You turn up to work. The front door is locked. There is a sign for your customers – “The Library will re-open at midday.” You make your way in through a side entrance. All staff are expected to be at a full team meeting. There is only one item on the agenda: The organisation you work for is in financial crisis.
Instead of the anticipated annual budget increase, this year there is no more money.
There is no money for staff training or professional development opportunities. There is no extra money for operational costs. There is no budget for programmes, events or marketing projects. There will be no extra eResources purchased. The print collection will not be added to.
There is no more money, and significant efforts to cut existing costs will be made across the board. Although salaries and routine operational costs will be covered, there is no allocation for any additional expenses. No redundancies are anticipated, but vacancies are unlikely to be filled.
What’s your response?
Panic? Stunned silence? Fear? Do you start looking for another job?
Joy? Excitement? Enthusiasm? Are you excited by the possibilities?
Despite the anxiety and uncertainty, you could choose to view this experience as an unexpected gift to your staff and your community. You’ve been offered a rare opportunity to stop, reflect and look closely at your core reasons for being.
You’ve been given permission to tell your library’s story differently.