RLG: A staff appreciation

Time for a coffee-break post–not one giving more details about the planned merger (because I still don’t know much of anything), or about how a “merger” of 1100 people and 70+ people works in practice, or about the comparative roles of OCLC and RLG.

Instead, a brief, informal comment about one major reason (perhaps the major reason) I’m still at RLG after almost 27 years:

The people.

Not all of them, not all the time–but RLG people are some of the best, most capable, most caring people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

Development/systems (which I’ve been part of for most of my tenure hearhere, although not all of it) includes a fair number of degreed librarians (most analysts, quite a few programmers and managers), and an even larger number of people who care about what we do–about getting it right, following standards, providing as much innovation as we can afford, working with and for our members and users, and working as an efficient, effective, human team.

I stand in astonishment at the sheer talent of some of the people in dev/systems, including names you’ve probably never heard.

It’s not just development/systems. The RLG Information Center (RIC), our front-line user assistance folks, consists of thoughtful, professional people devoted to providing the best possible customer service. I believe RLG has a reputation for doing exactly that (and take pride in the part I’ve played, from time to time, handling Eureka feedback and troubleshooting problems discovered by usres). It’s the people who make that happen.

The same could be said in every division–membership programs and initiatives, product management, operations, even F&A.
The quality of the people, both as workers and as people, is one big reason that quite a few of us have been here for quite a long time. I’m not the employee with the longest tenure (I think I’m #6, actually). I’ve talked to some recent additions who noted that they keep working here in part because the other people are such good people and care so much about what we’re doing.

That’s a coffee break’s worth of appreciation: Long overdue, but here at last.

3 Responses to “RLG: A staff appreciation”

  1. John Dupuis says:

    Walt, these types of life events can be very stressful, almost as much as moving or getting married or losing a loved one. It’s natural for the rumour mill to be running wild with crazy speculation about what might happen. On one hand, you have to put that kind of stuff out of your mind; on the other hand, recognizing that it is natural is important too. It’s just how people cope with the stress and work through in their minds the various possibilities, both likely, unlikely and totally out to lunch.

    In my previous life as a software developer, the company I worked for was taken over twice, once was a fairly positive experience and the second more like a corpse being picked over by a flock of buzzards. The first really encouraged me to stay in a career I was growing tired of while the second ultimately led to my changing careers and becoming a librarian. Often when one door closes, another opens.


  2. walt says:


    Thanks for the comment.

    I should stress, though, that this particular post really isn’t about the merger–except that the situation got me thinking about the people at RLG again, and I recognized that I’d never said anything here about this first-rate group. Thus the post: Not drawing comparisons or anything of the sort, just saying that the heart of RLG–its staff, in all of the divisions–is remarkable.

  3. Duncan says:

    27 years is a long time. I was in lots of places that never made it that long. Usually a merger/buyout, followed by layoffs.

    Good luck!