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Interim Report - October 18, 2004

The Staff Recognition and Awards (SRA) committee has had two meetings.   Our first meeting was primarily organizational, as we needed to elect a chair, appoint a recorder, and plan for the resignation and replacement of one of our inaugural members.   At our second meeting, we discussed the current practice for library-wide events/parties and staff recognition awards.   We brainstormed ideas about what to do about this year’s holiday party.

In response to our charge, we plan to survey library staff for opinions and ideas about library-wide events, celebrations, parties, and awards programs. We expect to report the results, with recommendations by December 15, 2004.

Below are some preliminary recommendations from the committee, regarding committee structure/procedure, library-wide events & awards, and the 2004 holiday party:

Procedural recommendations about the committee:

Since the SRA committee is a standing committee, terms of appointment should be codified.   We recommend a term of two years.   The terms of half of the inaugural committee should be amended (+/- one year) to ensure continuity on the committee.

In future years, we recommend the committee be appointed.    The appointed chair should be in the second year of his/her SRA committee service.  

Preliminary comments/recommendations about library staff parties and awards:

The committee recommends that the awards activities be separated from the annual holiday party.   Holding separate events for recognizing achievement will encourage supervisors and staff to take an awards program more seriously.

More flexibility is needed in the area of purchasing.   The practice of using Publix as our only caterer hinders creativity in planning and promotes “sameness” over the years.   While we realize it is possible for party planners to purchase supplies, food, etc., from other vendors and be reimbursed, the SRA committee feels strongly that no staff member should be expected to front money from a personal account in the amounts expended for a library-wide event. The SRA committee recommends that the staff development officer or a member of an event planning committee be empowered to use a library purchasing card.   Alternatively, a member of the business office staff, with purchasing card authority should be appointed (perhaps ex-officio) to party and awards committees.

Recommendation regarding the Fall Homecoming Picnic:

Due to the fact that President Machen has granted a University holiday for homecoming this year, we should not hold a staff picnic on that day.    The SRA committee recommends that any plans for a picnic should be cancelled and that funds earmarked for this event be reserved for the holiday party and additional events in the spring semester.   

An email announcement should be sent to staff regarding the homecoming holiday and the cancellation of the picnic.

Recommendations for the 2004 holiday party:

A holiday party committee should be appointed as soon as possible to handle logistics of this event.

The SRA committee suggests hosting a catered lunch event instead of a late afternoon party.   Ideas for catering included box lunches from an area caterer, Sonny’s Barbeque, or Olive Garden.

Separate the traditional “staff awards” from this gathering.   Among other reasons, this will decrease the time investment of the holiday party committee this year.    Based on a staff survey and further committee discussion, we will make recommendations for an event in the spring more focused on departmental, faculty, and staff achievements.

Include some kind of fun activity, such as a game, and/or small door prizes.   The SRA committee feels this gathering should be, above all, fun and relaxing for all involved, as it has been a stressful year for all in terms of library/university changes and the recent hurricane season.

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