How Much Am I Worth as an Employee If I Have Computer Skills - DOC

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					TO:           SWFLN Board of Directors

FROM:         JRV


DATE:         October 20, 2009

Where to begin?

First, I am excited to be here. I didn’t realize how much work there is to do. But that is
OK, since I’m here to work!

Second, I pledge to you that I will be candid and honest and share any and all
information – unless there is a particular moral or legal imperative not to do so. And I
appreciate your doing the same with me. Honest information is the coin of the realm for
effective management.

I do not feel comfortable when people tell me things but ask me not to repeat them or to
quote them. Except in the rarest instances (when there is a moral or legal imperative) I
will not ask you to do so with information I share with you.

My first two-and-a-half weeks have been a whirlwind of activity – and of learning.

My out-of-the-office schedule so far has been:

   Thursday, August 27             Meeting with MLC directors and Dale Patchett

   Friday, August 28               Meeting with MLC directors and State Library

   Tuesday, September 8            Meeting with President-Elect Sheldon Kaye

   Monday, October 5               Meeting with President Kay Oistad

   Tuesday, October 6              Drive to Tallahassee

   Wednesday, October 7            New Director’s Meeting with State officials

   Thursday, October 8             Public Library Director’s Meeting

   Friday, October 9               Public Library Director’s Meeting
                                   Meeting with Charlie Parker, Bill Conniff, and Dale
                                   Patchett regarding State funding

                                   Return drive from Tallahassee to Naples

   Tuesday, October 13             Visit with Angie Patteson and staff at Charlotte
                                   County Library System (Mid-County Regional and
                                   Punta Gorda branches)

   Wednesday, October 14           Visit with Margaret Mohundro and staff at Sanibel
                                   Public Library

                                   Visit with Leroy Hommerding at Fort Myers Beach
                                   Public Library

   Thursday, October 15            Meeting with Gerald Franz at Hodges University

   Friday, October 16              Visit with Barbara Oeffner and staff at Willie Frank
                                   Memorial Seminole Tribal Library in Big Cypress

                                   Visit Collier County Public Library South County
                                   Regional Library in preparation for Annual Meeting

   Monday, October 19              Meeting with Carolynn Volz

I have had discussions with a number of member library directors and staff members –
in person and by phone. Not everything I have heard has been positive. In the next few
months I intend to address these issues and to report to you as I do.

I hope to visit all of the member libraries (with the possible exception of those in Monroe
County) by Thanksgiving – to learn as much as I can so SWFLN can serve its members
as well as possible. I hope to get to Monroe County before the end of the year.

Some of the issues we face:

      SWFLN-FGCU Relationship and Memorandum of Agreement

      Communication
         o Internal communication
                Staff: I believe each employee (JRV, Luly, and Lee) should know
                  where each of us is and what we are doing to contribute to the
                  benefit of SWFLN. Apparently that has not been the case in the
                  recent past. I hope from now on we will be able to communicate
                  better. SWFLN will succeed or fail only with a staff that is
                  empowered and works together as a team. One of my prime tasks
                  is to engender that spirit.
                 Board – Executive Director: All relevant information should be
                  shared by all parties. This is a key to mutual respect and good
                  managerial practice. As a way to keep staff involved and the Board
                  informed, I have invited Ms. Castro and Mr. LeBlanc to make short
                  reports (as part of the Director’s Report) at each meeting –
                  beginning today.

       o External communication
             Update website
             CE programming
             Site visits
             Creation of attractive brochure for prospective members and

   Continuing Education: CE seems to rank high on everyone’s “wish list.” But
    there is less agreement regarding topics and how CE opportunities should be
    publicized and delivered. The challenge of providing continuing education in this
    current environment is an issue for all Florida’s MLCs. Everyone agrees it is a
    priority, but there is a lot of disagreement regarding what and how it should be
        o Face to face vs. online
        o Topics: supervision, emerging technologies, doing more with less,
            innovative services, computer skills

   Future Funding for MLCs: This is a serious issue. The Governor’s current
    2010-11 budget has no funding for MLCs. I have been in contact with the other
    MLC directors regarding this issue. I have met on two separate occasions with
    some of the MLC directors and lobbyist Dale Patchett. There is much work to do.
    As happened last Spring, it appears we will have to storm Tallahassee again if
    there is to be any hope of being funded.

   Attracting New Members: I see as one of my tasks attracting new member
    libraries. In order to do so, I may at the next meeting ask the Board to cut first-
    year (only) dues in half to attract new members. That will give us a year to prove
    our worth. If you know of any prospective members, please suggest them to me.
      Board of Directors: Finally, I want to make something clear to the Board. I
       worked for an elected Board of Trustees for twenty-five years. At times it was a
       politically charged atmosphere. The library’s trustees and I didn’t always agree
       but respected each other and valued candid, open, honest dialogue. I am
       confident that will be the case here at SWFLN.

       I have been on both sides of the Board – Executive Director equation. I have
       served on numerous Boards – as an elected member of a Board of Education,
       state and local library associations, youth centers, youth sports, service clubs,
       etc. I know, value and respect what Boards can accomplish. Ultimately, I view
       my job at SWFLN as working for you to the advantage of the member libraries. I
       will seek your advice on substantive matters. I will seek your consent when
       policy and/or good management practice call for it. All I ask in return is that you
       bring your questions and concerns to my attention as soon as they arise.

As I have mentioned to a number of you recently, I accepted this position because I
value what SWFLN can provide to its member libraries. And library service has been an
abiding passion of mine since my youth.

I look forward to working with all of you, and with Luly and Lee to make SWFLN the best
it can be.

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