Message from Library Director Carolyn Rawles-Heiser
January / February 2006
I recently attended a training session on improving communication across generations. The younger generations of Gen X (born 1964-1981) and Gen Next (born 1981-2000) are having an impact on the workplace, and the audience of mostly baby boomers learned about our younger colleagues and what makes them tick. These younger staffers value work-life balance and change; they of course have lots of technological knowhow.
This session got me thinking about the contributions of the Librarys younger employees. As we have hired more librarians in their 20s and 30s, the Library has made some positive changes. Our teen program is rejuvenated thanks to two of our Gen X librarians, offering video game and movie nights, poetry slams, a teen book club, and materials that teens love but that sometimes push the envelope for adults. We now have a very cool kids web page using flash technology which is visually appealing and fun for kids, while leading them to reliable and helpful information, thanks to one of our younger librarians. We are working to implement an online calendaring system for information on library events and meeting room availability because of the efforts of some of our younger staff. We are participating in a national study about integrating reading and technology for middle schoolers because of the enthusiasm of one of our staff. Our Friends online book selling and ongoing honor book shelves were started on the suggestion of a Gen-X staffer, who realized the financial possibilities for the Friends with these new services, showed them how to set it up, and held their hands while they got started.
It will be fascinating to see what libraries look like in the future as these two generations move into management and supervisory roles. I cant wait to watch them from my rocking chair!