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This is an entry in a series introducing LVA employees and exploring what they do day-to-day. If you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes entries in this series are collected under the tag 7 Questions. Other entries discussing the internal work of the Library of Virginia are filed under our new category “The Stacks”.

Larry Rice

Larry Rice

Housekeeping Services Manager - Facilities Management

What is your background?

The oldest of 5 siblings (3 brothers and 1 sister) who had the opportunity to travel and live throughout the United States and abroad while my father served in the U. S. Army.

I received my last formidable years of education in the RPS system and attended J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

I have one son; Jonathan, who is a U.S. Navy sailor currently living in Pensacola, Florida.

I love all sports (watching and playing), traveling, and spending time with family and friends just relaxing and cooking.

How do you explain what you do to others?

Responsible for planning, organizing, and managing the delivery of Housekeeping and Event Services here at the Library as well as the SRC site. I have a full-time supervisor; 3 day-porters and 15 part-time staff members that help ensure we have a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing environment for our staff, patrons and visitors. I assist in managing the maintenance and repairs in support of the Library, manage our recycling program, and ensure all required cleaning supplies, building support supplies and event equipment are available to support the Library’s needs.

It’s a job that allows for creative thinking to always focus on customer service and satisfaction.

Have you held other positions at the Library? If so, what?

Directly, no; prior to accepting the position at the LVA, I was an area facilities manager for the Department of General Services (DGS) for 19 years, and some of my responsibilities included ensuring the LVA had trash removal and recycling support through our contracts that included the LVA.

How has technology affected your current job?

The housekeeping Industry has evolved from the mop and bucket cleaning and physicality to the era of robotics and multitasking machines that are more efficient and environmentally friendly. Powered equipment is now quieter, more ergonomic and comfortable to use, and ultimately saves time and money and increases productivity.

Technology is providing invaluable support throughout the cleaning industry that will improve delivery of high quality service and a greener environment. One of my goals is to work towards bringing more of this technology into our Housekeeping program at the LVA.

Describe your best day at the Library of Virginia.

My best day at work is: 100% staff attendance, no alarms going off, and the building is clean and sanitary. Gives me the opportunity to tour the building and make visual inspections of the facility inside and outside. Schedule some projects, meet or talk with some of my vendors or other managers in other State buildings on challenges they may be encountering… especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My experiences thus far at the LVA have been excellent. The staff has been welcoming from day one although I experienced a heart attack on my first day. I can laugh about it now but it wasn’t so funny then! Since that event I’ve learned I can’t do it by myself. We have a great support system here that makes you feel like you’re really part of a family.

Wish I had been here 20 years ago!!!!

What was your first paid job?

Entering the U.S. Army after high school. An experience that I will never forget but also helped me take on responsibilities and be accountable for my own well-being.

Entered on January 6, 1975—my new year resolution. I received basic training at Fort Jackson, SC; AIT School at Fort Lee, VA, Quartermaster School. My permanent duty station was Fort Bragg, NC, home of the 82nd Airborne Division. At 19 years old I was not daring enough to jump out of any planes. But in hindsight I wish I had at least once!

What would people be surprised to find out about you?

I have retired from the Federal Government with 37 years of Service and currently have 21 years of State Government Service. When you see me, ask me how.

Vince Brooks

Vince Brooks

Senior Local Records Archivist

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