Does work make you happy every day? A 2013 Gallup poll discovered that only 13% of us feel warm fuzzies each and every day when we punch in. Which means a majority of us spend our days maybe wanting to punch out someone at our workplace. How do we fill this void of happiness at work?

Sometimes the simplest advice is the best. Recently I discover a piece from titles “16 Ways to Create Your Own Happiness at Work.” Many of 16 suggestions are pretty obvious, but they are worth reviewing. The list is compiled from data after testing the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) of over a million people. This is a great document to share and review with your workgroup.

Remember behind every happy staff is a happy leader. By making work fun for your staff, you will create a more innovative, healthy and happy workplace.

If this doesn’t work, you could always recruit some animals to make it more fun.


bb878ba0d54fc5ca70e3a1e09719448fLet’s face it, we all have them: those titles that we love fiercely, refer to constantly, recommend to everyone. You become a wild-eyed pusher who wants them to get it same way you did. Sometimes you are satisfyingly successful. You see a few teens pouring over it during a class visit, a woman pages through it by the display, or you see it on the shelving truck!

One of those titles for me is Material World by Peter Menzel, 1994.

Partly because I love seeing other peoples stuff and partly because it works with almost anyone who walks into the library. It is a great browsing book, it still stands up today if only to show a moment in time and has many read-alikes and websites that do similar photos– like these photo essays from the NYT: Rise and Shine, Pink or Blue Toys for Girls and Boys.

This is just one of a long list of my sweeties! What are a few of your one and onlys?

The pile of leadership books that I want to read is growing. I recently added four to the list that I hope will help me grow as a leader.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Bilding Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest by Denise Lee Yohn

A Curious Mind: A Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer

Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

All of them have something to do with innovation. This is a trait that leaders often fail to improve. When you foster and encourage innovation within your team, you not only contribute to organizational health but you also keep your mission moving forward. This is why I am constantly trying to seek out the best ways to exercise the innovation part if my brain. Let’s hope the weight of my book pile gives me a good work out.



photo of a book with pages tucked to create a heart shape

cc by-sa Mummelgrummel

We’ve recently been interviewing candidates at my library. One of the most important questions that we ask is, “What do you love?”

Ok, that’s not exactly how we phrase it, but that’s what we want. What do you love?

One of the things that makes my library the vibrant and extraordinary place that it is, is that, as much as we are a community of staff members coming together for a common goal, we’re a community of individuals, and that individuality is important to us.

photo of Harry Potter themed yarn bombing display table

Two loves come together: Harry Potter and yarnbombing!

Today, I designed a display for our Harry Potter themed yarn bombing. #craftinglove

Next month, my boss will do a book club about a WWI book that I cannot imagine reading. #historybuff

In May, my Head of Adult will bring in an author who wrote about his life in the punk scene. #alternativeeducation

We are all different. And it’s those differences that allow our library to be an ever evolving organization. We can meet the needs of the many history aficionados in our service area, but we can also reach the crafters and the musicians.

It is not only in our unity that we are strong, but also in our diversity.

A core value of librarianship is that we have the ability and the responsibility to change society for the better. As the American Library Association puts it, librarians are responsible for “ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society.”

When we are faced with a critical problem like the heartbreaking pattern of unarmed young black men dying in altercations with law enforcement, what can librarians do to ameliorate this hurt?

In crisis situations, librarians can create an intentional community refuge. The Ferguson Public Library responded to community chaos in the wake of Michael Brown’s death by creating a safe space for all community members.

In addition to crisis situations, chronic inequality has an insidious effect on communities. Libraries can respond to chronic inequality as while as crisis situations. We can do this by sharing information, but more importantly, by actively speaking up for social justice.

Nicole Pagowsky and Niamh Wallace, librarians from the University of Arizona, shared a powerful message about librarians and social justice in this month’s College and Research Library News. Hundreds of miles away from Ferguson, these two librarians responded in their own library by creating a Ferguson resource LibGuide, which serves as a guide to information resources about Michael Brown’s death.

They express their belief that librarians have a responsibility to act in support of social justice:

“Positioning the library as anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-oppression helps us stay at the heart of the community, particularly in challenging times.”

Pagowsky and Wallace also remind us of Desmond Tutu’s words:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Leadership and librarianship both carry responsibilities for challenging injustice. I often feel unsure about how to address social injustice in my own spheres, both personally and professionally. Pagowsky and Wallace’s article reminded me that it can be as simple as trading neutrality for support, to endorse the message that black lives matter.

Check out the full article in C&RL News, the University of Arizona Ferguson LibGuide and other #BlackLivesMatter guides from Oakland Public Library, San Francisco Public Schools.