Monday, March 31, 2014

The "Welcome Kit" committee

This blog post was written by Rebekah Ray, Library Manager at Lillian Marrero Library regarding our attempts to make it easier to move between the cluster libraries when necessary.

In early discussions about how the cluster model might enhance our work in North Philadelphia, we talked about the goal of moving between our libraries more effectively, and with more enjoyment.   We already shared staff to keep our libraries open, and we wanted to make this experience less stressful, and even fun.  We also wanted to encourage sharing the talent of our library workers among the neighborhood libraries.  We formed a committee to explore how to better define this goal, and then how to make it happen.
The committee is called “The Welcome Kit” committee.  At our first meeting, and in follow-up discussions, this is what we came up with:

The welcome Kit for each Neighborhood Library will include:
  • A floor plan map with location of materials.
  • A job description for visiting staff by job category.
  • A list of recommended nearby food vendors.
  • A supply of coffee/tea/sweetener/milk and canned soup and other long keep snacks maintained by the local staff, with an invitation to use them.
The schedule of activities and plans for the day will be updated and displayed, and part of the orientation.

Visiting staff will be welcomed and oriented by the person who meets them first, or that person will introduce the visiting staff to the person who will orient if they are urgently occupied.  It is the responsibility of all staff to welcome visiting staff.

At the Cluster meeting where this plan was presented, staff commented how important it is to be welcomed and oriented, and know what is expected, and where things are located.  Because staff have gotten better acquainted at our monthly cluster meetings, when we need to go to another cluster library, we are not only seeing familiar people, but we are better able to help our customers because we know where things are.

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