Creating an Engaged Community within the Library
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The Iowa State University (ISU) Library began a self-examination and rebuilding process under the guidance of the interim dean in the late summer of 2014. Library staff met with cultural consultants who helped us to understand who we are, what we have in common, what makes us different, and where we can make improvements. Since then, we have started to create a culture of transparency, tolerance, and unity. In the Library’s recently revised Five Year Strategic Plan, there is a section called “A Superior Staff Experience.” Under this category are two goals of “Agile Organizational Structure” and “Healthy Culture.” Inherent in these goals is the ideal of a community of library employees who have a shared vision, a set of common goals, and mutual respect for each other. One way that libraries can create this sense of community would be to provide opportunities to learn about each employee from a work perspective and a personal perspective. The ISU Library has several ways that staff can gather and share interests and information about themselves. Some of our activities have been around for decades such as the Library Staff Association and Librarian Assembly (former Library Faculty). Other activities are new including Board Game Lunches, SpeedShare, and Summer Stretch Camp. Some activities have ceased only to return again in slightly different forms such as Strategic Planning Groups, Ides of Craft and Journal Club. Still others existed and disappeared as interest waned as in the case of the Library’s Book Club and Jigsaw Puzzling. All of these activities have one common goal of creating an engaged community within the library.
This article is from Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today's Leaders. 13 (2016). Posted with permission.