Empowerment. Society, and our profession in general, have become romantically attracted to the word, yet most of us would more than likely define it differently. In fact, a library director and I were texting each other about the significance of this word and others just a few weeks ago. We discussed what it means for the work that we are doing in our respective institutions, quickly realizing our different definitions.

Here at The Seattle Public Library, it’s an unspoken tenet that the work we do each and every day should empower our staff and patrons of every age and walk of life to experience and enjoy life. For our staff, we offer training and professional development and learning experiences that they can draw upon, and feel empowered to serve the public confidently. We also give them the space to think of new programs and activities that will be of interest or benefit to our users and create more personal and meaningful experiences.

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