July 10, 2014

Staff Association @ Work

Question:  I see the staff association is busy preparing for our first event. I am confused though because I understood that being on this team meant volunteering your time. Being a member meant donating your money. And the events are scheduled when the library is closed. Why are the team members meeting and working on this event on city time?


Answer by Neva White, Library Staff Association:  Formation of an All Staff Association will be an important tool in getting staff members from around the library system to get to know each, learn about each other's work, and work more as a system. Because Eva Poole recognizes that this can only lead to more effective working situations and relationships, she has approved work time for the formation of the team.  Events are held outside of working hours so that the maximum number of library employees can have the opportunity to attend them. You'll be happy to know that this team has been very efficient in use of work time and in three meetings has drafted a charter, developed cash handling processes, formed job descriptions for board members, researched non-profit organizations, and has planned an opening event that will be free of charge to employees. It is our hope that everyone can recognize that a small amount of work time spent to pull us all together as a team is certainly time well spent.


15 comments:

  1. I think the summer picnic sounds like a wonderful event that Neva's team has put together, and my family, friends, and I are looking forward to a fun event. From the emails that I have received recently, 3 meetings to get all of that work done is phenomenal. I am shocked, however, that their team is being criticized for working hard for events for US. I am sure once they have all read this, they will realize how some people in our system will always be dissatisfied, no matter what the issue may be. Instead of criticizing them, you should be praising them for trying to bring us closer together, instead of pushing us further apart.

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    1. Simply asking a question to clarify our understanding of a newly formed team and how it works is not criticism. The answer that was provided was very acceptable and the team’s efforts are appreciated. We should also appreciate the staff that covers for the team members when they are occupied with Staff Association Team business.

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    2. You should appreciate the staff that covered/s for you to write anonymous posts on VBPL Talks at 8:17 in the morning on a Wednesday :)

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  2. Why is TCC staff being included in the Library Association? This is for VBPL Library staff not TCC staff. Are we being invited to all of TCC events? Is there a reason why we can't have something of our own without TCC staff. Just because we share a building doesn't mean we have to include them in City events. TCC are not City employees. There needs to be some separation here. I for one feel that TCC staff have their own events that do not include all of libraries so why is it we feel we must include them in ours? If JUL want to include them in there own events that is wonderful. But, for library (VBPL) events they should not be invited.

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    1. Why would it matter? We wouldn't be able to tell who is who when we are actually at events. The partnership estabilished between VBPL and TCC would only benefit, would it not?

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    2. The relationship between TCC and VBPL at JUL is a unique situation, and it includes a true sense of collaboration, meaning WE, not Us and Them. It is a great idea to invite our colleagues at JUL to a social gathering to foster this wonderful rapport.

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    3. The formation team brought up the issue of including TCC Virginia Beach Campus Library staff in the association since they work in the JUL. It was voted on, and it was decided that they could join the association, and, thus, come to the picnic. Personally, I find it disheartening that all VBPL Staff Members would not be interested in meeting all staff members who work in our buildings. The entire goal of the Staff Association is to bring us together as a library department, and TCC staff work with our customers each and every day. - Neva White

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  3. I've been part of the leadership and membership of a Staff Association in another library system and what our Staff Association is doing is standard practice. These groups can have different purposes; some are designed to foster morale and teamwork and focus on social gatherings, others are more political and serve as go-betweens for staff and administration. In either case these groups are library-sanctioned work groups and as such can conduct business on work time. As Neva explained, the social events need to occur after hours in order to get any meaningful participation. I just want to add that I don't think I've ever seen a new work group of any kind get such a fast, productive start! Nice job everyone!

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  4. Well I guess we should invite ComIT, ESI, Fire, Police, Human Services, Public Works etc... who would know at the actual event. It would only benefit would it not?

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    1. It sounded like it was for VBPL and the TCC library staff, not their entire campus.

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  5. I (Susan Marziani) am personally looking forward to a fun day with my co-workers! However, I don't see information in the invite reminder about an alternate date in case of rain? See Everyone There!

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    1. Fortunately chance of rain for tomorrow is only 10%, so it looks like all will be good! - Neva White

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  6. A big THANK YOU to the Staff Association for a terrific event this afternoon. All your hard work and efforts are greatly appreciated!

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  7. I have worked in several different library systems over the past few years and I have to say, despite some of the negativity that has surrounded this organization, I have never worked in a library system that is so supportive of it's employees. We are lucky to work in a system that allows employee recognition and encourages socialization amongst its employees (after hours of course). I assure you that this isn't the norm. This is why I joined the Staff Association formation team - I wanted to give back to a system that has been so wonderful to me in my one year here. I assure you that in the three short 2-hour meetings we have had over the past few weeks there has been nothing but productive conversation about how we can make VBPL a more friendlier environment that supports and recognizes ALL employees associated with VBPL, including the JUL staff. Thank you to everyone who came out yesterday and made the first event such a success!

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  8. Thank YOU for coming out and helping to make the first event so successful! We all look forward to seeing everyone at the next event! -Kari Welch

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