2020 AAHSL Virtual Annual Meeting

Educational Program

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About the Program

Moving Beyond the Big Bad Wolf: Using Storytelling to Manage Change

The 2020 education program will feature Liz McChesney and Byran W Wunar.  

In the story of the Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf comes knocking on the pigs’ doors with the stated intention of eating them all up, one at a time. But what if we viewed the wolf as the vehicle that helped the pigs learn collaboration skills, helped them test what a stable structure means and ultimately celebrates the pigs’ power to survive and thrive together using their strongest resources…ultimately moving beyond the perceived threat to celebrate the pig community’s resourcefulness and power. This session will enable us to use stories to shift perspectives and find new strengths for ourselves, our staffs, and our institutions.   

Stories are at the heart and soul of who we are as human beings, workers and leaders.  Using stories to learn about recasting our problems and seeing ourselves as the heroes of our own stories will help us lead teams into an uncertain future. This session provides tools for building a unique library story to help manage change, build teams and tame the grapevine. We will explore the neuroscience of stories and why they are effective values for the 21st Century workplace as we develop models of equity-based library services and manage changes in 2020 and beyond.

Part One: The Tailor and His Coat, A Yiddish Folktale or How do We Move Ourselves Forward

In this section, we will look at our opportunities and problems through the lens of The Tailor. How can we, too, find ways to see our resources and opportunities in a new way?

Part Two: Too Much Noise, a Folktale from the Ukraine or Developing a New Perspective as a Workplace Leader

Section Two will focus on ways leaders can help develop new perspectives in themselves and their staffs. Using the story arc rubric, library leaders can help their staffs understand that change is constant, own the change that is underway and build on successes to help organizational culture. 

Part Three: The Origin Story: This is Who We Are

Section Three focuses on how to help you build an origin story with your staff. In this section we review the elements of a strong origin story and then map out a story for where you are going. We use the powers and superpowers of your library’s origin story to find ways to respond to crisis and manage change with tools that all staff can use and that build on common values and drive equity.

About the Presenter

Elizabeth (Liz) McChesney

Liz started her career in librarianship as a storyteller and lover of picture books and more than 30 years later that hasn’t changed.  As the Director of System Wide Children’s Services and Family Engagement at the Chicago Public Library, Liz was credited with re-envisioning service to children across the city and was responsible for the transformation of 80 libraries into 21st Century Learning centers through physical updates including STEM labs and play spaces, collections management through an equity lens, managing change with multiple teams at all levels of the organization including a staff of 115,  and programmatic innovations such as a STEM based summer learning program attracting more than 100,000 youth citywide and earning her national attention.  After 31 years with CPL, now serves as a Senior Advisor for Educational Strategy at Urban Libraries Director and is the Community Partnerships & Early Childhood Director for the Laundry Literacy Coalition, a project with the Clinton Foundation and Laundry Cares Foundation to amplify early literacy in everyday spaces.  Liz’s first picture book is soon to be released and she has co-authored two books, including Summer Matters: Making All Learning Count with Bryan. 

Bryan W Wunar

Bryan has worked in science education for the past 27 years, exploring ways of bridging informal and formal science education in order to extend learning beyond the classroom. Bryan served as the Vice President of Education and Programs at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum and led the formation of the Center for the Advancement of Science Education at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Through the development of a comprehensive educational framework that included a broad network of community-based afterschool science programs, a series of science teacher education courses, and STEM-based youth development experiences, his work has focused on establishing museums as educational resources for children, youth, families, schools, and communities. Through a multi-year partnership with the Chicago Public Library, he collaborated with Liz McChesney to expand the Chicago Summer Learning Challenge as a national model for engaging youth each summer while school is not in session. He has served as the Principal Investigator on numerous federal grants from agencies including NASA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation. Bryan is currently the President and CEO of Discovery World, a nationally recognized science and technology center located in Milwaukee.