For the love of President Bartlet

nighthawk309 —  April 3, 2013 — 5 Comments

West Wing cast

The West Wing television series was an epic television undertaking.  It ran seven seasons and won numerous Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.  It holds a high place in the television series hierarchy.

I have yet to make it through the entire West Wing series, but the chunk I have watched stirred me in unexpected ways.  The people depicted on the show were immensely dedicated to their work and banded together to realize their shared dreams.  They were driven and obsessed.  I found their passion contagious.  Going into work after watching episodes of West Wing, I was inspired to carry the same drive to the library.  Don’t we want to all be part of something greater than us?

You don’t need to work in the White House to be part of something grand.  Libraries play an absolutely integral role in the communities they serve.  Most of us have strategic goals and mission statements to keep us on track.  Find inspiration in them, use them to guide your work and let them inform your decisions.

Be presidential.  As a leader, inspire those around you to achieve greatness for the library.  Share your vision and hopes for institution and the work you’re doing together.   Help others see the potential and encourage them to chase the same dreams.

We all have different talents, interests and skills to offer to one another in the workplace.  There are sure to be bumps and hiccups along the way but don’t let them derail your efforts.  Imagine how far we can go if we’re throwing our passions and energies in the same direction.

Play the opening song in your head as you walk into work — it’ll help set the tone for the day.




Matt Church is the library director at the Berkley Public Library (Berkley, MI). He was previously associate director at the Baldwin Public Library (Birmingham, MI). He's all about libraries, Tom Waits, coffee, trekking and family adventures.

5 responses to For the love of President Bartlet


    That is literally the best West Wing blog post about library leadership I have ever read.


    I’m reading the book Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow and it is about finding this kind of passion at work. Based on psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the author argues that organizations should strive to hit the self-actualization peak of the triangle (hierarchy) with all of their staff. Just started it so maybe I’ll contribute more thoughts later. Tip: Don’t listen to the audiobook. Sometimes authors don’t make the best narrators.


      Sounds like an interesting read–let me know what you think once you’ve finished it. I agree–the reader can make a world of difference in the listening experience.


    I love that show for the same reason! I know I want to be a part of something greater than myself. I’ll be anxious to hear more about that book too, Donna! Sounds interesting!


    Thanks for the post. I was just rewatching West Wing on Netflix. I think I have almost every episode, but it is good to rewatch them. I agree with your post!! Thanks

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