Receiving an ARSL scholarship was akin to hitting the jackpot for me. Not only was it by far the most informative conference I’ve attended in a long time, it was the most fun. It was set in a beautiful hotel in a city with spectacular views of Mt. Rainer. The weather was fabulous, as was the company! I attended many, and wanted to attend many more, information packed learning sessions that sent me away armed with information that is not only timely but useful to me and my colleagues.
Beginning with Karen Archer Perry’s Uniquely Connected: Expanding Community in 21st Century Libraries, I learned that our Librarian superpowers would change the world. What a fabulous way to begin a conference! Learning that someone else believes in your superpowers is a great start to any day! Too often in our daily life we feel as if we are overlooked for what we can offer our patrons, and it was nice to find out that 98% of people have positive experiences with librarians.
One of my other favorites at the conference helped me convince my Director to change our social media campaign direction. I attended Marketing Your Small Library through Social Media where I learned that rural use of Facebook and Pinterest is high and how to develop a strong foundation for a social media policy. Penny Hummel gave us a list of 25 great Facebook posts that I’m currently using on our Library’s Facebook page. I’ve put much of what I learned in this session into practice already, and we are seeing great results.
An interesting look at the future of Libraries was presented by Daniel Rasmus on Friday morning. Listening to the Future: Libraries Reimagined gave us some serious mental food to ponder when thinking about what libraries are going to look like going forward. He gave us some ways to handle the changes that are coming and talked about how to take those changes and make them into something positive for our libraries. It was a most interesting and enlightening talk, and was fun to live tweet Daniel during the talk.
Another session that blew me away was Frugal Fundraising with Judy Calhoun. Not only was she one of the most engaging and fun people I met at the conference (and super fun to hang out with!), her presentation was fantastic. She gave some excellent examples of how to raise money when you have no money, which all libraries can definitely use! We plan to implement some of those fantastic ideas as soon as we can. One of the most fun ideas she had was a Chocolate Extravaganza, and I for one would love to see that happen here in Orange Beach!
I think a part of the conference I enjoyed as much as the sessions was getting to spend time meeting the vendors who were set up in the lobby. I spent time with almost all of them getting to know those that we already use and meeting those who might be able to offer services or products we could use. I got a chance to buy some cute Librarian attire and I even won a cool lunchbox from Gale that features an Unshelved cartoon featuring an Alabama Superhero Librarian. How cool is that? I love it!
Every librarian or paraprofessional I met was super nice and as excited as I was to be there. Everyone I asked to help me with a project I have going on for the Alabama Library Association Convention in 2015 was eager and willing to help. That excited me beyond my wildest dreams! I was proud to be able to tell everyone that I was the Dr. Bernard Vavrek Scholarship winner for this year. As I told everyone in the Business meeting, I applied for scholarships for three years to attend, so three times is a charm!
As soon as I returned to Alabama, I put next year’s conference on the schedule and requested budget money because I will not miss another opportunity to attend! I truly believe in the power of rural and small libraries to change the lives of the people in their communities. It is where my heart is, and why I choose to go back to school to get my MLIS. I want to serve my community, and one day serve as a Director of a rural or small library. ARSL is going to help me achieve that…in more ways than one. The knowledge I gained from this conference, get daily from the listserv, and from the friendships I forged while in Tacoma will serve me well in my future. You all truly are superheroes.
I had a blast in Tacoma! See you all next year in Little Rock, Arkansas!
Public Relations/Business Manager
Orange Beach Public Library
Orange Beach, Alabama
When I got the call that I had won the ARSL Founders Scholarship for 2014, I was ecstatic. I’m from Mississippi and it was in Tacoma, WA. Not only was I going to get to visit a part of the country I hadn’t seen before, I was also going to get a break from the oppressive southern summer in the Pacific Northwest. Then I started to think about this incredible conference that I was about to attend and started to become a little overwhelmed. What if I don’t get as much from this as I thought I would? When they say small and rural, are they talking about libraries as small as the one I work at? Well, all of my fears subsided in the very first session. The initial thing I learned was that librarians are super heroes with super powers. Now this is something that I had long suspected, but to have it affirmed and defined for me was very empowering. And the most valuable thing I learned from this was that our super powers come from the community we support. Now we all really know that, but it never hurts to be reminded of the importance of being a familiar face in our communities.
After that it was a whirlwind of sessions, networking and food. I was amazed at how quickly I connected with librarians from all over the country. It started with programs on subjects like STEM programming and maker spaces and how we can make that possible when we barely have money to buy books. I quickly realized that we are already doing many of these types of programs for our communities. It’s possible to redefine and redirect them to target the audiences that need them most and sometimes the money will be more accessible then. Of course, then, the more money you have the bigger and better the programs can be which will bring more people in our branches which helps us expand to more groups. Do you see where I’m going with this? And of course, every session had not only wonderful suggestions but also examples of how they had already done this in their area. This was so helpful because it let me know that no matter how small you are, it is possible.
I continued to attend sessions on subjects like frugal fundraising which filled me with ideas to take back to my Friends of the Library group and increasing my library’s capacity which helped me see how to make the most of the space I have or where to start when I need more. Whether the subject was maker spaces or money, there was a plethora of source material to get me started when I got home (or back to the wifi in my room) and was ready to try to form a plan of action. I was immediately able to put some ideas into motion. Others may take more time or never happen, but I know one thing. If I had never attended, I could have fallen into a library rut. Instead I came home with a full brain (and belly. Did I mention the food?) and an excitement that came from meeting other librarians just like me that are doing phenomenal things despite all the walls we face every day. All I can say is that I can’t wait until next year. Little Rock, here I come!
Lake Public Library
Central Mississippi Regional Library System
Materials are provided as Adobe Acrobat Reader format unless indicated otherwise.
- Community Building—
- A Cram Course in Youth Services—
- Rooms that Rock—
- Talking to Voters About Your Library: Planning and executing effective tax, bond and referendum campaigns—
- 12 Ways to Market More Effectively—
- Building Makers: A Statewide Approach—
- Crafty U and Patrons Too—
- Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from tech averse to tech savvy—
- Five Appreciation Levels in the Workplace—
- Flip the Script: Changing the direction of your library—
- Frugal Fundraising—
- Fundamentals of Fun: Getting the most from your workers—
- Get That Grant!—
- Growing Your Own: Mentoring, continuing education and leadership opportunities—
- Health on the Range: Rural health issues and resources—
- Highway to Harmony: Mapping the integration of homeschoolers into your library—
- I Must Have Been Crazy, but it Worked: Bringing the Smithsonian to Patagonia—
- Increasing Your Library’s Capacity: Do More for Your Community—
- Lab at the Library: STEM programming—
- LEGO at Your Library—
- Maker Spaces: Small space, low budget, high quality—
- Marketing Your Library—It’s more than flyers and friends—
- Marketing Your Library Through Social Media and More—
- Nothing but the Truth: Assessing authenticity in multicultural picture books—
- Programs With Pizzazz—
- Pursuit of Happiness… Through Libraries—
- Routes to Reading: Early literacy models that work in rural libraries—
- Strategic Planning for the Small Library: Aim for the future by planning now—
- Strengthening Your Tech Core: Training on the web—
- Thinking Outside the Storytime Box—
- To Combine or Not to Combine: Thinking about school/public library combination—
- Trustees: Your greatest assets—
- Use Your Annual Statistics to Evaluate Your Library—Fast— (.xls)
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Apps—
- The Yacolt Library Express: A maximum of service with a minimum of staff—
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
|4:00 PM||6:00 PM||Registration open|
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
|8:00 AM||5:00 PM||Registration open|
|8:30 AM||11:30 AM||Preconference sessions
|1:00 PM||4:00 PM||Preconference sessions
|8:30 AM||4:00 PM||Preconference sessions
|6:00 PM||Opening Reception|
|7:00 PM||Performance by the Jet City Chorus|
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Friday, September 5, 2014
|8:00 AM||5:00 PM||Registration open|
|8:00 AM||10:15 AM||Breakfast|
|9:00 AM||9:15 AM||Announcements|
|9:15 AM||10:15 AM||Libraries Reimagined!|
|10:15 AM||11:00 AM||Exhibitor break|
|11:00 AM||Noon||Concurrent sessions:
|12:30 PM||1:30 PM||Author Keynote: Laurie King|
|1:30 PM||2:30 PM||Concurrent sessions:
|2:30 PM||3:00 PM||Exhibitor break|
|3:00 PM||4:00 PM||Concurrent sessions:
|4:00 PM||4:30 PM||Exhibitor raffle|
|6:00 PM||Dine arounds|
Saturday, September 6, 2014
|8:00 AM||10:15 AM||Breakfast|
|9:00 AM||9:15 AM||Announcements|
|9:00 AM||10:15 AM||Clancy Pool, Library Journal Paralibrarian of the Year|
|10:30 AM||11:30 AM||Concurrent sessions:
ARSL Board meeting
When the invitation came from the U.S. Embassy to travel to Croatia to present a series of workshops on Digital and Traditional Literacy I was overwhelmed with the honor and responsibility of this task.
What were the libraries in Croatia like? Did they offer programming, community events, internet access? What were the communities like that they served? What kind of budget did they have to work with? How much were they like the libraries in the United States?
What an amazing experience this trip was. I learned so much from the librarians in Croatia and I can only hope that they learned from me.
The first set of workshops was held at the U.S. Embassy located in Zagreb. The librarians that attended on the first day were from all over the country. One librarian’s trip started at 4:00 a.m. where she boarded a ferry to take her to the city of Split and then a 4 hour drive to Zagreb. The second day workshop was attended by librarians that worked all over Zagreb. The librarians were so eager to listen to a librarian from America! They love America and wanted to learn as much as they could. Each workshop held at the Embassy had a total of about 20 to 25 librarians.
I spoke with them about E-books and Digital literacy and how that is becoming more and more common throughout libraries in the United States. It became very clear, very quickly however, the limitations that these librarians have to work with. Money is a very big issue which is something all libraries have in common throughout the world. Sharing the budget struggles that I have experienced firsthand as a Library Director for 7 years seemed to make them feel more at ease. I could totally relate to their expressions of frustration of not being able to offer these types of services to their patrons because of the lack of funding and the lack of support. Not only was the cost of these devices out of reach for most of their patrons, the cost of subscribing to a type of E-book provider such as Overdrive was just a pipe dream.
Still, they soaked up everything that I had to offer them and I truly enjoyed visiting with them after the workshops and hearing about their libraries and how proud they were of them.
The third workshop was held in Zadar which was a coastal community located about 3 ½ hours from Zagreb. Zadar was absolutely breathtaking! The city was built around Roman Ruins and was just like what I would imagine old time Rome would be like. Streets made of rock and beautiful cathedrals everywhere you looked. You could hear the bells tolling from the many bell towers all throughout the day and early evening. The one thing that struck me was all the little children that were outside playing. My escort told me that this city was extremely safe. It had a very low crime rate and everyone knew each other and looked out for each other. What a concept!
The group of librarians that I worked with in Zadar were from the “American Corners” libraries located throughout Croatia. These libraries were partially funded by the U.S. Embassy and in exchange they had a “corner” of their library dedicated to all things American. All the materials were in English and all of the items offered were related to the United States in one way or another. These libraries were also required to hold 24 programs every year. They were all so enthusiastic and motivated. I was able to tour the American Corners library in Zadar and it was very similar to the Safford City-Graham County library where I currently am. It was a busy and happening place with many patrons checking out materials, reading the newspapers, attending a program or with their children in the children’s area. It felt very familiar!
The last workshop I held was actually a lecture to the library students at the University of Zadar. This was probably the most fun out of all the workshops I gave because the students were so involved in the process. They also understood all my jokes! Many of them came up to me afterwards with all kinds of questions and comments! I made sure these students knew that they had chosen the best profession ever. There is nothing that can compare to it.
Overall the trip was a quick, fast paced adventure into a world that I had never been before. The food was wonderful. I had Risotto 4 times!!!! It was delicious. The sounds, smells and sights will be something that I will never forget and there is not enough time or space to share everything that I experienced.
The most important thing that I learned while I was there was that a librarian is a librarian wherever they live. We all share the same goals and desires which is to serve our community and our patrons to the very best of our ability. We have the greatest job in the world! There is no other profession that I know of, other than a teacher that touches more lives for good than a librarian. It didn’t matter that we didn’t speak the same language or that we didn’t have the same traditions, we are librarians, and that made us friends!
By Lisa Lewis, ARSL Board Member
Author Keynote: Laurie KingFriday, September 5, 2014 @ Noon
Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories (from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, named one of the 20th century’s best crime novels by the IMBA, to 2014′s Dreaming Spies). She has won or been nominated for an alphabet of prizes from Agatha to Wolfe, been chosen as guest of honor at several crime conventions, and is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar and an honorary doctorate in theology. She was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars in 2010, as “The Red Circle”.
Clancy Pool, Library Journal Paralibrarian of the YearSaturday, September 6, 2014 @ 9:00 AM
Hired in 1992 as manager of the tiny St. John Branch (SJB) of Washington State’s Whitman County Rural Library District (WCRLD), Clancy Pool worked to perform the miracle of bringing a new spirit and library to the town’s 525 residents, plus another 500 who live in the surrounding area. Library Journal Paralibrarian of the Year Clancy Pool will share how a focus on customer service, community involvement and professional development can build support for your library.
Clancy grew up in Spokane and loved both kinds of librarians: The ones who saved the newest Bobbsey Twins book and the ones who wore silly hats and told stories in the park. In 1992 WCL took a chance by hiring a farmer’s wife to manage a branch that she had never actually seen. To Clancy’s delight, she discovered that she could be both kinds of librarians and so much more.
With the support of family and the district, Clancy worked to increase her skills and build community support. In 2002, she started working full-time for the library district. Monday and Friday in St. John and Tuesday to Thursday in Colfax; first as children’s services assistant and then as branch services manager. At about the same time, Whitman County Library System began fund raising for a new branch in St. John. In 2005 when the town passed the library bond, Clancy was involved in the design and continued fund raising for furnishings. In 2008, on the day of the first summer reading she moved into the new St. John Library. Clancy’s current responsibilities include: Branch manager in St. John, collection development of all adult materials, ILL, supervisor for the 13 community branches (Staff hiring, training, program coordination), coordination of all staff development and program based grant writing).
Libraries Reimagined!Friday, September 5, 2014 @ 9:00 AM
The future is uncertain. If libraries don’t face their uncertainties head on, they won’t be able to navigate the future effectively. Rasmus will explore not only the uncertainties facing libraries, but help librarians learn how to navigate change as it occurs. Imagination is at the core, and Rasmus will narrate the conference through multiple possible futures, all plausible, all filled with their own threats and opportunities, risks and rewards. As rural communities feel the effects of disruption reach out over the forests and prairies, mountains and rivers, we need to the tools to help us anticipate change, to practice it, but most importantly, to leverage the change that is coming into effective programs and engagement — this presentation will help provide some of the tools necessary so our libraries can continue as important members of our communities.
Daniel W. Rasmus, the author of Listening to the Future, is a strategist and industry analyst who helps clients put their future in context. Prior to starting his own consulting practice, Rasmus was the Director of Business Insights at Microsoft Corporation, where he helped the company envision how people will work in the future. Rasmus developed the MicrosoftOffice Information Worker Board of the Future, and was the Center for Information Work’s creative leader. Before joining Microsoft, Rasmus was Vice President and Research Director for Collaboration and Knowledge Management at Forrester Research Inc.
Uniquely Connected: Expanding community in 21st century librariesThursday, September 4, 2014 @ 9:00 AM
Libraries enjoy overwhelming community support with over 90% of Americans saying libraries are important to their communities; nearly all Americans report that their interactions with librarians have been “very positive.” While some communities are seeing library support erode with the rise of our digital culture, other libraries are using these trends to offer new services and connect with new patrons. We’ll explore national trends in learning and knowledge acquisition, technology and digitization, and consumer expectations; then discuss five strategies you can use to refresh library services and strengthen community in the digital age.
Karen works with schools, libraries, government agencies and technology vendors to ensure that internet-enabled services are available to all people in all communities. As a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries Program, Karen managed broadband, research, and policy grants that have impacted thousands of libraries across the county. She contributed to the National Broadband Plan as an Expert Advisor to the Federal Communications Commission. Previously, Karen served as the founding Director of Field Outreach for the Knight Center of Digital Excellence; a Principal Consultant with Karacomm; and as a Sales Executive and Manager with Lucent, Bell Labs and AT&T. Karen’s passion is building collaborations that create and implement transformative programs at scale.
You don’t have to do it all! Using the Edge assessment for better outcomes in small & rural librariesThursday, September 4, 2014 @ Noon
The Edge initiative has developed a set of benchmarks and indicators for public libraries to use to assess their public technology resources and services, and the ways they ensure they are supporting the goals and aspirations of their communities. It’s a comprehensive framework meant to apply to libraries of all types, but no library is meant to do it all! Learn about how to use Edge to balance the competing priorities and limited resources in small and rural libraries and to be deliberate about what not to do.
A Cram Course in Youth Services or “What’s the difference between a 2-year-old and a teenager?”Wednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–11:30
This half-day workshop will cover the basics (and beyond!) of youth services— working with children from babies to teens (and ages in between). The session will include aspects of child development, early childhood literacy, programming for specific ages, collection development considerations, outreach, teen involvement, and more.
Community BuildingWednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–4:00
Community building enhances the status of libraries as a community anchor. But sometimes it is hard to know where to start. This pre-conference is designed to provide insight for participants on resources to use for outreach in their community, potential community partnerships, and developing an engagement plan.
Two half day workshops: The morning (8:30–11:30) is for the novice, providing the basics on getting started in community building (topics include team building, communication and strategic planning). During the afternoon workshop (1:00–4:00), participants will build on the basics by creating an actual plan of engagement for a specific community building project. Depending on your current level of knowledge in regard to community building, you can select the part of the day that best fits your needs. Participants may attend both sessions if they wish.
Crafting a Successful Adult Education Program for Small, Rural and/or Part-time LibrariesWednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 1:00–4:00
Small and rural libraries can provide vital, successful adult education opportunities for adult patrons without a GED, or other high school equivalency. This workshop will present workable, affordable manageable strategies, solutions and alternatives which can be adapted to any budget, workforce, workspace and public need. Following the initiative developed for the Shreve Memorial Library system, who wanted to provide its small, rural part-time branches with the same level of instruction and resources offered in the full-time branches, the Coordinator for the program will present the development and implementation of its first ever rural Adult Education Program series.
Gizmo Garage: Closing the Digital Divide One Device at a TimeWednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–11:30
The Gizmo Garage is a partnership program with the Idaho Commission for Libraries and funded by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Service that offers ereaders and tablets to library for staff and library patron training. The Gizmo Garage belongs to a regional area and is circulated among libraries for events. The Portneuf Library’s events are very popular, leading to more classes and one on one sessions to help users learn to use their devices and connect to digital materials. Come hear about the successes of this program, learn the basics about popular devices and how they connect to library resources, and discover how you can build a team to create your own Gizmo Garage!
- Share the successes from the library’s Gizmo Garage events
- Demonstrate the basics of popular devices/operating systems
- Discuss fundamental requirements popular devices/operating systems have
- Discuss training tips for staff training with devices
- Get hands on play time with several gadgets
- Brainstorm creative ways to build partnerships for creating a garage
The first portion of our workshop will be an overview of the Idaho Gizmo Garage project, sponsored by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and funded by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services. The overview will share how the program developed and changed from its initial plan to ways it worked best in practice. Ways to use the Gizmo Garage for staff training, patron training, and digital holdings will be addressed.
The second portion of this workshop will cover the basics of the most popular mobile operating systems and devices, including the most important things to know in order to maneuver on devices. Requirements for setting up accounts and how to download apps in each environment will be covered.
The final section will be exploration time with several devices on loan from the Idaho Commission for Libraries. Attendees will have access to many devices in order to play and explore and become familiar with the different operating environments. Included in this portion will be guided active learning exercises to reinforce objectives from the previous section. We will wrap up the workshop with discussion and brainstorming on how to implement similar programs in your library.
Rooms that Rock: Practical Tips for Library Space PlanningWednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 1:00–4:00
You don’t need a new building to make your library more inviting to the community. In this interactive workshop, discover ways to improve and stretch space without increasing floor area. From flexible layouts to movable furniture and modified collections, learn practical space planning ideas for libraries of any size and shape. An interactive, half-day workshop, engaging participants in a series of hands-on exercises. Registrants will be invited to bring current library photos and floor plans.
Talking to Voters About Your Library: Planning and Executing Effective Tax, Bond and Referendum CampaignsWednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–4:00
Morning Session: Library Ballot Campaigns 101
Do you wonder what the limits are for the library staff and board during a library ballot initiative? Are you concerned about what you can say or do in support of a library ballot campaign? Do you know the right questions to ask of the Clerk of Elections and Assessor’s Office? In this session, we will explore the difference between Information-Only and Vote Yes campaigns. You will come away with solid advice about effective planning and execution. We will talk clearly about what library staff and officials involved with Informational campaigns can and cannot do. We will demonstrate how a local ballot committee—with a campaign plan—can help reach voters in different and important ways. Participants will build a roadmap for the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the ballot initiative including Library staff and Trustees, Friends of the Library and Foundations, and the local Ballot Committee.
Planning Your Message: How to Talk to Voters, Not Just Library Users
Are you worried that the people who love your library don’t vote? Do you understand the ways that messages about the library impact voters who don’t use the library? And do you know what motivates voters about the library more than anything else? Learn about the best ways to formulate your library campaign message—and who the messenger should be to voters. This discussion will be relevant to both Information-Only and Vote Yes campaigns because the message is similar and the call to action is clear. You will learn how messaging for an election is different than messaging for library advocacy. You will come away with specific and actionable framework of an effective message, and knowledge of the techniques for getting your message out through the right channels.
Tour three local librariesWednesday, September 3, 2014 @ 8:30–Noon
We begin at the Fife branch of the Pierce County Library. By adopting modular building construction techniques, Pierce County Library was able to reduce the time to build a new community library from the typical 28 months to just 8 months. The community literally saw a Library building in place in just 10 days. This building technique allowed PCLS to meet the compressed timeline, as well as provide for desired environmentally friends/green practices. PCLS used BISAC for arranging the collection and staff will discuss the community’s response.
The next library is the 320th branch of the King County Library in Federal Way. Opened in 2013 this branch library includes many state of the art features such as flexible shelves to give items a bookstore style display, touch screen media stations that let patrons sample ebooks, a meeting room which converts easily into extra space for reading, and state of the art flexible, ergonomic fixtures for staff work spaces.
The last library is the Main branch of the Tacoma Public Library. The downtown branch received a major remodeled in the late 80′s and was recently updated yet again. The crown jewel of the building is the remodel/restoration of the original Carnegie library into the Pacific Northwest History room on the second floor and meeting/training rooms on the first floor in addition to an art gallery.
Eat lunch here if you intend to attend the Space planning workshop which take place here—or walk back down the hill to the Hotel Murano.
12 Ways to Market More Effectively
You don’t need a ton of money or staff to effectively market your library, you just have to think differently and creatively. From promotional videos to jaw-dropping emails, Jamie will share techniques for gaining attention, increasing attendance and what marketing tools are available for even the smallest of libraries.
Advice from the School of Hard Knocks
An interactive workshop on how to empower yourself even when you live in a small town. Lessons learned (the hard way) while working in a town of 2000 people.
Better Meetings Mean Better Governance
Are your board meetings an exercise in frustration? Do you retread the same issues with your board colleagues, or are your meetings full of surprises? Learn tips and best practices in agenda design and committee assignments, and techniques for chairing meetings, resolving conflicts, and engaging staff. EveryLibrary executive director John Chrastka is a long-time library trustee and Illinois state board chair. He will convene this interactive workshop designed to help solve your meeting problems – and problem meetings. Bring your concerns and be prepared to share your own tips, too.
Building Makers: A Statewide Approach
Have you thought about implementing maker programs in your library? Idaho Commission for Libraries is supporting the implementation of makerspaces in 11 public libraries across the state. The project includes training on tools & technology, leveraging partnerships, involving community, & evaluating outcomes. The results include formal & stealth programming incorporating engineering, robotics, 3D printing & other STEM topics to draw teens into these innovative programs and spaces! Come discover what Idaho is doing, what we are learning, and what’s next.
Crafty U (and patrons, too!)
Whether browsing library materials or Pinterest, crafty patrons love discovering creative and budget-friendly projects. Learn how to get over a year’s programming with little more than scissors, glue, and recyclables. Sample projects will be shown and demonstrated, and attendees will make a craft to take home (just like patrons)!
Delivering Excellent Customer Service
Sharing tips and ideas on how to ensure that your patrons have a wonderful experience at your library by delivering excellent customer service. Will include customer service training for staff as well as establishing patron friendly library policies.
Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from Tech Averse to Tech Savvy
Looking for ways to get your staff and patrons up to speed? This session offers practical tips, tools, and techniques to help bridge the digital divide at your library and create a culture of learning around technology. If they can figure out Dewey, they can figure out Windows!
E-Rate Roundtable Discussion
Michael Roche is with the Vermont Department of Libraries and the E-Rate Coordinator for Vermont will be conducting an informal round table discussion of the current status of E-rate reform. Those whose libraries receive E-rate funding, or who work with the program are encouraged to join the dialogue. Items that will be discussed are:
- How will the new “rural” be redefined and what will this mean in relation to E-rate services for rural libraries.
- What will be the changes to NSLP and how will this impact the current rural discount formula.
- Reduction in the discount matrix.
- Multi-year budget and multi-year application process will be developed.
Facilitation will be provided, as needed, by Kieran Hixon, ARSL Board Member and Colorado E-rate Coordinator.
Five Levels of Appreciation in the Workplace
According to research, 64% of Americans leave their jobs because they feel unappreciated. This leads to job dissatisfaction and diminished work performance. The languages of appreciation (words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, tangible gifts, and physical touch) are essential for a productive work environment. Workshop guides participants into establishing appreciated work setting.
Flip the Script: Changing the Direction of Your Library
The workshop will focus on how to create a new mission and make it a reality. Our library has dramatically changed focus in the last three years-from book depository to tech hub. We’ve learned the importance of looking outward instead of inward, building relationships and being open to new ideas.
Frugal Fundraising: It Doesn’t Take Money to Make Money
Fundraising without spending what little money you have can be a challenge. With a little ingenuity and a determined effort, any group can raise funds without spending much money at all. Join us as we share proven fundraisers that have produced profits with little or no start-up costs.
Fundamentals of Fun: Getting the most from your workers
What is the best way to get the most from your workers? LOVE your job! In my experience, having fun and not taking yourself too seriously all the time is a great way to start. I work with a variety of ages in my library; college age student workers and retired teachers and librarians. Each has their own idea of what work should be like and me being somewhere in the middle I also have an idea of what makes work fun. I will offer some ideas of how to balance the fun with the serious sides of running a library.
Get That Grant!
An overview of the grant writing process which will explore what makes an eff ective grant by focusing on four main rules for writing a great proposal: know your funder, follow the rules, do your homework, and focus on people’s needs. We will also examine the basic components to a good grant proposal.
Growing Your Own: Mentoring, continuing education and leadership opportunities
Simply put, we are mentor and mentee from a small, rural library. We are currently managing libraries of our own – one each in Oregon and Washington. Our history of working and learning together and compiling resources for continuing education and leadership training will be valuable to all attendees.
Health on the Range: Rural Health Issues and Resources
Evidence shows that there are marked health disparities between those living in rural areas versus their urban counterparts. Not only do rural residents suffer from higher incidence of chronic illness, they also have limited access to primary care services and are more likely to be uninsured or under-insured. This session will describe hallmarks of rural America, identify other access challenges of living in rural communities, and equip participants with tools to use in service the health information needs of those living in rural communities.
Highway to Harmony: Mapping the Integration of Homeschoolers into your library
Nationwide, homeschooling is a huge part of 21st century learning. We help students and families succeed with homeschooling. Our programming engages both students and parents with breakout sessions, hands-on learning and social interaction. With how-tos and real experience, we map the road to successful homeschool programming.
I meant to get an MLS but the library was too busy! Having a Successful Library Career without the MLS Telling Your Story
This session uses storytelling, networking, and creative group work to encourage library staff to share the importance of their unique library journey. With renewed energy and confidence, attendees will take away new ideas, resources and tools key to building and maintaining a successful career, with or without a MLS degree.
I must have been crazy, but it worked: Bringing the Smithsonian to Patagonia
The presentation demonstrates, through word and image, Patagonia Library’s road to bring Journey Stories, a Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit to Patagonia, Arizona, population 919 for six weeks, and to create a local history companion exhibit and host 12 programs at ten venues in eastern Santa Cruz County Arizona.
Increasing Your Library’s Capacity: Do More for Your Community
An ongoing, highly successful leadership institute for rural communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin will be described and discussed. It will highlight the keys to building organizational capacity in small libraries and literacy organizations in such areas as fundraising, joint partnerships, advocacy, marketing, planning, community assessments and innovative evaluation.
iPin! Do you?
While Pinterest© can be a useful tool for crafters, culinary amateurs and fashionistas, it can also be a valuable resource for libraries, librarians, and library users. Join us to learn how your library can benefit from establishing an online sharing community with Pinterest.
Lab at the Library: STEM Programming
STEM programming is crucial to creating critical thinkers and by forming community partnerships and creating STEM based programs we can increase the next generation of innovative individuals. These programs don’t have to be extravagant either! There are simple, cost effective ways to convey STEM related concepts. Come gather some ideas of how to implement fun, hands on STEM programming for children, teens, and adults in your libraries.
LEGO @ Your Library
Building with LEGO® can provide children of any age a unique, creative, and fun opportunity for learning and socialization. Find out how to start a LEGO Club at your library, including tips on funding, supplies, library materials, club operation, and much more. Participants will also get a hands-on LEGO-building experience.
Maker Spaces: Small Space, Low Budget, High Quality
This session is intended to help librarians recognize opportunities to create a quality maker space in a small library where resources are limited. It will incorporate information about what a maker space is and offer numerous how to examples that will include cost and space estimates.
Marketing Your Library through Social Media and More
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media are invaluable assets for libraries hoping to increase their visibility, deepen customer loyalty, grow new audiences, and foster interaction with members of their community. Learn practical ways to effectively and efficiently mobilize these powerful marketing tools for your library.
Marketing Your Library: It’s more than Flyers and Friends
Advocacy and marketing are tools that build successful libraries. Learn the skills and resources necessary to keep your library in the minds and hearts of your community.
Nothing but the Truth: Assessing Authenticity in Multicultural Picture Books
Picture books that depict a variety of ethnic, racial, and cultural groups within the U.S. have the ability to acquaint children with other cultures & ethnic backgrounds. But how do you know when a children’s book accurately portrays the culture of its characters? This workshop will give you the tools you need to choose wisely.
Programs with Pizazz
Our library has hosted some programs that have had overwhelming response. Examples are the Polar Express Story time, Lego Block Parties, Come in Out of the Cold, Mask (grade school) story time and special reading programs. Details about these programs and more will be shared in a presentation.
Routes to Reading: Early Literacy Models that Work in Rural Libraries
The Idaho Commission for Libraries received a National Leadership Grant in 2012 to implement the Routes to Reading Program with the goal to significantly increase the amount of reading done in Idaho homes and rural early childhood education settings. Borrow some great ideas and resources that are available to all.
Board gaming for all ages and interests
With the recent resurgence of board gaming many new and amazing options are now available for all ages and interests. Come and explore the new age of gaming along with gathering strategies to stay within your budget.
Strategic Planning for the Small Library: Aim for the future by planning now
Every library needs a map to you steer successfully toward your destination, but library literature is geared towards big libraries. Learn to prepare a strategic on-going improvement plan using the Japanese technique of kaizen to lead your library to success by involving library board, staff, friends and the community
Strengthening your Tech Core: Training on the Web
Evaluate your training needs with in the core tech skills. Discover where to find Online Training Programs and Tutorials for specific tech skills. Leave with a training plan to gain core Tech Skills vital in the Library Community.
Tablet Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Library Services
No matter a library’s size or budget, we are all looking for ways to increase staff efficiency and better serve our patrons. This workshop will focus on practical and creative ways to use tablet technology (including reference, circulation, payments, storytime music, program registrations, and more!) to stay on the leading edge of customer service.
Taking the Fear Out of Content Creation for Teens
Do teens coming to you with programming ideas scare you or challenge you to help make them a reality? Libraries: the forefront of content creation AND helping teens realize their vision. From Readers Theaters to Building a 3-D Printer; what’s in YOUR toolbox to help your teen patrons grow?
The Pursuit of Happiness… Through Libraries
“The public library is a center of public happiness first…” John Cotton Dana, 1896. Research points to how we can increase happiness in ourselves and others. Using interactive activities, participants will discover how to increase happiness in themselves and others. You will walk away with a smile and a plan.
The Yacolt Library Express: A maximum of service with a minimum of staff
Explore this very successful, mostly unstaffed library with presenter Sam Wallin, and ask lots of tough questions! How does it work? What about security? How do people get in? What do you mean by “successful?” How much does it cost? Would it work in my district?
Thinking Outside the Storytime Box
Storytime is a great way to help encourage and build literacy development in children. But there are many other programs that can address the literacy needs of patrons and their children. Join Amanda as she leads a discussion on some great programs that are easy and inexpensive, including Special Needs Storytime, Baby Storytime, Music and Movement, and Make and Take Literacy Boosters.
To combine or not to combine: thinking about school/public library combination
There is movement in some communities, as cost saving measure, to consider combining the school and public library. We will show the good and the possible bad of this and provide checklists for issues to consider.
Trustees: Your Greatest Assets
The last library director did everything and then presented it to the board. When I took over as director I expected the Trustees to actively participate. With training and resources we are working together to improve our library. My workshop would help other libraries involve their board in actively working to improve their library as we have.
Use Your Annual Statistics to Evaluate Your Library—Fast
Each year public librarians submit statistical reports describing their libraries. Chris demonstrates a fast method for using these statistics to compare libraries of similar size, identifying strengths and suggesting improvements. Here is a link to analysis created in 1 hour: https://db.tt/UAAzX5P8
What We Talk About When We Talk About Apps
Now that you have your iPads what do you put on it? This presentation gives an enormous amount of apps suggestions and a link to our App Tumblr that can be used to search for apps for library specific topics. We hope our experience can be a benefit to all.
On a blustery fall Wednesday in October, the independent public libraries of Dickinson County, Iowa, closed up shop for a very important purpose: their annual all-staff continuing education event. Hosted by the Arnolds Park Public Library (a tiny resort town boasting what is believed to be the 13th oldest wooden roller coaster in the U.S.), the group consists of 5 city libraries ranging from populations of 366 to 4,925. With staff ranging from 2 (part-time) to 9 (2 full-time and 7 part-time), this group of libraries has been committed to ensuring that all staff members, not just directors, have a chance to attend at least this one event each year.
Beginning the day with refreshments and a welcome message, they quickly set about the first of 3 (50-minute) sessions taught by local experts. A library director from a neighboring county gave a session on getting started with genealogy reference. The lead consultant from the library district office taught a session called “A Sweet Suite of Resources,” featuring databases and other resources provided to libraries through the state. A staff member from one of Dickinson County’s own libraries offered a session entitled “Little Things Mean a Lot: Being a library professional when you are on the job.”
The day was wrapped up with a round table discussion on youth programming, but not before the group had a chance to walk downtown for lunch on their own, networking among their peers and patronizing the local businesses.
A few staff members from neighboring county libraries made their way over to join the fun, making for around 22 in attendance, total. There was no charge for the event, which drew on the experience of local library practitioners. Bonnie McKewon, former ARSL Board Member and Consultant for Iowa Library services, says “For me, the strength of this countywide staff c.e. approach is that it fosters communication and collaboration among colleagues within the county and adjoining. Plus, a big bonus of this format: it features local talent …Local library staff step up to do the presentations, which I think is a real plus. That’s ‘staff development’ in itself, since local staff need to prep and deliver a 50-minute presentation—that’s real skill-building!”
By Tena Hanson, ARSL President
Tacoma + Pierce County is a place for fearless exploration
Stretching from the banks of Puget Sound to Mount Rainier National Park, Tacoma + Pierce County is a place for people who are unafraid to trek through the woods of Mount Rainier in the rain and fearless of breaking a sweat in the heat of the hot shop while blowing glass. Stare down a black bear at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park or learn how to blow glass at one of the many local hot shops. Hop on the Link Light Rail and make your way through the Museum District to get your daily dose of art history, Washington state history and automobile history all in one day!
Explore a new restaurant and drink in the craft beer buzz or find your own story in the historic Museum District. Waterfront recreation, fine dining, antique shopping and once-in-a-lifetime experiences [shark diving anyone?] will keep you busy all weekend. Learn more at TravelTacoma.com. From Travel Tacoma – Places to See Known for its world-renowned glass art, Tacoma’s vibrant urban core is alive with culture. Find yourself surrounded by creativity and city sophistication when you eat, shop and stroll Tacoma’s downtown. The friendly city inspires many to celebrate the melding of old and new. See historic architecture amidst urban design.
The city’s many districts abound with culture. Stroll the museum district where you can explore art, glass and history. Wander amongst the eclectic mix of upbeat restaurants and music venues on Sixth Avenue. Shop the unique boutiques in the historic Proctor and Stadium districts, which bustle with foot traffic. Rooted in the arts, Tacoma is the place to be.
Tacoma is ideally situated along the saltwater banks of Puget Sound. Boasting stunning natural surroundings, you don’t need to pack hiking boots to enjoy the mesmerizing outdoors. Explore the parks, gardens and wildlife that make Tacoma a nature wonderland. The nature in Tacoma extends beyond just land. Comb the beaches of the water’s edge and test the open waters in a kayak or boat. Come experience Tacoma’s nature—rain or shine. There’s plenty for you do to, both indoors and out.
Tacoma’s Art Scene
- Walk the Chihuly Bridge of Glass (a 500-foot outdoor glass art display) then tour the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, Children’s Museum and the Washington State History Museum. Create your own glass masterpiece at the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio.
- Check out the locally-owned restaurants and shops. Visit It’s Amore, where you can sip wines and beers from around the world, savor an assortment of Italian cuisine and dance to live music. Or find treasures at one of the more than 25 shops on Antique Row.
- Catch a live theater performance at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts or the Tacoma Musical Playhouse. Watch an indie film at the Grand Cinema or get your fill of laughter at the Tacoma Comedy Club.
Tacoma’s Nature Scene
- Cruise the waters of the Puget Sound and learn the history of Tacoma on a guided boat tour with Destiny Harbor Tours. Enjoy Pacific Northwest seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants along Ruston Way.
- Venture to Point Defiance Park for endless outdoor activities and while you’re there check out the Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium. Encounter wildlife by riding a camel, watching polar bears swim or talking with walruses.
- Sample local and fresh ingredients, grown right here! Meet local farmers at more than four farmers markets throughout Tacoma’s neighborhoods, featuring fresh produce, meats, music, arts and crafts.
Our conference hotel, Hotel Murano, is full. Additional rooms have been secured at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown. Register soon as rooms are going fast!
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown Hotel is exquisitely designed and conveniently located just off I-5 in the heart of downtown Tacoma. Minutes away from the University of Washington Tacoma, Union Station Tacoma Dome, Convention Center, Washington State Fair Grounds, and a short drive from Joint Base Lewis McChord. With flexible meeting space, we can comfortably accommodate up to 120 people for business or leisure gatherings.
Book your room at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown.
Hotel Murano Glass Tours
Tours of the Hotel Murano’s glass pieces will be available on a first come, first served basis for $5 each. Tour registration is available when you register for the conference. A summary of the artwork available can be found in the Hotel Murano Collection brochure.
- Thursday, September 4th 4:30-5:30PM (maximum of 20)
- Friday, September 5th 4:30-5:30PM (maximum of 20)
- Saturday, September 6th, 1:00-2:00PM (maximum of 20)
Capital Aeroporter is offering special rates for transportation to Tacoma. Getting to Tacoma with Capital Aeroporter SeaTac Airport Shuttle is your efficient, affordable transportation between SeaTac Airport and downtown Tacoma. Serving the greater Tacoma area since 1970, including: Museum of Glass, Convention Center, Point Defiance Zoo/Aquarium, Downtown Tacoma.
By Louise Greene, ARSL Board Member and Secretary
In Geneseo, Illinois (pop. 6,580), library staff have a service ethic that gives patrons the white glove treatment from beginning to end. How? Claire K. Crawford, Library Director, says “We get out of our desks and walk with the patron and show them where the information is. We offer to order their books for them and help them with inter-library loan. We feel that our patrons are our friends and deserve the best customer service available.” In addition, the library delivers books to the nursing homes, assisted living centers, and encourages patrons to sign up for “talking books” to be delivered directly to their homes at no cost to them. Patrons just apply a return label and the “talking books” are sent back to headquarters.
If a library reaps what it sows, then a high level of personal service has paid off in a big way for the Geneseo Public Library District. The community has supported a brand new building for the library without raising taxes. It took 17 years to arrive at a new building but it was worth it. The library is now the most energy efficient building in Geneseo. Very progressive for a town often described as “just like Mayberry”!
Within the new building, the cornerstone of the community, patrons receive wonderful programs and the benefit of a staff that is tuned into innovation, new ideas and experiences. Take a virtual tour of this beauty at http://geneseo.lib.il.us and click on the Photo Galleries. You may just get some new ideas of your own.
Geneseo PLD is an Institutional Member of ARSL.
By Tameca Beckett, Youth Services Librarian (Laurel Public Library, DE)
According to the Webster’s Dictionary, mess is defined as “an disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant state or condition.” At the Laurel Public Library, we think MESS is a good thing! While summer reading brings its fair share of messes, we had something a little different in mind. This summer, we “Get Your M.E.S.S. On!”, an interactive STEM program that encourages creation, independence, problem solving and critical thinking through M.E.S.S. – Math, Engineering, Science and Social Learning.
Through six 1-hour sessions, kids and teens came together for a little STEMtastic fun! This program was created for children, ages 8-12 years. Additionally, teen summer volunteers served as program mentors. The teen volunteers met prior to the start of the program to establish a clear understanding of the program and session goals. The teens were given an opportunity to complete the projects prior to the children’s arrival. This allowed the teens to actively participate in the program (and learning goals) while familiarizing themselves with the project for each session. Little to no instructions was given for each project. The children were encouraged to question, try, iterate, and explore all possibilities. Materials were made available in a central location for children to access. And the great thing about this program…it didn’t break the bank! Most of the materials were easy to collect (paper towel rolls) or inexpensive to buy (popsicle sticks from the local dollar store).
The results were clear. Kids loved M.E.S.S.!! Each session was filled to maximum (and sometimes over) capacity. They loved the opportunity to think independently and critically about their desired outcome. The kids thrived in an open-ended, collaborative environment that encouraged opportunities to iterate (what might be called failure) throughout the process. All participants were actively engaged and social throughout the program, readily sharing ideas and strategies with their peers. No projects were exactly the same.
I’m looking forward to revamping this program for next year’s summer reading programs, “Fizz, Boom, Read!” and “Spark a Reaction!” Hmmm…now what can we make go BOOM!
By Sheila Urwiler, Director, Starke County Public Library System, Knox, Indiana
Patrons were invited to a Cupcake Challenge as part of our National Library Week celebration. They had to register, and bring 3 dozen cupcakes. We originally were going to require that the cupcakes be made from scratch, but then decided that was unnecessary – we were more concerned about the decoration than the actual cupcakes. We did not specify whether professional bakers could enter or not; that might be something to address in the future. We did have a sign-up sheet, which waived library liability. We also asked participants to indicate if they used nuts in their recipe.
It was very easy to find our “celebrity” judges – we called around to local restaurants and the radio station, and everyone we called was happy to participate. And by including the radio station, they helped with publicity.
We had people bring in their cupcakes and set up their displays from 9:30-10 am and then did the judging from 10-10:30 am. Cupcakes were judged on a scale of 1-10, on appearance, flavor, and “celebratory spirit.” While the judges tasted, we supplied them with water to drink, to help “clear the palate.” It required 5 staff members to run – one to prepare plates, two to pass them out and clear them away as the judges finished and also refill water, one to tabulate the votes, and one to take pictures. Once the judges had finished, we tabulated the results, announced the winners and let the audience try the submissions. Because there were so many attendees, we had to cut cupcakes in half!
For more pictures of the cupcake challenge – http://www.flickr.com/photos/
Originally published in the North Central Newsletter, by Trisha Hicks, Iowa Library Services-North Central, Algona, Iowa
The Burt Public Library celebrated the grand opening of their Village Post Office on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. The library is able to sell stamps, prepaid boxes, and accept small boxes for shipment. The main post office in Burt now closes at 11:30 am every weekday, so the afternoon hours with the library serving as the VPO, give the public more opportunity to purchase/mail items. There were 82 people who attended the grand opening and wished the library well in its newest endeavor to meet the needs of the Burt community.
Director Trisha Hicks, Assistant Librarian Sonya Harsha, and Substitute Sue Chihak at the VPO Grand Opening
USPS staff visiting at Burt, the first library in Iowa to become a Village Post Office
In August 2012, Uintah County, Utah opened a new 32,000 square foot replacement library.
The original 9,000 square foot facility built in the 1950s, added onto in the 70′s and again in the 90′s, was bursting at the seams with collections (130,000 items) and visitors (gate count of nearly 500,000). Despite the challenge of an inadequate facility we had always been a very successful library in programming, events, and training offered to the public. We also had lot of friends in our community.
Our staff members had never let our inadequate space limit our efforts. We held activities outside in an adjacent park. We held activities in partnership with other entities such as the recreation district and the local health district. We did a “books on the go” program that delivered books to meals-on-wheels clients—with no added cost to the library. We had a thriving Regional History Center housing many thousands of historical documents, photographs, and books which rivaled special collections at many of Utah’s universities–all crammed into 500 square feet.
Turning the Page
Call it serendipity or destiny that the Gates Foundation and the Public Library Association sponsored the Turning the Page advocacy training in nearby Salt Lake. On that same day, in the same hotel, there was an oil and gas convention that Uintah County Commissioners were attending. I greeted the surprised Commissioner Darlene Burns, who had oversight of the library, and explained why I was there. She was interested in libraries and wanted to sit in to hear Kevin Carroll speak about the Lessons of the Red Rubber Ball. Just then state librarian Donna Morris informed me she had just lost her “elected official” lunchtime speaker. I introduced Commissioner Burns to the State Librarian.
Half an hour later, Commissioner Burns spoke about how elected officials value libraries and how library priorities are weighted against other entities. She mentioned how she appreciates when the library can offer solutions to broader issues and problems. She then publicly announced in front of the crowd of librarians that Uintah County would shortly build a new building! Had it not been for the support of PLA and the Gates Foundation, in their role of facilitating discussion, I can only speculate about how far down the road a new library would still be.
Funding a New Library
Uintah County, Utah, is an oil and natural gas producing county. Over 70% of the land in the county is federally owned. A portion of the revenue the government receives from leasing and drilling fees is deposited with a state board who is charged with funding projects in communities that are impacted by oil and gas development. Impacted, like when 4,000 workers suddenly show up and all want housing and services at the same time. The board had recently funded a portion of the county’s new jail, a children’s justice center, and a recreation center. They however were dead set against funding libraries.
The Community Resource Center
Knowing the Permanent Community Impact Fund Board’s aversion to funding libraries, our team looked at the individual components of what the library does and stripped away library terminology. This we replaced with generic descriptive terminology. Storytime became the “Early Childhood Resource Program.” The computers were “public informational resources.” Our collection of health books were the “Health Information Resource Center.” Our “Parenting with Love and Logic “classes got to keep their name…. After coming up with the list of services and other resources, we settled on the umbrella of “Community Resource Center.” We took the new name and shared it with elected officials and other influential individuals and groups with whom we already had existing good relationships. Then the library approached the board asking for a combination of grant and low interest loan funding to build a new community resource center. After the longest and most memorable morning of my career, the board accepted our proposal and issued a $5 million dollar grant and a $3 million dollar low interest loan. Our team left the meeting and I’m pretty sure the whole hotel could hear our celebration!
The design and building process
I’ve worn glasses as long as I can remember. Each time I go to the eye doctor, he says “which one is better, one or two, a -or –b…” until the perfect lens is found. To me working with architects and design is much like this process. We started with a list of words that are now etched in the block on the exterior of our new building. These words became an adjacency plan, then architectural drawings, and then they seemingly magically transformed into a growing structure , and a completed building.
We are so pleased with our new library. We’ve nearly doubled our daily traffic counts. We’ve added 5,000 new patrons bringing the total to 31,833. We didn’t add a lot of new materials or grow the collection to a large extent. We added more computers. For us the new building is about having people space, a community living room, study rooms, adequate office space. We use RFID sorting and self-check machines which allow us to spread out our employees into the public spaces more.
Just this week we had a “glitz and glamor” day for all of the little princesses in the area. We had close to 500 people show up. Each of our activities draws close to that number. We have organizational growing pains now. We need to add a bit more hierarchy and grow the organization’s structure. We need to spend more time planning out logistics. We thought that 80 parking stalls and room for 150 people in the library’s main meeting room would be plenty. The truth is that in our community, any room we could have built would be too small at some point.
As library director, I also have responsibility for the Regional History Center. In the process of moving, we were able to remodel a portion of an existing county facility and now have a 4,000 square foot history center with proper archival storage, processing lab, and public research spaces. Just a few weeks ago the county’s administration placed the museum within the library department. Currently our team is designing the museum to fit in the old library.
My message to other librarians is that you can do it! You can be a problem solver. Each time you bring up an issue with your board or manager, also propose a solution. Try new things. Fail forward. Invite yourself to meetings of civic clubs such as Rotary, Elks, and Lions clubs. Dive into the Project Compass resources for supporting local workforce development. Attend open governmental meetings occasionally. Bring new ideas. Convene people. Be a political matchmaker. Don’t be afraid. If all of the focus seems to be on some other non-library issue, figure out how you can help. Get to that table. Call on resources around you. Cities, counties, and state agencies may be able to help. If you want help, be prepared to offer your help. Don’t assume; Ask. If you know what to do and no one asks you, speak up.
You can make great things happen in your communities! Make your readers feel special. Over-deliver on your services. Have fun!
Sam Passey, Director
Uintah County Library System
North Liberty, Iowa
1987 population 1800
2013 population 15,000.
No, that is not a typo-in 25 years the population of North Liberty increased over 800%!
Now, imagine you are the library director of this small, Iowa town. How do you prepare for that kind of growth? Over the course of their careers, library directors may get one chance to build a new library. Dee Crowner, director of the North Liberty Community Library planned and built a new library in 1997. She is currently in the construction phase of building her second, new library. But before the second one is completed this year, she is already anticipating the next phase. However, Dee says “I’m going to retire before phase three!”
The city of North Liberty is positioned along the “golden corridor,” just a few miles from two major interstates, connecting several population centers. North Liberty has a small town feel, but is minutes away from major cities. Many residents tell city administrators that they chose the city for the schools and the Community Center.
In 1987 when Dee became the director, the library occupied 1400 square feet in a joint city hall/fire station/community room/public library building. They doubled their staff, going from two to four employees, when they opened a new 6,500 square foot building in 1997, which they outgrew in less than 10 years. Today, they have a staff of 11 and are looking at moving into an 18,000 square foot building next summer. A consultant has suggested they should be considering a 30,000 square foot building in order to be ready for the next phase.
This library is always looking toward the future, the next phase. In anticipation of moving into a new building, Dee and her staff started making plans early. Several years ago, they started the process of “decimating Dewey.” They investigated ways to make their collections more user-friendly and have seen great results since switching to subject based classification last fall. They also decided to integrate their genre collections into one single alphabet in adult fiction. Also, in preparation for the move, they looked at the declining circulation of their music collection and slowly phased it out. As print reference showed signs of disuse, they put more money into databases and did away with much of that collection. All of these changes were made so they could move into a new building with a “clean” collection.
Another step in anticipation of their move, was going with a “one community, one card” idea. The current library is housed in the same community building, which houses the rec center, the aquatic center, a 600 seat Conference Center and telecommunications facility. The library has never required patrons to bring a library card, they have been using a picture on the screen of their ILS. However, they will now be placing barcodes on the back of the rec center card, making it much easier for citizens to use the entire building.
Fundraising was another major part of the preparation for growing the library. They hired the same professional fundraiser to do a feasibility study and help win grants as had been used with the original building and expansion of the rec center. The staff did a lot of the legwork and worked with the community to raise more than 1.7 million dollars in less than one year. The city contributed two million to the effort, a testament to the hard work the library put into building relationships with the city. The City Administrator was responsible for helping the library raise over $200,000 in private funds as well. He was tireless in making connections with business people and even helped film a commercial for the fund-raising committee with another city employee and their Harley motorcyles!
Like many of you, they shifted things around, moved furniture, lost meeting room space and combined staff space. Dee says, “Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment.” Their new building will have no hard wired computers for adults, they have switched to all laptops. Rolling laptop tables can be moved for patrons to use wherever they are comfortable. It will also have a “cake pan gallery” and a DVD room. The library will be going green as much as they can afford. They are going to recycle the gym floor into tables and chairs, they will be re-using furniture and retrofitting shelving and are using recycled materials for flooring.
The library has always used volunteers and that is one reason they have been able to expand as quickly as they have. Last year they had over 6,000 volunteer hours. That is the equivalent of over three FTEs. According to Dee, “our volunteers are not here to dust and sweep. They are here to supplement our staff. We find out what they are good at and let them do it.”
Anticipation, preparation and vision has helped this library plan for the future. This growing community supports and encourages their growing library. Doesn’t it make you wonder, what the next 25 years will bring?
My name is Nola Ramirez and I am the branch manager of the Gustine Branch Library in Gustine CA. We are located in the heart of agriculture on the westside of the central valley. City’s population is 5,000. The Gustine Branch Library is small, only a little over 12,000 square feet, and contains 12,542 items and circulated over 8,000 items last year. On March 22, 2013 I will have been running the busy regional branch all by myself for 21 years.
I joined ARSL 5 years ago when I was invited to go to the Conference in Sacramento and felt immediately at home with everyone. Here were people that understood what I was going through and felt. The California State Library has awarded me scholarships for all 5 conferences I have attended.
Being on the listserv has opened up many opportunities for me and the Gustine Community! Recently I received a box of 34 books on CD from TEI Landmark Audio. They were completely free and doubled the number of books on CD that were on my shelves! I was able to order 9 art books from DUC (disadvantaged underserved communities). These books were free also to the Gustine Library. Gustine Library is 1 of 20 pilot libraries for Pushing the Limits. I just found out last week that I am one of the qualifying libraries for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. All of the above happened because I am a member of ARSL and on the listserv. Being a part of this wonderful organization has truly opened the world to me and my patrons with opportunities, ideas and friendship with others who understand what rural libraries are really about.
Twice a month on Friday nights in Huachuca City the place to be is at the Public Library’s Karaoke Night. The fun gets started at 6:30 p.m. and is part of the library’s “after hours” programming. “This is a happening place” states one patron as he fills out his song requests. The music is loud and the laughter even louder. You will find moms, dads, kids, grandparents and even the mayor of Huachuca city in the library during karaoke night. There is lemon-aide and ice tea aplenty along with cookies to munch on and the best thing of all….. no cover charge!
With what started as a way to get more library attendance from the teens in the area has turned into a well attended family event and one that is looked forward to every other Friday. The idea for karaoke came from the teen council at the library and the equipment and music was purchased through a grant awarded from the Cochise County Community Foundation.
Community members can come and “let their hair down” with their kids and have a ball. It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not. Everyone takes a turn at the mike and everyone gets applauded and cheered when they are done. The mayor of Huachuca City himself is the D.J. and loves to participate and volunteer to run the program. He loves karaoke and has a great voice and is really good at getting people to become involved and let go of their shyness and sing.
The Friends of the Library have also become involved and help sponsor the program by providing the funds to purchase additional music as well as an AV cart which the equipment sits on. This program has expanded and grown since its conception in early 2012. It’s not unusual to find 30 people or more in the library on karaoke nights.
This program fits in so very well with one of the key missions of the library which is “Building Community”. Strong families build strong communities and the library will continue to hold programs such as karaoke night so we can continue to build community.
So….. If you’re not doing anything next Friday night, come on down to the Huachuca City Public Library and join us. Just follow the music and the laughter and you will know you’re in the right place!
Director of Library Services
Huachuca City Public Library
People were running out of the local library, screaming and crying; they were also smiling, laughing, and happy they came. They were exiting a hometown haunted house that was nine months in the making. The event was produced in Oneonta, a city in central Alabama about 40 miles northeast of Birmingham, with a population of about 7,200.
It all started incidentally, when downtown businesses could not coordinate their 2011 Halloween activities to include the ‘Haunted Alley’. The city building inspector had been a key participant in the event the previous year and was innocently bemoaning this state of affairs. His hobby involves just about anything Halloween, including working at serious haunted houses and attending horror conventions. Conversations meandered through discussions of community events and library programs and, the next thing we knew, he had a library layout in hand and we were planning ‘Terror in the Stacks’, the first annual haunting of Oneonta Public Library.
Over the next nine months, the theme, scenes, layout, pathways, cast, and funding were planned for this event. This was a SERIOUS haunted library. On October 26th the library closed and the work began. Tables, chairs, book bins, kid’s computers, and all other things that could be moved, easily, were.Five volunteers – great guys who all really love this stuff – built false walls to create a maze by covering bookshelves with black plastic sheeting.
They put up black lights and unpacked the creepiest props.
The next day on the 27th, the library remained closed while the interior decorators of this house of horror brought about their vision, indoors and out. Hanging ghosts glowed in dark spider webs, a zombie baby sat eerily on a tricycle, creepy headless dolls were alone in rocking chairs.
For a while, we were not sure if the indoor space could be finished on time. But these men and women were amazing – all because they love the concept and scaring the heebie-jeebies out of people. Music and sound effects were staged and live characters were positioned.
While the indoor event was staged for adults, the outdoor space was set up for younger trick-or-treaters. There were games and story times. Even those who did not win at games received treats and prizes. A ‘trunk-or-treat’ was positioned in the parking lot, with lines of car trunks loaded with the traditional Halloween goodies. So many people volunteered that all could not be utilized indoors. Many worked outside, staffing games and trunks.
We had no idea what turnout would be. By 5:45 p.m., the line for the ‘Terror in the Stacks’ was almost to the road… and we have a large parking lot! Approximately 180 people screamed, cried, and laughed their way through the haunted library. Another 150 or so participated in the outdoor children’s events. Many adults who staffed the trunks said this event was the most fun they had ever had for Halloween and have already asked to return.
Will we do it again next year? Was it worth the effort? You bet! Bigger and better and scarier than ever! Their excitement makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes you have to think outside the box and try something new.
“Show me your library card” were the words that rang out during September, National Library Card Signup Month, in the small town of Hawarden, Iowa. While brainstorming for ways to encourage people to sign up for library cards, the librarians hit on the idea of traveling through town during noon hour on each Monday in September. Individuals were asked to show the librarian their library card. If they could come up with the card, they received five dollars in Hawarden Chamber cash! It was a win-win project for everyone involved.
The promotion was placed on the Hawarden Public Library’s Facebook page, put in the local paper, and placed as an announcement on the local cable station. The first Monday of the promotion, the librarian stopped by a local pizza restaurant and the grocery store. Sauntering up to a table of farmers, she asked if they could show her their library cards. Of the four at the table, one fellow, Carlos, was able to present his card. On the spot, he was handed his five dollars of scrip. It was interesting to see others at other tables scrambling through their purses and pockets to come up with cards! What fun! Everyone was smiling and laughing and thinking LIBRARY! Pictures were taken on the spot to place on the library’s Facebook page.
Our grocery story adventure was even more fun! We made an announcement in the store that the first individual to bring the librarian a library card received the scrip. Shoppers stopped their carts and rummaged through purses; several clerks left their spots to find their cards. By the end of the visit, another person had five dollars.
The next week found us visiting the banks! What better place to give away money! This time, the tellers were ready for us! They had their cards near them, in case the library “cash patrol” came through the doors. Librarians also visited several businesses and someone was always able to come up with the library card. The biggest rush to find a card occurred when we stopped by our city offices. The office staff was ready. They had their cards right by their desks!
The promotion definitely had people thinking library and library cards. It added a bit of humor to everyone’s day as well as linking us to our chamber by giving away Hawarden scrip that could only be used in our Hawarden stores.
Our Hawarden Public Library is located in northwest Iowa. We invite you to stop by and visit us in person or on the web or on Facebook! Our community consists of about 2500 people in an agricultural based economy. We like to think that our library offers our community everything they need to meet their lifelong learning needs!
Ione Branch of Amador County Library, California
[This article, written by Kati Corsaut, was first published in the Friends of the Amador County Library Newsletter]
Take one old, down-at-the-heels building housing a much-used branch library, four dedicated community groups, a local philanthropist, and dedicated public officials; mix in generous vendors and contractors who donated labor and materials; spend two months and $16,000 working 24/7 to demolish and rebuild, and what do you get? A brand new Ione branch library that will continue to serve the town and surrounding community for years to come.
In just two short months between May 5, when demolition began, until July 9 when the branch reopened, Ione’sdedicated volunteers rebuilt the library from the floor boards to the ceiling. Donnell Junes, branch library assistant and her daughters Gabrielle and Brittania, and others stepped up to decorate the space in inviting colors, comfortable seating areas that invite patrons to sit down and browse, and an enticing children’s section.
With the City’s cooperation and their building inspector’s oversight, 14 workers from Ione’s service clubs volunteered over 1,250 hours completing the Library facelift. Short Circuit Electric provided all of the labor and most of the materials to completely rewire the facility, upgrading the service panel and adding a local area network for the computers.
The community gathered July 19 to watch Mayor Ron Smylie, County Supervisor Richard Forester (who made this remodel one of his priorities) and County Librarian Laura Einstadter cut the ribbon to the new space.
Thanks to the Ione Rotary, Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor 33, Friends of the Amador County Library, and many others who made this possible.
The Ione branch is open Monday (10-1), Tuesday (2-7), Wed (10-1), Thursday (1-5) and Friday 1-4.
When you think of library programming, you think of book clubs, summer reading programs, and story times, right? This summer, the Estherville Public Library in north-central Iowa took on something a little different: a 5k training program.
With the impending conclusion of the statewide Live Healthy Iowa challenge last spring, library leaders including director Tena Hanson (ARSL Membership Development Chair and Board Member) started thinking about ways to initiate programming that would help fill the gap for the community during the summer months. Having only worked at this particular library six months, Hanson sought advice from the local Chamber director. Several ideas were bounced around, and the one that seemed most feasible was a Couch-to-5k program.
Think about it: most of our loyal library members are avid readers (we are familiar with the couch part of this equation). Avid readers, by and large, are not adverse to exercise; we just might not know how to go about getting started. To Hanson (who had never expected to become a runner, herself), this seemed to be a friendly way to start from the ground up and make people comfortable tackling the challenge of a 5k.
The scheduling was easy. The C25K program (an established workout routine openly available at www.coolrunning.com) was 9 weeks long. The goal would be the Run for the Cob 5k, an annual race held during the city’s Sweet Corn Days celebration in early August. Counting back 9 weeks, a date was set in early June for the first meeting. Meetings were scheduled each of those 9 weeks on Mondays, some in the afternoon and some in the evening, to allow for those with other commitments to attend at least some of the check-in sessions.
Community leaders in health and fitness fields were eager to help, and quickly filled all 9 weeks of check-in sessions with excellent topics. The local hospital dietitian talked about nutrient-dense meals, goal-setting, planning your daily calories to coincide with your exercise routine and much more. A local chiropractor talked to the group about stretching and injury prevention. The coaches of both the High School and Community College cross country teams came to talk about cross-training, warm-ups and cool-downs, pacing and mile splits, and what to expect at a 5k race.
A staff person at the local extension office offered to lead a group run/walk following each weekly session, which became a fun bonding experience for those who took part. One evening, while the group (comprised of ages 13 through retirement) was out running, a man doing yard work called out “you’ve got the whole family out for a run?!” It was fun to call back “No, we’re from the library!” and watch him nod and then look confused.
Community support for this program was so strong that the group was asked to act as Torch Runners for the Sweet Corn Days opening ceremonies, which is something of an honor. Four groups run, each taking their starting point as one of the city gateway signs, to the riverside park for the lighting of the cob celebration.
A handful of C25K participants gathered that evening at the south entrance to the city and ran, carrying a flaming corn torch, to the park. It was a glorious thing to behold, and the group had a good chuckle over the fact that they beat the softball girls and the triathlon representative to the finish point!
On race day, our fastest runner was awarded an iPod Shuffle, courtesy of the Friends of the Library. All of our participants made great strides, and as one put it: “Thanks for getting this team going! It is something I never thought I’d do.”
My name is Leslie Langley and I am the branch manager of Wister Public Library, the smallest branch in the Southeastern Public Library System of Oklahoma. SEPLS is a multi-county library system with 15 branches in 7 counties of southeastern part of the state. Wister Library is a two-employee library currently housed in the municipal building, a WPA native rock building. We are in a 1250 square foot end of the building and we have approximately 15,000 items in our collection. We are open Tuesday through Saturday for a total of 37 hours per week. Wister is a tiny town with a population of 1,025 but my service area is large and we serve about 3000 people. The school is the largest employer but there are 2 cattle auctions that draw hundreds of people here each Saturday.
It has always been my goal to be as involved in our community as possible. I believe that none of us are as strong nor as smart as all of us and that small public libraries can play a large role in the lives of our customers and citizens. Wister Library is the business center and ‘visiting’ place in our town. The coffee is always on and we’ve watched strong friendships and business alliances form over the years because of this service. And because I am active in my community I am also active in professional organizations. Being a career-long member of the Oklahoma Library Association led me, eventually, to the recent position as president of OLA. It was immediately after my presidential year that I first learned of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. Wow! An entire association just for libraries like mine! I immediately joined and learned all I could about ARSL and it’s amazing. I attended the 2011 conference in Frisco, TX and the rest is history. ARSL is an exciting association and every librarian in a rural or small-library setting is doing themselves a great professional disservice if they aren’t members. I also found that once I became a member, it’s so easy to be active. I volunteered my services and was asked to join the Membership Development Committee. The work is important and easy and reaching other rural librarians in the process and getting the word out that there’s a very professional place just for us is an incredible experience.