PLS is in the process of farewelling two of its really great staff who in different ways have contributed so much to PLS and the public library network.
Penny Richardson retires today after working at PLS and its former iterations for over 42 years. For those of you who know about our sojourns in various places Penny has worked at Hindmarsh, Norwood and within the State Library way back in the 80's. During this time Penny has taken time out to obtain a degree and have a family, but she has always come back to contribute to the work at PLS. Penny's most recent roles have included single-handedly looking after all of the day to day liaison with our libraries and suppliers regarding any mix ups with our orders - including lost & damaged items, wrong titles sent, partial supply of orders etc. She has also had a number of other tasks including managing the ordering and distribution of barcodes to libraries as well as contributing to selection list management etc.
The fact that the network is able to rely on one person to undertake the day to day supplier liaison role is a great efficiency for libraries as well as for our suppliers. While we can't replace Penny and her wealth of knowledge and great relationships with suppliers, we are in the process of recruiting someone to take on Penny's work & learn all that is required to continue to provide this service to libraries.
Penny has not been one for having the spotlight on her, so didn't want a fuss made of her on her retirement. However we did ask people in the network who wanted to contribute comments about Penny and her work to send their comments in to us. We used these to compile a beautiful book of comments and photos for Penny to take home with her as a memento of her career in a key role in our network.
In contrast to Penny's long service at PLS we're about to farewell a staff member who has only been with us for a couple of years, but has also made an incredible impact during this time. Jo Rivers was recruited as a project officer for the One Card roll out. She arrived full of drive and has carried this right through as she has shaped our implementation team & processes and driven so many of the library implementations.
Jo was employed on a contract to contribute to this project and she has fulfilled everything we could have asked of her during her stay with us. She had a number of months left to run on her contract, but as the LMS project was always designed to wind up Jo knew that there was no ongoing work here with PLS. So she has won another software implementation position & we'll soon be wishing her well as she moves to this new role. Her new employer is getting a gun software rollout project manager.
We know that we took a quite aggressive approach to the speed of our roll out, and that it would take a real dedication by the PLS implementation team to keep up the schedule which was laid down. Jo's skills, knowledge, tenacity and dedication has been one of the really key factors in the whole network achieving what we have in the last 2+ years. For those of you who have worked with Jo, you may wish to contact her before the 18th when she leaves us.
I should note that we plan to have an "end of project" event to which library staff will be invited (more on this later). We will certainly be inviting Jo back to celebrate this project's success.