29 June, 2009

Why do people love meetings?

I am not a fan of the meeting, even less of the unnecessary meeting and as such, finding myself managing a library in which I am the only full time employee and one of only 4 permanent employees. Well, I figured we wouldn't be needing a lot of meetings, after all, we will see each other often, we will know what everyone else does...

I mean, I was ready for senior faculty meetings. Without those how would I know what is going on in each of the different schools and I need to know that so I can ensure my planning creates a library which matches the needs of the different lecturers and their students. Plus it does my ego good to know I am considered Senior Faculty and what is good for my ego is good for everyone.

But in the library I would rather do things over a coffee and a gossip. Which in a library this size I feel should work better than a meeting does, after all I am the only person who is in every day. And I (should) talk to everyone when they are in, plus my door is not only always open but my office is in fact the corridor between the staff workroom and the library. Unfortunately a couple of my staff don't feel that they can work that way, so after much uming and flapping around I decided that it was worth instigating a monthly meeting in order to keep people happy. So far I don't feel that any of these meetings have achieved anything of significance, but then that could be because the library manager is a reluctant participant in these meetings?

Well, at present we are overdue a meeting (I was away when we should have had the last one) and the next one will coincide with my other two librarians being on leave (holidays for one, conference for the other). Still, no excuses this is the new improved ADHD librarian, I shall have a meeting and I shall achieve something in in (any suggestions what I should achieve?)


Global Librarian said...

I ran into the same situation when I was managing a branch library several years ago.

I would start the meeting by covering any topics that needed to be discussed. (Generally info about what was happening at the management level within the library system and any small issues the cropped up.)

Then I would do a brief educational workshop or team building exercise.

I also started a monthly staff recognition prize to award a staff member who went "above and beyond" in customer service that month. The prize was a simple trophy that got passed from staff member to staff member each month. Huge benefit is that our library's customer service improved greatly because they all competed with each other to get it each month! (I had a staff of 25. This might be harder with a staff of 4.)

The monthly meeting never lasted more than 1 hour. Staff really appreciated the effort and frequently liked what they learned. I think it made them feel important and valued when I spent the time to plan a meeting specifically for them every month.

Anonymous said...

Can you have a coffee and gossip meeting? Possibly doughnuts as well? Then you could perhaps achieve a sense of camaraderie and a bit of weight gain.
Andrea, aka Loud Librarian
(too lazy to remember what my google account is)