If your organization is anything like the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL), it is nearly impossible to get the staff together in one place at one time; even a small staff. That is why ELPL has committed to have two staff in-service days per year. I love staff in-service days because they are an opportunity for the staff to come together for an entire day to connect; plan; get energized; brainstorm and to celebrate successes. It is a chance to have conversations with every level of staff about the library’s initiatives, sometimes with a facilitator and sometimes not.
ELPL had our first of two staff in-service days for fiscal year 2018 on September 29, 2017. It was a full day of developing our core values; technology training; and security training. We used the day to do a soft kick-start to our strategic planning process. Throughout the first half of the day, staff developed the library’s core values. Staff broke into small groups and discussed a series of questions including:
- How do you want people to think about the library?
- What business is our library in?
- Why are we doing what we are doing?
After brainstorming these questions in small groups, each group reported out their descriptions, and quickly similar words and phrases formed. From these lists of words and phrases, the staff chose four core values to exemplify their work; the role of the library; and the feel of the library, while keeping ELPL’s vision and mission statements in mind. The core values of the East Lansing Public Library developed by the staff are:
After the staff fleshed out the core values, the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees reviewed them. The Board and the staff worked together to define what each of the core values means to the library. As we approach our second staff in-service day on April 27, 2018, the Board and staff continue to develop the library’s next strategic plan.