It's a library, not a prison!

Posted by jlubans on April 23, 2011  •  Leave comment (0)

I led my Customer Service workshop for 20 staff members of the University of Latvia Library on April 22nd. The title of this blog entry comes from the debrief of one of the activities, Bibliofoon. One of questions on the debrief worksheet was:
"3. If you bent some of the rules to satisfy the customer, are you OK with doing that? Would you do the same in your job? Would you permit your subordinates to do the same?"
My suggestion that bending the rules for the user was an ethical violation brought forth an indignant: "It's a library, not a prison!" Now, that's the kind of response I look for in every workshop, someone's taking a stand and saying it loud and clear.
The customer/reader set her goal as 15 books (balls) delivered to
20110423-delivering to cust.jpeg
her in 8 minutes. The delivery team exceeded the customer's goal by delivering 17, even while introducing a new twist on what to do with the inevitable dropped books/balls: send them back to the warehouse via the conveyor belt. That meant delaying the books going to the user. Even with this extra load, they exceeded the customer's expectations!
And, the distance between the warehouse and the reader in this version was probably the longest I have set up along a U shaped course. Everyone was about saving the time of the user.
20110423-the reader waits.jpeg

Review in Information Today

Posted by jlubans on April 11, 2011  •  Leave comment (0)

20110411-logo.gif"Dealing With the Changing Library Workplace"
by Gwen M Gregory, is a lengthy, highly insightful and positive review of Leading from the Middle.
The review appears in the issue of "Information Today" dated
March 1 2011. If I can put up a link to the Information Today full text, I will, and if not, I'll paste in Ms. Gregory's full review in this space. In the meantime, my link is to a secondary source with the full text.

As a side note, I did not expect the number of reviews the book has gotten. A recent experience I had with a book to which I contributed a chapter suggested there would be maybe one or two reviews at best. My point of reference was a good book, and yet it got only one or two mentions.
Leading from the Middle has had a different exposure, one pleasing to any author who wants to see his work acknowledged and shared.

B2E (edible books 2011) teams presentations, April 1

Posted by jlubans on April 02, 2011  •  Leave comment (0)

The Books2Eat event was the first major team project for my students. I continue in my pleasant surprise at these Latvian teams' work ethic, their imaginative application of team concepts, (and their culinary skills!) I had high hopes for this activity as a way to build teams and to display the productivity of teams. The result makes me wonder if some of the teamwork problems I have encountered in some classrooms, some workshops, some workplaces is more a matter of culture than anything else. If bright people believe they can get along and do great things, they do. Or, the positive outcomes so far may have been influenced by my covering from the first day to present various theories and elements of effective team work. I am not sure. There's a slight unease for the leader when he encounters, up close and personal, Lao Tzu's much quoted, rarely understood, aphorism: "The great leader is he about whom the team having succeeded, says, 'We did it ourselves!'"
So, a series of pictures of the teams doing it themselves: