On Thursday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin presented the Tulsa City-County Library with the Oklahoma Quality Foundation's Pursuit of Excellence Award. The award recognizes Oklahoma businesses and organizations for achievement in quality, business performance and best practices. Award criteria include seven categories to gauge overall performance of an organization, including: leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, workforce focus, process management, results and measurement, analysis and knowledge management.
Library CEO Gary Shaffer reports staff worked for three years meeting application criteria. This included a top to bottom organizational change framework, staff working tirelessly to make the changes, a 50-page application in the first round of evaluations, followed by a visit from a team of examiners from across the state to various library locations for a week this last September.
“However, the work is never done,” Shaffer said. “... The library system plans to continue on its quality journey for the foreseeable future — improving internally so that better service can be offered to customers externally.” The Oklahoma Department of Commerce started the award program in 1993. The award is affiliated with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Oklahoma’s Quality Award program is regarded as one of the more rigorous Baldrige programs in the country.