Core Values – First Post Wednesday, Jun 18 2008 

In my May 16 post I promised to discuss the Library’s core values. As it is now mid June the time has come to deliver on that promise.

What is a value? The Free Dictionary defines a value as “a principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable”. This is as good a definition as any. In reality, a value is something that is held in high regard or esteem by an institution or individual. Values drive anything that an institution or individual does whether they are stated or unstated.

In committing to a set of values the Williamsburg Regional Library is declaring the institutional basis for its programs and services.

The current Williamsburg Regional Library strategic plan lists seven core values. They are :

  • We value free and confidential access to information.
  • We value all residents in our community.
  • We value a literate community.
  • We value strength found in diversity.
  • We value our staff.
  • We value ethical, fiscally responsible stewardship of public resources.
  • We value working cooperatively with groups in our community.

In this post I will briefly discuss the first four of these values, leaving the last three for a later post.

We value free and confidential access to information – The Library’s mission statement indicates “free access to information is a foundation of democracy”. In fulfilling our mission statement the Library supports the right of residents to select the information appropriate for their individual needs. Access to this information is not restricted, except where required by law, and the library through its confidentiality policy and procedures ensures that this access will be remain private.

We value all residents in our community – The Library pledges to provide each individual with courteous, respectful, and friendly service. We value individuals input regarding all that we do. I enjoy receiving “Ask the Director” Comment Cards and have had many delightful (and to be honest, some not so delightful) discussions with individuals as a result. As we look into future revisions of our strategic plan this value may be clarified to define community to being the residents of our funding jurisdictions. As recent events have shown, the Library is not able to provide full service to non-residents of our funding jurisdictions.

We value a literate community – As our strategic plan indicates, “Literacy is important to the successful functioning of a democratic society”. It is also essential to the successful operation of a public library. Without literate users, libraries cease to exist. Through all our programs, services and collections the Library promotes lifelong literacy. One of my community services, as mentioned in an earlier post, is serving on the board of a local adult literacy provider. This service has given me an increased awareness of the value of literacy to both individuals and society at large.

We value strength found in diversity – Our community is a diverse community embracing many cultures, values, and lifestyles. The adult literacy provider mentioned above had as students in the past year individuals from 50 countries speaking 32 different languages. Each summer brings many international student workers to the library on a regular basis. Through personal interactions with the many members of our community we are enriched and become a stronger and more vital institution.

So long for now!

Programming Thursday, Jun 5 2008 

Thanks to wonderful community support and an outstanding staff, the Williamsburg Regional Library is known for the variety and excellence of its program offerings. The Dewey Decibal Concerts are completing another successful season. Patrick Golden, Program Services Director is hard at work on next season’s concert schedule. Patrick will post new concerts on the site as they are confirmed. Each year it is a delight to see new talented groups grace the auditorium stage as well as welcome old favorites back for another exciting evening’s performance.

Over the years Williamsburg Regional Library has been host to many exhibits on a wide variety of topics. These high quality exhibits have covered subjects as diverse as jazz, women in Virginia and George Washington. Beginning in June, the Library will be on of 40 sites in the country and one of two public libraries in Virginia to host a traveling exhibit on Alexander Hamilton. The exhibit will be available from June 26 to August 8 at the James City County Library on Croaker Road in Norge. Thanks go to Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library for funding the exhibit and the programming associated with it.

Our Youth Services Division is nationally known for the quality and variety of its program offerings. Regular story hours are held at both library locations. Our summer reading program mentioned in an earlier post is a highlight of the season for children and parents alike. The program calendar for this summer’s activities includes a one-man band, a ballet, and a wide variety of storytimes and crafts.

Our Adult Services Division has a popular Thursday afternoon film series as well as a Third Thursday program.

The Outreach Division provides programming for individuals who can not come to the library. This programming is provided to preschools, child care centers and continuing care facilities. Programming includes story-hours, book talks and holiday themed events.

Thus, when you think of the Library remember that quality programming is an essential part of what we offer to the community.

So long for now!