Great manager and co-workers
Poor service to customers
Advice to Management
Be nicer to customers
I have been working at Prince George's County Memorial Library System full-time
If you like to directly assist customers in surrounding communities with computer needs, scanning, resume templates, and reference questions in the corresponding branch, as well as host programs jointly with community officials/artists while offering digital services, then this is the place for you. There is always reading to promote among adults, teens, and children, and you will have some influence in shaping the existing and prospective library collection.
Leave accrues quickly, and if you're pursuing a degree, particularly in Information Science, then you'll receive educational leave. It's work that's not rocket science; the efforts you put forth will reveal and reflect your individual passions. Training classes are offered often.
Also at PGCMLS unlike other states and counties, within a year or 2, if you don't have an MLS then you have a chance to be employed as a Library Associate II with a bachelor's degree, which will enable you to operate in the same capacity and pay scale as a Librarian I.
Here we go...
1. A disjointed HQ ("Administrative Offices") that often is not in tune with the realities of public library service. Despite the fact that employees can be promoted from within to serve in aspects of business intelligence, materials management, IT, and HR, often decisions and actions made of these work teams and departments are not useful, impractical, or nonsensical. Bureaucracy. This is tragic because the staff going in to the HQ from the branches, even with their personal dedication to enhancing their knowledge of their prospective industry, should know the plight of library service and what our needs are firsthand. Instead, most of these employees who migrate to the Admin Offices just "blend" and maintain the status quo of high turnover, micromanagement, intimidation, cronyism, and social cliques.
2. Speaking of employee turnover, it's a problem and has been a problem for a while. Managers and a few area managers (branch managers were all fired when the current director [now "CEO"] came aboard in 2010 yet now "assistant branch manager" positions are being advertised now) have no real management skills. The golden key at PGCMLS is a Master of Library Science. If you've got that and about a minute of supervisory experience, then you can be on the II or III level of management. However, many II's and III's have been pushed into supervisory positions while the individual lacks fundamental people, coaching, and team-building skills.
3. Once again, an MLS is the golden ticket. But common sense management and executive delegation takes a backseat often to that prized MLS, so folks without it with good ideas are often shut down, for internal promotions also.
4. Pay. Very low across the board, not on par with new millennium standards and COLA.
5. Union membership for 99% of the staff is mandatory, and the Union supposedly fights for pay and workplace rights but it has been largely unresponsive in my opinion to unfair conditions and uncomfortable working conditions (climate).
6. Workplace conditions. I have witnessed branches with extremely hot or cold temperatures sometimes close, but others will remain open and employees will be told that they are free to "use their leave." Also many facilities such as staff bathrooms and extreme branch temperatures often remain unrepaired for very long periods of time.
7. One particular person in executive management is omnipotent and omniscient, but is not supposed to be in all aspects of management--only the one that the individual was hired to oversee. Lack of order.
Advice to Management
Listen to all employees--really value their ideas--and stop the MLS cliques and worker cronyism.
I worked at Prince George's County Memorial Library System full-time (More than 3 years)
Excellent PTO, opportunities for motivated employees to move into management positions, educational leave to pursue MLS
Low pay compared to other public library systems
Advice to Management
Some initiatives (like refusing to accept cash payments for fines) do not serve your customers.
Being a vital part of a pillar of the community, location, pay (well, considering equivalent entry-level jobs are not paying a living wage either), & benefits (again: considering the 'pickings nowadays are slim').
Public library patrons have no idea what many employees endure at the hands of an unscrupulous enterprise when they complain @ employees' demeanor upon an encounter. Here is what I endured, upon my employment with this entity: Systemwide rank & education discrimination, favoritism, swift suppression of ideas, concerns, complaints, & whistleblowing, micromanagement/nitpicking, inconsistency & incompetency in knowledge & enforcement of own policies, harassment, psychological abuse, juvenile treatment, ostracizing, no recourse from HR nor union, & daily criticism.
Then again, I hear this is the American way as long as you don't have a protected EEOC status which basically means you are at the will of your employers, I gather, to do whatever serves their fancy as long as they don't mention your gender, religion, national origin, etc. Wow.
And they wonder why there's such employee turnover nowadays. Hmmm...
There is finally a name for it: WORKPLACE BULLYING. Amidst all the fanfare for school bullying, the REAL issue is in the workplace, yet continues to be ignored. Chalk it up to Capitalism. Companies like this suffer from poor employee performance, more sick days, high turnover, etc. in the long run just to keep their autocracy running smoothly. Then the 'target' is portrayed as the 'whistleblower' while the 'bully' is promoted & encouraged. Its so sad so many have to learn the hard way.
Advice to Management
Make room for change, human sweatshops are long extinct now, ADDRESS your employees' concerns... if not for US: there would BE no Library. We will not be SILENCED.
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