Over Labor Day my wife and I visited with with family in the Midwest. Our grandson just turned two and is a delightful young man (it would take several columns to tell you how delightful). During our visit he demonstrated mastery of the word “mine”. At this stage in language development heavy use of “mine” is normal.  I remember our three children as they worked through this stage and how important this concept was at this time in their lives. As growth continues “mine” will be less of a prompt response to everything around our grandson.

As I returned to work and began dealing with grandson withdrawal, I thought further on this topic. Sometimes, as an administrator, I feel that we need to have some of that childlike adherence to “mine” when we see situations that we should be a part of but decline to be involved. In my years as an administrator I have lost count of the times I have heard “That is not my responsibility”; “That is not in my job description”; “Why should I assist (place name here) with that?”

Library work, as with any organizational employment, is a team effort. Each of us has basic work expectations and responsibilities as outlined in our job description. A good job description however, should contain the phrase “other duties and responsibilities as required”. This is where “mine” comes in. When we see something that needs to be done, be willing to be a part of the solution. In other words make it “mine”.

The Williamsburg Regional Library is in the midst of an excellent example of staff making it “mine”. Recently we have had an unusual number of shelvers leave. Thus, the re-shelving of returned materials has become backlogged. This is a problem as our standard of service includes prompt replacement of returned material to the collection.  We also have minimal space for material storage. In response, staff from other library areas are pitching in to assist our shelving staff until new staff are hired and trained. We have established a “cart a day” assistance program. As a participant in this effort, I have learned things about our collection that I normally would not have. I am also reminded of the importance of each of us to the successful operation of the Library.

What around you should you consider making “mine”? Think about it?

So long for now!

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