This has been a week when I've had more than ample occasion to be grateful for and proud ofthe people I work with.
The week kicked off with our fourth Staff Day, where the library was closed so that we bring the entire staff together for some learning and some fun. Our 85 employees, many of whom are part-time, are stretched across three libraries and an Annex with a combined 159 hours of operation each week. This means that many employees never get to meet colleagues who work at other locations or on different shifts. Staff Day gives us a chance to address that.
The day is organized by a team of staff members who volunteer for the task, and they did themselves proud on a shoestring budget. We had an excellent and thought-provoking presentation on teens and how to serve them by Dr. Joni Richards Bodart in the morning, then got on buses provided by County Supervisor Don Knabe and rode over to the Miraleste Library for lunch and some fun and games before heading back to Peninsula Center Library for a tour of some of the libraries hidden places followed by a social hour in the Annex.
Since what happens at Staff Day stays at Staff Day I won't go into the details of our activities, but we had a lot of fun. Dr. Bodart joined in as an enthusiastic participant, and before she left told both me and Louise Beebe of the organizing team that she has been in a lot of libraries and worked with a lot of different library staffs, but she has never seen a group that had come so far in breaking down internal barriers and hierarchies. What a great reminder of what a terrific team we have here at PVLD!
The next day I spent the day wth colleagues from across the State talking about "Blue Ocean Strategy" for libraries and the State Librarian's vision of creating an "incubator" to foster library innovation and take ideas to implementation. The day was informative if tiring, but it also made me realize how fortunate we are here at PVLD in having the resources and the environment to try new things and "incubate" new ideas without relying on external support. If someone has an idea that is legal,seems worth trying, and we can figure out how to pay for it..we just do it. I don't think many other libraries can say that.
And then today our "First Team" (the Department Managers and Assistant Managers from across PVLD) met, as we do regularly, to talk about how we work as a team and how we can continue to improve communication and grow the level of trust and honesty within the team and throughout PVLD. Today consultant Cheryl Gould (no relation!) visited our meeting and we had a really good discussion about how far we have come as a team, and where we want to go. The commitment all of our leaders have to making PVLD a vital institution in our community and to spending time and energy on the "soft" but extremely hard issues of communication and teamwork that can get in our way made me so proud.
We're now looking forward to a year of working with Cheryl to grow our ability to work together and I think great things are ahead.
PVLD staff - it is an honor to work with you.