25 Years of Drucker

Thanks to Bruce Rosenstein, columnist, librarian and author of Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life for this guest post: 25 Years of Drucker.

Read on…

On June 15th, I will be presenting a Spotlight Session at the 2011 SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia, “Creating Your Future the Peter Drucker Way.” That’s only fitting, since a major part of my future was created 25 years ago this month, in May 1986, during my Management class at the Catholic University of America School of Library and Information Science.

That was the first time I began seriously studying the works of Drucker, “the father of modern management,” starting with a textbook assignment from the professor, Duane Webster, who retired in 2008 as executive director of the Association of Research Libraries.

I recounted the story in greater detail in a guest post on Government Info Pro in 2009: How a New Business/Self-Development Book Had Its Genesis in a Library School Class. At the time, my book, Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life, was about to be published by Berrett-Koehler, and I was heading to Chicago to do a book signing at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference.

As I wrote in that earlier guest post, Drucker had a long history in the library world, including delivering one of the keynote addresses at the 2002 SLA Annual Conference in Los Angeles. At that time, I interviewed him for a feature story in USA TODAY, where I worked from 1987 to 2008 as a librarian and writer.

Since the book’s publication, I have spoken to audiences in public libraries, and at library associations, such as DC/SLA, NYC SLA and the Pittsburgh chapter of SLA. Through the good graces of LexisNexis, I delivered the keynote for a 2010 event, The New Face of Value, at the National Press Club. I’ve also spoken at the Drucker-Ito School in Claremont, California, for the Drucker Societies of Los Angeles and New York City, the Wharton Clubs of Philadelphia and Washington, and other groups.

Drucker remains a huge influence in Japan, more than five years after his death, at 95, in 2005. The Japanese translation of my book was published earlier this year by Diamond, Drucker’s publisher in that country.

The Drucker-inspired creation of my future that began 25 years ago continued to evolve last month, when I became Managing Editor of Leader to Leader, the quarterly journal of the Leader to Leader Institute, formerly known as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management.

This summer I will teach the Special Libraries class again at Catholic University, where I have taught each year since 1996. I have taught several times in the classroom in which I was introduced to Drucker as a student many years ago. I hope that the key takeaway for readers of Government Info Pro is that big things can start from small beginnings, such as the assignment of a textbook in a summer library school class. A useful challenge for all of us this summer is to be alive and alert to the possibilities for the future in even the smallest aspects of our personal and professional lives.

Creating the future requires resilience, intention and conscious work. As I wrote in the 2009 guest post, it took years to write my book and get it published. As the library and information worlds change relentlessly, creating a better personal future through the actions of today is a worthy aspiration. I hope to see many of you in Philadelphia, where I will discuss these ideas further. It would be a great honor if one segment of my presentation, or of my book, leads someone on the kind of journey I have taken these past 25 years.

You can listen to Bruce’s National Press Club presentation here: Government Info Pro Podcast Episode 13: The New Face of Value .

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