I’ve been thinking a lot about all the ways that library professionals contribute to their communities– and the importance of talking about this work and sharing the stories of the people who make it happen. Whether the “hidden labor” of ensuring library collections are accessible, the support provided to make a course project come to life, or developing unique community programs – how can we more intentionally share and celebrate our many accomplishments?
At our library, we’ve developed some informal (and fun!) ways to internally recognize one another’s good work, such as creating a “Kudos” channel on SLACK where team members can give each other timely shout-outs. We also have a “Glitter Wand of Appreciation” (which has also been substituted with a “sparkle bunny” when the glitter wand is lost!) that we pass around to one another on on regular basis.
These small gestures are not hard to implement; it’s just a matter of taking the time to pause and be intentional about sharing appreciation for one another.
This year, we’re adding a series of peer-nominated awards to the recognition program. My hope is that the awards program can help amplify the seen and unseen work of the library– as well as demonstrate how we in the library contribute to the college’s primary purpose of helping students “develop humane instincts and disciplined, creative minds for lives of leadership and service.” The library’s enduring values of Inclusion, Discovery, Openness, Engagement, and Stewardship are foundational to supporting this mission and guide us along the way.
The new “Library Excellence Award Program” will recognize both individual and group accomplishments that exemplify what it means to live into our enduring values as an organization. Our values, developed during our 2018-2019 strategic planning process, include:
o Inclusion – We value, honor, and respect the dignity of all persons. We stand against racism and commit ourselves to the building of a more just and humane future. We provide a safe, respectful, and inclusive space for our community.
o Discovery - We value the community’s discovery of ideas and creation of knowledge. We foster curiosity through our resources and services, and embrace innovation in learning and scholarship.
o Openness – We value diversity of thought and provide resources that represent multiple perspectives. We encourage open scholarship in service to equitable access to information for all.
o Engagement - We value deep engagement with the curriculum and the work of our community. We collaborate with partners across campus to facilitate teaching, learning, and research. We develop programming to amplify marginalized voices and promote justice and understanding.
o Stewardship – We value the curation and preservation of information in all forms. We develop diverse print and digital collections that support the curriculum and provide a truthful record of our complicated history. We respect Davidson’s resources by making responsible use of our budget, time, and space.
I’ll be announcing the awards at our annual “Our Library Conference” (a really great program that our team developed to share details about our work and celebrate the success of the academic year) on May 18. Five “Lived Values Awards” (one for each value) will be presented to individuals or teams, and include professional development funds of $500 for each award. Awarded funds can be used for professional development opportunities or materials (books, software, technology tools) outside of allotted team funds.
There will also be Individual awards in the following categories:
Leading Change Award: Recipients of the Leading Change Award inspire and engage others to work towards our goals for the library. They model our workplace agreements and serve as strong catalysts for organizational change. The recipient of this award will receive $500 in professional development funds. Awarded funds can be used for professional development opportunities or materials (books, software, technology tools) outside of allotted team funds. In addition, the recipient of this award will receive $250 to select and purchase something for the library that has potential to improve daily work-life for the entire team.
Amazing Colleague Award: Recipients of the Amazing Colleague Award model excellence in all that they do– not only through their consistent high standards of work but in the kindness, empathy, and respect they show to their colleagues. Their presence makes the library– and all of Davidson College– a better place for all. The recipient of this award will receive $500 in professional development funds professional development opportunities or materials (books, software, technology tools) outside of allotted team funds. In addition, the recipient of this award will receive an additional $250 in funds to sponsor a team-building event.
I’ve been collecting nominations over the last few weeks and can’t wait to share the inspiring stories shared by our colleagues. Stay tuned for more details in the coming days.