Academic libraries must continue to evolve as service organizations to compete with the plethora of available information sources. Developing relationships with the campus community enhances the quality of customer service provided in academic libraries and increases the visibility of academic librarians as partners in the teaching and learning processes on campus. As leaders in academic institutions, public service librarians must develop competencies that facilitate their emotional connection with library users to facilitate the development of personalized services. These competencies often are termed "soft skills" and include empathy, an awareness of the users’ emotional states, and helping to manage the emotional responses of library users, which align with the concept of emotional-social intelligence.
Emotional-social intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage self, to understand others, to develop mutually satisfactory relationships, solve daily problems, and cope successfully with personal challenges. The Bar-On mixed-model of emotional-social intelligence includes five broad areas of competencies: self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision-making, and stress management. This model can provide the framework of competencies and traits essential to leadership, not only in the academic library but also on a broader scale, providing leadership within the campus community. Public services librarians must have the emotional and social competencies needed to form relationships, provide quality customer service, and assume leadership roles at their academic institutions. Information presented during this session is based on research that focused on the emotional-social intelligence of public service librarians and individuals in leadership roles in academic libraries. It is essential that library leadership, including public services librarians, develop their emotional-social intelligence to become leaders on their campuses.
Session attendees will learn how emotional-social intelligence can provide a basis for traits and competencies needed to provide leadership in academic libraries in order to develop relationships, provide customized services, and personally connect with members of the campus community. Finally, session participants will discover methods they can use to develop their own emotional-social intelligence traits and competencies to deliver user-centric customer service in their own libraries and assume leadership roles on their college or university campus.
ALA Unit/Subunit: LLAMA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.