During “EY Connect Day”, Ernst & Young LLP employees come together to connect with each other and their local communities to make a difference. This year, among more than 2,500 employees from the their western regional area participating in 87 projects, Ernst & Young professional Lindsay Leukanech made a big difference in a very unique way. Leukanech tapped into her specific area of professional expertise – library science, customer service and knowledge management – to help the Variety Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles .
The Variety Boys & Girls Club had received a donation of several thousand books; however, there was no information on how many or what types of books they were given. Without a system or the means to categorize the books, make them searchable and facilitate lending and tracking, the Club and its young members were not truly benefiting from the new collection. Enter Ernst & Young’s creative Community Engagement Leader, Angela Milano and Leukanech, an experienced librarian.
Pro bono solving challenges
In collaboration with the Club, Milano and Leukanech, along with colleagues Erick Garcia, Pamela Mizuno and Lorry Greenblatt (a member of the Variety Boys and Girls Club board) identified the opportunity to build and implement an organization system that could be integrated into the Club’s existing tracking technology, used mainly for sports equipment. The resulting system uses a simple, color-coded label that connects to a barcode processed using the Club’s technology, and was immediately implemented as Leukanech and several Ernst & Young colleagues labeled, coded and prepped over 6,000 books for shelving on EY Connect Day.
Because many of the library’s users had not been exposed to traditional libraries, the Ernst & Young team also designed and hung posters guiding users on how to find the books they want. This helped make searching, sorting and tracking much more efficient. This user-friendly system also benefited Club staff and gave them the opportunity to be trained on library maintenance and basic knowledge management processes.
Now, the Variety Boys & Girls Club has thousands of books easily available to those who need them. In addition, the simple, replicable system created by Leukanech and her colleagues has the potential to help many more community organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs turn a collection of books into an easily organized, fully-functioning lending library.