All Staff meetings May 23, 2018 – Reorganization and Staff Changes

Dear TSCPL Staff,

At our All Staff meetings last week, I shared quite a bit of information about the reorganization we’ve been working on for the past nine months.

I thought it would be helpful to put it in writing since it was a lot to take in and to include those staff members who couldn’t attend the May 23 meetings.


When chief operations officer Rob Banks retired in September 2017, I decided that we would not hire a new COO immediately. I chose instead to work with the senior executive team (chief financial officer Kim Torrey, human resources director Jesse Maddox, collections director Paul Brennan, public services director Marie Pyko, communications and marketing director Diana Friend, digital services director David King, (then) public services manager Stephanie Hall, community and strategic services manager Thad Hartman, facilities manager John Kugler, and safety and security manager Greg Gaul ) to evaluate what leadership the library needed moving forward.

We’ve experienced a lot of change in the past two years.

We’ve committed to:

  • a new mission focused on literacy and learning
  • ambitious community impact goals that align with the community’s needs and goals
  • a facilities master plan that makes people and learning experiences the priority as we allocate space and other resources
  • a vision for growing the library and its role as a change agent through community engagement.

We’ve also recognized that our community is changing and we must change along with it.  Momentum 2022 is the new strategic plan for Topeka and Shawnee County and we are participating in that effort as well.  In fact, one of our CI goals (Every child will be ready for kindergarten.) is also included in this community plan.

I’ve worked with the senior executive team to evaluate how other organizations and businesses address administrative leadership.  For instance, we all read and discussed articles from business literature like Second in Command: The Misunderstood Role of the Chief Operating Officer   and  Why Every (Enlightened) Chief Executive Needs a Chief of Staff.

I also had the opportunity to work directly with all the managers who had previously reported to Rob and determined that we did not need another level of operational oversight.

The more I considered the discussions we’ve had as an executive team, what the organization needs, my experience subbing as the COO for the past few months, and what I need as a partner for the CEO position, I decided that what TSCPL would most benefit from is the evolution of the COO position to a Chief of Staff.

We have very competent managers who can lead projects and manage daily operations. I asked them to step up in Rob’s absence to improve communication, coordination & cooperation & to hold each other accountable.  I’m especially appreciative and proud of their efforts because it’s not easy to develop the level of trust and courage to speak truth to peers and to tell them when there is a problem. Even more importantly – to ask department boundary-spanning questions of each other like “why are you doing x?” Or “why aren’t you doing x?” Or “have you thought of x?”

As I said in the email message I sent on May 1, we are working with a company called Bradbury Miller Associates to recruit a Chief of Staff position.

Here is a link to the job announcement: It’s also on our website: The consultants have reached out to all staff asking for recommendations or nominations for the position.  Please feel free to submit people you think would be a great fit for this job.

We are also making other changes to staff positions to better support our CI goals and service plans moving forward.  Note that all of these changes are re-assignments or re-allocation of existing positions through attrition as employees left for other opportunities or retired.  No new positions have been added.

They are:

Learning Experiences Manager

Stephanie Hall has accepted a re-assignment to the new learning experiences manager position to facilitate and lead programming, the development of the new Learning Center and to help develop a culture of literacy and learning in the library and community. This position reports to the CEO.


Three new supervisor positions were created to provide better coaching, training and leadership for staff in circulation and public services.  Last week, we welcomed Debbie Stanton and Autumn Friedli to public services and Kelli Smith to circulation.

Homework Center

We are eliminating our Homework Center service and re-assigning Homework Center coaches Leah Anderson and Tracie McCluskey to work with youth services and Stephanie Hall to develop STEM-based learning programs and experiences for children and families and help library staff develop STREAM competencies. (It’s important to remember that all programs have a life-cycle and the need for a public-library sponsored homework center has diminished significantly in the past several years.  Schools are taking more responsibility for student tutoring and coaching and educational models have changed.)

Staff Development Coordinator

In June we will post an announcement for a new staff development coordinator position.  Just as we’re investing in staff with additional supervisors, we’re going to be investing in training and learning for ourselves.  If we hope to facilitate literacy and lifelong learning in our community, we must be continuous learners and remember! that one of our goals is to be a learning organization.  That won’t happen by itself.  This new position will report to HR director Jesse Maddox and help develop a curriculum for staff that will help us grow as individuals and as an organization.

Facilities and Security

We are merging the Facilities and Security departments into one entity. Beginning June 4, John Kugler will become facilities and security manager, Greg Gaul will continue as safety and security supervisor and Ivan will continue as custodial supervisor.  We take the safety and security of our staff, customer and facilities seriously.  It’s become apparent in the past nine months that we need to place a higher priority for training and security coverage during all hours we are open. It’s critical for those two operations to work seamlessly together since both are responsible for the safety and security of our buildings, service vehicles and grounds.

For several years, we have relied heavily on Topeka Police officers to fill gaps in our security coverage and they do a great job.  Recently, they have become less available and it’s also become evident that trying to provide security coverage for this campus as well as offsite locations like bookmobile stops is difficult and sometimes impossible with only 3 full time permanent security staff.  We plan to add one security staff member in FY19.  Note that this is the one position that will be added, not created through attrition.

The new organizational chart with these changes is posted on the staff page.

Please let me know if you have questions or comments about these changes.

Thanks, Gina

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