Maximizing People Resources

The strength of the Z Smith Reynolds Library is its talented faculty and staff. As evidenced by the 2011 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, other research libraries have bigger collections, greater resources, and technology programs that are much bigger in scope, but no library better meets the needs of its users and advances the mission of its university than ZSR. We try to foster a culture of creativity, where people are encouraged to take risks. Both faculty and staff are uncommonly service-oriented and collaborative. They are motivated, not for personal gain, but to help Wake Forest students and faculty succeed.

The library has a relatively small faculty and staff compared to its large mission. As a result, ZSR sometimes lacks critical mass in technology infrastructure and staffing for more specialized tasks such as mass digitization, digital curation, and specialized cataloging. An unexpected outcome of this year’s strategic planning efforts was the identification of faculty and staff unrest with increasing workloads due to growth in programs but a staff that remains small in size. It is possible for people to rise to the occasion and accomplish major initiatives through heroic efforts, but it is not reasonable to expect them to sustain that pace over time. The joyous work climate shared at ZSR in recent years is now at risk. Peer groups of library faculty, exempt and nonexempt staff met to discuss common issues and to brainstorm ways to ease the pressure.

Action Items & Timeframes

  • Obtain and analyze market data from Human Resources for library faculty and staff positions; seek funding to bring salaries up to median of peers (Summer 2012-Winter 2013) Completed
  • Conduct one-on-one sessions with every employee to identify and resolve issues with work-life balance, flex time, and cross-training (Summer 2012) Completed
  • Make elder care/child care options known to staff (Summer 2012) Completed
  • Develop and implement ZSR Diversity plan (Winter 2013) Completed
  • Request Diversity Residency as WFU Strategic Initiative (Fall 2012) Deferred due to end of Strategic Initiatives funding