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Binh P. Le


Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians – LIAL 2017


Binh P. Le, Librarian Penn State Abington ()

The Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (LIAL), held at Harvard University from July 30 to August 4, 2017, was truly an intensive leadership development program for academic librarians. It was a week-long program.  Each day was packed with lectures, large and small group discussions, and lot of interactions between the faculty and the participants. And, to help the participants get a good handle on the leadership literature as well as to prepare the participants to actively and productively engage in the discussions, we were give an enormous amount of reading materials for each day. While the institute covered a wide range of leadership development topics (e.g., leadership and change, reframing leadership: diagnosing organizations, leading and planning in a changing context, reimagining the academic library, and transformational learning), I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from the sessions on the decision-making process and the demonstrations of case method.  In the session on the decision-making process, we discussed the need to take into account or look through the essential "frames" or "lenses" when we make decisions.  They are:   structural lens, human resource lens, political lens, and symbolic lens. We then used this theoretical framework and examined a number of actual and fictitious cases.  We had lively discussions. The instructors for these sessions were superb.