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!!