Changing Your Library’s Caustic Culture with Kindness (and Coffee)

Joyce Garczynski is the Assistant University Librarian for Development & Communications at Towson University’s Albert S. Cook Library. In this role she teaches journalism students about the research process, manages her library’s social media, and raises money for her library. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2009 and has a Master’s in Communication from the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania. She also authored a book titled, “Fundraising: How to Raise Money for Your Library Using Social Media” and co-authored “Fundraising for Academic Libraries: A Practical Guide for Librarians” which is being published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2020 .
How would you describe your library’s staff culture? Would you use words like indifferent, unfriendly, or even hostile? With so much work to do and fewer staff members to do it, many libraries face challenges when it comes to information sharing. It’s easy for managers to miss what’s going on outside of their own departments and for front line staff to feel unrecognized for their accomplishments. This can create divides and resentment, which can destroy a library’s culture.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

In this lightning talk, the presenter will share how she sought to break down her library’s siloed culture by creating a Shining Star program. This inexpensive initiative rewards staff members not only for their going above and beyond, but also for recognizing the great work done by their colleagues. This session will begin with the audience sharing some of the cultural challenges that they face and then the presenter will discuss how she successfully developed and implemented this Shining Star program at her library.

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