Skip Navigation
Back to Navigation

Staff Support Team

← Back

Staff Support Team

Dallas Public Library, Texas

Library Operations & Management | 2020

Innovation Synopsis

In response to the global pandemic, the Dallas Public Library developed a staff support team dedicated to insuring access to mental health resources, continued peer engagement and crisis intervention. The staff support team developed a hotline, newsletter and social engagement activities for staff impacted by the challenges of 2020.


From a global pandemic to global unrest over police brutality, to say that 2020 has been a challenging year does not capture the struggles faced by DPL staff and our community. While the typical impulse is to come together, health and safety guidelines prohibited against this. Furloughs and the loss of colleagues made the distance even more difficult to bear while staff sought meaningful projects while not directly interacting with the public.

Key Elements of Innovation

DPL repurposed staff normally caring for the public and focused them on caring for staff. Led by the Homeless Engagement Coordinator and LPC Suzanne Glover, they provided opportunities for individuals to get help anonymously. The team immediately set up a staff helpline. Suzanne offered counseling sessions and referrals to outside services. The staff support site also gathered all FAQs to consolidate information. Staff Support then worked to develop social outlets like virtual lunches, game days and group discussions.

Achieved Outcomes

The Staff Support team created an indirect communication system between staff and upper administration. In counseling sessions and group discussions, staff were freer to voice their feelings and fears. The staff support team could then relay any trends or concerns to administration making it easier to make staff feel supported at the highest levels of leadership. Staff have sought treatment, overcome barriers to resources and have been able to process their feelings in the midst of multiple stressors.