The core of our Digital Leadership Skills programme for libraries is a 3-day course designed in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL). The content was inspired by our 2014 research for SCL into the digital and leadership skills needs of public library services. Working with Ethan Ohs, bringing expertise in leadership programme design, we co-designed and piloted course with seventeen library professionals.
Everyone who took part wanted to learn more about the role of digital technology in library services, but the cohort included people at different stages in their careers, and with different levels of digital knowledge from digital novices to self-confessed geeks. Participants reported that their leadership confidence and digital knowledge had increased. We also found that during the course, and in months following, the cohort made many improvements in their own library services often adopting approaches learned from other course participants. For example these included introducing low-cost software to help people manage their own health conditions, technology supporting digitally-assisted access for people with sensory impairments, and ‘essentials’ such as improving public WiFi.
Client: Society of Chief Librarians (with funding from Arts Council England)