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Paul F. Miller Library Services Director 530-661-5980
Paul MillerDirectorWoodland Public Library Paul MillerDirectorWoodland Public LibraryImagine stepping into the oldest (1905) original Carnegie library still functioning as a public library in California.You are the new Director.The building is in decline, relations with the city are strained, and employee morale is low.Your name is Paul Miller. Three years later, the Woodland Public Library has seen a dramatic turnaround under the guidance of Paul Miller.Relations with the council and other city departments is cordial, the administrative board has become engaged and enthusiastic, and improved employee morale has led to a high level of patron satisfaction. Under Paul Miller, library usage has doubled.Public polls show a deepening respect for the library.And the library has been refurbished in anticipation of an approved multi-million dollar expansion. Paul Miller has made the collection more responsive to the community through thorough weeding and materials budget augmentation. Paul Miller has empowered his staff by working with their suggestions and incorporating their ideas into a system that is responsive to patrons and satisfying to employees.
> Woodland Library Services Director Paul Miller will be receiving a state award Sunday for his outstanding work with the board of trustees. The California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners, or CALTAC, award will be presented to Miller during the California Library Association Conference in Long Beach. Miller, who took on the job of library director in August 2004, was nominated for the recognition by George Goding, president of the Woodland Public Library Board of Trustees. "I can't think of anyone more deserving than Paul," Goding said. Additionally, "the citizens even rave about Director Miller as a budding star in the annual Friends of the Library Mystery Dinner," a community-participation fundraiser where public figures enact suspenseful plot lines. Miller says his approach was fairly simple - he started out by listening to the Board of Trustees, Friends of the Library and the library staff to find out what changes they wanted, and then he took on a few of the suggestions as projects. "They all just seemed to have years of pent up desires for the library," Miller said. Those desires included making the library feel less claustrophobic, updating the book collection and buying more books, Miller said. "The main thing an administrator needs to do is have one big success for the staff," Miller said, "and it will make them happy." Making the front lobby of the library feel more spacious, for example, led to compliments from patrons and a boost in staff morale that led to even more creative ideas for improvement, Miller said. When those types of positive "loops" form, he said, more success will follow. In the near future, Miller expects to be able to expand the library.About 11,000-square-feet will be added to the west side of the building that could be used for a variety of things, he said, including a teen area or more space for children's story time. As for the being recognized with the CALTAC award, Miller said he is happy about it but he doesn't work for the fame. "What I'm most happy about (is) the local confirmation that I'm doing something right," Miller said.
Woodland Library Director Paul Miller displays some of the popular books being checked out these days. (Photo: Deo Ferrer/Daily Democrat & Illustration: Billy Chappell/Daily Democrat) Paul Miller, library services director for the Woodland Public Library, was asked whether books are a thing of the past, if they still possess the ability to change people's lives and if they can compete with the controversial antics aired on daily television. "We thought the book was going to kick the bucket," Miller said, "but it hasn't." Miller pointed to a shelf that contained a group of authors who have been banned in the past. Miller said he encourages people to read from the banned book list. "We don't discriminate," he said."We let the schools tell kids what's important." Could it be that books are still rebellious enough to hold their own against the bad boys of television? Statistics show that in the past year, items checked out of the Woodland Public Library went up by almost 100,000 items - a number so high, it's even shocking to Miller, a seasoned library veteran. Miller said he attributes some of the increase in circulation to a bigger library budget and a great children's librarian, but he can't explain such a dramatic interest in books. "You could go back in time and people would say, 'In my day, kids were always reading,' but it's still the same," Miller said.By "interested in Russia," Miller means the book helped him decide to pack up his belongings and move there for a period of time many years ago.
For more information on the dinner or joining the committee, contact Woodland City Councilman Artemio Pimentel at 681-8501 or Woodland Library Services Director Paul Miller at 661-5984.
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