On a + note


What makes a great library worker? #6: 2013

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on February 11, 2013

kitty#53Over the years, I’ve written a lot about what makes a great library, but until now, I have never written about what makes a great library worker.

Library workers – from the boss to the Sunday staff – need to:

► Be passionate about libraries. They should sing our praises and tell our story again and again and again.

► Be inquisitive. They are driven by lifelong learning and ready to research any question,

to embrace new technologies,  and to enjoy the adventure again and again.

► Remain fleet and flexible. Priorities in the library of 2013 change at the drop of a hat, and staff members need to adjust quickly to our changing world.

► Have patience. If you have worked with a board or on a circulation desk, you know what I mean.

► Be team players. If there is one thing library workers around the world do really well, it’s working together to accomplish great things. We are great team players.

► Want to make a difference in the lives of our customers.  We can’t make folks want to work with the public; either they like to or they don’t. Libraries need to consciously hire employees who really like to work with the public.

► Believe in the intrinsic good of people.

► Be positive, smile, and say “thank you” 100 times a day!

I add that great librarians:

► have the courage to stand up and lead.

► possess great communication skills…verbal and digital.

► innovate and seek out new and better ways of doing things.

► utilize great marketing skills to keep libraries front-of-mind and relevant.

► embrace the necessity of change to assure that libraries survive.

And, above all, great library workers need to have an indelible sense of humor. If you do not see the fun and inspiration in library work, this may not be the best career for you.

To all those library workers who are passionate, inquisitive, patient, positive, and know how to laugh, I applaud you and your commitment to making a difference. It is because of you that libraries are great.

Kitty Pope                                                                                               #6 February 2013

kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

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5 Responses to 'What makes a great library worker? #6: 2013'

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  1. Katie Saunders said,

    Thank you to the fleet, flexible team players who slogged it into work on a snow day and phoned more than 100 Book Lovers event guests. Much appreciated!

  2. Linda Aloi said,

    GPL is a great system with great workers with great attitudes. I applaud all of you.

  3. Fifi_Ryan said,

    Reblogged this on Journey Reflections and commented:
    As a new/ student/ learning librarian (do we have a special name?) I found this an incredibly succint post. I can identify with several of her points, which basically affirms my choice of a new career and encourages me to work on the points I have issues with. Take a read and let me know your own thoughts 🙂
    Take care and remember to love who you are!


  4. […] What makes a great library worker? #6: 2013 | On a + note. […]


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