The American Library Association’s democracy statement reads, in part: “Democracies need libraries. An informed public constitutes the very foundation of a democracy; after all, democracies are about discourse—discourse among the people. ... It must ensure that citizens have the resources to develop the information literacy skills necessary to participate in the democratic process.” This might seem like some pretty big shoes to fill, but there is truth to it. Public libraries help us stay informed and keep us kind.
We experience tensions and triumphs as library professionals working together across a diverse field. This Open Shelf serial podcast, From discord to discourse, promotes our capacity to be effective collaborators and co-workers through discussion so that we can continue to build strong relationships across occupations and library sectors.
A central theme in the conversations we are publishing is navigating professional relationships. Why? Because most of us do not work by ourselves; we are often a part of library teams composed of different job titles, work styles, responsibilities, skills and experience. As these teams, and the libraries they serve, come in many shapes and sizes, sometimes it can be difficult to understand and work through uncomfortable situations with our colleagues; we want to be successful at working together, and discussing some of these occupational tensions and triumphs can help us navigate these relationships.
In this installment, I chat with Richard Reid, the 2019-2020 president of the Ontario Library Association. Richard is the library consultant for the Durham District School Board and our conversation focuses on teams and the challenges as well as benefits of teamwork. In particular, we consider:
- Why do teams matter?
- How do we develop strong teams?
- What challenges do teams face?
- How does technology factor into teamwork?
- Best practices for teamwork.
Take a listen and let us know what you think—what is your experience with teamwork and do teams help us accomplish our work (or not)? And, If you are interested in being a part of this series or have an idea to explore with From discord to discourse, please contact Kasey Whalley at kaseymallen [at] gmail.com.
Kasey (Mallen) Whalley has been working in and with libraries for over ten years. After completing her undergraduate degree in English from McMaster University, she immediately enrolled in and completed Seneca College’s Accelerated Library and information Technician program. She can be contacted at kaseywhalley [at] outlook.com.
Richard Reid is the 2019-2020 president of the Ontario Library Association and the library consultant for the Durham District School Board.