Kōtuku Emerging Leader Programme – a guest post from Sarah McCallum

Sarah McCallum

Sarah McCallum

I’m excited to be a part of Kōtuku 2018. I’ve identified that I want to achieve success and strive to be my best self, and to help others to do so as well. I have been working in libraries for 9 years now and felt ready to step up to a leadership position and really make use of my experience and qualifications to support staff delivering library services. Kōtuku is the ideal support and learning model for my goal, covering a broad range of leadership topics with the added bonus of GLAM sector networking.

I want to be in a position to influence and challenge decisions made about how we do things and what we are doing here at Christchurch City Libraries. After putting in my application to join Kōtuku, I was appointed to Associate Team Leader at Parklands Library, quite timely but very indicative of where I want to be heading!

Completing this programme is going to look fantastic on my CV, I can’t lie, but also, I wanted to build my network and connections outside of Christchurch City Libraries and really get a feel for where leadership can take me. While I love my colleagues and the relationships I have with other Christchurch Libraries people it is always interesting to hear how things are done elsewhere. Kōtuku is the perfect opportunity to network outside of CCL and build long lasting GLAM relationships.

The programme takes place over eight months, kicked off with a “boot camp” in February – two days of learning, networking, and fun.  Now we’ve begun to work through the swathe of leadership topics – a new one each month – meeting together regularly online to hear from sector leaders on each subject. Topics covered include communication, change management, strategic thinking, management skills, decision making, and leadership and followership.



Every day is a learning day. When I do have spare time I like to sew and spend time with my family. My school librarian husband and I have twin teenage boys and a 3 year old girl so life is often busy and the house is full of all kinds of books.



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