Sunday, February 17, 2008

This week many of the blogs I have read have been talking about trusting staff, mentoring, training and the art of empowerment in the workplace. And I have been thinking about something I read all week. Alan Grey, from Darien Library in the states made a comment when talking about the central core business of what happens in libraries. He believes it is, "the in-the-moment, one-to-one relationships between an engaged staff member and a committed patron". What a mighty aim!

I have been thinking about this statement, and what needs to happen beforehand in the workplace for this to be the desired outcome of nearly every interaction. Before this statement can come into being, staff in the workplace need great training, and lots of it, in lots of different areas, continual support and encouragement of a job well done, access to professional development opportunities, and a willingness to be a part of something that is bigger than them.

I believe his statement is aimed at all library staff and their interactions with customers. Be it shelvers who help customers find librarians who can meet their needs, dealing with customer concerns in the returns room, reference enquries at the adult help desk, helping children find a specific blue covered book with red writing on it about dogs at the children's help desk, to the issuing of items at the front counter.

May our love everything that libraries are about be reflected in our actions at work this week!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

These are a few of my favourite things...

My creation
Originally uploaded by jobeaz
At the 'Beyond the Hype' symposium I attended last weekend, we were challenged by a speaker to see what our web presence said about the institutions we work for. Using 5 of the most prominent social networking sites around at the moment, my answer was nothing.

So I decided to change that. I took my trusty digital camera into work this week and took photos of us at work. I uploaded them to Flickr and made some mosaics of our work environment. This mosaic incorporates all the things I love about Toowoomba - the library, the flowers, the colour and the place!

Facebook has some entries from staff who work at the library :) I have tagged some toowoomba sites on my account, and decided that Utube may just have to wait awile!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Beyond the Hype symposium

Was ever so grateful to my work for allowing me to attend the Beyond the Hype Web2.0 Symposium in Brisbane this last two days. I have learnt so much, and been exposed to many differing thoughts on the notion of Web 2.0 and the concept of Library2.0. Christine Mackenzie, from Yarra Plenty Regional Library was one of the keynote speakes, and her concluding remarks stuck with me. She stated that the ongoing job of librarians is to learn to learn, adept to change and to scan the horizon.

How can I apply that in my studies this year, and in my job? We are forever talking about life long learning, and how important it is for improving literacy in our customers, but I think we need to take it on as a mantle in our own personal and professional lives also. May I always be willing to listen to new ideas, learn new things and be open to new suggestions.

Adapting to change will be a huge part of my professional life this year as our library amalgamates with 7 or 8 others.. The new Toowoomba Regional Shire commences mid march and with it will come changes. And a lot of them. May we adapt to these changes with understanding, integrity and enthusiasm. Our library can only get bigger and better as we embrace these changes!

Lastly, scanning the horizon. For me the challenge is for my thinking to have an external focus, instead of an internal one. To be on the lookout for new technology, new operating systems, new social networking sites, new ways of doing things and embracing new ideas.

These school holidays I have watched with my kids, 'Meet the Robinsons'. The theme of this great movie is keep moving forward, and that many failures can lead to success. After watching it so many times, the theme song has taken root in my head and heart. Keep moving forward. Keep moving forward even if there are failures and stumbling blocks along the way. Keep moving forward. Learn to keep learning. Adapt to change. Scan the horizon. And keep moving forward.