Beginning in June, the listserv saw numerous announcements for upcoming workshops, job openings and the ARSL Conference in St. George, Utah, September 7-9, 2017. In addition, lots of questions were asked and ideas offered.
Ideas for a United Way project grant included STEM programs such as Lego club Mindstorm, Ozobots, and Makey/Makey. Can help kids go from guided to self-directed activities.
How to spend $15,000 for a health-related program? Host a health fair partnering with local hospital; offer free screenings for language and vision for infants and toddlers; raise awareness of Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis and other issues that affect children; offer hearing, vision and blood work clinics for adults; host healthy cooking classes, including kitchen basics for kids.
How to manage existing staff resistant to implementing changes? Have a detailed job descriptions and a review process to be approved by the board; document, document, document; have meeting with board and staff to clarify expectations to perform duties with a reasonable amount of training; work as a team with staff to get their buy-in, including input on expectations of the director and vision for the library, keeping conversation positive and firm.
What benefits does a full-time librarian receive? Benefits include annual leave and sick leave, paid holidays, small bonuses and comp time as approved by the board; some boards offer health insurance and 3 days of personal time; higher end benefits include full insurance, health insurance, 12 days of sick leave, and vacation days based on longevity with a minimum of 96 hours per year.
What kind of physical requirements do you require for employees? Lifting 25 lbs to 50 lbs; standing long periods of time; good hearing, especially on the telephone; hand dexterity, bending/kneeling and reaching up; climbing a ladder; climbing stairs several times a day.
What are your policies on ordering titles requested by patrons? Collection development policy should cover how requests are handled; consider these requests as you would for any other potential title; encourage patrons to sponsor a title by paying the library’s discounted price with the privilege being first to borrow it (can include acknowledgement inside the book. Use Inter-Library Loan system for older titles and those that don’t fit into your collection. If your library system charges for ILLs, you may have to consider limits on the number of requests.
Do you have database access to Consumer Reports? EBSCO offers digital access to their magazine collection through Flipster (expect to pay $1,000 or more); some digital collections are freely available through the state library.
How do libraries lessen DVD theft? DEMCO hanging disk system behind the desk; put out binders with movie summaries for browsing and clerk retrieves requested DVDs; shelve empty DVD cases and retrieve disk when DVD case is brought to desk to check-out.
What DVD/CD cleaning systems do libraries use and do provide a public disk cleaning service? Suggestions included ELMUSA, Echo Pro, JFJ Easy Pro, and Echo Smart II. For libraries that charge, fees ranged from $1.00 per disk to $3.00 per disk.
Do you check out magazines and for how long? 21-days just like books; current issues for in-house use only; 1 week loan with two renewals if no holds.
Do you issue cards to children with or without parental permission? Do you have over 18/under 18 applications? Lots of variation in the responses from libraries: require parent/guardian to sign child’s card to assume financial responsibility for borrowed items; library issues a “family” card gathering all check-out information for the family in one account; library issues cards from birth, those under six years of age must have the parent/guardian present identification, sign the application, and accept financial responsibility.
How do you manage teens in your space? Set rules such as Respect Others, Respect Yourself, and Respect the Space. Check out Xbox controls and games to hold them responsible for their safe return.
Do you have policies for handling difficult patrons? Have a patron code of conduct; some use eviction notices which may be rescinded for limited use of the library; a permanent ban would involve the police issuing a no trespass order but these are hard to enforce.
Do you charge scanning or faxing fees? Responses favored free for scanning. Answers varied for faxing: $ .50/page; $.25/page receiving, $1.00/page if sending locally; $2.00/page if sending long distance, $2.00/page for single page, then $1.00 per page; no overseas faxing and don’t receive faxes; $.30/page locally; $.50/page long distance.
What are your experiences with DeepFreeze or PC Reservation? RebootRestoryRX is free and can be used in place of DeepFreeze to prevent unwanted changes; Time Limit Manager from Fortress Grand should be powerful enough for a small library setting; an open source time manager is Libki.
Suggestions for a Foundation/Friends group pushing the boundaries of their board vs. the library board resulted in suggestions to compose and have both boards sign a memorandum of understanding detailing what is expected from each party.
Some discussion about handling Friends’ funds: notify Friends’ treasurer when book sale cash boxes appear full, when a large bill or check has been received; most libraries do not deal with the friends’ money, rather it goes into a locked box and it is up to treasurer to make sure it is deposited on time.
How do you address your fiscal body when presenting a budget? Compile a list of programs and services; highlight materials purchased and services offered for the past year; talk about what you do specifically that makes a difference people’s lives; tell a success story of how someone benefited from your services; share your vision of the future.