A reader writes in about a staff member blogging about the library: “She discusses work, of course, including other staff and problem patrons using some pretty stiff language, and I’m afraid she’s seriously going to offend someone and the library is either going to get pulled into a lawsuit or a union problem. The blogger writes at home on her own time, and the library doesn’t have a policy in place preventing staff from speaking publicly about the workplace, but I think this is a ticking bomb. What should I do?”
The answer is rather good, and includes this:
The most important thing is to listen to staff, trust them, empower them to speak, and teach them the what and why of library policy so they can speak effectively about it. Sure, let a thousand flowers bloom, but be sure you teach which seeds should be planted.
Instead of “library policy,” I would use (and have used this line in talks): “Educate staff as to the mission and vision of the library and trust them to be the collective voice of the library – the humanity, if you will.”