Drop Everything And Learn

This idea has received enough buzz from the Library in Action blog that I also administer that I thought it would have a good audience on Yes To Know as well…

For the past several months the YO Team (the department I direct) has re-energized its commitment to personal and professional learning through a concept I call “Drop Everything And Learn”. We call it DEAL for short. In a very small nutshell, this idea encourages staff to stay curious and follow-up with what inspires, intrigues or makes them wonder by learning more about it. How they go about that is up to them on an ongoing basis.
At times, however, “DEAL challenges” are thrown out for staff to dig in and discover more about a topic, idea or something they’ve noted in their DEAL notebooks. Recently, The YO Dept. had another Learn & Play Experience (our version of team building and staff enrichment with a slant toward making it fun). Knowing that the light rail in Charlotte had just opened to the public, we decided that we should know more about what the experience is like so that we can talk to our community about it. So, the whole team boarded the light rail, took it down to Southend and we had a great lunchtime together while learning the ins-and-outs of this new transportation system in Charlotte. Along with this trip there was a DEAL Challenge: Find out 3 new things about Charlotte or something else from the experience.

Here are 3 things I learned:

1.Low country food CAN be low fat, low sodium. Try
Woods on South to find out how.
2.The light rail goes much slower than I imagined from uptown to Southend
3.Atherton Mill (now a high-end design & consignment complex) was one owned by the Lance Co. (yes, think: Lance Crackers)

So, what have you learned lately about the community you live in?

By the way: I encourage managers and supervisors to have “Learn & Play Days” with your staff. It is a great experience, you learn more than you’d ever expect by taking this approach, and it builds a stronger team. (Do away with the terms “in service” and “staff development” if you want to help staff perk up to learning and growing)



  1. Hi Tony! This sounds like a great team project. By the way, have you been to Tea Rex in Atherton Mill? One of my favorite spots in Charlotte and I still bemoan the lack of anything comparable in this neck of the woods.

  2. Hi Lesley!
    Yes, we visited Tea Rex as the last part of our Learn and Play Day! It is just a great place. The owner is a living example of someone who is passsionate about what his work. Tea is his life and he wants to share it! It is one of the best experiences I have had in Charlotte. Passion is infectuous!

  3. What a great concept! I wish other departments or organizations were able, or allowed, to participate in something as incredible as this. So… what does it take to get a job in YO?

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