CULC/CBUC Toolkit on Recovery & Reimagined Public Library Services Post COVID-19


Stories from the Field

  • In the Okanagan Regional Library system, which covers a large geographical footprint, staffing virtual services with teams from different geographical areas gave team members an opportunity to work with colleagues with whom they would normally never collaborate; creating these relationships helped unify the team as one system.
  • Having staff working away from public service points has allowed many library systems to hold all-staff town hall meetings virtually. In many locations, this opportunity for all staff to connect together has been a rarity in the past, but with the acceleration of the implementation of virtual meeting software in libraries across the country may become part of public library corporate culture going forward. Even single-location team meetings, where some employees are at home and some on site at the same time, can bring everyone together for regular updates and conversations.
  • One way in which Library leaders continue to learn, particularly in times of crisis, is through collaboration among Canadian library systems. Informal and formal resource, idea, and document sharing across libraries has been an incredibly powerful way to ensure we are developing and advancing solutions as quickly as possible, without reinventing the wheel. CULC/CBUC is just one example of an organization you may be able to participate in to support your ongoing learning in the field. Provincial and regional organizations have rich resources as well.
  • Many libraries have created supplemental learning calendars to augment existing training and professional learning, with a focus on emerging priorities. They have encouraged staff to evaluate the learning, share new discoveries, and completed courses may be tracked in employee records. Best practice has been to break up the learning into bite size chunks to encourage staff not to engage in webinar marathons.
  • Work disruption is a potential opportunity to pilot new training on smaller staff contingents still working from home or on site. Calgary Public Library, for example, initiated Reconciliation and Diversity and Inclusion training so it could be refined prior to call backs, and new training would be ready for staff upon return.