It’s our fifteenth Anniversary. We couldn’t have made it this far without a great team of Amanda, Alex, Heather, Cody, Melissa, Ryan, and all the others who have been a part of our success over the years. And of course, thank you to all of our great CLIENTS…you’re the best!
Here is the song The 15th by Wire…one of my favorite bands.
On behalf of our client, the Cuyahoga Falls Library, we are seeking exceptional candidates for a new Director opening.
This highly visible, mission-oriented leadership position will plan, implement, and administer all aspects of the operation of the Cuyahoga Falls Library. As the chief administrative officer of the Library, the Director is also responsible for maintaining effective and mutually beneficial relationships with the Library’s community partners, valued employees, and Board of Trustees. In addition, it is expected that the Director will provide strategic leadership and possess a strong orientation towards service and innovation to meet the new challenges and changing needs of the Library’s customers and the larger community.
Cuyahoga Falls Library connects people with the world of ideas, information, and imagination, to inspire, enrich, and support the community. To learn more about the Cuyahoga Falls Library, click here.
- Experience with most aspects of Library operations, including public services/educational programming and outreach, technical services, technology, Human Resources management, facilities management, vendor management, and budget/fiscal management is required.
- Experience with strategic planning and leading organizational growth is required.
- Experience building strong, collaborative work groups focused on attaining superior results is required.
- Experience collaborating and partnering with Trustees/Board members, community partners, and other key stakeholders is required.
- Experience articulating, aligning, and furthering a public-serving organization’s goals, mission, and vision is required.
- Ability to implement policies and uphold the principles of intellectual freedom to ensure free, equitable, and confidential access to information for all people of the community is required.
- Experience in a management position within a public library is preferred.
- A Master’s degree in Library Science is preferred although other relevant Master’s level disciplines will be considered.
A generous compensation package includes competitive base pay; healthcare benefits including medical, dental, vision, and others; retirement benefits include participation in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System public pension plan, and many others.
To be considered for this position, please submit your resume and a cover letter [including salary requirements] via email to: email@example.com. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
By Cari Dubiel
It’s impossible to know exactly what a direct report is doing at a given moment—and this task is even more daunting in the arena of special skills. Most Directors have an MLIS and a library background but have to supervise information technology, building, and public relations professionals. On the other side, Trustees’ skills run the gamut, but they don’t often have library backgrounds and must supervise the Director and Fiscal Officer.
You may find yourself in this situation as a new Director or Trustee. Or maybe you’re having a challenging time with an employee whose skills you don’t completely understand. Maybe the person is underperforming, or maybe you’ve hired someone new. Whatever the case, here are some strategies to help you.
- Learn – but not too much. You don’t have to go diving into network management or web design. But it is important to have a basic understanding of each person’s job. Look for beginning texts or articles; even a simple Google search [as long as the source is reliable] may be useful. Try LinkedIn Learning for video courses…if you’re in Ohio, the state has a subscription. This work will also help you to develop job descriptions.
- Drop the ego. Even when you research your employees’ skills, you won’t know everything about what they do. Don’t pretend to understand what they’re doing. Allow them to explain what they’re doing and actively listen so you can learn more.
- Be open and curious. Engage in open dialogue with your team members, either about projects, workload, or daily tasks. Talk through these and discuss current procedures and operations. You provide the direction, after all, but it’s the employee who brings the ability to enact it.
- Set clear boundaries. Together with the employee, set benchmarks for success. If an employee is underperforming, you’ll often know due to feedback from other managers and teams. Employees with special skills work for internal customers, so if their work isn’t up to par, the frontline staff will recognize this. You need to hold the employee accountable, but again, you can engage in an open dialogue with them over why they’re not meeting these benchmarks. The employee might also need tools or resources from you.
Managing specialized employees is a constant process and requires both diligent monitoring and trust in your employees. Put forth the effort to be with them along the way, and you’ll get to know their work better while also gaining a more faceted view of your library or organization.
Cari Dubiel is a public library expert with 20-plus years of experience. Having worked from the ground up as a Shelver to her current management position with the Twinsburg Public Library, Cari understands the operational aspects of public libraries from both a staff and administrative perspective. Cari has managed projects such as technical services workflow development, software evaluation and implementation, collection development analysis, employee onboarding and training, and website usability. She holds a bachelors’ degree from Hiram College and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Kent State University. She is also an adjunct faculty member at KSU in the iSchool program. She presents frequently for PCI Webinars and has also presented for NEO-RLS, OLC, and public library staff development days. A former Library Liaison to the National board of Sisters in Crime, Cari is very active in the publishing industry. She is represented by Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency and is the lead editor for Writing Bloc Books.
Having worked with over a dozen public libraries across Ohio, we’ve come to appreciate the unique circumstances of each library system. Working with Preble County District Library recently, we learned how rural systems are meeting the challenges of attracting and retaining talent.
Preble County District Library is a public library located in beautiful southwest Ohio. The library cooperates with local resources and organizations to provide public, research, academic, and school library resources.
The Library is a consolidation of seven small, independent libraries located in Camden, Eaton, Eldorado, New Paris, West Elkton, West Alexandria, and West Manchester, Ohio. They share their catalog with four county school systems. Preble County District Library: Helping you to connect to the world.
Library Director Lauren Robinson was our partner on the project. She said
Our county is large geographically but smaller from a population standpoint. To make sure we are able to serve as many of our county residents as possible, our six branches are distributed across the county to make it easier for people to reach us.
Like many libraries we are challenged by a competitive local labor market. We not only compete with other libraries for talent, but really any other type of organization that hires. To know where we stand, we asked OA to work with us on our first compensation study in many years.
They started by analyzing the pay system and structure that we have been using and offered recommendations on how to improve it. This included developing a custom pay structure for us that was more in line with current practice and most importantly, easy for us to update over time.
Then they completed a full benchmarking of all of our positions using both broader-based survey data as well as information more specific to library positions. They provided job-level information to show how we compared to the market, and where we have to focus our efforts to be competitive.
Throughout the process they kept us apprised of their work, checked in frequently, and provided information on best practices and tools to use to ensure we stay competitive. OA has worked with many library management teams as well as their trustees and have made themselves available to us even after the project ended. We truly appreciate their assistance.
Comparing one library to another in terms of compensation practices is always a good idea. But competition for both library professionals and support staff is not only coming from other libraries…every other employer in your area is fighting for talent. It is important to balance comparable data from libraries with compensation data from the broader economy to get a true understanding of the cost of labor in your region. Additionally, once you have the benchmark data, you still need to decide how you are going to apply it, and what tools you will use to administer your compensation program in a fair and consistent manner.
Organizational Architecture is the trusted partner of over a dozen of Ohio’s public libraries for compensation, recruiting, performance management, and leadership development. If you need help in any of these areas, contact us and check out other public library success stories to learn more.
The Society for Human Resource Management recently shared that changes to whom is eligible for overtime may be implemented soon.
Currently, employees who make below $684 per week [$35,568 per year and $17.10 per hour] are automatically eligible for overtime and cannot be exempted regardless of their job duties. The proposed changes would change this to $913 per week [$47,476 per year and $22.83 per hour]. This is known as the ‘salary threshold’ test.
There are also what are known as the ‘duties’ tests to determine if a job is exempt from overtime. If a job pays more than the salary threshold, there are additional tests to ascertain if the position can be exempted from overtime. There may be some changes to the definitions used in these tests in addition to a new salary threshold.
The white-collar exemptions tests are:
- Executive exemption
- Administrative exemption
- Professional exemption
Remember, it is important for employers to understand that the salary and appropriate duties tests must be met completely for a position to be classified as exempt from overtime. You cannot classify employees as exempt from overtime because it is more convenient for you to pay a flat salary and no overtime. You cannot rely on the title alone…you must look at the content of the job. So making a position a ‘manager’ does not qualify it for exemption if there are no actual staff management duties.
Also, you cannot classify an employee as exempt because they wish to be classified that way. We understand that some people perceive being paid a salary and not receiving overtime is of a higher status than being paid hourly and required to punch a time clock. Regardless, if the position does not meet the salary and appropriate duties test, they employee/role must be classified as non-exempt.
As of yet, there is no date as to when the changes may occur and what they will be, but it would be prudent to review your employee classifications and perform an analysis of the possible impact to your organization.
Compensation studies are one of our specialties. We have deep experience with base compensation benchmarking, incentive program development, and total rewards. Check out our updates on workforce strategy and compensation or contact us for other helpful resources.
Changing a culture isn’t easy. Defining core values is an important part of a new way of doing business. But once they are defined, how do you really make them part of your DNA? Our recent project with Cortina Leathers shows one of the ways this is done.
Cortina Leathers started out as a small, handcrafted producer of upholstery leather for the office furniture market in 1903. They still manufacture leather at their original factory location in Ohio, and they also work with a network of artisanal tanneries around the globe to deliver a unique collection of the finest leathers. They believe in the enduring quality and timeless beauty of real leather – and this core belief informs everything they do.
Our partner on this project was President Jack Prause whom we’ve known for years since we worked with him at his prior company. Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Bernhardt was also a big part of this project. They said:
We had experience working with Organizational Architecture in the past and we reconnected with them to help with a major initiative…the roll-out of our new Core Values. Like many similar initiatives this can be in danger of being forgotten quickly unless action is taken to really ensure our employees know, understand, and embrace these Core Values.
A critical piece in all of this is the role our frontline supervisors play in driving this culture change. Many of them have not been part of such an initiative before and weren’t sure about their role. We wanted to set them up for success, and we knew the way to do this was to invest in their training.
Working with OA, we developed and delivered over the course of several months workshops on Successful Supervision, using our new Employee Handbook to manage effectively, and Conflict Resolution. We used these workshops to teach skills on being more effective leaders while at the same time demonstrating this in the context of our new Core Values. This practical approach helped ensure the Core Values took root, taught our supervisors valuable skills, and helped them become a stronger bridge between senior leadership and the staff. Through this training, our supervisors were given the tools they needed to manage our people in a way that gets the best out of everyone while making this an even better place to work.
Unlike other corporate training we have seen, OA took the time to truly understand us and what we wanted to achieve and customized their training so that it had the look-and-feel of our other messaging and was ‘ours’…organically developed and in ‘our words’. Their assistance was invaluable and made this project a success.
Critical to the success of this project was the support we received from Jack, Bonnie, and the rest of the leaders at Cortina Leathers. Training is important…but it can’t do it all. Clear leadership support, consistency, and accountability are necessary for training to have lasting positive results. Cortina Leathers was the ideal partner and we really appreciate the support.
Change is constant…we know that. But for change initiatives to be successful, staff needs to receive appropriate training on the new ways of doing their jobs. If you need help launching your training and development initiatives, contact us and check out other success stories to learn more.
Although many of our clients are familiar with our human resources consulting projects, we are still surprised that many don’t realize we also help our clients find top talent.
But we do! We have helped many organizations…whether they are for-profit, not-for-profit, or public sector, fill critical roles. Here is a sample of just some of the roles we have helped organizations fill:
Public sector / public libraries
- Library Directors
- Fiscal Officers
- Heads of Human Resources
- Department heads
- Executive Director for a state-wide library professional association
- Executive Director for a civil rights organization
- Executive Director for a cultural organization
- Head of Operations for a manufacturing and assembly company
- Head of Operations for an OTC pharmaceutical company
- Client Relations Associates for a financial services firm
- Head of Human Resources for a utility vegetation management company
- Controller for an insurance brokerage
- Head of Human Resources for a law firm
- Electrical and structural engineers for an engineering and architecture firm
Additionally, we work with clients to develop or refine their talent acquisition strategies. This means we assess the landscape of your industry’s talent and labor market, review your approaches to engage with potential candidates, and recommend ways to make your sourcing, screening, and selection process more efficient and effective. We give you tools help you select the right person all the time and eliminate the guesswork.
Want to learn more? Contact us to learn how we can help with your recruiting and talent acquisition needs.
By Asha Vyas
Imagine the joy I felt arriving at work one bright Tuesday morning to find a note from the library’s fiscal officer reading: “I’m eloping – see you in three weeks.”
Alas, my joy was short-lived when I realized we had payroll to process, a board meeting to prep, and no one to cover the tasks.
Often, especially in small libraries, employees develop highly specialized skills. The library runs smoothly and effectively until there’s an unexpected plot twist. Avoiding single-points-of-failure should be a part of overall library planning from the board level to cleaning staff.
Here are a few suggestions to begin the process:
- Create a list of annual required Board Tasks, for instance, approving temporary appropriations, accepting tax rates, and scheduling director’s evaluation. Include a deadline date and, if your board uses committees, the committee responsible for the task. Completing this list in excel will allow sorting by month and committee. A Board Task list also provides a guide for the monthly board agendas.
- Create a Shared Drive for common employee forms and other library information. This might contain credit card activity forms, purchase order request forms, and employee vacation request forms. Include the process for completing the forms in the shared drive. This space could also include internal information pertinent to all employees and employee feedback or surveys. A shared drive sets the tone for the library as one cohesive, structured entity.
- Section 117.171 of the Ohio Revised Code already requires a Certificate of Transition but take this one step further by documenting all Points of Contacts and pertinent library identification numbers. This could be banks, investments, county auditors, health and retirement benefits, and other critical information. In some cases, these ID numbers are confidential and documented information should be held in a secure location until needed.
- Create a library Disaster Plan. This plan details who to call if critical systems fail, such as the heating and air-conditioning, elevator maintenance, cleaning services, and IT management. Add property insurance information and critical staff contact information to this list to keep everyone informed. Don’t forget to include the protocol of who is authorized to contact outside assistance.
- Create detailed written Critical Functions Process Documents. This will include, among other tasks, payroll processing, month-end close, and board reporting. Cross-train employees using the written document. This tests the document for accuracy and understandability.
Consistently, like bi-annual or quarterly, schedule the cross-trained employee to complete the task. Take care to spread the training to multiple employees to avoid single-points-of-failure and balancing of the workload. Frame the new task as an opportunity for a trusted and valued employee to improve their skills
Consider an annual review of the Critical Functions Process Documents as part of employee evaluations. Also, include a review of Points of Contacts/Certificate of Transition and Disaster Plan as part of the Board Tasks to ensure the maintenance of documentation.
Being prepared for the unexpected is only one benefit of implementation. Cross-training employees builds the skills of everyone in the library, so they better understand different jobs and gain perspective. Successful organizations empower employees with talent potential by providing thorough training opportunities, including cross-training.
Shift your library’s focus and energy from dealing with points-of-failure to well-trained staff and structured well-documented library processes to provide a strong foundation for stability and growth.
Asha Vyas is a Staff Accountant with Your Part-Time Controller, LLC. Your Part-Time Controller [YPTC] provides customized accounting and financial management services for over 1,200 nonprofits nationwide. Since 1993, YPTC has built transformative, personalized solutions based on clients’ financial needs, including cash flows, funding streams, financial concerns, and internal control challenges. YPTC is committed to educating organizations through webinars and resources that provide relevant takeaways and best practices. To learn more about YPTC and browse our content, visit www.yptc.com.