The year 2020 was also a turbulent and busy year for the organization itself. A reorganization was undertaken, and we began to self-organize our work.
Transition to self-organization
During the preparation of the long-term policy plan 2019-2022, staff members in the DoorOntwikkelTeam indicated that there was a need for more self-organization. To truly be able to roll out this new method of working, a new generic job classification system was set up in 2019. A reorganization also took place which was completed in May 2020. A temporary work group was formed to safeguard the integrated approach in the move towards self-organization. The work group drives the plan for the change and ensures that staff within the organization are involved. Many staff members are ambassadors who broadcast thoughts and ideas on self-organization. They ensure it spreads through the organization. This group of ambassadors received training on self-organization. Several themes related to self-organization, e.g., the purpose of the organization; team goals; discussion and decision making; and working within roles, frameworks and self-management were addressed during the course that was given by external trainers.
Embrace the chance, work together, and create the spark!
Together with the support from our coaches and the efforts of our ambassadors for self-organization, we transition step-by-step to self-organization in the teams and throughout the whole organization. Self-organization is a path the Kennemerwaard Public Library has intentionally chosen and will continue to do the coming years, later also together with Artiance in the ABC Huis. The goal here is to be able to respond to the changes in society and the needs of our residents in a timely and flexible way. The fundamental aim of the organization and the individual customer is key here.
ABC Huis (ABC House)
After the merger with Artiance was postponed for a year in late 2019, plans were recommenced in 2020. During the year, work had been carried out on a strategic plan, budget, and a job classification system for the holding company. This developed within the merger work group that continued to advise both the works council and supervisory boards. When required, advice or decision-making documents were submitted to one of these bodies. Both supervisory boards decided in May and June to proceed with preparations for the merger as per 1 January 2021. Staff members from both organizations were kept up to date on the progress of the process via short news reports. Attention was given during the staff meetings to the pending merger, and an online informative meeting was organized in autumn so that plans could be formulated. Staff members involved in present partnership projects gave a short presentation, and staff who had joined in from home could direct questions to both directors. Erna Winters was appointed managing director of the ABC Huis in November. She manages the ABC Huis as of 1 January 2021.
Sick leave has significantly decreased the past year. The average percentage for sick leave in 2019 was 8.3%, and at the end of 2020 the average was 6.04%. The monthly absentee figures have been lower since May and the trend has continued even further since October. Work absence was primarily long and extra long-term leave, with a specific medical cause. The number of reports for short leave was clearly lower than last year. It is not known what influence the coronavirus has had on this, but action was undertaken last year to help decrease the percentage of sick leave. For example, after the reorganization, clear agreements were reached on the roles and responsibilities in the process; sick leave statistics were discussed in the monthly MT; and the partnership between the Arbodienst and HR was optimized in monitoring absenteeism. In relation to the coronavirus, preventative appointments with the company’s medical officer were made available to staff members who fell within the vulnerable group category. Furthermore, ample attention was given to staff, and colleagues ran multiple initiatives to remain in contact with each other in their new (home) work situation. It is important that constant attention is given to the structural reduction of sick leave statistics, and above all, to ensure we have sustainable deployable staff members.
The Kennemerwaard Public Library had 138 staff members at the end of 2020. This converts into 76.2 fte, of which 64.8 fte have a contract. The others (11.4 fte) are flexible workers (temporary contracts).
‘Ontmoeting en debat’ (meet and debate) is an important core task within the Library Act. The number of libraries that adopt and apply this core task continues to rise. That’s how our director, Erna Winters, was invited to launch an inspiring kick-off at a training in Overijssel and Gelderland. It was a course on ‘Programming in the Library’ for library programmers and associated organizations. The training was organized by Rijnbrink (Provinciale Ondersteunings Instelling voor Bibliotheken in Gelderland en Overijssel). Staff from the Kennemerwaard Public Library have been active as well in networks such as CoderDojo Nederland, Public Libraries 2030, Leesoffensief Provinciaal en lokaal, and the negotiating team on behalf of the Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken for lending rights. Staff shared their thoughts with the Omslagstelsel commission of the NBD (Nederlandse Bibliotheek Dienst) and were involved in the workgroup and sounding board groups associated with Castricum and Bergen’s cultural memorandums. The Kennemerwaard Public Library also contributed to the sounding board for the Community Librarian course and the sounding board for Kenniscloud.
The library’s transition to Office 365 was evaluated in 2020 and Sharepoint was reorganized to a large extent. Looking ahead to the partnership with Artiance, preparations have been made for their staff members to change to Office 365 in 2021. Due to the coronavirus many staff members have had to work from home in 2020. Many of the laptops that are normally available to the public, via the Taalhuis, have now been used for this. It is expected that working from home will continue even after the coronavirus.
Many activities involving volunteers could not take place the past year due to Covid-19, and yet many volunteers continued their work. Volunteers for the Library at Home service brought bags of books to their customers, but instead of coffee and a chat, the book bag was placed at the front door. This way the library was still able to offer service to those who were not able to visit the library for pick-up. Other examples include the volunteer who drove her 2CV to Bergen and Egmond to deliver books; the CoderDojo mentors who taught programming to children online; and the language volunteers who gave instructions online and by telephone or held language appointments in person at a safe distance. Many hostesses and hosts, in orange bibs and masked, helped on-site with loans after the restrictions had been temporarily eased in May. Great involvement Once again, this year we see how dedicated our volunteers are. The volunteers who were not able to work, missed their volunteering very much. To be able to help someone, do meaningful work and have contact with the staff, is very important for many volunteers. Our staff members also missed the volunteers with whom they work. Thankfully, there was considerable telephone contact between staff and volunteers, so not all was lost. And despite the coronavirus year, the number of volunteers has remained stable. We still have approximately 300 volunteers. Volunteers attended the staff meeting for the first time this year, albeit online due to Covid-19. A sounding board has been set up so that volunteers can respond to how the volunteer work is organized within the library. The distribution of the newsletter for volunteers was increased from once every three months to every month due to the coronavirus, and the developments surrounding the reorganization and the partnership.
‘Volunteer efforts help us draw society in. Through their work volunteers promote the library’s presence in society, and as ambassadors they ensure there is a connection with the local community. They support us in making it possible to provide a wide selection of activities. Volunteers provide an important contribution to the library by focusing on an informal method of learning, uniting various groups in society and utilizing their specific talents. In return, the library makes it possible for people to join in and contribute their talents and experience to society, by providing the opportunity to work as a volunteer.’
Our view on working with volunteers, from: volunteer policy Kennemerwaard Public Library
Members of the Supervisory Board of the Kennemerwaard Public Library in 2020 were: - Mr. M. Delahay, Chairman (resigned 1 July) - Mr. J. Oost, Chairman (per 1 July) - Mrs. L. Oskamp, Member - Mr. K. Res, Member - Mrs. E. Hollenberg, Member - Mrs. Mailka el Mhassani, Trainee - Mrs. Corneli den Outer, Trainee
The management of the Kennemerwaard Public Library in 2020 were: - Mrs. E. Winters, Managing Director - Mrs. H. Idema, Section Manager, Public Services - Mr. J. Kaldenbach, Section Manager Innovation & Development
The Works Council consisted temporarily of five members until March 2020. After the WC elections, the Council was again in full force with seven members. Members of the Works Council as of 1 March 2020 were as follows: - Hanneke Hoffmann - Anita de Jong - Annemarie Kraaier - Lenette Logtenberg - Sanneke van der Meer - Claudia Oudejans - Mieke Vis
The Works Council met eight times in 2020. Seven meetings also took place with the director, and one Algemene gang van Zaken conference with the members of the Supervisory Board. With the exception of their regular meetings, the Works Council, in smaller groups, has been in discussion with the Supervisory Board and Artiance’s Works Council, in relation to the merger with the ABC Huis. All meetings have been online since March last year. The merger, the coronavirus pandemic and the consequences for operational management are the central themes in 2020. The reorganization, as planned in 2019, was also on the agenda in the first few months. The Works Council advised on the following subjects: Merger research ABC Huis, the appointment of the director of the ABC Huis, the Fietsplan and volunteer policy. The Works Council also granted permission for the cost allowance scheme.