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Dean’s Kitchen Table Talks Continue to Inspire Staff Engagement and New Ideas

January 7, 2019

During the month of September, Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, Dean of Libraries, hosted the second series of Dean’s Kitchen Table Talks, bringing together Libraries staff for informal conversations about the Libraries’ strategic objectives.

The Dean first introduced her Kitchen Table Talks series in fall 2017 as a way to engage staff in the Libraries’ ongoing transformation. The first series of talks challenged staff to think of new ways to address the Libraries’ refreshed strategic objectives over the next five years.

The 2018 talks focused on brainstorming ideas around three key topics:

  1. Identifying evidence of the Libraries’ impact around its strategic objectives
  2. Effectively engaging Drexel students to inspire self-directed learning among their peers
  3. Promoting the Libraries’ collective knowledge and resources to Drexel faculty and students

Each of the Libraries’ 56 staff members participated in one of six scheduled conversations (two sessions per topic), which were once again held around the Libraries’ Kitchen table in the W. W. Hagerty Library. At each session, staff contributed observations and ideas as to how the Libraries can better promote and contribute to the University’s strategic mission.

Following the kitchen table conversations, members of the Libraries’ Senior Leadership Group and a subgroup of the Management Leadership Group reviewed the ideas collected during the meetings and organized them into two categories: projects already in progress and projects for future consideration.

New ideas included everything from hosting an information fair for students and faculty to supporting student-led language clubs and book clubs to developing interactive Libraries webpages to improve the online user experience.

“I appreciated the breadth and volume of ideas Libraries staff generated during the 2018 Dean’s Kitchen Table Talks,” said Dean Nitecki. “I’m looking forward to working with staff to implement some of the new ideas shared during the meetings and to further developing projects already in progress so we can extend our impact on the University and on the inspiration and skills of our clients.”

We hope you’ll follow along with our progress, and check the Libraries’ News Blog for updates and information on new initiatives and projects we are undertaking to achieve our goals for this academic year and beyond.