Media Staff Beth Clark & Dana Turner December 8, 2007 EDIT 6900 Dr. Fitzgerald

2 Value of Media Clerk “Both professional personnel and support staff are necessary for all library media programs at all grade levels. Each school must employ at least one full-time technical assistant or clerk for each library media specialist.” (American Library Association, 2006) “Your Media Clerk directly affects your ability to excel as a LMS by taking care of many necessary daily activities." (Franklin & Stephens, 2006)

3 Describe Problem Media Specialist are given the responsibility of managing the media clerk(s) and may have little experience or training on managing adults. They may not be prepared to address problems that arise among staff or know how to effectively communicate concerns over job responsibilities. As the MS role continues to progress into one that puts them out from behind the circulation desk and into the classroom, the role of media clerk becomes more important. Good management of clerks is important in helping the MC meet the goals of the MC and school.

4 Research Question What strategies can a Media Specialist use to manage the staff to achieve peak performance towards the goals of the Media Center and the school?

5 Strategies 1.Setting Clear Performance Goals and Job Expectations 2.Communication 3.Delegation 4.Coaching to Good Performance 5.Performance Appraisals 6.Recognizing Good Performance 7.Handling Problem Performance

6 Setting Clear Performance Goals and Expectations: When setting job expectations, follow these steps: –First, be clear –Second, check with district office for official Media Clerk job description –Brainstorm a list of current duties and compare them to what is currently done and what needs to be done.

7 Setting Clear Performance Goals and Expectations: –Work with clerk to come up with a reasonable list of duties not forgetting breaks and lunches. –Run them by your administrator. –Make sure the clerk understands the importance that their job has in the educational process. (Franklin & Stephens, 2006) –Refer to Morris (Morris, 2004)

8 “ I think it is important that when you start… you take your para to lunch and discuss your expectations. How much authority are you going to give then? … Discuss the atmosphere of your library. You want everyone to feel welcome. How is the parapro going to help you with that?? Discuss the qualities you think are needed to do the job well. Write your expectations, discuss again and give the para a copy of those expectations. Refer back if needed. Remember that you could not do your job without him/her. “ Treat them with respect and appreciate often the job they do.” ( Media Specialist School #1) Defining reasonable, expectations and work responsibilities for your clerical staff makes a happier, less stressful workplace for everyone. (Franklin & Stephens, 2006).

9 Communication Communication is key to building trust and thereby getting support from your superiors. 90% of all organizational problems stem from ineffective communication. (Trott, 2006)

10 Communication, cont… If there is a problem, address it immediately, and professionally. Don’t let it build up over time. Try to write instructions down and if verbal encourage your clerk to question you to clarify details. Speak in a positive light, but make sure you get your message across Try not to gossip – it makes you not trustworthy Watch out for your non-verbal cues. Defensive postures, Frustrated postures, vs. openness and confidence in posture Effective listening skills (Trott, 2006)

11 Delegation Give complete instructions Grant sufficient authority Maintain communications Make criticism constructive Reward success (Trott, 2006) Make sure that there is no issue if you leave the Media Center in the hands of your Clerk. They should be able to function without you. (Trott, 2006)

12 Coaching to Good Performance Good coaches work to encourage their staff to do just a bit better Focus on short term goals then long term. Good coaches have high standards of honesty and integrity Strengthens problem –solving skills. Coaching is results-oriented. Stresses open communication By… Developing clear performance goals Providing encouragement Making suggestions for improvement Providing training opportunities Remove barriers Assist with career goals Source of guidance and advice (Trott, 2006)

13 Strategies for Inspiring Better Performance One of the best ways to get good performance out of an employee is to make their workplace a nice place to be. In other words, create a supportive work environment: (Economy and Nelson, 2003) –Build and maintain trust and respect –Open channels of communications –Make your employees feel safe –Develop your clerk – they are your greatest asset in the center.

14 Reviewing Performance: SLMS will be required to appraise performance Check what documentation is used by your school. The LMS’s we interviewed all filled out some sort of evaluation rubic at the end of the year. Must start by setting goals. Evaluate at all stages of work. (Trott, 2006)

15 Common Mistakes: Keeping sloppy records. You have no leg to stand on. Date and time all observations. Keep them in a private file. Documenting others comments or opinions. Limit to what you have observed. Document only facts, not feelings – remain objective Keep the appraisal on job performance and ability to complete tasks. Poor goals set or poorly communicated. Spending more time talking than listening. Lack of adequate training. Most of the Clerks we interviewed said they had little or no training for their job, but would like some. Threatening tone in the interview. Not setting enough time aside for the interview. Extreme evaluations (Trott, 2006)

16 Recognizing Good Performance: Thank you is always welcome. Make sure to be specific about what they are doing well. Do not over praise – it can be seen as insincere Find out what they like in the way of recognition and do that. Ex. Gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts. (Thompson, 1995)

17 “You get what you reward" (Economy & Nelson, 2003) Recognition is worthless if it does not mean anything to the employee. Spend some time finding out what your clerk likes and dislikes and tailor recognition around that. Get permission from your administrator to make recognition a budget item. Personal praise is always a good way to go, just make sure the praise is specific to the action. Don’t’ forget Daily praise – Making a Big Deal about something little – remember, your clerk will likely be a woman.

18 Handling Problem Performance: First of all, ask yourself if this is a performance issue or a communication issue. Next ask yourself if this is really a problem or just an annoyance for you. Then ask yourself is this is a “can’t do it” or a “won’t do it.” If it is a performance issue that you need to address, have a coaching conversation: (Thompson, 1995)

19 Coaching Conversation: Tips for giving negative feedback (Thompson, 1995) · Be factual. · Explain how the behavior is not forwarding the Media Center towards it’s goals. · Keep in mind that you want to correct the behavior · Focus on the behavior, not on social judgments about why it is happening · Avoid all or nothing language. · Echo what the staff member says to make sure you understand what it going on. There is no room for misunderstanding in these conversations. · Ask suppose questions. “Suppose you were in my shoes…” · If they are not communicating with you, draw them out by reflecting on what you think their reaction is. “You seem a little frustrated, confused, etc…” · If they deny or get upset, stay on course and make sure your message is conveyed. · Listen, Listen, Listen. · After the discussion, go with business as usual. Immediately document all that was said.

20 Clerks who are there before you come in think they know everything about the Media Center and how it should run. They probably do at this point, but you know your vision for the center. Accept their advice and help, but do not let them run the program. If you let them do everything, they will. Professionally go ahead with your plans and include them. There will probably be resistance, but remain positive and on course and they will likely adapt. If a problem develops, see advice from other administrators or Media Specialists. (Wasman, 1998)

21 What SLMS and Clerks have to say: Survey

22 Strategies to being a good Manger - Action Plan –Good communication –Make expectations clear –Address problems immediately and privately –Praise good work –Set good example –Always let clerk know where you are and when you’ll return. If possible provide a way to be reached. –Don’t micro manage Let the clerk do it their way as long as it is productive (Rogers, 1993)

23 Action Plan Cont… You must cultivate an environment in which: (Trott, 2006) –There is an atmosphere of pride –There is positive energy –You easily manage change –People are kept informed –Everyone knows who is in charge –You know what it going on –Your staff knows you will protect them

24 –When you delegate, be sure you are clear in your instructions –Admit mistakes –Try not to complain –Be respectful- use please and thank you –Ethical and honest “More important than any skills a clerk has or doesn’t have is the relationship between the two of you. You must work together on a daily basis and it is imperative that the two of you work well together. Skills can be taught, but it is hard to move past personality conflicts. Ask your principal if you can be involved in the hiring process to enable you to have input in the final decision.” (Media Specialist, School #5)

25 Extras…Good information we think you need to know… Interviewing: If possible, be involved in the interview process for a new Media Clerk Make sure you are aware of the interviewing process in your county (what to ask, what not to ask, etc.) Maybe decide ahead of time which areas you will cover in the interview – maybe concentrate on specific Media stuff. Listen, Listen, Listen and take good notes which you will keep in a file to justify your choice of candidates. You can explain ahead of time that you will be taking notes just to make sure you remember everything correctly.

26 Try and look for the following characteristics: Hard Working Good Attitude: see how much the complain about their previous employers Experienced Go-Getter: Does this person show initiative? Team Player: can this person work with others? Smart Responsible: what has this employee been responsible for in the past? Stable (Economy and Nelson, 2003)

27 Be careful not to mention the following. Don’t even comment if they bring these issues up themselves: Applicants race or skin color Applicants national origin Applicants sex or sexual orientation Applicants Marital status Applicants religion Applicants arrest and conviction record (you should know this from a background check) Applicants height and weight Applicants debts Applicants disability (Economy & Nelson, 2003) Try to check your biases at the door. Be objective and judge on qualifications and interview answers alone.

28 Your most important job is developing relationships with the people you work with. The first step in achieving this is by caring about them as people. (Line, 2002) The SLMS and Media Clerk should work together as a team. Make the Media Clerk a stakeholder in the MC by making them feel they are helping to meet the MC and school goals. (Castiglione, 2007)

29 Bibliography American Library Association. (2006, September, 27) AASL Position Statement on Appropriate Staffing for School Libraries. Retrieved November 22, 2007 from: nstatementappropriate.cfm Castiglione, J. (2007) Self-managing work teams and their external leadership: A primer for library administrators. Library Management, 28, Retrieved September 30, 2007, from Emerald Insight database. Economy, P., & Nelson, B. (2003). Managing for dummies.. Wiley. Indianapolis. Franklin, P., & Stephens, C.G.. (2006). Managing clerical staff in the library media center. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 23:3; Retrieved September 15, 2007 from ProQuest database. Line, M. B. (2002) Management musings 7: no-one will tell bosses what they are like. Library Management, issue 23, Retrieved September 30, 2007, from Emerald Insight database.

30 Bibliography Continued Morris, B. J. (2004). Administering the School Library Media Center. Libraries Unlimited. WestPort, Connecticut. Rogers, S. L. (1993) Out of theory and into practice: supervising library employees. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 19, issue Retrieved September 30, 2007, from EBSCOhost database. Thompson, B..( 1995) The new manager’s handbook. New York: Irwin. Trott, M. (2006). Supervising staff: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians. New York. Neil-Schuman. Wasman, A. M. (1998). New steps to service: Common-sense advice for the school library media specialist. Chicago. American Library Association.


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