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Get Connected Strategic Planning Webinar with Pat Wagner

Posted in Learn Something, PA Projects, Region, Technology, Trustees on July 28, 2013 by Carrie
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Event Date: August 14, 2013

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Register for a lunchtime webinar about Strategic Planning on August 14.

Download a flyer:  Capital Region Trustee Workshop Series_Flyer

Capital Region Workshop Registration: Meeting of the Minds: Get Connected!

Register today at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/capitalregion2013

This workshop is a series of events. Library trustees and library management staff may attend all or any you choose.

There is no charge for these workshops.

1.       Webinar 1: Ethics Wednesday, July 10, 2013 formal content from noon – 1:00p.m. (login at 11:00a.m. to learn tools of online webinars)

2.       Webinar 2: Strategic Planning Wednesday, August 14, 2013 formal content from noon – 1:00p.m. (login at 11:00a.m. to learn the tools of online webinars)

3.       Culminating Event: Meeting of the Minds Summit Friday, September 13, 2013 Registration in-person begins at 9:00a.m., Deputy Secretary/State Librarian Stacey Aldrich will make a presentation and host Q & A session from 9:30a.m.-10:30a.m. Pat Wagner will deliver a final webinar and Capital Region Consultants will facilitate networking and discussion from 10:30-12:30.

Where: You can attend the lunchtime sessions from virtually anywhere there is a computer with internet and sound. The September 13 event Summit will be at Hershey Public Library 701 Cocoa Ave in Hershey.

Who Should Attend: Trustees, Library Directors, and interested staff from PA public libraries are invited!

The Strategic Planning session is designed especially for library trustees, directors and interested staff to:

Learn the steps in creating a simple community-centered strategic plan.

-Identify 3-5 big goals based on community needs.

-Understand how to evaluate results of goals and really use your strategic plan.

-Choose and complete a follow-up exercise to apply what you have learned.

The Summit is designed especially for library directors and lead development staff to:

Get a chance to meet and hear from Stacey Aldrich, PA’s State Librarian.

-Learn from each other and the exercises that were completed from the first two webinars.

-Network with other trustees and staff.

Who is the Presenter? Pat Wagner

Pat Wagner Pat Wagner is a nationally known library consultant and trainer, working with all kinds of libraries since 1978. She has been visiting Pennsylvania since 2002, on behalf of Palinet, PALA, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, numerous PA libraries, and state and national library groups. She presents and consults on library and public sector ethical topics, including material challenges, filtering, collection development, personnel, customer service, development and enforcement of policies and by-laws, governance, and conducting public meetings regarding volatile issues.

Who Should Attend? Library Trustees, Library Directors, interested staff.

Notes on Registration:

-Register ASAP. Registration is limited to the first 100 people to respond.

-Cost: Workshop is FREE . (This workshop is brought at no direct cost to you. This program is supported by the Institute of Musueum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.)

-Workshop will provide CE credits for trustees and staff who complete the exercises.

Note: After this series of workshops, more online trainings using Adobe Connect will also be offered.  Get connected with library success for your community!

Save Pennsylvania’s Past

Posted in Learn Something on October 25, 2011 by Carrie
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At the DLC Consultant’s session, Beth B. from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries distributed a few copies of a brochure form CCAHA, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts.

The brochure highlights training programs in PA during June 2012-May 2013 including:

  • Preservation Best Practices for Optimal Collections Care
  • Digitization Basics
  • Understanding Archives: An Introduction to Archival Basics

If you know someone who may be interested in attending, please direct them to view the calendar of dates and locations,  register, or to contact Presevation Services for more information.

If you’d like a copy of the brochure, ask your district consultant!

Overdrive goes live with Kindle books

Posted in Learn Something, Resources - Online Resources, Services - Reference, Technology, Trendspotting on September 23, 2011 by Carrie
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The Amazon digital connection to Overdrive is active for the Capital Area Library District Digital Media Collection.

There will be lots of information to read and understand to know the full implications of these changes. This page can be used to share local information with staff who can pass it along to customers.

Here’s a re-post of an email I received and shared with a local mailing list:

Overdrive’s Kindle connections are soon to be true for our library as well. I’ll let you know when our site and items are Kindle compatible, but no firm date has been announced yet so I don’t advise sharing it widely with customers at this time. I’ll send more information when our site is scheduled to go-live with Kindle. I’ve sent questions to our Product Support representative about when this will take place. The message below indicates within a week. Relying on Overdrive’s documentation to change before we update any local information is key. The transfer to Kindle seems to be another slightly different process that also involves the customer using their Amazon ID.

To: OverDrive Library & School Partners in the U.S.
From: Steve Potash, OverDrive CEO
Re: Launch of Kindle® Compatibility and OverDrive WIN Initiatives
Date: September 21, 2011
Dear Library Partner,
I am very pleased to announce that, as promised, Amazon Kindle® compatibility with your library’s eBook collection is here. Kindle compatibility is part of the OverDrive WIN initiative, a series of platform enhancements for your library’s Virtual Branch website. These new features are updates to your OverDrive service at no additional cost.

Team OverDrive has been hard at work with technicians at Amazon to make Kindle compatibility a valuable extension of your eBook lending service. This update allows most existing OverDrive eBooks to be read on all Kindle devices or by using free Kindle apps on iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, and other mobile devices. At launch, there will be a small number of PDF titles that are not yet available for Kindle. OverDrive and Amazon are working to reduce this number to achieve greater coverage.

Kindle Launch Plan
OverDrive will be quickly updating all U.S. public and school library partner websites to support Kindle compatibility. Many of you reading this may already have Kindle Books available for lending. We will complete this update to all our U.S. public & school library partner websites within one week.

To reflect these changes, OverDrive will update sections of your library’s Virtual Branch website including the My Help wizard, Help pages, and FAQs with new information about Kindle compatibility. Your users browsing the site will see a message that Kindle is either “Now Available” or will be “Coming Soon.”

User Experience for Kindle Book Users
All browsing, searching, and checkout of eBook titles will remain the same at your library’s Virtual Branch website. When a user checks out a Kindle Book, a “Get for Kindle” link will be presented that opens a new window (or tab) at Amazon prompting the user to login to their Amazon account. Fulfillment will occur at Amazon’s website so your user will need an Amazon account to access the library eBook in the Kindle format. No purchase or credit card is required to create an Amazon Kindle account; users only need to provide an email address.

Once signed in, the user will select which Kindle device or free Kindle app they want to deliver the title to for reading. At launch, browse, check out, and fulfillment of Kindle Books from your library can be completed from web browsers on PC and Mac, iPad, and numerous other tablet devices.

Kindle users will enjoy Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights, and last page read on the Kindle device and free Kindle apps. As with other titles from your digital collection, the eBook will expire at the end of the lending period.

Your library, with the help of OverDrive, will continue to provide technical support for most aspects of eBook lending. Once a Kindle user is directed to Amazon’s website, Amazon will provide technical support for Kindle Book related issues.

Simplified Title Display and Expanded Format Availability

For eBook collection development, in Content Reserve your selectors will now only need to purchase “eBooks”, rather than choose specific eBook formats such as EPUB, PDF, or Kindle Book. Each eBook unit selected will provide your users or students access to all available eBook formats for that title. For example, if your library purchases one eBook unit of The Help, it will be available for borrowing with Kindle, for use on PC or Mac, Smartphones, Sony® Reader, Barnes & Noble® Nook™, etc.

On your library’s Virtual Branch website, all units of eBook titles that your library has purchased in PDF or EPUB will be aggregated into a single total number of copies now including support for Kindle. For example, if your library has three total copies of The Help in any eBook format, The Help will show three copies, available for use with Kindle and all devices that support EPUB or PDF. Your user will choose the format compatible with their eReader or device.

If your library has MARC records for EPUB, PDF, or Mobipocket eBooks in your OPAC, please update the records to simply reference the eBook format.

Streamlining the eBook Experience – Eliminating Mobipocket eBooks
As part of our ongoing initiative to streamline the user experience, OverDrive has ended support for the Mobipocket eBook format which means that this format is no longer available for selection in Content Reserve. For libraries with Mobipocket eBook collections, OverDrive will replace any copies with a corresponding number of units for use with Kindle or other supported reading devices. There will be a very small number of titles that we are unable to replace with other formats. For those libraries affected, we will contact you separately with a report of these titles and issue a full content credit for amounts paid for those titles.

If your library hosts a Customer Support form, references to Mobipocket eBooks should be removed and “Kindle Book” should be added once available at your library’s Virtual Branch website.

OverDrive WIN Enhancements Coming Later This Year
Following the launch of Kindle compatibility, OverDrive will continue adding platform enhancements to streamline the user experience. We are very excited about a new navigation feature called “OverDrive GPS™” (Guided Product Selector). OverDrive GPS will be a user-friendly addition to your library’s Virtual Branch website that simplifies the product selection process by prompting users to ask what they are looking for (e.g., Read eBooks or Listen to Audiobooks) and how they want to use it (e.g., Kindle or iPod®).

Once the user’s GPS is set, all browsing and search activities will display only titles that match their settings. For example, for users who want to “Read an eBook” on “Kindle,” their Virtual Branch experience will display only eBooks that can be read on a Kindle device or with a free Kindle app. It will work the same for those who set GPS to “Listen to an audiobook” on their “iPod.”

There will be no action required by your library to take advantage of the OverDrive GPS feature. It will be added to your library’s Virtual Branch website at no additional cost. To accomplish this and other user-friendly features, OverDrive will streamline portions of your website’s pages with popular shelf carousels for Recently Added, New Releases, Most Popular, and Recently Returned collections. We will similarly provide optimized browsing features for your music, video, and “Always Available” collections for those libraries that offer these materials from OverDrive.

Team OverDrive will continue to update you regularly regarding this next wave of updates as part of WIN. Look for information about these changes, as well as new content and access models, to help make your digital collection the first stop for online readers.

Preparing for the Increased Demand in eBooks – Next Steps for Your Library

OverDrive is committed to streamlining user and staff experiences and continually enhancing the value of our partnership. We expect Kindle compatibility with your library’s eBooks will be a very positive experience. To assist you in promoting Kindle compatibility to your communities and schools, please visit the Kindle Book Compatibility Marketing Kit with print-ready promotional materials, a web graphic, and a press release.

If you have any questions, please follow OverDrive’s Digital Library Blog, Facebook, and Twitter for the most up-to-date information, or contact your library’s OverDrive Account Specialist.

We look forward to continuing this eBook journey with you!


Steve Potash
OverDrive CEO & President

Additional resources:
Amazon’s “Borrow Kindle Books from Your Local Library”

Managing eBook Demand Checklist

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OverDrive | 8555 Sweet Valley Drive | Suite N | Cleveland | OH | 44125

Additional resources:
Amazon’s “Borrow Kindle Books from Your Local Library”

Library of Congress exhibit rolls through the Capital Region

Posted in Events - Special Events, Learn Something on August 08, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: August 10, 2011

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Rolling through to a library in our region near you is a very cool traveling exhibit open on August 9 and 10.

Learn more about it or take a trip to see it at the Manheim Township Library.

OverDrive Training Month Begins!

Posted in Events - Training, Learn Something, Resources - Online Resources, Resources - Professional Collection, Technology on August 08, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: September 12, 2011

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Check out all the possibilities for online training to learn more about the digital media collection offered to library customers in the Capital Area Library District via http://capitalarealibrary.lib.overdrive.com/

Check out an ebook today.    Do a search for ALA on the site to find ebooks from ALA Editions that are a part of the district’s Professional Collection.

Telling your Financial Story to Best Support Fundraising

Posted in Events - Training, Funding, Learn Something on June 07, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: July 12, 2011

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Check out this series of free webinars by the Nonprofit Finance Fund in partnership with The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

What: Telling your Financial Story to Best Support Fundraising
When: TUESDAY, JULY 12, 12:00-1:00pm EST
Free and Open to All
On July 12th at 12pm click here to join. (Try the link from the referral site above for best results…)

Text from the original post website:
Every organization has financial needs that must be incorporated into fundraising targets. Having a deep understanding of your nonprofit’s financials, and telling that story effectively, is a key component of successful fundraising. Expert panelists will answer questions about how to present your organization well, address any red flags, and make a strong case for various types of funding, including core support.

e-How: Digital Collections @ Your Library

Posted in Events - Training, Learn Something on May 18, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: June 17, 2011

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The Southeast Chapter of Pennsylvania Library Association invites all support staff to attend a half-day workshop entitled “e-How: Digital Collections @ Your Library”. Two 3 hours sessions including presentation and hands-on components will be offered on Friday, June 17th at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit in Norristown. Cost is $10 for non-members. There is no charge for members.
See the eHow brochure (2) for agenda and registration details.

Capital Region Workshop Presentations

Posted in Learn Something, PA Projects, Region, Technology, Trendspotting on May 12, 2011 by Carrie
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Thanks to all who attended the Capital Region workshop on May 6 and 7.
Community, Collaboration, Communication, e-books, and the literacy direction for PA Libraries brought us all together.

You can download fresh copies of the handouts to share with others from Pat Wagner‘s interactive session on Community/Collaboration/Communication/ right here: Pat Wagner’s handout on Community, Collaboration, and Communication

You can get a copy of John Houser’s presentation on e-books in libraries here and see the facts and figures from the Numbers Game in ebooks: download a copy.

Make Your Library Sustainable

Posted in Learn Something, Services - Consulting, Trendspotting on April 29, 2011 by Carrie
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Read the notes compiled from people who attended the District Library Center Leadership Workshop sponsored by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries using LSTA funds.
You can read them by downloading this document: Sustainable Library Workshop Notes
Or…here is the simple full text of its contents right here in this blog post.


The Sustainable Library
The main focus of the workshop was presentations and activities under the title “The Sustainable Library” by the team of George Needham and Joan Frye Williams. You can learn more about them and see great presentations and samples of their work at: http://www.georgeandjoan.com/

Below is a long list of highlights from the notes attendees took at the workshop in no particular order. The workshop was full of nuggets of wisdom and great talking points that we can apply NOW:

Service Ideas
1) Idea for Youth Services: In Charleston, when at least four children appear in the library, they do a spontaneous storytime.
2) Ask: Does a reference librarian in your community curate and contribute to the Wikipedia entry for your town or for your library?
3) Make it fun! Idea: Library card signup happy hour could include singing staff or dancing elves.
4) What important life situations are your customers facing? Imagine the context that people use library service in. Can your library develop services to address predictable life situations? Can you package and present library services to meet “Expecting a new baby” or “Making your first thanksgiving dinner” or “Getting married?” Think of ways that people in these situations can use the library. And it’s not just about books and lists of information. Imagine how it changes their lives.
5) Promote brain insurance: Health and senior wellness are big topics.
6) How are your services designed to help groups? (Or are they focused only on individuals?)
7) Idea: Can your library establish a fund to pay the fines/fees accrued by kids who may be considered at-risk? Think about ways you can appeal to one part of the community to support the rest.
8) Would your library consider offering “charge spots” for mobile devices like airports do? Why? Do you still ban cell phones? Why? Behavior problems are not device problems.
9) Action step to take: Get rid of clutter at desks where customers are served.
10) Enrich your point of view. Your relationship to reading is not the same as your customers. Explore custom customer service options like 3 books for 10 weeks instead of 10 books for 3 weeks. Are popular books just for fast readers? (Note: Academics have been giving semester long loan periods to faculty for a long time.) Consider developing customized services. Our circulation models are based on old paper based methods. We could consider having a borrower type that is the AVID READER plan (lots of books for fewer weeks) or the SAVORING READER plan (fewer books, more time) or the VIDEO PLAN, etc.
11) Great Program Idea: Sponsor a Candidate School (for political office) at your library. http://www.topekachamber.org/s/indexp.cfm?aid=248
12) 85% of what people find in a library is through browsing. Only 15% of customers are searching for a specific item. Customers are shopping, not retrieving. We need to make browsing easy and fun. Consider pulling together islands in topical areas that pull together all formats on one topic. Signage for areas needs to include pictures of how materials create results for civilians. Don’t just say “gardening”; show a picture of a happy family gardening together.
13) Circulation staff’s job is to move materials, not guard them.
14) Libraries need to know what the percentage of repeat business is at your library. When people get a card, do they come back?
15) The most approachable person in the library is someone shelving books. EVERYONE in the library needs to be ready to talk to people and assist them. Consider having everyone taking Nancy Pearl’s Booktalking course.
16) Most of our customer service questions such as Can I Help You or Did you find everything you need today? Imply some kind of judgment from the library. If the customer didn’t find what they were looking for, they have to ADMIT that they need help. The best question to ask is “What can we do for you today”
17) Use social networking effectively. Don’t just post your own updates, instead contribute content/input to other community organization pages. Activity idea: Post a list of subject relevant resources on the Facebook page of 5 community organizations next week. See how many new “friends” your library will get when you contribute and interact. Post on the local comments of the newspaper a list of books and online resources that will help inform those making comments.

Limited Resources
18) Don’t do More with Less. Do different with less.
19) Don’t spend time on things that aren’t visible to your stakeholders and customers.
20) The answer is not rationing. Just get used to this situation.
21) Are you thinking about trimming underperforming outlets? Be careful and approach each situation individually. Weigh criteria for minimum standards. Politics and differentiating between a library and a reading room may come into play. Remember that many see the library as the sign of life in the community—it’s about local identity. Nostalgia shapes expectations. Let community needs be the drive.
22) Libraries can’t afford to spend time and money on things people can’t see. 80% of what catalogers traditionally do don’t really have anything to do with find-ability. Only do what a civilian can spot from 20 paces away. Either stop doing it, or change what you are doing to make it show.
23) What services could you consider stopping and what would be the result? (Could you buy a $50 DVD player for the 10 customers who still use VHS?)
24) Radical thought: If you can’t convince people to use your databases, don’t spend money on them. Lesson: Don’t purchase things you want your customers to want, purchase things your customers want to use.
25) In an age of increasingly limited resources, we need to think about whether the work or services can be designed by professionals, but delivered by civilians. Perfection can’t be the goal for service delivery.
26) Don’t ask for a donation. Ask for an investment.
27) Move forward…together: Eliminate redundancies and share what’s there to make it bigger and sustainable.
28) Efficiency: Designed by PROFESSIONALS but carried out by SOMEONE ELSE You are either “at the table” or “on the menu.”
29) Explore alternate financial models. Now is the time. Everything is on the table. Some of these include:
a) Cooperative – subscription basis or is a hybrid possible
b) Public Broadcasting – members pay – some services free for all, charge for premium services; Can a service be scaled without additional cost?
c) Museum – pay each time you visit, or become member for higher price but have more access.
d) ROI – we’ll do what we can for $xx and no more.
e) Privatization – outsource library management. You should know what it would cost in your community to do this, because the question may be asked
f) Independent Tax District – probably not legal in Pennsylvania.
g) Note: Workshop leaders are not recommending any of these, but you must know the answers to these suggested models should the question be raised. Don’t assume that something wouldn’t be considered.

Strategic Planning
30) Libraries aren’t the only organizations that are discussing sustainability. Local and state governments are also experiencing this problem.
31) We need to be sure about the role of our 19th century institution in the 21st century.
32) Traditionally, we’ve talked about libraries in a vacuum. We need to tie our conversations about libraries back to what the community cares about. We need to be about what ‘sustains’ the community.
33) Mission statements aren’t really that important. Most mission statements are fine. They just shouldn’t prevent you from doing something that you want to do.
34) Libraries are in the business of making you smarter.
35) Libraries are not in the content business. They are in the transformation business, making individuals and communities stronger.
36) Just being Free isn’t enough; time and convenience are important. Information is everywhere. Help people save time.
37) Fire Department has changed from “fires only” to the rescue business (changing business/service model concept) We’re not JUST in the book business. We are in the MAKING YOU SMART business.
38) Always assess your services from a positive point of view. What are we good at? What do we do well? And, then build from there.
39) Your organization will get the results you reward.
40) Our communities care more about the benefits the library provides than about the library itself.
41) There is a limited value to library-conducted surveys. Instead, just ask your reference librarians for help to gather community data. How do they handle customers asking for information about your local community? Have you asked for help and input?
42) Demographics are not destiny. You need to know what they are, but you also need to know what people want…what their dreams are. You will be more credible to the community and funders if you use other people’s data to talk about the need for services. Most library surveys are self-aggrandizing or just really poorly done. Use data from the United Way, YWCA, news agencies, chambers, planning commissions, etc.
43) Use the data that is already available in many reporting functions of your ILS. Explore how people really use the materials you give them and customize privileges.
44) If you ask most people what they want for their community, they might say, I want my kids to care about learning. I want my daughter to have opportunities I never had. I want to do something fun with my family that doesn’t cost $100. You need to know what your community says…why they live there, what makes the community distinctive, what the community’s greatest assets are.
45) Public libraries should know where they are and reflect the best of the community. The best libraries can say that they used to be in the library business, now they are in the [city name] business.
46) Libraries need to recognize that we don’t really offer all things to all people. We’ve already made choices. Libraries need to stop rationing the services people do want (think timed computers) and stop paying for things people don’t want (like databases?). We continue to think if we just marketed the services well, people would use them.

Policy Development
47) Most, if not all, of our circulation policies imply that people are guilty unless proven innocent. The courts don’t even do that. Always presume innocence. Why do we say “CLAIMED returned”? We should believe people unless proven otherwise, and just deal with the small minority who are out to scam the library. Howard County Library has a policy that you always act as if the customer is innocent until there is proof that they are guilty.
48) Ask your staff what things do we have to keep explaining over and over again. Or, every time staff have to say NO to something, ask them to write it down and give it to management. These policies or services are candidates for change.
49) Anytime something new is proposed, people will always have a list of ‘classic’ objections. Consider posting a list of these in your meeting and stipulating that all of these are true. See list at: http://www.georgeandjoan.com/samples/ASCLA.pdf. If people say, we tried that in xxxx, and it didn’t work because xxxx, then say well how can we make sure that doesn’t happen again.
50) Treat exceptions as exceptions. Don’t what-if too much.
51) Exercise: Have your staff document the times they say “no” to a patron and why – as a planning tool. Don’t assume getting the books back is more important than getting the people back.

Customer Service
52) Position your organization so people believe you are sustaining them and your organization will be sustainable.
53) For staff who may be over-protective or police-like: You don’t own the collection—the whole community does. Libraries serve the people, not policies and procedures. Cynicism about customers is bad for sustainability. Presume innocence; trust your community of users.
54) Libraries are about tools, not rules!
55) Try to look at your library with fresh eyes. What could a tourist learn about your community by visiting your library? What is obvious?
56) Have a civilian walk through the library with you while you SHUT UP and listen to what they observe/experience (i.e. What the HECK is microfiche?)
57) Human Resources thought: If you removed the word “library” from your job postings for customer service staff, would you attract different people?
58) “LEFT TURN” Where do you get your milk? The greatest supermarket or the place where you do not need to make the left turn? (convenience)
59) Spend time observing a first time user of your facility. (Or, try getting a group/board/friends to use the Customer Service Walkabout exercise at another location and then try it at your library: http://www.georgeandjoan.com/samples/tools.html )

60) You don’t have to like everything about an organization to be allies/partners, you just have to agree on something and know what it is. (Will community members outside your profession attend your retirement party?)

61) Staff members find their self worth in the value of knowledge/mastery of a skill. Help them understand changes to services with sensitivity. When you stop doing something you’ve done for years, it can be difficult. All services have lifecycles. Manage phase-outs effectively.
62) Some things/services/information are past their “use by” date.
63) 5 crows were sitting on a fence. 3 of them decided to leave. How many were left? (argh!) All 5, they only decided, they just didn’t do it yet. Take action. Doing nothing is a choice. Start with something and Fail Fast!
64) EBooks as enriching the experience (embedded links to historical information, for example).

Libraries and Relevance
65) The real debate isn’t electronic vs. print. It’s reading or not reading. A book is a medium to read.
66) People have a choice whether to visit the library or not. We need to entice them…not educate them about what we are.
67) In buildings, think about library lighting for stacks, for table areas, PC’s, and for new devices like eBooks that face the ceiling.
68) Help people think of a visit to the library as a gift. Romance it a little.
69) Libraries represent their own communities on the web. Encourage local content creation and sharing (uploading)!
70) eBooks won’t replace books. One medium doesn’t replace another. Forms and formats replace another.

Being Political
71) Political Sustainability is not a taboo subject. Be political; it isn’t optional. Quit keeping them separate. Align with channels of power and go into political conversations to cultivate investors. Use the force—go with it!
72) You need an elevator QUESTION not an elevator SPEECH. Ask the right questions to your community leaders and stakeholders:
a) What are your big issues?
b) What do you see as the greatest assets in the community?
c) What do you wish you knew more about? What resources do you use when you try to solve problems?
d) Who else should we talk to?

WebJunction is for YOU!

Posted in Learn Something, Technology on April 08, 2011 by Carrie
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If you work for a PA public library and don’t use WebJunction, you are missing some great free resources.
Get signed up today.
Here’s a handy sheet of instructions to help you learn how to get connected to resources just for PA librarians: WebJunction_Instructions

Collaborative Summer Library Program voucher for eligible PA public libraries

Posted in Distributions, General, Learn Something, PA Projects, Services - Youth Services on February 09, 2011 by Carrie
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There has been a change to information you received previously regarding the Summer Reading Program vouchers. Find the paperwork you need here. Voucher2011PA

Action Idea: Please make sure the person at your location that is responsible for submitting any orders for the Collaborative Summer Library Program to Highsmith knows to attach the voucher to your order if you want your library to receive the benefit.

Details: Highsmith is offering free shipment for SRP orders for CSLP participating libraries. Each library can use a $20.00 voucher for promotional materials. Note: The voucher is not to be used for reading incentives to give to participants, but for promotional materials like posters, bookmarks, etc. The voucher must be used by April 15. I believe you can use one voucher per library location.

Summer always comes and I know we’re all looking forward to it. :) If you want to share a story about an innovative way or best practice for how your library plans to use the Collaborative Summer Library Program voucher please post it here in the comments area.

Extra Challenge: Did you see the RFP for Administrative Services duties that are performed on behalf of the Collaborative Summer Library Program? You can find it available as a word document download in the middle of the front page of cslpreads.org right now. Think about the organization of the document and the information it provided. Can your library set a goal to improve some of your own documentation that covers many of the areas this paperwork addresses? What is one small thing you can do?

How the Internet Works: An Info graphic explanation

Posted in General, Just for Fun, Learn Something, Technology, Trendspotting on August 03, 2010 by Carrie
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Do you ever catch yourself saying I have no idea how technology works somedays?
Check out this awesome graphic that helps you understand: Online Schools
Via: Online Schools

Thanks to Stephen Abram’s Lighthouse blog for bringing it to our attention.

And, if this post was interesting to you, dig into the information to understand library technology even deeper at webjunction. Read, discuss, and share for free. Attend $5 classes when you sign up to join the PA community. Ask your district consultant if you have questions.

Collaboration for non-profits

Posted in Awards, Carrie's Musings, Grant Opportunities, Learn Something on July 07, 2010 by Carrie
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Check out the Foundation Center resources housed at the Dauphin County Library System’s largest library ESA.

Online, you can search a database for examples of possible areas of collaboration. Consider how streamlining the work your organization does by combining forces with other libraries and non-profits could help to expand the impact and make the outcomes of your work more visible in the community. Collaboration Ideas.

Use the search to find examples of other non-profits who have joined together in a collaboration to:
-Purchase goods and /or services together
-Share (co-locate) or better utilize space
-Combine marketing efforts
-Share development (fundraising) activities
-Share advocacy efforts
-Form a confederation
-Share staffing
-Share staff training

How could your library apply to win the next Collaboration Prize?

District Library Meeting Notes (from May 2010)

Posted in Events - Library Meetings, Learn Something, Services - Consulting on June 22, 2010 by Carrie
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Here’s a posting of the notes from the May 2010 District Library Meeting at SIM.
Thanks to all who attended.
It is likely we’ll do some more Point/Counterpoint activites in the future to make sure our libraries can be fluent in position statements and see all sides of difficult decisions we make in providing library service every single day.
May 2010 District Library Meeting Notes

PLA Virtual Conference Summary

Posted in Learn Something, Site, Technology, Trendspotting on May 06, 2010 by Carrie
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Below are the highlights from the PLA Virtual Conference session by session that were shared by participants after each session in the evaluation form.
Some minor editing was done to remove some duplicate ideas, but the majority of the notes are in the words of attendees who participated in the virtual conference together.

Shortcuts to Greatness: Or Ten Things That Great Libraries Know and Maybe You Don’t
1) Interesting examples of things other libraries are doing to reach out to and involve the community.
2) Examples of visions statements that were interesting (I thought most of them were more like tag lines than vision statements).
3) I enjoyed reading the qualities of a leader – these slides could be interesting in the assessment of leadership within an organization. I also enjoyed the slides on job descriptions. different approach!
1. Connect to customers–affection, respect, heartfelt connection.
2. Look cool–facilities, website, people
3. Humor important.
-awesome handouts from this powerpoint.
-shake it up.
-look at vision!

Books: The Top 5 of the Top 5
Different classification of new books
1. New authors.
2. Trends in books.
3. Share your favorite books with patrons. Read widely and become very familiar with collection.

Advanced Black Belt Librarians: The Top Ten Security Issues in Public Libraries
-Try a periodic review at staff meetings on how to handle security issues.
-Try 30-30-30 as a way to increase awareness: for 30 days every 30 minutes, stop for 30 seconds and observe what’s going on in the library. When staff try this, it will raise their level of awareness of what is going on around them.
-Enforce rules based on customer behavior rather than customer appearance.
-It’s about communication not confrontation.
-Use a clip board for potential problems, security incident report, problem log.
-Staff should not enforce rules based on appearance. They should enforce rules based on behavior!
-keep procedures simple and hold people accountable to follow them.
-hire and train the right staff for the right public positions.
-bad guys will find the shortcomings in your policies.
-staff is paid to think: let them use common sense to handle the situation when they can.
-The conflict that often exists between policy and common sense.
-Consistency of policy and enforcement is important.
-Front line staff fear problems of their bend the rules if even for a practical exception.
-Have CLEAR procedures to go with the policies
-Keep a security log/incident sheet
-Use walkarounds as a deterrent.
-Constant awareness is necessary, especially with reduced staff
-Documentation can help catch problems before they happen
-Keep rules SIMPLE.
-Spin rules positively on signs

Adrift or Right on Target: Perspectives on Floating Collections
-Peer Driven Quality Improvement Team (PDQI) made the project work.
-Biggest benefit: Fewer copies needed because holds were directed to the audience who needed them.
-How you set up your ILS is key to getting delivery benefits. How is location considered in the holds queue?
-small collections of “no holds” items is okay. What would be wrong with a No-Holds policy on the NEW items for 3 months? That way those people with an immediate need to have the item could buy it at the bookstore and donate it to us?
-It should be a priority for new ILS selection that the system can differentiate between items with a hold list and items that are simply a delivery selection. -Systemwide uniform weeding policies are important!
-All collection management decisions are important in floating collections for long-term success.
-Can rules be set up to allow “floating” only to certain branches?
-Could upcounty float just to upcounty and downcounty float just to downcounty on collections like DVDs or things that package differently?
-”Weeding Branch” concept!
-A greater way to loan books and save on budget
-Specific Webreporter report assists in weeding and moving materials.
-Floating collections results in greater circulation of fewer copies.
-Libraries created a grid that helped determine the number of copies purchased and where they start.
-Still depend on library staff for unique library needs.

Cracking the Code: Beyond Dewey: Words Vs. Numbers
Forcing patrons to translate what is in their mind into Dewey is bad customer service.
Bookshelves should be on wheels!
Libraries using Words vs. Dewey numbers are more popular materials based
WorkThink Grid concept, translating BISAC to unique spine labeling
Libraries using Words for classification are doing so in conjunction with a physical move to a ‘community center’ design.
Signage/displays is the key to finding materials. Word-based systems can work. Need a user map.
Molly Moyer: Retired Bookseller/Librarian: Dewey is predictable, familiar, and “easy” for librarians. Bookstores arrange things very differently.
Focus on shelving, display, furniture, signage (fonts that are readable up close and far away and words that users use), and collection.
1. map of the library w/ the various sections labeled
2. put as few barriers as possible between book and patron
3. Shore’s point of library as a ‘third place’
- images on signage (numbers scare patrons)
- shelving by subject using WordThink

S.Y.A.S.S. Save Your After School Sanity
1. Vetting workshop presenters wasn’t done very well with this session. 2. There are still a lot of librarians out there who are perpetuating the stereotypical librarian. 3. Only one presenter had any truly sensible things to say on this panel, and she read everything. This was a really poor presentation.
1. some people don’t really like or understand teens 2. there seems to be a lack of creativity in looking at this issue 3. negative attitudes are going to beget negative behavior
-The presenters are scared of teens. -There are many bad ideas. -Sure, sometimes there are problems with behavior, but patrolling with a billy club won’t solve them.

Marketing as Conversation: How to Interact with Your Community Through Your Website
- Taking pictures of community events and posting on Flikr. – Library service is really all about connecting with people and building relationships.
You have a great chance of success if you can get everyone “on the bus”. Create an environment to facilitate conversation – places where patrons can comment, make suggestions, etc Combine social networking tools to feed off of each other – facebook ties into flickr ties into twitter ties into a blog, etc.
1.flickr can be an amazing tool for capturing both the library and the community and starting online conversations 2. twitter has more uses for the library than I initialy thought. I have an account;need to explore this more in general 3. for me it would be important to “leave space for others” since I tend to like to be the eager beaver librarian who tries to provide all the answers…let it be a conversation, a sharing
How to use social media to get out in the community, be engaged, listening and participating to market services. The need to continue to manage your organization’s online identity. Getting staff to understand that talking with customers via online social media tools is as necessary as talking with people on the phone or in person.
Ask now widget embedded link to a librarian/website. Post building expansion photos on Flickr This stuff takes time.

Inside the Author’s Studio-Seaman interviews Roach
Mary Roach is hilarious!! I’m definitely going to read her next book. She presents her information in a fun and engaging way.
The author is funny. The library has many of her books.
1. learned about Mary Roach and her books 2. her books help take intimidation out of science 3. someone actually has a job title: Curator of Cosmic Dust

LITA’s Top Technology Trends
Will be difficult for libraries to provide e-content due to publishers, copyright and cost.
Individuals can purchase econtent cheaper than libraries.
Lawsuits in the 80′s for libraries to checkout videos started the content wars.
Augmented reality was a new term for me.
Use QR codes to provide addtional content to your patrons.
The iPad will change the face of the eBook industry.
Libraries = Content + Community
Learned what augmented reality
Started thinking about new aspects of digital divide
Libraries can circulate physical formats of digital content.

Cross-Over Readers Advisory
New Readers’ Advisory Handbook – new title Types of books that appeal to teen boys What aspects of teen books appeal to adults
1. learned a lot more about epic fantasy, a genre that I’m interested in and needed to learn more about 2. overall list of book suggestions very helpful 3. I want to read more epic fantasy.
-Books with the Prince award are great cross-overs for adults. -Try a teen/adult reading group for something different. -Teen readers know when you are talking down to them. -Alex Awards for good reading lists for Teens -Try Sci Fi or Fantasy for reluctant readers. It can bring together various age groups.

If You Didn’t Work Here Would You Come Here?
1. after hours important for drawing in people
2. e-mail list, blogs, social networking crucial
3. quality programming w/ that liberal arts twist…I liked many of Crosby’s ideas
-20-30 somethings are an important demographic that the library system needs to do more to attract.
-We can take better advantage of modern existing technologies like facebook and twitter to prmote the library among this demographic. Find out what programs would bring this group to the library. Existing book discussion groups are not addressing all demographics.
-Many great ideas for “out of the box” programming
-”Make yourself a missionary for the library”
-Market to group you want to attract Feedback on Twitter After hours are important
-Alcohol and after hours are two key components to attracting 20-30′somethings.
-20-30′somethings are an important demographic for civic support, they pay taxes and vote
-Use Google Alerts to keep track of social networking hits about you
-Ladies night out at the library (making candles, soaps, beauty products), library block parties, art shows, literary speed dating, Green environment resource campaign. These types of events help to join together people interested in specific topics to help form mini-communities for your library.
-Multonamah County uses a “Giant Library Card” in their advertisements/media for good photo opportunities.
-Program Idea: Meet the Past: Have people dress up as historical figures and have someone do interviews. Partner with public television topical areas.
-Offer after hours events, hosted by the library, not always in the library. Staff can plan and promote the event. Local press will cover innovative programs (like dating!) hosted at the library.
-Make yourself a missionary for your library everywhere you go. Marketing from the staff word of mouth makes all the difference.
-Get your staff liking your library Facebook posts and resharing it on their own personal pages.

ereader and elistener resources

Posted in Learn Something, Resources - Online Resources, Trendspotting on April 22, 2010 by Carrie
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When customers ask you about the different ereaders, this site is a resource to direct them to for explanation of ereaders and some comparisons of features: ereaderresource.com Check out the basics for an overview.
Also please remember that anything with a screen with text or pictures can be used as a reader. Those popular apple products, mobile phones, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers, and even television (hooked up to your computer) can be a reader for content produced in digital format. Those may not give the “reading” experience or have the awesome e-ink, bookmarking, note-taking, portability, or size features, but there is a way to read the content if you have a computer and access to the internet.

As of the day of this posting, the public libraries in the three county Capital Area Library District do not offer any commercial service for downloading print ebook content to the popular e-readers, however, full text versions of many novels and works of reference and nonfiction are available online through Netlibrary, one of the resources in POWERlibrary. If you have your library card handy, login to see what is available: ebooks from Netlibrary

Library customers do have access to a public library sponsored collection of downloadable audiobooks at http://capitalarealibrary.lib.overdrive.com/

The OverDrive service just released an app for the iphone so users can skip the download to their personal computer and just download direct to their iphone. Let me know if you like it. App store: Overdrive
There is a mobile version of the site for those with other smart phone operating systems.

Digital media is changing the way content is provided in all parts of the industry. What should libraries do about it?

Comments always welcome; suggested solutions to meet short and long term needs will be applauded.

Art of Community

Posted in Distributions, Learn Something, Technology on April 13, 2010 by Carrie
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Libraries are information centers in their community. Here’s a resource that helps you see how your library can build and lead the community with some focus on stories of how technology can help: artofcommunityonline.org

Check out this book, a Creative Commons free to download in pdf format online Read right now here or available for purchase via Amazon (for you or your library collection: buy Art of Community at Amazon ) that dicusses building and leading a community.

Use online presentations to start discussions in your library

Posted in General, Learn Something, Resources, Technology, Trendspotting on March 18, 2010 by Carrie
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Check these out. Share them with staff.
What do you agree or disagree with from R. David Lankes presentations?
Link to R. David Lankes presentations online

Start a conversation. This space is available.

PLA Virtual Conference Registration (Day 1: March 25)

Posted in Events - Conferences, Events - Training, Learn Something on February 25, 2010 by Carrie
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Event Date: March 25, 2010

More events

The Capital Area Library District is purchasing 9 seats at the PLA Virtual Conference as an opportunity for continuing education.

We will host all of the sessions at CADM, in the training lab.

You will receive 1 CE credit for each session you attend.

There is a limit of 9 people in the room at any time, so signups are on a first come, first serve basis. Sign up FAST.

Please review the session details at this website: placonference.org/virtual_conference.cfm and then use the sign up link next to the corresponding title for each session. This post has the links to register for Day 1 sessions. Day 2 sessions are not yet finalized. Stay tuned for a second posting for Day 2 (March 26) with additional topics.

COST: Your library will be billed after the event $5 for each session each person from your location signs up for. Please try not to cancel at the last minute, because then we’d have empty seats.

Schedule and Individual Session Registration Links:
Thursday, March 25, 2010
10:45 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction (Anyone coming for the 11:00 session can attend this.)

11:00 – 12:00 p.m.
If You Didn’t Work Here, Would You Come Here? Register for If You Didn’t Work Here, Would You Come Here

12:15p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Cross Over Readers Advisory Register for Cross Over Reader’s Advisory

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
LITA’s Top Technology Trends Register for LITA’s Top Technology Trends

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Inside the Author’s Studio with Booklist’s Donna Seaman Register for Donna Seaman

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Marketing as Conversation: How to Interact with Your Community Through Your Website Register for Marketing as Conversation

5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
S.Y.A.S.S. Save Your After School Sanity Register to Save Your Sanity

Happy Hour/Wrap-Up (If there is interest, anyone in the room is welcome to hang around to view for FREE. Note: We may be happy, but we’ll have to leave the drinks–there’s no bar in library unless you rearrange the letters. :)

Audio Poster Sessions: As an important element of the conference experience, ALL Virtual Conference attendees will receive access to explore our audio poster session which features PowerPoint presentations or Web tours with audio narration. As part of the last PLA National Conference (2008), we offered twenty poster sessions for attendees to peruse, on topics like Early Literacy, Website Accessibility, Cataloging Video Games, Public/Academic Library Collaboration, and Impact of Library Outreach. We also featured poster sessions on library programming like 52 Books – 52 Weeks, A.R.T. Revolution forTeens, Local History, and more.

Access to Archived Programming for One Year: All virtual conference registrants will have access to archived Virtual Conference programming for one year after the event. Maybe some of your staff can bring the information they learned back to train your local staff too!

Minimum Standards for Public Libraries

Posted in Learn Something, State Aid, Trustees on February 18, 2010 by Carrie
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Open the attached document to see a document recently updated by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries staff that explains each standard for state aid and connects the standard to the specific citation in PA Code.
Look for basic and excellence standards for your independent local library, system, system member library, branch, bookmobile, or district library center.
State Aid Standards Tables Revised 02-2010
Just the facts from the Code.

Libraries who do not meet state aid standards for a specific reason can apply for a waiver.