Every so often I go through a period where everything feels just a bit unsettled...like I have too many balls in the air, and just as soon as I manage to catch one of them someone throws another one at me.
This has definitely been one of those times. My week of vacation in mid-March was great - but it took another week to get on top of the backlog of emails, phone calls, and other projects, and I know I'm not alone in that feeling.
Then we have had a lot of staff changes. The ball got started with the resignation of Customer Service Manager Jan Wierzbicki in January. No sooner had we promoted Branch Library Assistant Eve Wittenmeyer to Customer Service Manager than our wonderful Branch Manager, Cindy Miller, resigned to take up a terrific new job as Associate Director at the Long Beach Public Library. We are fortunate to have a pretty deep "bench" at PVLD and I was delighted to be able to appoint Jennifer Addington, most recently the Assistant Manager - Adult Services at our Peninsula Center Library - as the new Branch Operations Manager....but of course that has left the Assistant Manager job vacant. We hope to fill that position internally, too...which will leave another hole to be filled! We are also faced with the resignations of Kristen Waddell and Laurie Anderson - two of our terrific library school student employees who are moving on to new challenges and leaving some big shoes to be filled.
Add to the turmoil of successive staff changes the fact that we have some very big projects on our plate - including reorganization of our Young Readers department to provide District-wide services for infants through teens; installation of new carpeting at Peninsula Center Library (which involves a lot of extra work for our Circulation staff as we are lifting all of the book stacks to carpet underneath); selection and then implementation of a new "Integrated Library System" (the software that automates all of our library activities from purchasing books to the online catalog); gearing up for major fundraising to support expansion of the Miraleste Library, restoration of the Malaga Cove Library, and the creation of an endowment; and an overhaul of our employee classification and compensation structure - and its no wonder the PVLD staff are looking a bit shell-shocked!
The amazing thing is that we are continuing to make progress on all of these projects...thanks in no small part to the calibre of our staff. The good news is that I think things will stabilize quite a bit over the next few months as we fill our staff vacancies, people settle into their new roles, and we complete some of the big projects on our plate. The "bad" news is that as soon as we complete one project I am pretty sure we'll find something else we want to do in our quest to make PVLD the best library system of its size in the state (if not the country)!
To our staff - I'm not sure you know how much I appreciate how you navigate the seemingly always turbulent environment at PVLD and still manage to make great progress in improving our services.