Showing Off Our Appreciation

Kevin King —  June 13, 2013 — 1 Comment

iStock_000016525967XSmallEvery year the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Team Appreciation Committee hosts a Staff Breakfast to celebrate our awesomeness.  The format of the breakfast for the last three years is that of a late night talk show called Before We Open.  I play the fun-loving host and our “show” features guests, a live band, funny bits and the obligatory Top Ten List.  Our Library Director speaks about the past year’s accomplishments and the President of the Library Board thanks the staff.  Our Friends of the Library sponsor the event and many of their members join the “live studio audience.”

The show celebrates retirees, highlights years of service, congratulates graduates, and recognizes the great work of staff.  Staff love this party!  It is rare to not see a smile on someone’s face at the end of the event.  The audience laughs at the zingers aimed at administrators, cheers on the talents of the staff led band, tears up over stories told by retirees, and roots for another great year.  After everyone has a second helping of breakfast, we open the doors for business.  Full bellies, warm hearts, and inspired minds.

Previous Staff Celebrations were usually held at night and resembled awards banquets.  It was rare to see all the staff in the room and the atmosphere seemed to prevent anyone from having fun.  The format needed to change because how would anyone feel appreciated if no one was around to hear the accolades?  The Team Appreciation Committee realized that if we wanted to truly celebrate our accomplishments, the staff needed to have some fun.  The late night show format allows us to not only crack a few jokes, but also publicly hold up our peers in a super casual setting.  We also discovered that by hosting the show in the morning, more staff participated.  Finally, the good vibe that emanates afterwards can be felt for days.

So if your staff event is in need of some excitement, consider changing it up to a format in which you show off your appreciation with bacon and stupid human tricks.

Kevin King

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Kevin King is the Head of Branch and Circulation Services at the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library. Previously Kevin led Teen Services at KPL, where he helped build a nationally recognized program. Kevin has presented all over the country on many topics including teen services, innovation, graphic novels, and programming. As a member of ALA, YALSA, PLA and the Michigan Library Association, Kevin has served on various committees and has luckily won a couple of awards. In his spare time Kevin obsesses over the Detroit Tigers, listens to music and does his best to be a kick ass dad to Abigail and Rachael.

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