COVID Response: Doug’s leadership shone through as he guided the library through COVID. During the ten-week closure he chaired a reopening committee. Early on he set down the principles of placing safety and security first and to move forward in gradual steps. After the Library System opened its doors with limited hours and services on June 1, 2020, for the rest of the year Doug led the careful expansion of operations while maintaining a safe environment. He also placed the library into partnerships to assist with the recovery effort including food distribution, processing hundreds of CARES Act grant applications, PPE distribution, and assisting at the Emergency Operations Center. Recently the library has called seniors to assist in setting up vaccination appointments.

Communication: Doug reaches out directly to staff every week to keep them informed. In January 2020, he started writing the Director’s Weekly Update which shares important news and acknowledges staff for excellent work. He used the newsletter to share uplifting messages to inspire staff in a time of uncertainty. Doug also began a monthly Zoom Town Hall. The format includes an overview of library operations and news about the system. Staff submit questions in advance, but may also chat questions. Every session closes with a round of appreciation where the audience acknowledges their coworkers.

Fine Free: In September 2019, Doug got approval to eliminate overdue fines. This accessibility move proved very important when COVID temporarily closed library buildings. No fines reduced the impact on the community when people were struggling with unemployment since they no longer had to worry about accumulating fines. Doug suspended referrals to the collection agency and eliminated the collection agency fee. In September 2020, he received permission to waive all $77,000 of fines on children’s cards to allow 1,400 students restored access to library resources.

Presidential Visits: For the past four years, the library hosted the White House Press Corps whenever President Trump visited his West Palm Beach golf course. The partnership supported the free press. In late October Doug and his team worked with the Secret Service and the White House when the President early voted at the Main Library. This marked the first time a sitting President voted in Florida and made international news. Statewide Contributions: For the past six years Doug served on the SEFLIN Board of Directors, including a term as President. He has led workshops for SEFLIN and participated in the annual SEFLIN Technology Conference. Doug served as a Past Chair on the State Library Council, an advisory body for the Division of Library and Information Services. This year they met three times to make recommendations on LSTA funding and CARES Act grants. For the past five years Doug has assisted the Division of Library and Information Services with the New Library Director orientations. In addition to helping plan the event he serves on the popular panel discussion segment where his amusing “rants” provoke discussion of the less glamourous aspects of being a library director.

Florida Library Association: Doug is an active member of FLA. He has served on several committees including Leadership Development as a past Chair, and the Advocacy Committee as the past Chair. In his role on the Advocacy Committee, Doug guided the redesign of the “leave behind” fact sheet for legislators and envisioned a virtual Library Day. This year’s work is extra important in the face of the challenging fiscal situation. Doug has presented multiple times at FLA conferences on topics such as efficiency and organization along with leading the annual SSLLI panel discussion. This year was his third time as an SSLLI mentor.

American Library Association: Doug is a lifetime member of ALA and a member of PLA and CORE. He has served on the Public Libraries Magazine committee, the PLA Leadership Development Committee, the Charlie Robinson Award panel and the PLA Nominating Committee. Recently Doug presented a webinar on building a strong culture for the CORE professional development team. Doug was selected by ALA last February to attend the ALA “Fly-In” event in Washington DC where he advocated on Capitol Hill. Efficient Librarian: For the past decade Doug has presented workshops on personal productivity under the brand, Efficient Librarian. Doug has trained thousands of library staff on how to be more effective at work. Seminars have been presented across Florida through TBLC, SEFLIN, PLAN, and NEFLIN. He has also trained for national organizations including ALA, PLA and LLAMA (now CORE). Doug blogs weekly at his web site: www.efficientlibrarian.com. His workshops can be found at: https://efficientlibrarian.com/workshops-and-webinars. Doug is the author three Public Libraries articles: “May I Ask You a Question? Lessons Learned from Interviewing Public Library Leaders,” “Efficient Librarianship – A New Path for the Profession”, and “Go For It! Advice From Library Directors.” He is a regular contributor to Learning Exchange, the Newsletter of the ALA Learning Round Table. 

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