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Staff Recognition and Awards Committee Charge

Library Objectives:

Specific charges to the committee:

Report due to the Directors October 15, 2004

Committee members:


The Libraries’ Staff Recognition Program is a component of its Staff Development program.

Staff picnics and other events should emphasize staff appreciation as their goal. The committee should investigate the ways work is rewarded. The committee should consider the fairness and clarification of the nomination process. Supervisors need to be educated on the importance of recognition in motivating and improving employee performance and morale. Key aspects of effective recognition are its promptness, frequency, ease, creativity, flexibility and adaptability to the employee’s preferences. “Effective recognition arises from an attitude that permeates the organization and it involves all employees.”   (Duke University Libraries Staff Recognition Program)

The Libraries' recognition activities currently include:

Additional Information:

Seven institutions with staff recognition programs that may be useful to discussions by the committee are:

1. Auburn Libraries A Rewards and Recognition Workshop (based on the book, Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner) is given at a regular basis. The Rewards and Recognition Task Force, which reports to the Library Directors, recognizes staff whose good deeds have been noted by colleagues. Patrons as well as staff are encouraged to submit nominations for the Library Employee of the Year. Employee of the Year receives a $500 award and a Kudos box—a box of goodies and inexpensive gifts.

2. University of Colorado Auraria Library has instituted a “day off” for faculty and support staff who have reached a milestone of service –five, ten, fifteen years. Awards are given for Outstanding Librarianship ($1500) and Outstanding Service ($500) Outstanding Research/Creative Activity ($500). The recipients’ dossiers are then forwarded to the University for consideration in the University-wide awards.

3. University of Georgia began its recognition program in 1992. It is called the ASSET Awards Program (Acknowledging Staff, Skills, Effort and Time). It is designed to provide recognition for the outstanding contributions that are made in the Libraries each year. A committee organizes the program and self-nominations are allowed. A sub-committee is in charge of the social events, which are held during one week between semesters. It includes an ice cream social and a staff appreciation party (held outside the library) during which time length of service certificates are given. During this week staff who are nominated for outstanding service are awarded with a gift.

4. University of Maryland recently reorganized its Awards Program. A survey, which formed the basis for recommendations for the program, was circulated to staff. The Library Executive Council is the official sponsor of the Awards program. The Staff Awards Committee administers the nomination and selection process for each of the awards categories. The Committee also plans the awards presentation and reception. A second committee, the Goodwill Committee, is also library wide and has as its mission, “to coordinate activities that promote goodwill and improve the morale among staff.” The officers, including the chairs of both committees, are appointed by the Library Executive Council. Some of the activities of the Goodwill Committee include planning retirement receptions and assisting or providing library staff with refreshments for library wide special ceremonies and events.

5. Penn State Libraries. A Staff Recognition Program, which includes career service awards, banquets and receptions, (see attached) is in place. It is run by the Recognition Committee, which was created by the Executive Steering Committee as one of six steering teams responsible for planning and guiding the new Continuous Improvement Effort. The charge reads, “develop appropriate and satisfying ways to recognize individual and departmental achievement throughout the library system.” The team is made up of staff from across the library. The chair is appointed each year by the library’s management group.

6. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Libraries hosts a number of annual staff recognition events including The Outstanding Employee Awards, an All Staff Barbecue, student appreciation luncheon and quarterly coffee breaks to introduce new staff and “The Star Heel Awards”, a University sponsored program which gives each department a number of awards to give out each year (depending on the number of FTE). These awards are given for any type of “work” appreciation and include a $20 gift certificate and a citation in the employee newspaper. Most events are planned and managed by the Employee Appreciation and Recognition Committee, which is library wide.

7. University of Virginia offers an Outstanding Library Contributors Award to individuals or teams who have contributed the most to the accomplishment of the goals of the University Library over the last twelve months. The program encourages employee performance improvements and gives management the flexibility to reward performance at any time. Nominations are sent to Library Human Resources and the department heads of those employees nominated. The University Librarian and Associate University Librarians decide on the award recipients, based upon nominations submitted. The amount or award type that is given each year varies with the dollar amount budgeted. The names of those selected for this honor, as well as a brief narrative of their accomplishment(s), are read by the Librarian at the annual Employee Appreciation Luncheon held each April. The Director’s office staff organizes this luncheon

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