LJ Library of the Year
Library Journal has announced that San Diego County is their Library of the Year. Take some time to take a look at the article that explains their win. It’s definitely worth a read.
For me, as a library manager and leader, I took great satisfaction in seeing the way that their director Jose Aponte faced budget cuts and the results of him standing by his staff:
The use of SDCL has exploded despite budget cuts of 30 percent over the past three years. The staff of 290 have been energized by a management team and style under Aponte that empowers them to take risks, come up with new ideas, and offer levels of service that meet people’s needs and solve their problems. Aponte’s decision to manage the budget cuts through staff attrition and reductions in other resources, rather than layoffs, has paid off in creativity and teamwork.
You can see that it all comes down to Aponte’s inclusive approach:
“We believe staff should be able to serve anywhere, anytime in the library system,” Aponte says. That has translated to encouraging staff to pitch in where they can and to risk initiating programs and services without fear of disapproval if they don’t always work out. The SDCL director believes good relations with the staff and unions are “paramount to success.”
There are many more factors to his success, including technology and life-changing programs done in collaboration with organizations. But for me, it is the inclusive, open and risk-welcoming approach that makes all of it possible.