Administrative and Management Skills

Update Your Disaster Plan! Part 2

  Overnight, on September 22nd, 3,500 gallons of water poured from the mechanical room on the third floor of the Rochester Public Library (MN). Staff opening the building on Sunday found several inches of standing water in the central core of all three floors of the building. In October I shared 13 lessons from the disaster, here are 11 more: It is going to take longer than you think to get back to normal. Two months after the water leak we have the 2nd floor partially open, and no access to our Auditorium space. After initial estimates for repairs were made, we exceeded the state expenditure threshold, and we needed a formal bid process. This process will add months to our recovery. Be creative! Is there a way to get part of the building back up and running while you wait for full recovery? We were fortunately able to expedite…

Blogger Gretchen Schulz

The Quality of Being Thankful

A card and pen with Thank You written in purple, with flowers and a gift box with ribbon,.

The Quality of Being Thankful   It’s the week of Thanksgiving as I sit here to write my blog post. I am thinking of the million and one things I have to do before and on Thursday as the hostess of the yearly holiday for my family. I am busy, but I am grateful. My library’s Marketing Director shared with staff on our intranet, an article titled In Praise of Gratitude, published by Harvard Health Publishing (2019). It discusses beneficial research done on gratitude from a psychological stand point. It also lists ways people can cultivate gratitude in an effort to get outside themselves. From the article, I particularly enjoyed this sentiment: “With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

When a Program Fails

Reflection is an important piece of programming.  All programs, whether a massive hit or somewhat less so, can hold opportunities to learn. If any library worker tries to tell you that they’ve had a 100% success rate with their programs, they are either delusional or lying. No one pulls off perfect programs every time! Sometimes, programs don’t go as planned because of… 

Blogger Heather Acerro

Update Your Disaster Plan!

Do you know what to do if your auditorium space turns into a lake? It is much better to plan now than to figure out what to do with water puddling at your feet! Overnight, on September 22nd, 3,500 gallons of water poured from the mechanical room on the third floor of the Rochester Public Library (MN). Staff opening the building on Sunday found several inches of standing water in the central core of all three floors of the building. The library’s physical materials collection was largely unaffected, but staff areas and meeting rooms were severely damaged. Rochester Public Library is a two story main library with Youth Services and fiction, movies, and music for adults on the first floor and Reference Services, non-fiction materials, and adult public internet stations on the second floor. Without branch libraries in the community, Rochester and Olmsted County residents rely on the main building…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Summer Reading Slump

Hey, how are you holding up? It is about halfway through the summer reading season, and I am sure you are exhausted! Please remember to take care of yourself. Here are some ideas to get started: If you haven’t done so already, plan a vacation. Even taking a few days off to stay home and do things not related to work. Basically, get something to look forward to on your calendar. Take a walk. Since you get breaks, I encourage you to take them and get outside to enjoy summer for a few minutes. Read an uplifting book. One that I highly recommend is “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. I’ve dedicated my summer to Up Lit and found several lists online. Binge (or just regular watch) an excellent show. Here are some of my current favorites: *Queer Eye (Netflix): So much more than a makeover, this is…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Running Background Checks on Outside Performers

Recently there has been discussion on the Facebook group Library Think Tank  (#ALATT) about running background checks on outside performers. It has been a rather animated debate, and caused me and my coworkers to do some serious pondering.   The subject under debate:  Should all performers have background checks run before they appear at a library? There were two incidents that sparked the discussion. One was a Drag Queen Storytime that was held at the Houston Public Library.  After the performance, it was discovered by a pro-family activist group called MassResistance that one of the performers was a registered sex offender.  The group brought the criminal status of the performer to the attention of the media. HPL didn’t run a background check on the performer, although Library policy does require checks be run on all performers. (It should be noted that Since March 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)…

Call to Action

Involvement Challenge

Are you looking to get more involved at your library? Consider these options. Do you have a staff intranet? Ask if it would be OK to contribute content. We recently started using Jostle, and the Manager overseeing its content asked for a few more reporters. My boss asked me if I was interested, and I looked at it as a great way to be creative in a couple different ways. The first idea I am flushing out is a series titled: Meet the Management Team. We have a group of 15 Managers who meet bi-weekly at a Management Team meeting, so I started with our Executive Director, and our Deputy Director. My thought behind it was to ask them for interesting facts about themselves that staff may not know about them, but may help us to understand how their management style has become what it is. For example, my manager…