Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tomorrow is my two month anniversary for my new position. I'm still waiting for them to hire a manager for the 2nd branch that I supervise. The only answer I've gotten so far regarding the hiring process is, "It takes time." Meanwhile, I'm in limbo. I'm the manager of the 2nd branch, but not really. Their District Manager works in the branch on Mondays. A patron put up a fuss last week because she had received a notice in the mail regarding overdue books. The patron claims that she and her son returned the books on January 3rd. That was one of the bussiest days for processing returned books. The technician who helped the woman cleared her library record of the charges, because the books were found on the shelves(by her, not us.) That wasn't enough, she insisted on speaking to the Branch Manager, not the woman's supervisor. When I walked out of the staff room and approached the woman, there was a brief momment where I saw shock in her eyes. She managed to snap back real quick. She gave her version of the events. I told her that if she was still unhappy with the service at our branch, she could submit a complaint form. That wasn't enough either, because she told me that she wanted someone to personally follow-up on her complaint. I then said that I would attach a letter to the complaint. The letter would be sent to the District Manager. While the woman completed the complaint form, I sat down to compose the letter. As I was typing, the woman said, "Oh, I don't mean to make such a fuss." I thought, yes you do. You just didn't realize that the Branch Manager is a black woman. This week, I've had my first two experiences with the patron who calls and ask you if a DVD is in your library. After you search for the DVD, she then says that she doesn't want to reserve it. She did that twice today. She did it yesterday, Saturday, and Friday. The staff informed me that this was the patron's pattern in the past. It got so bad that upper management spoke with the patron. She could only visit one branch as a result. I guess she feels that enough time has gone by, she can resume her previous behavior.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
Yesterday one of the teen girls who attends the afterschool program inside of the Boys&Girls Club stole two teen magazines from their protective covers. Lucky for me and unlucky for her, I have a friend who works with the afterschool program. I told my friend to be on the lookout for two magazines(Word Up & Right On.) I received a text at 7:30 yesterday evening, the magazines had been recovered and the girl lied to the end. Today, 30 minutes after we opened, a woman came into the library with two toddlers and a 9 year old. She said that she was leaving them in the library while she went to Zumba. I explained to her that we aren't babysitters. She said that her 9yr old would be responsible for the two younger girls. The mother also told me that the Zumba instructor announced this morning that children were no longer allowed to "Family Zumba Class." No one thought to call the library, they just told the parents, "Drop your kids off at the library." I went down to the front desk and asked to speak to whoever was in charge. I gave him a copy of the Library Guidelines, and highlighted the sentence that says children under 8 years of age aren't allowed in the library without a parent or another responsible individual. We have 8 chairs for patrons, 2 30-minute computer stations, and two 15-minute computer stations. by 10:40 a.m., all seats were full and there were children standing around. Another parent entered the library with her son and tried to drop him off. I told her that the library was too crowded and there weren't any chairs available. She then asked, "So, you're telling me that we have to leave?" I asked, "Do you plan to stay with your child?" She said no, and I told her that they would have to leave. After she left with her child, another employee of the club approached me in the library. He asked me what could they do so that more children could fit into the library? Could they bring more chairs? I told him no, because more chairs would mean that people wouldn't be able to walk around and it was already crowded. 11:30a.m. rolled around and the parents began arriving to pick-up their children. Did they enter the library quietly and retrieve their children......That would be a definite NO! They were half-way to the entrance of the library and began yelling for their children. The Boys & Girls Club Staff tried to reassure that this was the first and only Satruday that this would happen. I am not convinced. The Zumba Class has been free so far, but they said that effective Januray 28th there will be a fee. They expect that the class participation will change drastically, once a fee is in place.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Right back where we started. I received the outline for my Performace Goals via email today. As I read them, I noticed that these are things that this woman didn't do when she was a branch manager. The open lines of communication with staff is a big one. The portion of my duties that really gets me wondering is the dual branch manager. I have worked in this library system for 10 years, 3 of them part-time. Not once has a new branch manager been assigned 2 branches. This is supposed to be temporary, but so far, they haven't found any takers. I have two district managers, two branch manager reports are due the 2nd week of the month. I don't even want to think about performance plans and evaluations, because I have double of every staff classification. This is my mini update for you. I have to take the time to give a little more about my first month in my new classification.