Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Implementing a Reading Program on Local Units

Local units are encouraged to solicit ideas from local personnel about implementing the Professional Reading Program. A professional reading program can be developed on your local unit in a few easy steps that require very little effort or expense.

Start a Library 
Start by establishing a central book cache or library in your break room or training room. Designate a bookcase specifically for leadership. For several hundred dollars, a fire organization can put together a good library from the titles listed in this reference. There are many possible avenues for the acquisition of books:
  • You can ask the region/district/department to purchase them or apply for continuing education grants.
  • You can solicit books from the local community or contact service groups for assistance through monetary or book donations.
  • You can also check local or online used bookstores for books or books on tape.
Promote the Program 
Promoting the reading program is an ongoing endeavor and can be done in many ways. Here are a few suggestions: 
  • Give books from the reading list as awards and appreciations. 
  • Buy enough copies of one of the books for your whole crew or fire organization to read. 
  • Consider assigning your crew or staff to read one of the books and discuss its salient points at a crew meeting, training day, or safety session. 
  • Have topic discussions about books from the reading list. This will allow one person to relate the main topics and points of a book to a group or allow a group to compare their ideas about a single book. 
    • Topics can be assigned or selected by the participants. Assign each person a chapter(s) or book to read and brief the rest of the group.
    • Propose a topic and have people find articles from magazines, newspapers, etc., or other books that are relevant to the topic. Have crew members present their findings at a crew forum. 
  • Tie the reading program to employee individual development plans (IDPs); e.g., read a certain number of books in a given time period. Designate specific books based on the employee's qualifications. 
Keep it fun, but emphasize the importance of the program in developing a commitment to a lifetime of learning and to stronger leadership at all levels of our fire organizations. 

No comments: