Saturday, May 21, 2011

Staff "Education" Day--FEH!

What I wanted to do on Friday was go to ballet class and enjoy the sun streaming in through the windows as I did ronde de jambes and fondus and the other steps that I love.

Head to McDonalds for my crack of choice--a small frozen mocha frappe--no whipped cream.

Sit home in my breezeway in my comfy wicker rocking chair, sip my frappe and admire the roses starting to open on Nanay's rosebush. Admire the blue sky.

Instead, I was locked into the main library branch--the big ugly building that I call "The Mausoleum" and forced to sit through "Staff Education Day".

Now Staff Day has been a fixture in the library for years. Long ago, it was FUN! We would all bring in something for a buffet lunch, have an idiot speaker or two, but spend a good deal of the time in things that were fairly library related. We all knew each other because it was a smaller system. It was fun to see the folks you normally knew only on the phone.

But over the years, "Staff Day" has morphed into "Staff Education Day". Which would be fine if only we actually got something that was EDUCATIONAL!

Instead I sat through several interesting-but- irrelevant- to- my -work talks and a 3 hour workshop given by an overpaid outside trainer who was very entertaining, but talked about either things anyone with half a lick of common sense should know after just a few weeks in a library and about "learning styles", which I find to be a total crock, right up there with "personality types"--which LAST time's overpaid trainer went on about!

I used to work for the NY Public Library and we went to children's training 3-4 times a year. And it was something I looked forward to. I always left with something new, having seen someone who talked about storytelling, or about children's literature, or providing services to children in general.

Here there is no coherent, consistent training. In fact, I know that my colleague the "Children's Coordinator" doesn't think her staff needs much training. Years ago, I did a story telling workshop for my staff and opened it to the other branches. Sorry, her staff was "fully trained".

You never stop learning. I have been at this 25+ years and I still learn new things all the time. And I would like Staff Education Day to reflect that.

Instead we get crap. And I leave every time feeling that I have wasted a day when I could have been off, doing the things I need to do, or at work, serving the public. Feeling cheated and angry.

And above all, relieved that it's over.

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