PLA 2018 Project Outcome pre conference

PLA 2018 | Philadelphia | March 20 (all day) | Project Outcome Training Workshop


What is an Outcome? Knowledge | Confidence | Application | Awareness

What is an Outcome Measurement?
Need Assessment (What does our community need?) | Output (How much did we do?) | Outcome (What good did we do?) | Patron Satisfaction (What should we do better?)

Why Measure Outcomes? To better measure and improve your library’s impact on the community it serves | To support planning and assessment over time | To help better manage services and resources | To demonstrate a need for funding and other support

Examples: Sacramento knitting club, Jacksonville PL for funding justification (SRP and story time) Richard Mott said, “Parents that attended our programs, 96% said because of program attendance, they felt more confident to help their children learn.”  Tells funders that libraries are essential.

Process: 1. Identify Needs 2. Measure Outcomes 3. Review Results 4. Take Action

Data Collection Team: Set up additional accounts to share training resources and set up a training plan that includes an overview and then the appropriate level of training for their part, for example, survey administration.  Build internal support and get staff buy in.

Strategies for Building Internal Support:

  • Start Engagement Early – Make everyone aware and give folks a chance to voice concerns and see who is interested in the process (Teen services, for example).
  • Build Internal Support – Identify library leadership/Board/staff who believe in the value of outcome measurement to help carry the message and make the case.
  • Be Upfront with What You Expect to Find Out – Know WHY you are doing this.  Be transparent about what kind of information you are trying to capture with outcome data. It could be seen as threatening and feel apprehensive about the change in the process. Goal is to provide the best service possible – what is working or not and change what isn’t working to make it better.  Ex: Summer Reading Program.  Forward thinking. What ways have libraries found to gather feedback about the internal process?  Seek out examples of how to check in with staff during the process.

Feedback from Dan Hensley, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the process gave the library “piles of beautiful data” and served as a “great advocacy tool” to tell stories. (His video is archived at the project web site.)

Q&A: How many libraries think about and document outcomes WHILE planning the program – so you know what success looks like before you start?  This project is adaptable, so it could be used to gather data for hyperlocal goals, outside the prescribed Project Outcome goals.

Outcome Measurement Continuum: From Patron-reported learning (immediate survey) to Patron-reported adoption/application of learning (follow-up survey) to Deeper analysis and long-term benefits (outcome measurement guidelines).

Survey Topics: Civic/Community Engagement | Digital Learning | Economic Development | Education/Lifelong Learning | Early Childhood Literacy | Job Skills | Summer Reading

Sample Immediate Survey – easiest, quickest option. Multiple choice with open ended questions, too. Online or paper, but survey can be edited/customized.  Example: Plano, TX included survey in with STEM kits that could be checked out and discovered a lack of knowledge of library programs, so a schedule/calendar was added to the kit. 90% of brochures were kept by patrons!

Follow-Up Survey – longer, 2 pages, with more response space. “Patron-reported adoption” – any change of behavior? Skill used in life or work? 4-8 weeks later (or earlier with computer classes).  Takes more staff time – administered differently (ask patron if OK to contact, then gather content, then contact them for an interview.

Summer Reading Survey is only available as an immediate survey. Includes a question, “What could the library do to help your child continue to learn more?”  Also it is different for Caregivers, Teens, and Adults.

Process for Choosing the Right Survey: Identify Community Needs > Identify Library Goals (from Strategic Plan) > Choose Program & Survey Topic (avoid survey fatigue) > Choose Survey Type

Example of Survey Questions for Civic/Community Engagement Immediate Survey.  Each Topic has a unique set of questions.

  1. You are more aware of some issues in your community
  2. You feel more confident about becoming involved in your community
  3. You intend on becoming more engaged in your community
  4. You are more aware of resources and services provided by the library
  5. What did you like most about the program?
  6. What could the library do to better assist you with your involvement in the community?

Follow-up survey questions:

  1. I became more involved in the community
  2. I used what I learned to do something new or different in the community
  3. I discussed or shared with others what I learned or experienced
  4. I checked out a book, attended another program, or used another library service or resource
  5. What did you like most about this program or service?
  6. What could the library do to help you continue to learn more?

Survey creation process is well designed and seems easy to use – we have to be mindful of what data we want to pull out when creating and naming the surveys. Custom questions can be added to the canned/standardized survey questions.  The standardized survey questions can’t be edited and the survey must be given in its entirety, if you want your surveys included in the aggregated online project system. Keeps the data clean. Can add up to 3 open-ended questions per survey, common questions are in a drop-down menu, be mindful of survey fatigue, be mindful of confidentiality, and do not ask for contact information on surveys. Anonymous. Use a separate process to gather contact information for follow up surveys. Example of canned questions, ‘How did you hear about this program?’ or zip code data.

LUNCH … so I’m going to publish the first part.

Administering the Survey – you can have a PDF paper survey or online survey (English or Spanish), unique for each survey. It’s tablet-friendly, can be emailed, or taken at a kiosk at the library.  No translations for other languages, yet. OK to translate if you have a trusted translator (ask in discussion board for Russian).

Survey Best Practices: For the Immediate survey, hand out survey at the end of the program, email/text the link, give clear instructions, have a drop-box for completed surveys, build in time in the program to complete the survey, and have a volunteer to help.  For Follow-up surveys, collect contact information at the end of program and explain what it will be used for. Send the survey 4-8 weeks after, if calling or interviewing, plan to get help.  Push to FB or add to Vertical Response to participants

Survey Schedule: For the year, stagger surveys and audiences.  If collecting a baseline, maybe it makes more sense to consistently survey one program all year.

How to Talk to Patrons about Surveys: Strategies to talk to patrons about the value of their feedback. Scripts. “There’s always room to grow. Even if you love the library and the programs, it is always useful to get patron feedback, so we can serve you better.” “We want your honest opinion.” New ideas, help us brainstorm. “This is part of a national outcome measurement initiative managed by PLA.” “The survey is 100% confidential and does not require any contact information.”

From the Web site:

How do I complete the survey?

[For Immediate Surveys] Please read the survey carefully. The surveys measure responses on a 5-point Likert scale, with the additional option of “Not Applicable.” The Likert scale reads from left (Strongly Disagree) to right (Strongly Agree). Please select one response option for each question and make sure to complete the open-ended questions below, which ask you what you liked most about the program or service and suggestions for improvement.

Survey Management Tool – Wow.  You can archive older surveys, immediately see responses, you can draft or delete surveys, and you can copy surveys. To enter paper responses, there is a quick and easy button to do it one-by-one online when logged in or you can enter multiple responses through a form without logging in. Works well with volunteers. “The usefulness of your reports and dashboards relies on accurate data entry.” Tip: Mark surveys that have been entered, in case the pile falls on the floor…

You cannot EDIT the responses, you would need to delete and re-enter the responses.  So be careful.

Review Results – PDF Summary report, data dashboard, raw survey data, qualitative data analysis, and tips for communicating data accurately

Report builder and step-by-step tools. Training videos are being made now.  You can include a custom narrative and logo, for board presentations.  PDF Report includes general information/canned verbiage about the process and an overview of the survey purpose, then Results with graphics, data, and comparisons. Eventually,  we will be able to include a few choice open-ended responses. We can include attendance, then the response rate is calculated by the system.  More blanket text included at the end of the report – “Implications for community impact“.

Data Dashboard – set of visualization tools. Interactive and use the same design elements for consistent presentation. Purple is positive, Green is needs improvement, Grey is neutral.  Overview shows aggregate scores, including state and national averages. Matrix – Topic and Outcome matrix can be used to find gaps in service. Can apply filters to specify data. Chord Diagram – When you hover, correlations drawn between topics and outcome indicators. A way to actively manipulate the data and/or show strong connections. Detail – breaks down each question with bar chart and includes state and national scores for comparison. Map – Plots locations of library with outcomes and demographic data. Look at geographic areas of service. Library Info – pulls from IMLS data (older), but pulls in general output (statistical) data into a similarly formatted graphic. Consistent with other outcome data in look/feel.

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This is research with a little “r” – so we must provide context if the sample size is small and may need provide additional information about why a program had a low response rate. We can access the raw data and do year-to-year comparisons and access open-ended questions. Dataset also shows comparison of print v. online response rate.

Open Responses also available through Detail dashboard with light filtering. Can filter by program name to group multiple programs together to analyze data and open-ended answers. Ex: Early Literacy programs, including all 3 story times. Includes standardized questions and any pre-determined additional questions or unique questions written by library.

Analysis of Qualitative Data – challenging area to approach – you can read through them, but how do you make decisions and identify trends?

  1. Condense & Categorize Data – group comments according to common topics
  2. Describe Categories – Describe what people said most often and any smaller categories that you found meaningful.  Start with categories that have the most comments.
  3. Share Findings – “Share internally with staff, discuss results at staff meetings, identify opportunities for change, or plan to use in eternal advocacy messaging.”



HV Library of the Future

We have David B. coming tomorrow to lead us (Board, staff, Friends, and a few patrons) in a discussion of our strategic vision and what we would like in our dream building.  In preparation, I’ve done some very light research, but it’s still been inspiring.

The Demco Interiors blog is a gold mind.

Starting with Designing for Community: 10 Essential Library Spaces The Margaret Sullivan Studio designs based on placemaking principles:

  • The strategic goals of the institution
  • The library’s brand attributes
  • The community’s needs, goals and aspirations
  • The desired learning outcomes for patrons

So, what would our placemaking principles look like? Well our goals and brand are to be a great, traditional library with exceptional customer service, ample study spaces, an up-to-date collection, and serving as the community hub.  During the day, we are a ‘study hall’ with substantial oak tables and library bureau chairs that are almost always full of teen and adult students, students and tutors, or small groups collaborating on projects. In the mornings, we have programs that bring in families or seniors for storytime and yoga.  At night, it’s quieter unless there’s a program that brings in families.

As a bedroom community, Lower Moreland Township is fighting to cultivate a small-town vibe with plans like the Bethayers Streetscape that would redevelop our one cute shopping area along Huntingdon Pike. We are located at the apex of the Pike – could we position ourselves to be more walker-friendly?  This community also fully supports our school district and it is the main reason new residents move to the area, so we are building a stronger relationship with the District through the school librarians.  We are also a very diverse district with Russian, Chinese, Malayalam, Hebrew, Ukranian, Korean, and Arabic all spoken at home.  How do we serve those kids and their families?

Other of the article’s Top 10 ideas I’d like to incorporate into our plans:

  • Welcome space – rework our lower entrance (mud room) and make it easier for patrons to navigate up to the library from downstairs.  I think we are OK from the front entrance, just need to declutter and blow up our huge circ desk.
  • Vibrant Cafe – yep, we need something other than the vending machines downstairs….that’s not on carpet.  Abington Free Library downsized Reference to create space for book-themed vending machines and a new seating area.
  • Browsing Bookstore – expand and better merchandise our new books.
  • Living Room – we have that covered in spades!  2 couches, multiple comfy chairs, bistro tables…
  • Messy Space – a maker/art/creative space
  • Community Meeting Room – check! We have a great one. Could use a kitchen…
  • Quiet Room – YES PLEASE
  • Business Incubator – We would need to ask around and gather more information about this – I’m not sure it’s a need that we have.
  • Pop-Up – maybe on a small scale? little free library? outreach?
  • Community Garden – YES PLEASE – I think this would be so cool and we have the green space around the building to make it happen (if we stay in this location).

Top 5 Library Design Trends (demco interiors blog)

  1. Light and Airy – We have this and just need to upgrade the windows to eliminate the “cold and drafty” in winter or “leaky and moldy” after a heavy rain.
  2. Unfixed flexible space – OK, so they explain why this trend is so popular (just go to a newly remodeled Free Library branch to see it in action).  Modular furniture can be reconfigured quickly, designed for BYOD with powered tables and cafe areas, mobile service points can be used at peak times with wifi connected devices, and low mobile shelving that staff and patrons can see over (helps with way finding).
  3. Power Everywhere – there are interesting low-profile access floor systems you can install during a renovation or raised access floor systems in new construction to address power needs throughout the building.
  4. Collaboration and Study Spaces – Partitions allow you to sub-divide a room for maximum flexibility – Topeka and Abington both have this option.
  5. Furniture Trends – flip-top tables (Kim had these in Bonner), collaboration stations (Abington and Upper Moreland both have one), high-back lounge seating (for noise and privacy? No! So they can be pulled together to create a discussion space), and study pods (good, old fashioned study carrels never go out of style)

Library Design Showcase – 2017 and 2016 – pretty pictures…

2016 Library Building Award Winners

Hey look, there’s Lawrence Public, my old local library!  Brad and his staff have done amazing things with that space, including the recording studio, quiet reading spaces around the perimeter, and the water-bottle refilling station.

8 Technologies to Implement

  • Library Mobile App – Apps are trending over mobile Web sites.  Can we have a MCLINC App that pulls info in from library Web sites (like events)?
  • Augmented Reality
  • Self-service printing and scanning
  • Robots – Have this one!

The Future of Public Libraries: Emerging Trends

  • Makerspaces – there are examples links provided to 5 different libraries across the globe
  • Digital Creation Labs – Chicago Public’s is probably the most famous, but Fayetteville Free Library in NY has a green screen and Stokie Public Library has age-appropriate labs
  • Flexible Design and Seating – Comfy chairs and bright colors
  • Multi-use Spaces and Services – kitchens, gardens, performance spaces, cinema space, the Library of Things (sewing machine anyone?)
  • Emerging Technologies – 3D printers, makerspaces, and Brooklyn PL has an Espresso Book Machine to self-publish and bind books!

2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

In January, after the Mummer’s Parade, I moved into a beautiful old carriage house on 3 acres of basically a suburban botanical garden in Lower Moreland. Being 6 minutes from work has been fantastic. I also started as the President of MCLINC in January and went to Circ, MAC, Network, Board, and Database committee meetings and attended Liz Vibber’s Board Chair Book Camp on Jan. 25. We gave a modified MCLINC dog and pony show at Indian Valley on January 26, but they declined joining at this time. Pam and I tackled revising our Service Policy and Code of conduct. Bruno was hired and Nika gave her notice, as did Glynnis.  It looks like I also started work on “Operation Clean Carpet.”  Off to a busy start.  You’ll notice a MCLINC theme for the year – being President took a lot more time, miles, and energy than I anticipated.

Pam had a great year – starting with the purchase of 3 Dash and Dot robots from the Friends and quickly followed by the Local Business Breakfast on Feb. 10.  We had the first of four Art Nouveau lectures Feb. 19.  Another Plan!  I sent a draft Emergency Preparedness Plan to Rich, our Deputy Emergency Manager,  for review in February (with follow-up Active Shooter training scheduled for 1/4/2018 by staff demand). Mila enjoyed spending winter watching birds and squirrels out the windows of the carriage house.

March – We partnered with Sushiman for a dining event on March 1 and the Matter of Balance classes with the Montgomery County Health Department started March 8 – a lead from the 2016 Senior Expo. Operation Clean Carpet happened March 10 and I hung out back here while they steam cleaned.  We also had a bumpy Polaris Upgrade March 7-9.  Youth Services Librarian interviews, a couple of audits, and the Friends Spring Tea ended the month.  The Township helped us out with building maintenance this year with new elevator locks and back-up battery, plus Meridian Security set up the community room to be alarmed, if needed. I had to put on my President cap during an unhappy phone call about the recent upgrade with Polaris on March 21, so hopefully the next migration/upgrade will go better. Glynnis expanded the Spring Egg Hunt, moving it to the hill next to the High School and utilized our teen volunteers to fill all 8,000 eggs. We hired Linda Jones in March and had to re-post for Glynnis’ position. Vanessa and Glynnis ended the Teen Reading Lounge by hosting Alex London, with a professional photographer from PHC to boot.

April – More Art Nouveau lectures, 300+ Spring Egg Hunt, and Glynnis’ going away party April 29. Parking woes – Police ticketed 10 students and we also had kids trespass through the community room DURING a program to go play basketball, so I called the fuzz and scared some middle-schoolers straight! Also started a discussion of our need for fire lanes. Pam organized another very successful Volunteer Tea – she’s so good with people. I’ll stick to writing policies and hanging out with my cat. Pam and Marilyn put on Family Hour of code April 22, kicking off our new robotics programs.  I took a mental health day and drove up to New Hope to walk among the wildflowers (it was a bit early, but still fun).

May – CAPS students shifted, re-labled, and such. We met another strategic goal by partnering with LMPD and inviting Officer Huttick to speak in June.  With a very active committee and help from professionals, we updated the employee handbook for MCLINC.  Vanessa moved the Teen Advisory Board forward in 2017, another strategic initiative.  As always in May, we prepared for Summer Reading – Build a Better World.  The flowers finally arrived…

June/July – I had an epiphany: we have been under-counting our door count since taking on the Community room as part of the library, so we will add the event attendance for events held upstairs to the door count for the annual report and then move the door counter in January. Terri started July 5, along with Allison and Samuel. I also went to ALA in Chicago to learn stuff and hear interesting people talk about librarianship. We moved Mah Jongg and Canasta from 11:30 to 12:30 and it caused a bit of friction, but enabled us to rent and/or use the Community Room in the morning on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  The Dash and Dot robots debuted at Summer Reading, paid for by the Friends.  Took another mini-break to take my Mom and Aunt Sharon to Longwood Gardens and Cape May.  Also went on some loverly walks along the Wissahickon and in my landlady’s garden:

August – I presented a draft budget to the Board. Linda Yerkees, the HS librarian retired and we learned that the new school liaisons would be all three of the District’s librarians, on rotation. The Board had a good discussion of Library Fundraising at their meeting and of the five ideas presented, the Fun Run happened!  I secured 5 sponsors (that was my big contribution to the cause) so all donations (over $700) were profit.  (No Bull Training and Karl rock – I hope we can do it again next year. )  Speaking of fundraisers, the Aug. 19 Books and Brews fundraiser at Naked Brewing Co. had good Board participation and a fun mix of Friends, patrons, staff, and newcomers. As you can see, I was having fun.

September – Circulation went down, but I think that was due in part to inflated in house uses numbers from 2016. Excluding in house circ showed a .7% increase. We asked the Friends to support a subscription to hoopla streaming service (and signed the contract in December).  Our new District Consultant – Karen – started. I went to Kansas to meet my new Great Nephew. The Board worked to schedule Victor Brooks, but we had to postpone to 2018. With donations down from last year, cash flow was a real struggle in 2017, so we had to ask the township for tax fund distributions more often. I have to get creative with fundraising and grant writing…or cut costs. The Board and I worked on a Board member job description and reviewed and revised the Bylaws in November. We started a new chair yoga class with Pura Vida, a local health store and another positive partnership with local businesses, like No Bull Training for the Fun Run. Vanessa starred in a Summer Reading TV ad created and edited by Ellen Z, the Pine Road librarian.

October – I presented our Budget – no major changes – and the Annual Appeal went out Oct. 16 to support general expenses.  We talked about ethics and the Library Bill of rights at the to Board meeting. Finally went to the Foundation Center on Oct. 24 to find family foundations we can apply to…if I get around to filling out the applications. Might recruit some of these writers I have on staff to help with this long-overdue project. We started discussing the Classroom Card idea floated by Ms. Curzi, HS librarian. We had no heat in the Community Room on a Monday and it lead to a mini-mutiny on Halloween. Not fun. The Township kindly replaced a ballast in the stairwell after it started burning and we evacuated the building. MCLINC and the County decided to add Ebsco Discovery Service, so that had to be configured and added to our Web site for testing in December. Pam secured Be Well Cafe to the list of Fun Run sponsors ($100). Movie Night Under the Stars went well and Terri has done a great job tackling the “must have” programs: Write and Illustrate Your Own Book in November, Movie Night in October, and she’ll plan the Spring Egg Hunt in 2018. J and I took a second trip to NYC (we went in April) and saw this “Reading Room” in Bryant Park behind the NYPL.

November – I Continued My Education! I went to the Directors’ Summit in Philly with several Montgomery County librarians.  It was inspiring and great to talk candidly with other Directors and Karen, from the District. I followed up with a webinar about Transforming Libraries and turning outward.  A bit of synchronicity – I think we can use the Transforming Libraries process with our next strategic plan, to help restart the LM Business Association, and to see how the library could/should/would work as an economic development and community building engine. Feeling a bit excited about things just in time for 2018. The Nov. 11 Fun Run on the Pennypack Trail was a hit – well attended, very cold, but with a good atmosphere. I also met with our Superintendent, Dr. Feeley, and it initiated an autism awareness talk at January staff in service and our inclusion (hopefully) in Pine Road Elementary’s diversity event in March. Continued work on the Bylaws classroom card idea. Pam joined me at the District meeting to talk mental health and waxed dreamily (via email) about focusing 2018 programs on music and science and strengthen partnerships with the school district. (But have I actually planned any programs yet? Um, no.) However, I did schedule a special Jan. 25 Board meeting with a “What to expect when you’re renovating” presentation with David Belanger.

December – Finalized the hoopla deal, added Ebsco to the Online Resources page for testing, and attended a great workshop on collection challenges sponsored by SEPLA on Dec. 1 with Linda. At the December staff meeting, we reviewed the Request for Reconsideration policy and practices. The Friends decided to buy us 4 more Dot robots after two of the Execs volunteered for new Learn to Code club and saw the robots in action with the kids. I also freaked out about money, I mean, updated the budget for Board and discussed cash flow contingency plans with my wonderful Treasurer, Judy.  Also organized the Jan. 4 staff in-service with our guest speakers from the School District and Township.  We’ll also have some tech training and a little design charrette the day after I get back from my year-end vacation to Seattle.

Highlight of the Year: Spending time with these folks in Chicago…

Plus +

  • Collaborations with businesses and school librarians and being approached as a partner to help reboot the LM Business Association.
    • Pam led the way with the Business Breakfast, then Summer Reading raffle tickets at participating businesses, and finally with the Fun Run and partnerships with Pura Vida for Chair Yoga and Tea Talk in Dec.
    • I worked with the school librarians to organize the classroom card and pitched the idea to Dr. Feeley who agreed to add the library as a stop for their inter-building mail courier.
    • Shared the Turning Outward concept with anyone who would listen, including the Township manager
    • Other examples: Officer Huttick’s talk during Summer reading, Rich’s help with Emergency plan, and Township’s help with the building and grounds.
  • Delegating:
    • Marilyn and Pam to explore coding and start Learn to Code club with adult volunteers
    • Meg to organize Adult book clubs, Saturday storytimes, and LEGO club
    • Vanessa to run with her TAB group and assisting with Terri’s training and orientation
    • Meg and Blessy to represent the library at a Back to School night
  • Moved forward with Policies: Code of conduct (late 2016), Service policy, Emergency preparedness policy, and revised Bylaws.
  • MCLINC President – Active with calls, meetings, fretting, and the MAIUG in NJ, but moved forward with:
    • Hiring a great new Network Manager
    • Upgrading to Polaris 5.2 while simultaneously migrating to the Cloud
    • Managing an unexpected personnel issue and vacancy
    • Presenting to Indian Valley
    • Updating the Employee handbook and implementing the new Fiscal policy
    • Contracting with Liz Vibber to restart strategic planning process with Sukrit as Chair
    • We set several Goals at the start of the year and worked towards reaching them
  • Adult programming overview: Four Aspects of Art Nouveau, Matter of Balance Class, Socrates Cafe, Movies, and Yoga. Civil War talk with Union League (follow up tour for Friends Dec. 11). The Friends After Meeting programs did well – Pennypack talk, Art House Confidential (Renew Theaters), Pearl S. Buck in 2018. Computer classes with Jonathan were well received, but he would like better attendance in 2018. We might consider having Zumba class again in 2018 – it was a real hit that we missed this year. Added Monday Night Yoga and chair yoga in Fall, but Chair yoga attendance fell and was canceled. Pam’s art class and essential oils classes do consistently well. I did NOT focus greatly on programming in 2017 and the decrease in attendance shows it, I’m afraid.
  • Fundraising Overview: 2016 Appeal and summer appeal went to architect and we made over $15,000 towards the $30,000 goal by October, when we started the 2017 Appeal. Small fundraisers included: Sushiman, LulaRoe, Naked Brewing, Summer Appeal, and the Fun Run. Postponed Victor Brooks, but Pam and her committee are planning a BINGO event for April 14. The Fun Run was great and worth repeating.
  • Staff – we had 5 new staff members join us (Bruno, Linda, Terri, Allison, and Sam) and three who left (Bruno, Glynnis, and Nika). The transition from Glynnis to Terri is progressing. I look forward to working with Terri to flesh out her vision for Youth Services. We continue to have several librarians and/or librarians-in-training at the desk.  Linda is going to Library school, Allison is a recent MLS graduate, and Kathleen is working PT at an academic library. Kathy and Monica, as mini-MAC, have Sundays well in hand and Sunil, Karen, Meg, Jonathan, and Marilyn keep us running smoothly.


  • Adult programming – I think 2017 would have benefited from more of a vision, so am trying to focus on quality over quantity in 2018 and be thoughtful and plan with intention. 2018 Events Master List DRAFT.  Ideas: Ben Franklin, Hillbillies concert, School musicians, School art show, Learn To Code club expansion, family speakers on coding, etc.
  • Staff development – I think I’m not alone with this.  How can I make sure staff know what I need them to know?  What the new polices are and where to find them, extreme customer service, readers advisory, and working sensitively with patrons. We did have staff meetings consistently and I think that helped, but it’s hard to get everyone here at the same time. The  Jan. 4 Staff Day should help.
  • MCLINC – I feel I could have been a better coach as President, but I think we still accomplished a lot as an organization. There’s room for improvement and I think the Strategic planning process will bring to light (bright, glaring light) what we want and need in the future.
  • Focus – wait, what was I just doing?

Catalog of the Future?

Ever since Ruth talked to us at NExpress about FRBR and the promise of a truly user-friendly catalog…I’ve been patiently waiting.  Well, Pam heard about the Wonders of API at the Mid-Atlantic Innovative Users Group meeting in October and shared the Marmot Library Network catalog as one of several examples of what can be done with API’s.  I’d say they have tricked out their catalog enough to make my dreams come true:

Particularly awesome bits:

  • For a single title, “Otherwise Engaged,” I can see ALL of the various editions, including electronic content.
  • Under the “Book” format, I can see the various editions.
  • For the electronic editions, there is immediate access from within the catalog.
  • It’s also clear to see that the information displayed is only as good as the catalog record, for example the series information appears to be linked to a large print edition….but at least it’s there!

Out of curiosity, I looked up The Wizard of Oz, a book I had to catalog in library school and is notorious for having 1,000,000 different editions.  Wow, that’s pretty awesome.

Oooh, they include their hoopla content in the catalog.

So, am I correct in assuming that this kind of thing can be outsourced and if we throw sufficient money in the right direction, we too can have this kind of fabulousness in our MCLINC catalog?

I’m giddy.

Five Ways to Transform How Your Library Works with Your Community

Webinar – Five Ways to Transform How Your Library Works with Your Community with Erica Freudenberger, formerly of Red Hook Library.

Erica makes a strong case that the future is relational, not transactional and that libraries can strengthen the social fabric of their communities. It’s about connections, not collections. We need to undergo a Deep Transformation Through Community Engagement – Develop a collective vision that benefits the community. Libraries can/should/need to demonstrate value by being part of something larger than ourselves. Stop communicating value and just be valuable – or “Just Show Up!” Strategic partnerships are NOT community engagement. We must have conversations about community aspirations. “Don’t be arrogant and assume we know what the community wants or needs.” What vision does the Community have for itself?

How they went about answering the question: Spent 8 months collecting public knowledge by going door-to-door, going to festivals, and having 10 minute conversations with people. Using the Harwood Institute’s tools for “Turning Outward” and starting with the school Superintendent, they asked these 4 questions:

  1. What kind of community do you want to live in?
  2. Why is that important to you?
  3. How is that different from how you see things now?
  4. What are some of the things that need to happen to create that kind of change?

3-Part Approach:

  • Ask – one-on-one (with a 2nd person to take notes), 10 minutes
  • Aspirations – questions for groups, like Boards
  • Community Conversation – discussions outside the library with groups of 15 people

Volunteers helped and they built capacity – it was ‘high touch and personal’

Erica asserts it is not the library’s job to fix things but to alert people to the issues and to bring people together to find solutions. They helped identify the issues.  Examples from Red Hook: Went to the high school to do programming (space constraints and no budget), created a pop-up library with school to provide equitable library services (went to the local trailer park), creative place making – took a Hispanic Heritage program to the Farmer’s Market and used a public space for a cultural/arts event that also benefited the farmers, Diversity – created a strong Diwali celebration with international students to help strengthen social fabric.

Libraries can be economic engines. The “Read Local Red Hook Literary Festival” drew hundreds and the businesses had a great day. They’ve done storytime at the candy shop and movie night at the local cafe.

Erica says, libraries “empower citizens to be actively involved in a democratic society.” While it’s hard to let go of the idea that the library is the center of the universe, by encouraging community decision making there was joint empowerment. They rethought adult programs ($9.59 budget) and recruited community members and had programs by the people for the people: beekeeping, wine/cheese making, bird watching, etc. She told us to stop guessing and stop asking people what they want from the library because THEY DON’T KNOW. She reiterated that this is the high touch and time intensive work of relationship building. They found out what really mattered to people and made it happen – she wants libraries to go viral.

Q&A – Budget doubled in 6 years. People were willing to share their talents and staff helped identify and approach potential program volunteers. She inspired staff and the Board with an Aspirations exercise. She shared that traveling and spending time together with the Deputy Mayor and school libraries planning a mobile maker space helped build those relationships because they got to know each other. When she left, they had a full time program coordinator and had 600 programs a year with 10,000 attendees.

For such a short webinar, it was packed with great information and I realize I’m late to the game, but I have now been exposed to Libraries Transforming Communities and  “A Step-By-Step Guide to ‘Turning Outward’ to Your Community.”

I’m all inspired now to:

  • Increase attendance at programs – quality over quantity.
  • Increase circulation statistics
  • “Empower citizens to be actively involved in a democratic society” or help bolster community spirit
  • Use these Turning Outward tools for strategic planning – oh look, they have information just for that!

Library Journal Directors’ Summit

My mind is bursting. I have notes and ideas from the Directors’ Summit, notes from this Webinar, Ideas from the Libraries Transforming Communities Case Studies, and now I’m digging into the Aspen Institute Executive Summary. I’d been neglecting my continuing education and I’m happy I took some time out to change that.

Notes from the Directors’ Summit (a hodge podge)
LJ’s recap with full names, titles, and library details at

My ideas and take-aways:

  • culture through clothes/sewing or music
  • Know your stakeholders well enough to prioritize
  • Know who to partner with (be picky)
  • Define success at the front
  • Are we the last true public space where we can bring diverse people together?
  • What’s the future of suburbs? Is it a blip in social history?
  • Libraries can powerfully shape the narrative with our stories and that leads to the Agendas and ultimately to the Decisions that are made.

Developing Organization Culture Richard Kong, Skokie
Culture eats strategy for breakfast – culture are the shared values, standards, and beliefs
What is the personality of the library?
Created a Culture Club because the library serves the community but also it IS a community. The club created a culture statement: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
Monthly reflection time – what are we learning? What possibilities are there to move forward. Pause and Reflect.
Compassionate (buddhist) leadership.. “listen with only one purpose to give them a chance to speak out and suffer less.”

Director’s Evolving Role panel with Siobhan (FLP), Ramiro (San Antonio), and Gretchen (Idaho)
Need for partnerships – FLP did scenario planning prior to the strategic plan to restart the Library. Community-based asset building – Read by 4th initiative, workforce development, work with Housing, work with teachers directly because no school libraries. Took Harwood Institute training.

From oversight to promotion, innovation, community strategist, connect/collaborate. Drivers impacting role: community goals, equity lens, education, civic engagement, workforce development, early literacy, and technology. Venue for discussions with community. Mission alignment with partners. Engaged outside library and delegating oversight.

New Director – went out with a library road show only to discover the staff fell short of the dream and what she had sold. They needed new skill sets. Culture and training – apply customer service to staff. Turn outwards and embedded librarians. Co-location with children’s theater/library. Motto was ‘lighter, quicker, cheaper’ and strove to be nimble. Agree on mission and purpose to set politics aside. ‘Hold doors open’ culture.
Economic Development and our role in civic life panel
Jamie – Fairmount Park – Civic commons and public space to share prosperity.
Shin Pei – Studies experiences in public realm. Design influences behavior and policy influences design. Loneliness is a threat. Public space awareness is greater while trust and civic life erosion increase. Social capital – sprawl makes it hard to have spontaneous interactions.

What the City Needs from the Library…
Chicago aligns goals of library with city if appropriate. Jobs/literacy. Library a sought after partner in Chicago. Asks prior to partnering: Do we have capacity? Do we want to associate? Can they also commit? Ex. Learning circles have a 60% completion rate for online courses at the library.
Andrea from Nashville Civil Rights provides undergrad history courses at the library and shared a project where they give the course to new police recruits.
Summer Learning rather than summer reading. Sciensc, explore, track learning to combat summer slide. Learning ecosystem in the city. Create value you can measure. Digital skills – summer challenge with outcomes. Drives community change. Creates universal benefit for all. We are both universal access and impact.

Crosby Kemper spoke on the 1st amendment.

Free Library of Philadelphia newly renovated branch tour highlights:

  • Cafe seating facing windows with outlets a plenty
  • B/W signage on acoustic tile – clean, simple, just photos
  • Acoustic ceiling tile
  • wheels on everything – flexible space
  • Baskets of kids ‘manipulatives’ – people, kerchiefs, signs/cars, animals, dinosaurs
  • Small desks IN service area with light shade sporting a question mark
  • small collections (Siobhan likes Denmark and Belgium library innovations)
    Outdoor reading garden

More take-aways:
Be Intentional. Be. Be. Intentional. What would happen if we focused our programming for 2018 on a recurring theme? Music, for example, since Libraries Rock is the summer reading theme. What if we went with quality over quantity to we don’t overwhelm our potential audience and give ourselves time to market and promote. Better yet, what if we do as Erica suggests and be democratic with our programming and let people decide what they want and help provide it?

Community. Community. Community. Lower Moreland is a bedroom community with a top-notch school district that draws in families. Our sense of community is struggling. The Township is developing trails, adding sidewalks, and trying to develop a ‘village’ along Huntingdon Pike where we have salons, restaurants, boutiques, and stores. Our LM Business Association is ripe for a restart. What is the library’s role in that? The meetings are held at our location now, Pam organized a successful business breakfast, and she drew in several businesses as partners for summer reading. Do we want to further develop our role as an “economic engine” for this little Township? Lower Moreland Rocks – like the Geek campaign, what can we do to partner with LMTSD or the Township to spark community spirit? October festival? Library pop-up?

Be Substantial – Say No to Fluff. Where are we substantial and where can we be substantial – meaning valuable? What does our community need from us besides Friday movies and best-sellers? I like the notion of Summer Learning instead of summer reading. Early literacy and reading readiness could be expanded. ESL, diversity, culture, bringing together diverse people in a safe space to learn. STEM, robots, science of music – so many ideas.

Next up – a great webinar…

Library Space Planning with A. Cohen

LLAMA webinar – Library Space Planning – Using Knowlege Management Principles for Success With Alexander Cohen. Over 10,000 library projects worked on by the consulting firm.

Share knowledge and build communities – Knowledge Managing Concepts

1. Develop Social Capital – What is a learning organization? How do we encourage continuous improvement and supporting Antifragile Management (no more annual performance reviews).

How do we measure communities of practice?  Look at libraries from a behavioral aspect.  Look at modes of learning: touch point (service desk), reflective (quiet space), presentation (learning lab), collaborative (cafe or computers), social (cafe, bookstore, maker space, art space).  What are the physical, communication, and human interactions/needs in those spaces.  How do we communicate in a 2-D and 3-D environments?   Uses of the spaces based on these modes of learning.

Service Desk as a touch point: How does it flow, What are the attributes of the community and how does the service desk reflect those?  Self-service v. Human interactions

Another way to measure project attributes for the touch points is to look at see/hear/touch.  For example, at the reflective space, how important is sight, hearing or touch?  You probably don’t want human staff, want little sound, but maximum sight in quiet reflective space.

Use emotional intelligence methods for planning and operating services. A flexible service desk is a touch point that is physical and highly visible.  Example, a student-staffed service desk at the entrance of an academic library so there is a peer-to-peer exchange upon entering the space.

User Space Needs – how much space do users need?

Social space – a person’s behavioral bubble, or personal space, may be larger and have different needs than in a reflective space or a collaborative space. How do you measure library services – and how do you design for those service needs.  Justify the space for the users needing it. Pendulum swinging back to 1-2 person use of the space away from 8-16 person collaborative spaces.

Library as incubator – how does it fit this model? Great flexibility with wheeled furniture. Students create hives within the space as needed.  Expand to include technology like augmented reality, music recording, broadcasting, and 3D printing.

Library Planning Approaches

  1. Dialogue and tour with the users – see what they see, hear what they hear.
  2. Needs Assessment: Space
  3. Needs Assessment: Service (future needs)
  4. Summary of Findings as a pre-planning tool and money generator

Methodology for Change:

  • Discover: What is? What are the best parts of the existing library we want to maintain?  Make sure they are retained
  • Dream: What might Be
  • Design: What should be
  • Deliver: What will be

Focus on the desires of the user community – stay focused on what the community truly wants.  Keep the process transparent.

An accurate, insightful list of program attributes is as important as a clear vision.  Creative Tension and Emotional Tension oppose each other.  Work with communities to understand where the vision and reality match or there are gaps.

Need clear goals, objectives, and vision for the community based on studying the user needs and wants. This helps keep the project vision from being diminished.

Corners as collaborative space, edges for reflective space, and central flexible central space.  Example has pivoting walls that can create large, small, changing spaces.

Design Modes – ‘breakthrough for today’

Touchpoints are service desks. They can be expensive and a barrier to service. Or it can be inexpensive and flexible. Important part – must have a human for it to work best 😉  Service desk is key to library service – customer service, technology sharing, interactive space full of disruption.  The desk should be open, near the entrance, safety conscious.  The human touch of this space – how do humans fit in it comfortably.

Example: Ask Us, touchscreen interactive environment next to an interactive space for staff/patron interactions

Interactive map!  How cool would that be. Space age touch point. Search technology on book ends – also space age touch point. Launch pad iBeacon transponder sends information if opted in by the patron. Student art show ap as an example.

Reflective Space – scholarly space, comfortable, light, big tables, nooks for reading and study.  Volumetric physical space – open, semi-enclosed and enclosed, quiet seating.  Communication/hearing: is it tech space, has wifi, includes augmented reality.  Human touch in reflective mode you have seat size for the behavioral bubble, lighting and power controls.  How to break you library down into pieces and these elements that are important for the environment.

Presence of books on the shelf helps give the feel of reflective space. Mobile reflective space – bar space to perch. Take photos of your library to analyze what you see.  If everyone has headphones does that mean the library is too loud?

Living edge idea – run seating perpendicular to the wall with quiet environment with natural light. Personal zone, dividers or book walls to break up the space.

Collaborative space should be flexible, writable walls for example. More pronounced in academic library settings.  Include technology, headphones, light, open space.  Conference rooms that foster parallel play.  Know that ideal number is 4-7 max and then the space morphs into presentation space. Virtual tech to aid collaborative space – webinars, conference calls, telepresence, etc.

Social Space = new need for libraries. Started with Applestore/Starbucks phenomenon.  Flowing environment without noise control.  Includes eating areas, near entrance, semi-enclosed or open, security, cleaning, flexible AV, odor control, Flexible human space, behavior bubble and ‘personal space’, cafe style. Cafe needs a garbage strategy to be successful. Browsing is still a social activity, but need hang out space and open study environments. Genius techie bar at the library. Barista as a touch point at the library. Coffee and check out your books ;-O  Gaming spaces.

Presentation space – open to expand? Small group or large and flexible space. Bring in privacy screens or large video wall. Maker space and present new ideas. Ideabox with windows as a live presentation.  Screens and dividers with stacking chairs – flexible.

What benchmarks do we apply to understand our library service?  Door count, tech use, program attendance, active patrons, e-resource use

Writable walls in staircase as a way to communicate.

Phase plan overview pre-plan…  <end notes>

My Township Manager called, so I had to mute my webinar.  I’ll get the archive and see what the Q&A said.






ALA 2017 in Chicago Recap

ALA 2017 in Chicago – seems like weeks ago instead of days.  In theory, I went for the continuing education and networking.  In reality, I got the most out of conversations with old friends over good food and cold drinks.  A visit to the original Chicago Public Library (Cultural center now) with its amazing tile mosaics, Tiffany glass dome, and multi-lingual quotes was fun, too.

I kicked off my ‘let’s get inspired’ conference at the PLA breakfast featuring Valerie B. Jarrett, the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama.  She reminded us that “Tone starts at the top.” and that “temperament matters.”

I went to an ignite session about “Librarians as Civic Infiltrators” with the message of “get involved locally.”  My favorite full blown program was “Better Service than Amazon and Nordstrom: Secrets to How It’s Done” by  Arapahoe Libraries.  I’ll be posting notes for that one!  I also enjoyed hearing our Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, interview the Directors of San Francisco, Chicago, and New York Public Libraries.  United for Libraries and LLAMA hosted a panel on fundraising – “FUN-Raising: Big and Small Ideas on Ways to Raise Funds, Friends, and Have Fun Along the Way” that I found useful. I never mind hearing Peter Pearson from the St. Paul Library Foundation speak. I also attended the Innovative Interfaces luncheon, but not much was said about Polaris.

Conversations with my friends and colleagues reaped some great ideas and leads, like to inexpensive fundraising software through Tech Soup!

I am still processing, reviewing, and re-watching (many programs were recorded).  Sometimes all it takes is looking over the slides of a program I missed to change how I work.  I realize that HV Library has been in tranformation mode for the last few years, so I guess it’s time to assess and tweak.  Where are OUR barriers to service? When do we say “No” instead of “Yes”? What does this library look and feel like to visitors?  What does the community want from us next?



What Would Walt Do? Webinar Notes

I signed up for this one in 2012…and finally watched the archive today.

What Would Walt Do? Quality customer service for libraries with Elena Rosenfeld (High Plains Library District), Crystal Schimpf (Community Tech Network), and Suzanne McGowan (Anythink)

At ALA in Anaheim in 2012, these three participated in a pre-conference with the Disney Institute on Disney Quality Service – or how Disney does customer service.

Part 1:

A guiding principle from Walt Disney (my Dec. 5 birthday buddy):

We have always tried to be guided by the basic idea that, in the discover of knowledge, there is great entertainment–as, conversely in all good entertainment there is always some grain of wisdom, humanity or enlightenment to be gained.

Using a story of a jazz band entertaining young listeners and encouraging them to dance along at New Orlean’s Square in Disneyland, the speaker posed the question, “Why didn’t each musician just play his part and be done with it?  Why did their energy transform the crowd from music listeners to active participants?”  The cast members were allowed to “infuse their work with their own personal purpose” and give the role their own, individual interpretation. They had the freedom to express themselves.  So, how do WE empower library staff and define their purpose and support them as they contribute their unique value to the organization?  Staff aren’t robots – to excel, they need to have genuine, authentic interactions.

At Disney everyone is responsible for quality service (and picking up trash…even the CEO).  The right infrastructure (values, rules, and training) has to be in place to support taking responsibility.  What are tasks that EVERYONE at the library can or should take responsibility for?

  • shelving books
  • straightening shelves,
  • picking up trash
  • pushing in chairs
  • answering tech questions

Part 2:

We need to Understand Our Guests – know how visitors use the Library and understand their:

Needs | Wants | Stereotypes | Emotions

Needs – what brings them in? storytime, a book, an information need, the newspaper

Wants – but what do they ask for – what do they “really” want?  A “Good” book, FAST internet, information about programs they were unaware of – Exceed what they need by fulfilling their wants.

Stereotypes – What are they? Shushing and quiet when in reality libraries are loud and active. How can we ensure visitors leave with NEW stereotypes?

Emotions – How do we create new emotional feelings (positive) about the Library and make the Library one of their favorite places?

Service Priorities – what are Disney’s?

  1. Safety | 2. Courtesy | 3. Show | 4. Efficiency

High Plains Library District operating principles – Guidelines of service used internally:

  • Anticipate and meet community needs on a daily basis
  • Serve every community
  • Service delivery aligns with individual patron’s preference
  • Patrons find what they need at first contact
  • We continuously innovate
  • We never say No

Staff are empowered to explore options, under these guidelines, to find “WINS” for everyone.

High Plains Decision Making Tools – based on the Disney Service Priorities:

  1. Safety
  2. People leave on a good note – visitors leave having had a slightly better day.  If someone is asked to leave the library because safety was jeopardized, then it falls within this model.  Safety comes first.
  3. Minimize hand-offs – I took this to mean encourage cross training, so everyone from the Page to the Reference librarian can help with commonly asked questions and requests.

Supporting Service Priorities  through People, Place and Process.

  • Safety involves the place – dangers shelves? loose tiles?  and it involves people – walkthroughs, awareness, and process – customer conduct policies, money handling procedures, incident reports, collaboration with the police.
  • We discussed the conflict between having Happy Patrons and Policy Enforcement
    • Evaluate the policy
    • Find when you have to say NO and see if the policy OR the procedure need to be changed.
    • Eliminate “I don’t know.”
    • Focus on what staff CAN DO for patrons – if it’s policy, work with it and explain it…if it’s procedure, is there the flex and empowerment to negotiate?
    • Find Shared Wins

Part 3: When is the 7 pm light show?

What are the commonly asked questions – the “when is the 7 pm light show?” questions – that are more complex than they first appear.

The speaker shared a story about when she asked that exact question herself at Disney and that what she really wanted to know was: where should I stand to watch the show? what time should we come to get a good spot? and  what else do I need to know to have a good experience?
Who was the staff person at Disney who answered her question, and all the other questions she didn’t ask?  A custodian…

So, what obvious questions do we get at the library?

Hours | restrooms | events | kids room | do I need a library card to check out books

When the answer to any question is ‘no’ – even if you don’t use the word…does your body language convey “you just asked a really stupid question”??  The Answer must NOT be obvious to the customer of they wouldn’t have asked.

Respond with authenticity, not scripts.  The speaker shared her story about waiting in line at California adventure to get a special handshake from a character and how the experience was genuine, authentic, and meaningful to her and her daughter…even though the cast member had done this 1,000 times a day.  As a mom, she learned patience.  As a librarian, she thought about how to ensure authenticity and ‘freshness’ at the library.

  • Every customer is new to the library – treat them each as a special guest
  • Add authenticity with new displays, moving furniture, merchandising the collection – shake things up!
  • Be positive and give praise
  • Use humor
  • Be present
  • Smile and, if appropriate, make eye contact

Provide SIMPLE GUIDELINES for staff to ensure success of the team – simple and consistent.

Start with a smile, end with a Thank You

Can you teach customer service or is it impossible to train? May come naturally or be instinctual to some, but many argued it can be taught.  Provide staff with the Values, then they can learn skills that support those values.  Make sure the staff understand the “why” behind the values.

Motivating “Authentic”:

  • Active listening
  • Share ownership of the effort – cultivate mini-relationships
  • Be in the moment with that person

Management’s Role: Set example, set expectations – practice positive internal customer service.

Follow the Golden Rule and be Positive

How do we manage so-so employees?  Disney has an intensive interview process where the expectations for positive customer service are laid out…and candidates are given time to think about them and decide if they are willing to uphold them.   The Team as a whole needs to work together for a positive experience. For some people, the library may not be the best place for them to work…

Internal Customer Service – (Found this great post related to the topic). Encourage risk taking – understand that we can’t always be perfect and encourage humor in the workplace.  Make other people look good (and hire people who like to mentor).

Combat Compassion Fatigue – (Found this Webinar on it in WebJunction on Understanding Compassion Fatigue in Libraries)

  • Support one another
  • laugh and have fun
  • Rotate responsibilities
  • Shift flexibility – work with the types/lengths of shifts
  • Roving staff at Anythink – spend time in many areas, helping many different kinds of patrons
  • Avoid ‘blaming’ culture
  • Focus on the positive to prevent the negative



How to Create New Revenue Streams for your Library with Ed Rossman

Webinar archive from Sept. 12, 2016 presented by ALA Editions. 1 hour. Handouts: Money Matrix and Product Categories

Based on books 40+ New Revenue Sources for Libraries & Nonprofits  

Make money not excuses – using the public broadcasting model to learn to be self-supportive.

Traditional steps of sponsorship:

  1. Discovery – Staff brainstorms for prospects and sees where there are personal connections for introductions and relationship-building.
  2. Cultivation – Can we come back and ‘really’ talk?
  3. Solicitation – Here’s what we can do! (The ASK)
  4. Stewardship – Acknowledge their support and keep connected.

and Broadcasting model and revenue through ads processes discussed. Product categories to be used with ReferenceUSA to find potential sponsors organized by Dewey Decimal.

Establish value to the sponsors – be careful not to undervalue what you have to offer.  CPM – cost of exposing 1000 audience members to a message, dividing the total cost by audience.  $500 sign cost, 30,000 patrons drive by = 16 cpm.  Compare to cpms in other mediums in your market.

Examples of naming rights, maintenance clauses, and other legalities, including contracts with elements confirmed of who, what, how, etc. Logistics, copy confirmation, billing, deposits, implementation.

Promotion of Chapter 7 – use annual report to make an engaging promotional package. Features and benefits exercise, used with subtlety, can help frame things in a user-friendly way.

Crowdfunding used by 2nd graders – made more than selling lemonade!  Example of Early Literacy Storytime Nook.  Used IndieGoGo, pitched early literacy, included a video as their graphic, provided incentives (gift ladder), and provided a goal along with full campaign with timelines and connecting it with summer reading.

Grants and partnerships – National suppliers with deeper pockets – co-op advertising…approach local Ace hardware to then get to CubCadet.

Money Matrix for brainstorming. A way to evaluate an idea for a new revenue stream, like room rental or a 50-50 raffle.

Question about non-profit not making a profit. Depends on the state – look for grant partners for seed money and help sustaining a grant-funded program.

Five Fast Track Methods

1. 50/50 raffle from mid-oct to mid-dec ($400 by year end) – Our Friends have a small games of chance license, so they can cooperate with us on these. Legally bound to announce winner or can they remain anonymous?

2. Online gift shop – Friends are selling books on ebay.  We can sell mugs…what else? Example to use CafePress to allow gifting of items with our brand on them.  No up front cost except time. Option B to start with.

3. Naming Rights – Own-a-Day – celebrate a person’s name by putting the name on the library’s promotional channels (newsletter, fb page, tv, receipts, etc.) to commemorate retirements, birthdays, congrats, etc. James V. Brown library in Williamsport, PA have a calendar marking the $100 per name/gift and has online form.  Look at impressions – no long descriptions needed. For a new method, ask who, what, when, where, how, and why? Ex: Separate rates for public/business? Text only or also an image? Calendar system to book it and a due date for payment. Determine all locations and make a checklist. Procedures for copy and deadlines. Advertising or just ack. language?  Brown won a Cengage award in 2015 for this program.

4. Sell a holiday recipe book – IngramSpark self-publishing calculator to determine revenue that may be generated to help with decision making. The Friends published Voices of the Valley history book they sell for $20.

5. Crowd-funding to utilize the 2nd ask and year-end write-off tactics. Incentives based on a gift ladder; a cup for a $25 donation, hat for #30,  etc. Possible way to augment Annual Appeal?  Use other methods to help generate cash to buy incentives. Works best if we have been good stewards of prior donors.

Contact info: with current examples

Q/A – Competition with other nonprofits? Start with a media audit – see what’s been run in the past and find an open timeframe. Find ways to work them them, partner to achieve a wider audience.  Create synergy.

How do you ask for general operating fund donations? Talk about scope of mission of the library to the community.  Tie message to the fundraising method. Raising money without raising taxes, while still providing a service (and maybe a product like a mug).  Emphasize value of the library if not making a specific ask.

Exceptional coporate support examples: Thank you to our sponsor page to praise summer reading sponsors, for example. Denver public library, for example.