Friday, April 8, 2016

YSS Values Statement

Submitted by Leah Langby, YSS Chair and Library Development and Youth Services Coordinator at Indianhead Federated Library System

YSS advocates for professional empowerment, collaboration, and innovative, inclusive, and intentional service.  That’s the Values Statement of the Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association.  The YSS Board created this values statement partially as an exercise to coalesce our board at a retreat this winter—talking together about common values is a powerful way to create energy and momentum.  We also hoped that having a values statement would help us focus our efforts as we moved forward.

We were lucky that board member Katherine Elchert learned about this process at the 2014 WLA Pre-Conference (Library Journal’s Lead the Change), and then had worked with colleagues and stakeholders to create a values statement for the Rice Lake Public Library.  She was ready to jump in and lead us through this process as a board.  It started with choosing words from a list about values we all thought were important to YSS.  We compiled lists, and thought hard about the ones that many of us chose, and also carefully considered less popular ones if someone was passionate about it.  Through a series of conversations, we narrowed our list of words, and then ran out of time at the retreat!  At the very next board meeting, we managed to create this Values Statement, even without the benefit of being able to see each others’ faces.

I’m thrilled with this statement, and feel like it has already helped me to keep on track as the YSS Chair.  I hope that it will be a useful tool for YSS in the future.  I mean, what’s not to love about values like empowerment, collaboration, inclusiveness, innovation, intentionality??

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