March 22, 2017

Staff as Innovation Leaders: From great ideas to great implementation | Editorial

RebeccaWebEdit2015

The community served by the Birmingham Public Library, AL, this October gained three new programs targeted to branch-level needs—Vintage Memory Making, with an eye to sewing and crafting; After School Writing, keyed to supporting penmanship, including cursive writing; and New Parenting, focused on helping caregivers through the first years. All three ideas stem from staff participation in the library’s recently launched Innovative Cool Award initiative, which interconnects the organization, including trustees, and helps the library be responsive to the community.

Birmingham Public Library Board Funds Innovative Cool Awards

Birmingham Public Library Board presents the first Innovative Cool Award to help fund the Career Survival Program at Pratt City Branch Library. L-R: Library Trustee Eunice Johnson Rogers, Library Trustee Gwen Amamoo, Pratt City Library Branch Manager Deborah Drake Blackmon, and Byron Williams of Pratt City Library.

While many libraries have come up with creative rewards for staff innovation, the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) Innovative Cool Awards do double duty. The monthly award, funded and run by BPL’s ten-member Board of Trustees, is an incentive for staff to develop—and promote—engaging new programs and workshops, and also a way to connect the board with staff.