Strengthening Innovative Library Leaders (SILL) is a 2-day foundational leadership training curriculum for librarians. The training was developed at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs in partnership with librarians around the world. The project is funded by the Global Libraries Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

SILL is designed for public and community librarians, but can be used with other groups. This leadership training is meant to be delivered to everyone in the library, not just a select few.  Equally important is that it is developed to be used by trainers with different levels of training experience and familiarity with the topic. Most importantly, it was designed to be easily adapted to the local library context and translated into different languages.

The training is divided into 4 interactive modules focusing on Leadership, Innovation, Planning, and Communication:

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Module 1: Leadership Styles for Librarians

Overview:

This module will define the concept of “leadership” and introduce Goleman’s 6 styles of leadership. Participants will discover the leadership styles they identify with and learn the traits that make a strong library leader.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing Module 1 of the training, participants will be able to:

  1. Define several common styles of leadership and understand how they affect various situations given context.
  2. Describe the leadership style or styles that feel most comfortable to them.

Module highlights:

  • Short lecture describing Daniel Goleman’s 6 Leadership styles, followed by a group activity reinforcing what the participants learned
  • Leadership style self-assessment
  • Group discussions and feedback on each person’s leadership style

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Module 2: Library Leaders as Innovators

Overview:

This module will introduce library innovation trends, approaches, and strategies.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing Module 2 of the training, participants will be able to:

  1. Give examples of how libraries can be innovative in their responses to local problems.
  2. Gain insight into their strengths as an innovator.
  3. Propose an innovative idea for a new program or service to respond to user needs in their library.

Module highlights:

  • Icebreaker competition creating innovative paper airplanes in teams
  • Group activity designing an innovative solution to a common library problem
  • Short YouTube videos with examples of innovative solutions to community problems
  • Group Activity creating balloon towers in teams
  • Each participant will develop an innovative idea to take back to their libraries. This will be turned into an Action Plan in Module 3.

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Module 3: Library Leaders with a Plan

Overview:

This module will outline how to create realistic goals and plans. Participants will practice by writing an Action Plan for an innovative service or program to implement in their library.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing Module 3 of the training, participants will be able to:

  1. Develop a well–written, innovative goal for their library.
  2. Draft an Action Plan that they will implement on their return home.

Module highlights:

  • Value cards activity in groups
  • Problem-solving activity
  • Short lecture on the importance of planning
  • Writing S.M.A.R.T goals and an Action Plan for the innovative ideas created in Module 2
  • Discussing and sharing the Action Plans as a group

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Module 4: Library Leaders as Communicators

Overview:

Participants will learn about the 4 communication styles and identify the style they use most often. They will also practice communicating with different styles in a work setting.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing Module 4 of the training, participants will be able to:

  1. Compare the 4 communication styles and discover their own style.
  2. Describe the main characteristics of each communication style.
  3. Apply techniques for adjusting to other communication styles.

Module highlights:

  • “Drawing a Picture” Icebreaker activity to practice listening and communication
  • Communication Problem-Solving activity
  • Lecture on 4 Communication Styles and how to best communicate with each style
  • Communication Style self-assessment
  • Communication role-play activity

Training Activities:

Icebreaker Activities

Icebreakers

Group Exercises

Group Exercises

Individual Assessments

Individual Assessments

Action Plans

Action Plans

Short Lectures

Short Lectures

Role-Playing

Role-Playing

Get Started!

Ready to begin planning a SILL training in your community? Check out our Getting Started with SILL guide, which contains all of the information you’ll need to begin your preparations. Or, download all of the materials needed on our Training Materials page.

We’ve also provided short Training Videos to give trainers additional background information on the lectures and activities in each module.

Do you have questions or comments about the training? Connect with us!