I just passed in my current perspectives assignment for ILS565-Library Management – aka the interview assignment. I love the feeling of being done with something. It is so wonderful. Of course, I still have another paper due on Sunday, but I have indeed started on that project. So, I thought I would post my interview summary for those who asked about it. Michael A. Golrick did indeed give his permission.
An Interview with Michael A. Golrick
On Monday, September 11, 2006, I conducted an interview via email about library management with Michael A. Golrick, City Librarian for the Bridgeport Public Library. First, I asked about advice for new library managers. Mr. Golrick’s clear answer to this question was to “NEVER LIE.” He believes that consistent honesty is one key to developing loyalty from one’s staff and one’s manager. In response to a question about good managerial skills, Mr. Golrick stressed the need for people skills and suggested that watching managers and remembering personal experiences are great ways to learn the necessary skills. Mr. Golrick wrote “Watch the people that manage you. Most people don’t become managers until they have been managed.” This is how Mr. Golrick learned to be a manger, along with theories of management he learned while studying for his MBA. In response to my next question about knowing when he is doing a good job, Mr. Golrick admitted that was a tough one. The board to which he reports does not rely heavily upon evaluations. As such, Mr. Golrick must depend upon himself to be able to assess his performance. He relies upon his business manager to bring things to his attention and keeps his ears open for complaints or problems that he hears about more than once. Mr. Golrick realizes that he is somewhat removed from people so he understands that if he hears about a problem, he needs to take it seriously. Solving such problems or conflicts is often a matter of listening in order to make his staff feel valued – something about which Mr. Golrick feels strongly. The last question that I asked Mr. Golrick was “What is the most difficult part of managing a library? “ I found his answers extremely interesting and enlightening. “The most difficult part is being in the middle,” wrote Mr. Golrick. Although he reports to a board, he makes many of the final decisions. Because of his position of authority, he cannot be friendly with those on the board or those who work for him. This is a solitary position in which to be. Fortunately, he has the support of an assistant and a local group of library directors.
I would like to say thank you to Michael Golrick once again for his help with this assignment. To learn more, visit his blog – Thoughts from a Library Administrator.