What if radical kindness was a Library policy development principle
What if all Library Policies were developed using kindness as a principle?
What if instead of focusing on punishment or penalties for library members doing the wrong thing, we focused on awards, acknowledgement and benefits to library members doing the right thing? What if our Library Management Systems helped us do this? What if our Library Management System gave out a badge when you brought your books back on time?
What if Library staff noticed and showcased the small acts of kindness they see every day as well as those incident reports focusing on the bad behavior of clients? What if they shared them for all library visitors to see?
What if we asked our visitors to report the small acts of kindness they see every day in the library and to gain some library benefit for doing so?
What if we encouraged radical acts of kindness to library visitors as a way to brighten their own day? Provide a kindness wall, provide a way to support a local initiative, host a food drive. Spreading kindness by providing an easy way to action kindness in our communities.
What if we included a personal kindness challenge in every one of our staff performance management plan? What if personal kindness was a measure that staff were assessed on?
What if we extended radical kindness to our library environment? Would we still cover books in plastic? Would we offer extended community garden options or ask our library visitors to adopt a plant?
Radical acts of kindness can make your own day (and brain) brighter as well as making someone else’s day brighter. The University of Zurich, in their study, found that small acts of kindness cause the brain of the person giving to light up with a “warm glow” which can be directly linked to an increased sense of personal happiness. Their article A Neural Link Between Generosity and Happiness was published in Nature Communications (2017).
If Libraries practice kindness everyone would be just that little bit happier including library staff.
Some simple acts of kindness as a guide:
- Say hello to neighbors, including neighbors sitting at the table near you.
- Grow a garden and share the produce.
- Text friends and family to say, “Hello! Love you and thinking about you!”
- Share sticky notes inscribed with positive thoughts and compliments for your colleagues.
- Smile at strangers, it really is not that hard.
- Write a gratitude list each morning.
- Let someone with just a few items go in front of you at the grocery store.
- Start a piggy bank for a meaningful cause or non-profit.
- Take a walk with your family.
- Leave a surprise thank you note for your library courier
- Listen to others without interrupting.
- Slow down. Research shows your more willing and able to show kindness to others when you’re not in a hurry.
- Host a plant giveaway in your library where people can bring a plant and take a plant. Plants make people happy.
- Pop some coins in a parking meter that’s about to expire.
- Call a relative or a friend to see how they are doing.
- Babysit for a friend or relative who needs some “me time.”
And remember to be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself. Take walks, spend time outside, choose healthy foods, laugh more.