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Library shares the power of team work

The Town of Sylvan Lake has installed much-needed new flooring in the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library, which is exciting.

However, the renovations meant that the library and town staff had to move books, shelves, and more, to allow the flooring to be installed. This was a daunting task.

All Library staff were called in for the job, and I had no idea how this was going to work. I recently reorganized the shelving in my home office, and that took me a whole day and no small amount of frustration.

In my state of worry, I underestimated the power of teamwork.

The morning of the big move began with a short staff meeting. Our library director Andrea Newland explained what needed to be done. Everything from the north side of the library needed to be shifted to the south side of the library to allow half of the flooring to be laid.

Later, everything would shift in the opposite direction.

That was it. After the brief explanation, Newland basically waved a flag and the staff mobilized like a custom-built race car, burning rubber as we went. It was instantaneous, with people jumping to their feet and taking on one task or another without hesitation.

Someone started moving computer equipment. A group moved tables, chairs, and other furniture. Some staff began emptying the bookshelves onto carts and others began emptying those carts onto shelves on the other side of the library.

Later, town staff members came to haul the shelving units across the library. It was an amazing group effort.

Afterwards, I felt great. Certainly, the blood pumping through my veins from the physical activity probably boosted my mood, but it also just felt amazing to have completed such a significant job working as part of a team.

This experience made me start thinking about other kinds of teams. I wanted to share this feeling.

The first thing that came to mind was a traditional kind of team: sports. This was probably on my mind because of the visit the library had from the Sylvan Lake Gulls collegiate baseball team.

I’m not a sporty person, but it was inspiring to see talented athletes who have made teamwork a huge part of their lives.

There are also teams of volunteers. The Friends of Sylvan Lake Library recently mobilized to pull off an awesome used book sale fundraiser at the library. This is definitely a team I can appreciate!

Another type of team I love is the team you build when playing a cooperative board game.

A favourite of mine is Betrayal at House on the Hill, where a team of players has to discover the traitor among them. That game is on my agenda for Family Game Night at the library on July 15.

Whether it’s a formal arrangement or just a group of friends pitching in, it’s incredibly satisfying to get a job done as part of a team.

Try it out and you might be surprised at how good it feels.

— By Shanna Doupe, Marketing Consultant, Sylvan Lake Municipal Library


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