Saturday, November 18, 2006

I'm going to Aurora.

February 2007. Threadbo Alpine Village. 5 days. 31 other potential leaders. 2 Facilitators. Mentors from the top of the field. No idea what it will involve.Thrilled.

From the background on the Aurora Leadership Institute home page:

The Institute's mission is to assist future leaders in the library and associated cultural and information industry to maximise their leadership skills and potential. We want to position leaders to be proactive and effective voices in a dynamic and sophisticated information environment.

This is done through a combination of experiential learning, group and individual exercises, and by working with a strong team of senior and experienced Australian and New Zealand mentors. The Institute programme includes exploration of leadership concepts including vision, risk taking, creativity, communication, and styles of leadership. It is a demanding, challenging and exciting experience.

MPOW and the two librarians who recommended me have been really supportive in the whole process. If you're reading this - thanks.

I had a single motivation to apply. Peta's post on LINT which was, a rather straightforward call for applicants. When someone asked a question about what it involved, 10 people immediately jumped in and basically said "go for it...the best preparation is not to expect's gruelling but you'll use what you learn for the rest of your career".

To apply, I needed to frame what I do, and what I want to do, as leadership. I'd seen leaders as charismatic and determined sorts who make other people's decisions for them and then somehow convince them that this is what they really wanted to do. Always surrounded by flunkies and constantly watching their backs because they'll be challenged by someone else who wants to be the leader. That's just not for me.

But..if leadership can be keeping a central focus on what the library user wants and sharing and enthusing and encouraging and networking and learning and facilitating, then I'll take that on.

The only down side is that it's two weeks after both kids start at a new school. One is going to kindy for the first time, the other starting mainstream school after being in a special educational program. When I talked the application over with my mother-in-law she told me that my boys would see a mum who was following her dreams and fulfilled by what she was doing. Wow! I'd only been stressing out and hadn't seen it quite so positively.

What I'll actually be doing is so mysterious that the naughty little girl in me is imagining Masonic kinds of rituals involving binding books in buckram while reciting Dewey. And finding out that LCSH actually has a sacred narrative meaning authored by Da Vinci. And maybe that Canberra really was designed using
spiritual mathematics , and the National Library is a key point in it all.

This blog will be a great place for me to reflect and track my path in all of this.

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