For some strange reason a few weeks ago, on yet another cold and blustery Sunday morning, over a second cup of coffee I got interested in a list of the bestselling cars in Canada and the United States. And the reference question got out of control as I looked for more bestselling items. I included only bestselling items, not favorites or most popular items and in no way is this scientific, it is just interesting and perhaps in some small way, explains us all a bit better.
#1 Selling Cold Cereal
Canada – Special K
USA - Honey Nut Cheerios
#1 Selling Fruit
Canada – Apple, Blueberries
USA – Banana, Watermelon, Pineapple
Note: Worldwide, it’s mango
#1 Selling Vegetable
Canada – Carrots
USA – Carrots
#1 Selling Beer
Canada – Budweiser*
USA – Bud Light
*Molson & Coors merged in 2005
#1 Selling Spirit
Canada – Whisky
USA – Vodka
#1 Selling Item at McDonald’s
Canada – French Fries
USA – French Fries
#1 Selling Truck
Canada – Ford F Series
USA – Ford F Series
#1 Car Colour
Canada – Silver/Grey
USA – White/Beige
Note: But for sports cars, we all agree it’s red!
Canada – Hockey, Hockey, Hockey
USA – Football, Baseball, Basketball
Note: Worldwide, it’s soccer
Canada – Anne of Green Gables (50 million copies sold)
USA – The Da Vinci Code (80 million copies sold)
Note: This really surprised me!
Kitty Pope #10 March 2014
Canadian public library customers have a long and glorious tradition of watching the summer and winter Olympics at their neighborhood library. This tradition just may have started at the mighty Calgary Public Library during the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games . The whole city was Olympic crazy for the year leading up to their games and it just felt appropriate to stay connected during the games. CPL put televisions in their living rooms and Calgarians didn’t miss a second of the action. It was a huge hit with the community and with the staff.
The tradition continued this winter at the Guelph Public Library where all branches shared the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with their customers and we created a “pop up” portal of Olympic resources for our online customers. We watched folks stop for a few minutes to catch up on events, and others who specifically came to the library to sit in our living rooms and watch the events unfold. I asked these folks why they came to the library and was surprised by their comments. Some customers didn’t have a television at home, by choice or due to finances but the vast majority said they came to the library because it was more fun watching the Olympics with a group of people. We had our largest gatherings naturally for hockey games but also for curling, sliding, figure skating and boarding. Was it noisy? Yes a bit, but customers didn’t seem to mind and staff made a special effort to accommodate those looking for quiet space.
GPL turned on the Olympics in our living rooms and on our website for:
► Our customers because it’s an easy way to say we are all about access to information regardless of format; we are relevant and we are fun!
►The staff because it connects us directly to the community we serve and makes our work more interesting and engaging. And it will be the public library that will provide Guelphites with the opportunity to welcome home and meet their Olympic heroes.
The Olympics bring the entire community together and it’s a win win opportunity for Canadian public libraries.
We will have our televisions on in our library living rooms for the 2016 summer Olympics 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, August 5-21 2016 and we are already planning for the 2018 winter Olympics in PyeongChang South Korea, February 9-25 2018.
The Olympics are good for public libraries!
Kitty Pope #9 March 2014
Here are a few ideas to keep focused:
1. Be a leader and clearly define the library’s goals so staff know where you are going and what your priorities are for the year. A strategic plan is your number one tool to stay focused and on track.
2. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For example, because overdue fine revenue was $100,000 last year, there is no guarantee it will be the same this year. It is prudent to assess revenue trends and track first quarter results, then make a plan for the remainder of the year so the library ends up on target.
3. How financially literate are management staff? Do they read and understand the monthly financial statement? Do they regularly meet with the finance department staff to review budget variances?
4. Well-crafted and supervised performance evaluations with annual goals are one of the most important tools to keep the library on track and moving ahead.
5. To quote Ben Franklin “a penny saved is a penny earned” especially in the first half of the year. As the savings from careful management accumulate, the third quarter is the time to make adjustments.
6. Read reports and articles that provide contrasting opinions to yours. It gives you the opportunity to test your opinion and look at alternatives.
7. Avoid the tendency to change course mid-way through a test or trial. Let the test run its course, which is why a test first is such a good idea. The end of the trial is the time to assess the project and either embrace or ditch it.
Staying on track is all about having a good plan and watching it closely to make sure that by year end you have reached the library’s goals. This is really what good management and library leadership is all about!
Kitty Pope #8 February 2014
Library land is changing quicker than ever and so is our corporate culture and work environment. So, how do new employees learn office etiquette? I started thinking about this several weeks ago and so just for fun I came up with a list of do’s and don’ts….
►Your work space: Don’t clutter it with personal stuff. A family photo or a plant is fine but twenty of your favorite stuffed animal, not so appropriate. Your work space is not a storage locker, there needs to be room to actually work not store files.
►Don’t eat at your desk…last night’s delicious curry may not be as appealing to your neighbour.
►Please don‘t come to work sick…REALLY. That’s why you have sick days. You are not doing anyone a favor by showing up, except perhaps your cat.
►Don’t immediately blame the IT Department for your computer not working. Do some basic checks yourself i.e. re-boot your computer and check for loose cables, then call IT
►There are 3 things that will waste more time that you could ever imagine… so avoid them like the plague!
- Change the type of coffee used in the staff room
- Take a coworkers parking spot
- Move or tidy a co-workers desk
Leaning a new corporate culture is tricky. I asked several friends who have moved around a lot their advice and unanimously they said watch what other staff do i.e. how do staff interact with each other, how noisy is the work room, where do they take their breaks, how do they respond to a complaint?
They also suggested:
►Always say Good Morning to co-workers, it is universally appropriate and if you are grumpy, you will feel better. On the flip side, if you are having a bad day, simply tell your co-workers, they will understand and appreciate the heads up. Of course donuts the next day can’t hurt!
►You can never overuse the words Please and Thank you.
►Please wash your hands lots. If you work at a public desk or share a computer or phone …it’s essential.
- Be polite…you can’t take it back…..if in doubt, delete and start over
- Please respond to all emails, even if it’s just an OK or Thanks
- Be brief. If the issue is really complex pick up the phone!
►HR staff: please respond ASAP to all questions from staff and job applicants. It is simply appropriate and demonstrates the library’s commitment to excellent internal and external customer service.
Library land is changing quicker than ever and so is the work place, but consideration for your co-workers will never go out of fashion.
Kitty Pope #7 February 2014
PS If you have any other do’s or don’ts, I’d love to hear about them….kp