Fellow Citizens, Your Credo?

Do You Have a Professional Credo? Should You? These were the questions which propelled the Socratic Conversation conducted by Ron Gross on July 12th.

With the timely approach of annual performance appraisals, we shared our professional credo detailing five core characteristics of library staff — a credo holding strong since its 2004 conceptualization:

  • Individually Agile and Active (An agile and active contributor)
  • Socially skillful and Responsible (A skillful & responsible team member & leader)
  • Academically and Intellectually Vital (An intellectually vital student/scholar)
  • Educationally Oriented and Involved (An involved and oriented educator)
  • Continuously Productive (A productive worker and manager of work)

We’re accustomed to the fact that our organizations, institutions, companies, and even projects all have a “Mission Statement”.  But these days, when so many are operating as “free agents”,  we may well need our own inner compass as we move from organization to organization.

The participants explored issues including what values they each want to affirm, how to effectively give voice to those values, and what experiences they have had when they have had to say NO!

One described what happened when she convened a meeting of parents to be sure they knew about Special Education services for their kids, which the system was refusing to make known. When she arrived at school the next day, there was a sub teaching her class, and she had been reassigned to a non-instructional job. (The facilitator noted that Socrates himself succumbed to this peril: he famously declared his Credo (“fellow citizens”) – after which they put him to death!  Fortunately, in the case of the Conversation participant, community organizations came to her defense, and eventually the system changed its policies — and offered her job back.

Participants found especially serviceable, a one-pager on How to Write Your Credo, and such Library resources as Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right, by Mary Gentile.

Join us for the next Socratic Conversation, on the topic Who Changed Your Life?,  Thursday, August 9th, 4-5 pm, Second Floor Salon.