HIDWID - Paul LeValley

HIDWID - Paul LeValley

Mar 04, 2021

Return to How I Do What I Do

Focus items:

  1. President ?
  2. Newsletter
    1. What word processor is used
    2. Where are files stored?
  3. Research ?

NOTE: This write-up gives a style of management, not what was wanted for How I Do What I Do. While the style of doing things is OK, it is not what is needed which is for each presidential task, exactly how it is done, where are things kept, and important and useful information that could be passed down to a future officer. Please provide more substance.

How I Do What I Do? Paul LeValley, President

Helen Fisher wrote a whole booklet on how to micro-manage every facet of the library and drive oneself to an early grave. Each president since her time has looked at it, and set it aside. If it has not been scanned into our records, it should be. But each leader has a different style. I prefer to turn people loose to enthusiastically do their favorite things, while keeping an eye on the results.

I find that my biggest job is holding the staff together. And there is no manual for that. Ours is a volunteer organization, and volunteers can vote with their feet at any time. I constantly have to prevent one prickly personality from driving another prickly personality out. Often that means attending committee meetings where I know little about the technical aspects of the subject, but may be needed to referee.

Working with volunteers requires tact and patience. When a volunteer screws up–no matter how badly–there is just one thing to say: grit your teeth and say, “Thank-you.”

The president bears the responsibility of maintaining the efforts of volunteers over the past 40 years, and also guiding a few steps forward. I came to this position with no over-arching vision, but one desire to make the collection more available to people who did not drive through the gates of Cypress Cove. Establishing the Nudist Research Library Consortium was a big first step in that direction; implementing phase 2 was another.

Besides over-all leadership, the president should carry a share of the load. I do that by volunteering one day a week as a regular librarian, continuing my responsibilities as Research Coördinator, and editing the newsletter. My predecessor was good at carpentry. Other presidents will choose different specialties.

Research

As Research Coördinator, I end up doing three things:

  1. Answer research inquiries. Too often, this means helping the researcher narrow the topic to something manageable. Then it means pointing the person toward helpful indexes, articles, books, or experts.
  2. When a researcher visits the library, making sure he/she has all of the necessary resources available. Rarely, this could mean opening the library for extra hours. Supervise any large amounts of copying.
  3. Supervise the sending of paper or electronic files of articles needed for research.

Newsletter

  1. I happen to type the newsletter in WordPerfect at home, but any word processor can be used. I then lay out the pictures at home with Adobe InDesign (which is way too expensive for the library to use just twice a year.) When finished, I send the PDF to the secretary for distribution. We have not produced a newsletter using the less sophisticated new technology of making a PDF directly from almost any page; that should be much easier now than it was just a few years ago.