book stack picture

Dealing With the Staff Hoarder

Holly and I are fond of telling people in our presentations that every library has at least one hoarder on staff. The punchline is, if you say no, then it probably is you. Without fail, at every presentation we have given, there is someone who wants to talk about a fellow staff member that is hell bent on saving everything for the coming library apocalypse or for that elusive patron that “might need it.”

I am using the term hoarder loosely. I am talking about the office pack rat or collector. If you think your library has a problem that needs some clinical intervention, this would be a job for management and a qualified mental health professional. Obviously, this is a delicate and serious issue and it should be treated as such. For the rest of us, here are some strategies that you can try.

return on investment

Real Cost of Short Term Thinking

Anyone who has worked with me for more than a few minutes has heard my rants on costs and ROI (Return on Investment). Everything I purchase or do for my library has me spinning into mini ROI calculations. Sample obsessive calculations:

-Program cost over number of participants (Watch my blood pressure if I have to attempt to divide by zero!)

-Item cost + Cost of processing + Cost of selection time over number of circulations.

-Number of circs I can squeeze before a board book is completely disgusting.

-Item cost vs how much work it is to order said item (I am defining work in this context to the following: bad website, poor invoicing detail, annoying sales/customer service, etc.)