Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

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Introduction: The Library Executive Council is interested in developing the use of Library--wide working groups for Library projects. Planning priorities which could be executed by working groups have been identified and others may be added to these. This guideline establishes the ground rules governing the formation and operation of working groups of the LEC.

Proposals for Working Groups: The proposal for a working group to plan and/or execute a Library project may originate from any individual or unit in the Library, or through the Library Assembly. Each functional unit may form its own working groups without LEC review for projects that are the responsibility of the unit; those working groups are outside of the scope of this document. However, it may become evident as a unit project progresses that the project has ramifications beyond its originally conceived scope; in that case, the unit head should request that the LEC review the project. Also outside of the scope of this document are working groups and committees formed under the by--laws of the Library Assembly for its purposes.

Establishment of Working Groups: The LEC reviews proposals for working groups which would benefit from participation across Library units and provides recommendations for such working groups to the Director. Membership and working group leader may be established through appointment or through a volunteer process, depending on the needs of the project. In either case, the candidates are reviewed by the LEC which advises the Director on final selection. The Director may delegate the selection of the working group leader to the group. Project scope, expected results and time frame should be specified in the proposal by the conclusion of the LEC review.

Eligibility for Participation in Working Groups: all regular and contingent employees in good standing are eligible for participation in working groups. However, participation may be limited by regular workload obligations; prospective members and their supervisors must reach a clear understanding on how working group participation and regular workload obligations will be balanced prior to participation. This should include time allocations. Supervisors are encouraged to make every effort to adjust other workload expectations to provide opportunities for working group participation. However, staff shortages, external obligations or deadlines for regular work may render participation in a particular working group unfeasible. In difficult cases in which either a prospective member or a unit head believes that participation is important but cannot be reconciled with regular workloads through in--unit adjustments, they may make recommendations to the Director for resolution.

Obligations of Working Group Participants: It is expected that participation entails taking a share of the working group''s workload beyond attending meetings. Normally, members are responsible for finding substitutes for service point coverage and other obligations to Library users when working group activities conflict with those obligations; if substitutes are not found, service point coverage and other obligations to users take precedence. Working group members are responsible for meeting their unit workload obligations, as agreed upon with their supervisor, while participating in the working group. Since working group participation is Library work, supervisors are expected to evaluate participation in a working group as part of the annual performance review process, in consultation with the Working Group Leader and the participant.

Benefits of Working Group Participation: It provides the opportunity to become exposed to issues and challenges beyond routine work, and to learn from this exposure. In addition, it is an opportunity to gain valuable experience as well as demonstrate one''s ability. And finally, it contributes to improved communication and understanding of one''s larger work environment.

Results of Working Group Projects: Progress reports, as appropriate, and results are reported to the LEC. Working groups should also consult with the Library Assembly and individuals outside the group who have relevant expertise or who would be impacted by a project. Proposed plans and other results are subject to review by the LEC and approval by the Director. When there is not consensus among members, the Working Group Leader will bring majority and minority recommendations to the LEC for consideration.

drafted:  9/7/07; LEC review 9/11/07; LEC edits added 9/12/07; LA review 10/10/07; first posting 1/13/09

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