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Visioning and Watching: Redux

I kind of hate to admit it, but this morning’s all-staff meeting was actually stimulating. This doesn’t mean that I think we should have them more frequently, of course, but today went exceptionally well. Now, there were moments… there always are when you get 30-ish people together in a room furnished with 28 or 29 chairs, food sitting there (like desert placed on the table before the main meal) waiting for “after the meeting,” and something as meaty as our organization’s direction for the next 10 years on the agenda. But I came out of the meeting realizing that I really have found my dream job. This organization values the future and the past just enough to experiment with the new, preserve the best of the old (collections and traditions alike), and build it into the conscious structure of the organization that each of us should be scanning the horizon for innovative tools, methods, and services (see my post on Our Vision and Watch List below).

One of the points that drew the most discussion this morning was the method by which we would watch those tools, methods, and services on our “Watch Lists,” and the staff at large didn’t even balk at my co-worker’s suggestion that we create and update an internal blog! It’s very refreshing to know that my department (made up primarily of late-20s and early-30s types) aren’t the tech-outliers in the library any more. It was also very refreshing to hear our director saying, “We’ve got a community of people here that know how to figure things out, find information about things, and teach things to other people, so take advantage of your co-workers.” This is the key to getting over Millennial Discomfort and continuing to do what librarians do best: providing timely and excellent information service.

I’ll be interested to see how this all plays out.

Published inCarleton


  1. Julian Julian

    We only have 3-4 all-staff meetings per year, and they’re put together by the library’s human relations committee. We definitely don’t have refreshments after (hmm… that sounds like a good suggestion). They pretty much go like this: a report from the director on the state of the library; a presentation of some sort — sometimes related to a department of the library, sometimes a short professional development exercise; and a brief information session that is HR-related (often about benefits that staff can take advantage of). And, for some reason, they’re always held mid-afternoon in the middle of a week.

    I can’t recall an all-library (that’s what we call them) meeting lasting longer than 45 minutes. They’re definitely not set up as a forum of discussion centered around agenda topics. The meetings are more like a collection of presentations that are packaged together for the consumption of the staff. The meatier subjects are discussed in the topic-specific forums and division meetings.

    I guess my library has such a specific focus (nothing wrong with that), and so many people in such specific positions, that it might make sense to have a more hierarchical format of discussion for larger “vision” issues.

  2. Iris Iris

    There are pros and cons to having all-staff/all-library meetings being forums for discussion (or would that be “fora”?…). One of the beauties of having a relatively small staff is that we’re able to do this if we want to. On the other hand, I don’t think we’ve ever had a 45-minute meeting. That would be quite a boon some days!

  3. […] remember when I said that our all-staff meeting to discuss the draft of our 10-year vision statement was so surprisingly […]

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