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I supervise the library assistants in our district but since my
arrival I've seen a lot of what I'd call "back-biting" among the
assistants working in each of the divisions (elementary, middle
school, high school).  For example,  the elementary assistant may
believe that the high school assistant doesn't have to work as hard
and will start gossip with the middle school assistant about
"non-issues" that cause problems between the three libraries.  As a
result, I've not only seen "Survivor-type" alliances being drawn
between two library assistants, I'm now also hearing gossip from
others (teachers) about these behaviors and the misinformation being
spread creates an even further divided between the campuses.  My goal
is have this group of library assistants to work together as a team
rather than as enemies working against one another for a
"prize"....which really doesn't exist.

These ladies are all adults (the youngest has children at the
elementary level and the oldest has grandchildren)....but I feel like
I'm working with three middle school teenage girls who are "Queen Bees
and Wanna-Be's."

We are having a meeting next Monday about this and I have an idea
about what I will do, but I'd also like to ask some advice regarding
ways to resolve conflict so we can work together.  I realize that some
of this is "past history" which came before me; however, the attitudes
that I'm seeing now are reducing our ability to move forward as a
library program within our district because of petty in-fighting.
While I have the ability to recommend that a library assistant is not
rehired, I'd rather approach this with options to make change before
giving them the final warning.

Any suggestions that you might be able to offer would be appreciated.  Thanks!


Shonda Brisco, MLIS
District Librarian
Peaster ISD
Weatherford, TX 76086

Digital Bookends wiki / blog:

Resources for Texas School Librarians:

"Digital Resources" columnist
School Library Journal

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