Libraries provide so much to their communities, and Frederick County Public Libraries in Maryland is no exception. This bustling library system includes 9 branch locations, a busy staff, and a full schedule of services and programs offered to the public. They use Teamup to keep things organized with shared scheduling responsibilities, even while adjusting their programs and schedules to cope with the pandemic. Courtney Brohawn, Project Coordinator at FCPL and Beth Heltebridle, Branch Administrator for C. Burr Artz Public Library, shared a bit of their story.
Flexible scheduling for all factors
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien
Scheduling involves more than assigning a shift to a staff member. As Tolkien points out, it’s wise to consider all the factors of your reality when making plans. For this busy library system, each day has multiple factors. Events need to be considered across several contexts (area, department, activity, staff assignment).
“We are a library system with 9 locations. Teamup provides us the flexibility to schedule not only work shifts, but assign staff at multiple service points at each location, while having all locations accessible in one software. It aids in letting all staff be aware of obligations such as meetings, leave, programs, etc., that can help inform scheduling. Each calendar provides staff the ability to view their shift schedule, as well as any service point assignments they will have throughout the day. Calendars are organized by department and by activity or service location within that.”
Shared scheduling responsibilities for daily obligations
Each location has its own Teamup master calendar, and shares the scheduling responsibility among staff members. Each calendar provides staff the ability to view their shift schedule, as well as any service point assignments they will have throughout the day.
“The leadership team for each location manages the calendars. Staff each have responsibility for inputting their daily obligations,” says Courtney. This way, no one person is responsible for keeping everyone informed, or tracking down important details.
Consolidated view of operations across all branches
For a large service organization of this scale and complexity, it is very useful to keep an ongoing overview of all schedules and activities across the entire system on a single page. This is easily possible by simply consolidating the iCalendar feeds from each branch library’s calendar. Byebye Excel spreadsheets. Hello to a whole new level of flexibility and efficiency.
“Teamup is working very well for us. The ability to redefine calendars as needed has been greatly helpful during this period of changed service models and work from home shifts in particular. The way we set it up ensures that it is only successful when maintaining it is a shared responsibility – not just the onus of supervisors.”
One calendar for collaborative teamwork and a big-picture view
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien
Keeping all the relevant information in one place makes scheduling more efficient. It also helps eliminate errors or miscommunications. With all the details on the calendar, there’s no need to cross-check other software or do multiple updates. Shared scheduling responsibilities are easier. Everything stays synced and accessible.
“We’ve tried other scheduling software in the past that did not have the flexibility Teamup does, which is essential for an organization with multiple locations, and several departments and service points for customers within each location. Typically we would need to have an Excel spreadsheet in addition to our previous scheduling software to meet all our needs.”
We’re glad to be part of the great things happening in the Frederick County Libraries. Thanks, Courtney and Beth, for sharing your story!
Header photo: Housewives of Frederick County