Mmmm! Tater tot casserole!

"Everything changes, but as it changes there is one immutable thing and that is the larger rhythm. The rhythm of all that is." -Jewel, Chasing Down the Dawn

I'm sitting at the reference desk with a belly full of tater tot casserole, deviled eggs and freshly brewed Dunkin' Doughnuts coffee, having just come from the Staff Holiday Breakfast. This year, in the absence of the person who has probably done it for the past 10 years or so, I got to help plan and organize the event with two of my colleagues from Technical Services. This last quarter has kind of had a focus on change: the library is getting ready for an upcoming renovation and expansion project, the theme of our in-service day was "Transformations" and finally, Nancy, Cecilia and I decided to change things up quite a bit with holiday breakfast. As with any major change in an organization, we feared there might be a negative response, but sitting here reflecting on the event and recalling some comments, I can say it was no where near as bad as we had thought it might be.

Traditionally, the main activity for the morning, besides the potluck breakfast, has been a White Elephant Gift Exchange. That was our biggest change. Instead of sending people away with tacky, often times useless things that end up getting re-gifted the next year, Nancy, Cecilia and I decided we wanted to support our adopted family, as well as our local businesses, by having a donation and drawing. For each non-perishable food item the staff members brought for the family, they got up to five chances in a drawing for gift certificates to La Prima Tazza, The Raven Bookstore, 715, African Adorned, and Local Burger. We also wanted to make sure everyone walked away with something, so we made certificates for the spring Friends of the Library book sale.

Overall, I think it went pretty well (as I was writing this, a coworker exclaimed over how much more lively the event seemed this year!). Nancy had the great idea of hanging huge ornamental snowflakes from the ceiling, we got blue and silver tablecloths, and a great white floral arrangement for a centerpiece. I really wanted the breakfast to be a reflection on the past 12 months and a celebration of the end of the year. To help with this, I put together a PowerPoint slideshow of pictures that had been taken throughout the year with snowflakes that would periodically fall down the screen and projected it for a visual. Conversations were great, everyone was very appreciative for the gift certificates, and the food was delicious! It's events like these that make me appreciate all the more my job and the people I work with.