Rural and Small communities: AMO presentation

I was very fortunate to be invited to speak at the recent Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa about a new partnership between the library and Bruce County Economic Development. This partnership came about in response to a call for pilot projects from AMO focused on supporting business development.


In 2015, the Ontario Government and the City of Toronto undertook a joint project, entitled “The Ontario-Toronto Burden Reduction Project”, aiming to reduce the regulation-related barriers of cost and delay facing local businesses and entrepreneurs in that municipality. Among the targets were instances of non-value-added bureaucratic processes, repetitious requirements for similar information, protracted or unpredictable response times, etc. Toronto’s project was conducted through a total of eight pilot projects, with a ninth identified later in the program.

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A Competencies Based Work Plan

This is the fourth post in a series on competencies based professional development.

I was familiar with the SOLS competencies when I became Director at Bruce County Public Library earlier this year. Within my first week I went through the CEO sample profile and immediately knew I had to create a plan to ensure I developed or improved upon the skills required for the large scope of the Director role. I found the competencies included in the CEO sample provide the ideal framework for me to stay on track with the bigger picture.

I went through the competencies and highlighted the specific ones I felt were of the most immediate importance. I created a separate document with the competencies and the related activities. I added a timeline to these to give me something specific to work toward throughout the year.

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Competencies in Performance Appraisals

This is the second post in a series on competencies based professional development.

In August 2014 I was hired by Bruce County Public Library as the Assistant Director. In June 2015 I became the Director. I currently supervise 22 people in various locations across our 18 locations.  Prior to Bruce County, I worked at Toronto Public Library, Yellowknife Public Library, Lethbridge Public Library and Vancouver Island Regional Library. I have done every job in a public library from page to Director.

In my first supervisory position  with the Yellowknife Public Library I implemented a competencies based approach to performance evaluations for library staff. It was based on the Government of the Northwest Territories HR model. I liked this model because it gave quantifiable standards of performance that could apply equitably to each person. In the management positions I held later, across Western Canada, I delivered appraisal after appraisal and longed for the competencies I used in my first supervisory position. I felt that the appraisals were less meaningful and practical without a competency component. When I returned to Ontario and found the SOLS competencies, I wanted to implement them in some significant way.

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