Customer-Focused Library by Joseph Matthews

I may be late to the game in reading this book, but I enjoyed all 95 pages of it. The thesis is pretty simple – listen to your customers and give them what they want, need and deserve. 

It was interesting to begin thinking about what vestiges of “traditional” library service I still see in this library: long and complex bib records, unused collections, spine-out efficiency shelving, long call numbers, jargon in our signage, and an online catalog that’s a far cry from Google.

At our recent staff meeting, when we discussed a new customer code of conduct policy, I took to heart this question: “Why do staff fall back on policy rather than use good judgment to arrive at a win-win situation?” (p. 10).  I think we came up with ‘rules’ that will allow the customer-facing staff to be flexible and customer-focused while still enforcing them.

Lost patrons – those people who get a new card and then never use it.  I don’t know who they are – do you?  Mr. M states that a better collection brings in lost users, while a new/better space appeals to non-users.

Dover Public Library created Identity-related reasons to visit:  Experience seekers, looking for a venue and entertainment | Explorers who just love to learn | Facilitators, like a parent helping a child | Patrons who feel a sense of belonging to the library | Scholars and researches (genealogists) | Spiritual Pilgrims who see the library as a place of reflection | Hobbyists who look to further their interest

A goal should be to reach beyond the lowest need of a customer for a safe and clean environment, but to create a place where the customer is “going to be surprised and delighted by a transformational experience.” (p. 19).  I wonder if this is where the Anythink Library idea came from??

You can earn new customers by improving their quality of life = create unique and compelling value that they want to share with others.  Examples for each of the types listed above:

  • Experience seekers – program with a rolling display and follow-up discussion on the library blog
  • Explorers – merchandise the collection FACE OUT and mix books with movies and music
  • Problem solvers – reference, user-friendly online catalog and chat reference
  • Facilitators – early hours, reading lists
  • Patrons – loyalty cards, limited edition bags, Gold card, VIP hours
  • Scholars – digitize resources and improve the catalog
  • Pilgrims – Comfortable seats, quiet, opportunities to meet like-minded people (yoga class!)
  • Hobbyist – partner with clubs.
    • My Ideas: Put out new knitting books on Monday for sit n knit, pull read alikes for the book club, start a gaming club with the videogame collection

Library As Place – make available shared resources to stimulate imagination and inquiry. Nurture development of culture and commerce. (p. 27) Foster convergence and co-locate cultural facilities next to libraries.  Simplify and create ‘information neighborhoods’.

First Impressions and Usability – face out, bookstore display units. 50% of visitors are here less than 15 minutes!  Merchandise.  Consider layout signage clues, traffic flow, lighting, carpet color.

Bookstore model: health and wellness | Home and Garden | How it Works | Computers | Facts & Trivia | Self-Help with Customer-centered classification to make it Self-Service and Self-Navigating. 2/3 of all visitors come to the library WITHOUT an idea of what they want.  Implications:

  • Merchandise the highest used sections first and put impulse circs near the desk
  • OPAC – add subject area into the Call number (We are immediately changing both our 920 and 921 call number schemes to just BIO.  We already moved the collection to the start of non-fiction, but now it will hopefully be even more user-friendly.)
  • Staffing Mix – refresh displays all the time and constantly reshelve most popular/new/lucky day books
  • Space/Furniture – WEED, look at return on investment, make incremental improvements
  • Jargon/Tradition – Are spine labels for fiction even needed??  Dewey is complicated and ‘secret’ to many people

Services – create service encounters that are meaningful and pleasant

Like in an open kitchen, have visibility to encourage customer engagement, positive feelings and perceptions.  Engage patrons – ask, review, rank, get feedback, discuss.  Consider implementing ‘shift meetings’ with staff to reinforce that we can all choose to be positive and friendly.  Look at things from the customer’s perspective – be them – use the library from their point-of-view.

Staff who can break rules to help a customer are creating advocates. (p. 51).  Rules should enhance customer service – they are not an excuse to say no.  Get to YES – solutions, not excuses.  “Great! I’m sure there’s a way…” “No problem! We can do that.”

WAY FINDING (all caps because this is a huge area of improvement at my library)

Physical space & feeling a sense of being in control is VITAL.  Use color, landmarks, and effective signs at decision points. Are sight-lines clear?  Is there visual clutter (or actual clutter)? Give a camera to a patron and have them take pictures of the confusing bits.

New patrons – are they given orientation of the library’s layout, collections, services, calendar?  How do we retain customers?  50% leave for good after 4 years.  Why?  Develop scripts to help  – “let’s see how we can make this work for you.” “Our records show a balance, does this sound right?” Consider a dress code or uniform shirt.  Train staff to listen, understand, be memorable, and responsive.

Web Site

Who uses a web site and why?  Does it have 24/7 reference or a link to Ask a Librarian?  Create advocates and build bridges with awareness > participation > engagement > conversation > loyalty

  • Function of the site – what use is it? What can be accomplished by visiting? Oral histories? catalog? ebooks?
  • Content – what does a visitor want to know?
  • Brand – what will they remember? Photos of customers? Submit photos to flickr?

Staff – our competitive advantage.  Foster innovation and superior customer service.  Hire creative and adaptive people who Enjoy People – positive attitude and flexibility

Mentor new staff on understanding the culture of the library – learn the rules and how to apply them in this environment.  Cross train.

Ask new staff:  what was your 1st impression? what could improve aesthetics inside and out? what are we doing that surprised you? what aren’t we doing? what about the Web site and/or signage? (p. 64)

For the change-resistant, the Director must paint a picture of what a customer-focused library will look and act like.  Roving staff are both recognizable and available to be face-to-face with the customers.

Recognizing Staff: Find their strengths and share stories | Publicize staff exploits | Say Thank you more often | Encourage others to share staff activities that delight customers | Write hand-written thank you notes | Celebrate with food/flowers | Spend more time walking around the library to discover WOW moments.

Experiment, tinker and get feedback.  Remember these customer expectations: Reliability (accuracy) | Assurance (convey trust/confidence) | Empathy (care/treat as individuals) | Responsiveness (proactive help) | Tangibles (appearance)

Ask: Am I adding value to the lives of customers? “We must become the change we want to see.” – Ghandi

What do we do and can we do to WOW our visitors?  “Customers want an intuitive experience that draws them and excites and delights them.” (p. 74) Customers want to find what they want without obstacles and barriers – how can we help?

5 Laws of Library Science by S.R. Ranganathans:  Books are for use (not on chains any more), Every Reader his or hear book (market segment), Every book its reader (many ways to discover it), Save the time of the reader, Library is a growing organism (reinvention – library changes with community)

First Time Visitors – are new books labeled?  What’s the wait for a best seller? What are the computer surroundings like? Do we THANK our visitors for coming?

Points of Pain – what are they?  What services are offered and how are they delivered?  Need to understand the needs of each market segment.  First understand the problem, then find its solution. Learn about the customers ethnography – Customer Facing Staff: Questions, issues, training needs – go to them first.  They have the most face-to-face time with the customer.

Organized Abandonment – built in structures to manage change.  Candid self-reflection and the need to see strengths and weaknesses

Embrace Innovation:

  1. Is this a library-centric tradition?  Is that tradition creating an obstacle?
  2. Belief of all?  Alternative examples to compare/contrast?
  3. Belief serves customer or staff? if alternative is implemented, what is the impact on customers?
  4. Can we imagine alternatives for what the library is or is it self-fulfilling?
  5. Bold enough alternative?  Big change? What new service models in the private sector should we look to adopt?

Listening to the customers – conducing experiments (pilot programs).

Cycle for Innovation: 

  1. Strategy (set a bold goal and how it will be accomplished (p.80))
  2. Management – Listen and learn; experiment with service delivery models; design and implement – “We need to develop and maintain a sense of urgency.” John Kotter
  3. Service – Excellent customer service means being aware of your choice of language, body language and getting OUT from behind the desk
  4. Build a culture of innovation, not inertia. Move from don’t, won’t, can’t to YES, and…

Design from field observations – what are the needs, possibilities, ideas, and prototypes?

Better understanding of Services – does staff understand and can communicate the benefits of having an HVL card?  What language do we use?  Borrowing or checking out?  Using the Library or services? Research or Resources

Touch points of user design:  Useful | Usable | Desirable | Findable | Accessible | Credible | Valuable

Changes made as a consequence of reading this book:

  • I walk the perimeter and work the desk at least twice a day
  • 920/921 to BIO change
  • Customer Code of Conduct
  • Discussion with Pam about scripts
  • Thinking about how to move LP and movie collections farther away from patron computers
  • Ordered additional copies of titles with high holds in all formats/collections
  • Working to update floorplan/map to help with orientation of new patrons
  • Adjusted the Web site language and added breadcrumbs

 

 

 

Budgets and Plans

Don’t plan to a budget, budget to a plan.  How many times have I heard that?  Now that HVL has a new strategic plan, it’s been fun to pull a budget together around it and in support of it. Second to the plan, we have the annual Library Wish List we give to the Friends for consideration.  This year’s List has everything from props to make juvenile non-fiction browsable for the pre-literate to a 4-part lecture series on the Art Nouveau movement with Elizabeth Anderson, retired educator from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Those, too, support the plan – we have a focus on art and creative expression, so the lecture series is not only interesting, but fits with the goals of the Board.  Clever how that works.

 

Australia

Day 0 – Because of thunderstorms in both Philly and Dallas, we barely made it onto our flight to Sydney and our bags didn’t stand a chance. It was an odd experience to be sitting on the plane while a huge line of thunderstorms rolls by.  The lightning show made me giddy. We finally left 2 hours late Tuesday night and arrived in Sydney at 8 am Thursday morning.  I got a lot of movie watching done (Joy, Brave and Revenant) and got 90+% of the way through ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick – I was saving that one especially for this trip. J slept. I was jealous. Sitting that long made my knees hurt. No idea why.

IMG_0389Day 1 – Thursday – So far, we’ve spent the day checking out our neighborhood.  We found really great coffee at Workshop Espresso and also a Myer department store to use our $120 gift card from the airline. We’re resting up and then maybe we’ll go find a our local and walk over to the water.  Our walk took us to the St. Mary’s church and the New South Wales State Library, which was very cool and old and busy.  It’s early fall, so the sun goes down shortly after 6.  We stayed awake long enough to eat at a ramen shop.  J loved it, I thought it tasted fishy.  It was healthy food and helped us sleep and fight the jet-lag crud.

IMG_0429Day 2 – Friday – Still no bags, but we did manage to get the washer to work, just not as lucky with the dryer (it’s an all-in-one with cryptic controls).  Found coffee and the Royal Botanic Garden after a failed attempt at a free bus tour.  The garden is AMAZING.  We learned the names of the very cool trees (figs, ficus, and gum trees), saw beautiful spiders (in webs resting over our heads) and played with the birds – cockatoos and ibis.  The park was completely free, open to all and so lovely.  It also had great views of the Opera House.  We took the ferry from Circular Quay over to Darling Harbour near our hotel and walked the board walk a bit.  I paid to see the Chinese Garden of Friendship.  Ourbags arrived, which meant my sneakers showed up.IMG_0469

Day 3 – Saturday – I woke up at 4 am and read while J slept.  Granted, I fell asleep at 8 pm. We went to a great craft market – The Finders Keepers Market – in the suburb of Eveleigh and housed in the old, converted Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops’.  I bought clothes – designed and made by hand by Harper & Edie with fabrics from Japan.  Anyway, that was a nice way to spend the morning.  We walked around Cockle Bay and had lunch.  The waiter told us about Palm Beach and an old restaurant called Doyles on the Beach in Watson Bay (owned 1885) that we should check out.  We are also considering a side trip to Melbourne (after talking with the designer and waiter).  After lunch, we took a monster walk from the restaurant over to Barangaroo Reserve, just below the Harbour Bridge.  It’s completely reclaimed and recreated, with a huge cavernous performance space underneath called the Cutaway.  We were just happy to take the lift up to the top and meander down the hill to the water’s edge.  After all that, we were beat. Managed to stay up until 9 (which is why I’m up typing this at 5 am). Oh and there were fireworks in Darling Harbour, which we can see from our balcony.  An unexpected treat!  Below is the panoramic view from the reserve.  It’s forecast to rain on Sunday, so we may just see a play or movie and take our day of rest.

IMG_0481

IMG_0508Day 4 – Sunday – I woke up at 5 – we are making progress!  After the rain stopped around 9, I struck out on my own for The Rocks, coffee and another craft market.  The Rocks are the oldest part of Sydney where the convicts were held. The architecture is older.  I walked into The Gannon House an art gallery that specialized in Aboriginal art and bought J a boomerang. One of the artists, Thomas Tjapaitjarri, hadn’t met a European until he and his brothers walked out of the desert in 1984 due to a severe drought. How crazy cool is that?  J met up with me at the Belgian Beer Cafe where I could get something I recognized and enjoyed. We wandered over to the Art Museum to see a free movie, Nightmare Alley (1947).  More walking, picture taking, and dinner.  Back at the studio, I swam. I soaked. I relaxed and read my book, because this is my vacation. No clue what we will do today.

IMG_0511
Day 5 – Monday – Watson Bay.  We took the ferry out to Watson Bay on the tip of the harbor so I could see the Pacific ocean.  We walked in the Sydney Harbor National park, took some pictures, saw some flowers and ran into a military base, so we headed back to the beach for a snack, visited a tiny little library (where I was not acknowledged…something my staff know is a HUGE pet peeve of mine) and then took the ferry back home. A lazy day, but that’s the whole point of a vacation.

DIMG_0599ay 6 – Tuesday – Woke up early to watch soccer.  Champion’s league was on at 5:30 am.  We were up anyway…  After breakfast and coffee, we visited the Australian Museum of stuffed things.  I don’t think I’ve been to a Natural History museum since I went to one as a kid in Denver.  Lots of bones, rocks and minerals, fossils and stuffed things.  The Aboriginal exhibits were what I found the most interesting with artifacts like shields, spears, and modern sculptures “Ghost net art” woven out of ocean trash. We thought it would be good to see and read about some of the animals we’d get to pet the next day on our Blue Mountain tour.  I’m really glad we did. We took a walk and visited a second library in Haymaker on our way to a pub (that ended up being very hipster) in Surry Hills. IMG_0604The library was small and compact with no real children’s area, but an extensive Chinese collection (being in Chinatown and all).  I was exhausted by the hilly walk and crashed by 9 pm.

Day 7 – Wednesday- Blue Mountains Day Trip.  Definitely the highlight of the trip so far.  We booked with a company I found on Trip Advisor – Sydney Great Escapes.  It’s family owned and Rob drove us around as the guide, we passed his wife on the highway on our way out of town and waved. He picked us up at the hotel at 7:10 am and we had 2 other couples traveling with us in the van.  We were entertained with a mix of history, commentary, family folklore and fire-related history (since Rob is a veteran volunteer fire fighter and there are several active fires in the area). First stop was the Featherdale Wildlife Park in a Sydney suburb.  (And I just learned how to make these cool galleries in WordPress, so I can share more pictures.)

We were first through the door when they opened and started the day by petting Cooper the Koala.  Then we fed the wallabies and kangaroos, pet a wombat, saw a huge assortment of birds and other critters native to Australia.  So Much Fun – I really was like a kid in a candy shop with all of those amazing animals. Next we drove towards the Blue Mountains (more like the smokey hills than the Rockies at 3,000 ft or so).  Rob took us to a really cool and unique geologic rock formation/look-out that he’d found accidentally during a forest fire, then to a local orchard, and a cool waterfall at Govetts Leap.  After some photos and flora lessons, we packed up and went to lunch at an old hotel.  Next we went to see the Three Sisters and rode a cable car, the world’s steepest train and another suspended ride at Scenic World. My favorite part was walking in the forest with huge ferns and tall dark trees.   I imagine it’s what the Pacific Northwest is like, but dryer. On the way home, he stopped by another lookout for some final photo ops.  The day was very clear and the sky an amazing blue.  He dropped us off at the ferry and we drifted home while the sun set.

Day 8 – Thursday – Paddington and tacos. We walked in a different direction today, towards a shopping area called Paddington.  I found another library branch – this one all white, modern, with a busy children’s area. The outside has the clock tower and a Sotheby’s auction house upstairs. We ended up at Centennial Park (boring), but I got new Birks!  J wasn’t feeling very well, so while he had ramen, I found some Mexican food since it is Cinco de Mayo. Did I mention there are bush fires in the area – one in the Blacktown suburb we drove through yesterday is responsible for tonight’s amazing sunset.

Day 9 – Friday – We went to Bondi Beach and walked along the coast.

Day 10 – Saturday – Back to the Rocks.

Day 11 – Sunday and the Trip home.  We leave at 1 pm and arrive in Dallas at 1:30 pm.  Time travel!

Goals from the Distant Past

I’m re-reading old Annual Reports and found some old goals.

2013:

  • Strategic Plan for the Library – Started in 2011, put on hold for a bit, revived in 2014 with Community Forums, finalized in 2015 and helping with 2016 decision making.
  • IKEA couchEarly Literacy and Family Place – While not an ‘official’ Family Place Library, Glynnis has been through the training, we added a couch in 2012, and we have a train table, play kitchen, puppet theater, and doll house…along with puzzles, AWE computers, blocks and trucks/trains/dolls/stuffed animals.  It’s a happenin’ place over there in the kids section.  Oh, and in 2015 we repainted in bright, primary colors.
  • Expand joint Library/Friends Programming – We’ve found a compromise that works – the Friends underwrite speakers we bring in, plus they book their own ‘after-meeting’ programs.  They’ve had some really awesome programs, like Babbie Posey last year (she was a WWII pilot).
  • Increase visitor and circulation counts – Done.
  • Provide excellent, friendly service – Done.
  • Become a Creation Destination – Glynnis has infused our children’s program with many arts/crafts programs (Craft a Connection book club and crafternoons) and we’ve added more art-focused adult and teen programs with “Painting with Kathleen” and the pottery workshops with Dyan.  We also brought back Elizabeth Anderson to talk about the Dutch masters and Tulipmania, so a little hard-core art history.
  • Golf Outing – This morphed into the Larry Kane Anniversary celebration that turned out to be a modest fundraiser and was followed up with Lisa Scottoline and Valerie Plame annual author brunches.
  • Renovate the Circ Desk to work best for both patrons and staff – we added a sit-down workstation in 2014, used a jig-saw to create an indoor drop box and we instituted a self-service holds system. In 2015, Pam worked with the telephone company to reactivate a phone line so we could have (gasp) a PHONE at the circ desk and we added a self-check station near the children’s department that is more child-friendly.  I still dream of a new, sit-down desk that is friendly to the handicapped and children.

2014:

  • geekfirefightingSaturday hours until 5 pm all year long
  • Community Forums and customer survey for the strategic plan
  • Geek the Library campaign
  • HVAC Grant through Keystone for $33,900
  • Taste of Italy Wine and Dine fundraiser with the Board
  • Annual Appeal starting a new Library Endowment ($11,500)
  • Several successful programs: Larry Kane, Gerry Shur, Ruth K. Hartz, Karl Middleman and Marie-Helen Bertino (author and the very first winner of the Library’s Write and Illustrate your own Book contest)

Library Exterior

2015 Year End Review

Every year, I like to review what’s been accomplished – it provides perspective and helps me remember just how much we get done in a year.  For 2015, I’ve been keeping track throughout the year and this is the wrap up.  So my next exercise needs to be 2016 goals!

  • craneHVAC Replacement – Done as of December 21 with the Keystone Grant.   We need to install a programmable thermostat in the workroom and fix two small leaks in the roof.  The Township has agreed to upgrade the HVAC for the Community Room in spring 2016, so we will have AC this summer!
  • Lease – Done in April.  Facilitated by a successful cooperative effort with the Friends to pass a Memorandum of Understanding and accompanied by a letter requesting continued use of the Book Room by the Friends.  We took over the Community Room (adding to the Library’s square footage) in January 2016. The Board also approved a new photo policy in March.
  • henna three handsTeen Programs – 43 programs in 2015 v. 14 in 2014. Attendance in 2015 was 432 v. 126 in 2014. Jessica was awarded a Teen Reading Lounge grant ($2,000 in total, with extension) that brought in a great group and they did some cool things, like henna tattoos and a tie-dye party. Goal for 2016: Teen Advisory Group.  We have two HS Student liaisons on the Board who have helped generate interest in Library programs.
  • ESL – After an initial attempt, I decided that the literacy programs at Abington Library are so close that this was an unnecessary duplication of effort. The foreign fiction free lending library is popular and the Friends pull foreign books from the donations for us to add.
  • Strategic Plan – Done and in use as of February 2016. I’m very proud of the work the Board and my staff have done in creating this document.  I think it gives us a good, positive framework for future growth.
  • IMG_4194Fundraising – The Annual Appeal for 2014 bled into 2015, but did well and started the new Endowment with $11,500. We budgeted $22,250 and brought in $22,437 in 2015.  The Olive Lucy olive oil tasting during Summer Reading went well and Pam organized a Bertucci’s “Dining for Dollars” event in November that we would like to repeat in 2016.  The 2015 Annual Appeal went out in November. We also add more programs, like the weekly Library Yoga, that require a small fee to cover costs.
  • Library Card Sign-up Month – Pam took the lead on this and cultivated 5 new partners, including the Lower Moreland Business Association.  I am thrilled that we attended every Back to School Night – we have strengthened our relationships with the District, the Township, Bryn Athyn (via the Friends and our Liaison), and Fire Company (participated in Summer Reading).
  • Sunday Hours – A go for 2016, with support from the Township.  We hired three new Library Assistants (one vacancy and 2 new positions) and started Sunday Hours on Jan. 31.
  • biographies movedCollection Development – We rely on standing orders for new fiction and enhance the collection with input from customers and staff.  Circulation continues to rise and I look at turn statistics to see how our methodology is working.   Weeding was a hit – I completed a first pass of adult non-fiction.  With help from 5 CAPS student volunteers, we moved the Biography section to the beginning of NF, across from Mysteries and then shifted NF creating taller shelves to accommodate art and architecture books.  They also shifted the entire Fiction collection and interfiled the mass market paperbacks into the collection, plus we moved the Vacation Reads (trade paperbacks) closer to Tetjana for off-season access. The CAPS students also made a fun video Tour of the Library: http://tinyurl.com/njyzvoa
  • Quarterly HAT Meetings with staff – For 2016, I have a weekly standing meeting with Pam and we’ve already had two staff meetings (the first a full-day staff in-service).  Department Head meetings are going to be crucial, especially as we begin to implement the Strategic Plan.
  • Update Personnel and Collection Development Policies – In progress, along with a new Meeting Room policy, lease and Vending machine contract.
  • Programming – Jane and Pam are helping with 2016 programs. Jane’s focus is seniors, Pam started a Coloring Book Club in 2016, and I have booked at least one ‘big name’ program for February, March, April and May.
    gllynnis pennypackHighlights from 2015:

    • Samuel D. Burris Speaks (Humanities Council Speaker) in February
    • Friends program with Babbie Posey – Women Can Fly Too – in March had 78 people come out for a 2 pm program
    • ABCs of Estate Planning, Walking Tour of Pennypack trail, and Sonnet Appreciation workshops with Lynn Levin in April
    • Lisa Scottoline in May and Local Gems: Pennypack Trail talk with the Township, County and Larry Eastwood (local railroad historian) were both hits.  Debbie helped us organize a mini comic-con on May 2, before she left us for full-time work.
    • paintingHighlight of Adult Summer Reading was Kathleen’s “Escape Artist” paint-along program.
    • Glynnis and Diane put on an amazing Summer Reading Program – another record-breaker.  Diane organized “Science of Superheroes” workshops, Glynnis incorporated crafternoons and we had a blow-out party in the back yard for the wrap up.  Diane left us at the end of the summer and Jess was hired as the new Youth Services Associate.
    • Again, we attended EVERY Back to School Night in September (split between Pam, Glynnis, Mariel and me). We also had Rachel Brandt and Joan Fesmire Doan help us with a Historical Walking Tour on September 12.
    • We had Linda Kenyon as Julia Child in October and a docent from the Craft Show present with a special appearance by local designer Annina King.
    • Glynnis and Jessica filled the library for Star Wars Day, featuring characters from the 501st Legion. We ‘sold’ all 150 free tickets.
    • Staff BrunchDecember’s big program was the 25th Annual Young Authors Gala.  The Friends also threw us a great staff appreciation brunch
  • Digitization Project – We scanned some old postcards from Mrs. Fesmire Doan and I hope to get them on a ‘Local History’ page of the new Web site.  The flatbed ‘scanning station’ is used more than I expected and I’m not ready to give up on this dream.
  • Staff Tech Competencies – In January 2016 we had Penny Talbert from Ephrata come and speak about her library’s competencies program at our staff in service day.  Pam set up a staff wiki.
  • Finch Program – Asked for and received support from the Friends to set up the new Friends Learning Lab (as it was re-named by the Board in May) with a ceiling mounted projector, surround sound, black-out window screen and electronic projection screen oriented at the back of the room.  We re-painted, hiding the old ‘painted on’ screens and are looking for new carpet. The Friends have also agreed to purchase 10 laptops and 10 iPads, plus a charging station and Shawna added dedicated wifi to the room and will be pulling cables, as well, for wall-sockets. Maybe next year for robotics…
  • EITC Grant – In progress.
  • smartline lite wp themeNew Web Site – in Early January 2016 the Web site moved to WordPress. Working out kinks.
  • New Calendar and Online Registration Software – We went with EventKeeper and EK Rooms for our online calendar and meeting room management software.
  • MCLINC Strategic Planning Committee – We finished up the plan and I will be Secretary in 2016.
  • Improve Browse-ability of the Collection – still a goal and I included a ‘bookstore model’ goal in the Strategic Plan!
  • Taste of Culture Fall Event did not materialize, however the School District’s Diversity Committee is planning some fun things we may be able to support in 2016.
  • Trustee Academy – We watched about half of the Trustee Academy webinars at Board meetings and several Trustees watch the remainder on their won. The Board worked very well together on the new Strategic Plan and we have the goal to organize a retreat in 2016.
  • New Paint – The Township helped us out with additional painting and repairs to the stairwell windows, lower level foyer and hallway.  After repairs are made to the lower entrance (leak), they’ll finish the final repairs up here.  It’s bright, clean and already scuffed…but that just means we’re busy and bustling.  With last year’s new stucco, there are some very visible improvements to the building.
  • ElowynOther highlights: Elowyn born Jan. 13, Volunteer Appreciation Tea Pam organized April 24, Glynnis started a new Book Worm book club for 1st-2nd graders, we had multiple crafternoons involving all staff, Jane’s Friday Movies (most successful series of programs aside from Summer Reading), we launched the 2015 Annual Appeal in November,  and I met regularly with the Township Manager throughout the year.
  • Continuing Education: workshop “Promoting Your Library in the Digital Age” at Doylestown with Ben Bizzle, all staff completed the Extreme Customer Service, Every Time online course for a special evening STaff meeting Oct. 9, Kansas Library Association conference, “A Strong Foundation: Library Master Planning” webinar, and Communication and Relationship Building for Leaders workshop

 

Communication and Relationship Building for Leaders

Bucks-Mont Collaborative Leadership Training Series: Communication and Relationship Building for Leaders | October 20, 2015

Course Description:

You’ll learn Empathic Listening – If like most, your training has primarily been in writing and speaking; however, most of our days are spent listening.

-Whole Message Model – This is a template leaders can use to ensure the entirety of your message is being communicated effectively – especially those difficult messages.

Presenter William Reiner is part of the Adjunct Faculty at Holy Family University where he teaches in the Graduate School’s MBA program. His courses include leadership development, finance, and economics.

Notes:

Respect rubricWe started with a Grad-school type rubric with skills/knowledge on one axis and relationships or ‘ability to connect and perceived care about me’ on the other.  Basically, people who are low in skill and poor at relationships are despised, while people who are high in skill and good at relationships are revered and respected.  Those who are good at what they do but are not trusted because they have shallow relationships are feared while those who don’t really know what they’re doing but are nice people are tolerated.

Characteristics of a Good listener:

present, not multi-tasking, not on the phone, focused on the speaker, provides ques and acknowledgements, gives TIME, sincere/genuine, restates the conversation, hears more than what is being said (empathy), is NOT formulating a response while you’re talking, patient, shows respect, not judgmental, interested, challenging when appropriate, holistic and ask probing questions

Characteristics of a Bad listener (you know, like me):

distracted, reactionary, doesn’t let you finish, impatient, no TIME, dismissive, one-up-manship, make the conversation about them, devalue what’s said, don’t seek to understand, “Efficient over effective – you may be heard but are not listened to”, not remembering the conversation (maybe we just have a bad memory, yo), jumping to conclusions, intimidating

A Bit About the Importance of Body Language:

  • 50% of the message is non-verbal
  • 10% of the message is through the words used
  • 40% is tone of voice

Listening – on a scale

-1Discounting is NEGATIVE listening

  • Providing Unsolicited Advice or trying to Solve the Problem is Discounting
  • Providing False Reassurance is Discounting – “It’ll be all right”
  • Denial of the person’s feelings is dangerous Discounting – you really can’t tell a person how they should feel. They can think differently but you feel what you feel!

0 – Silence can be positive or negative, depending on circumstance. Are you distracted or showing open body language and giving your attention?

1 – Fact Finding – get to the root of the issue with questions. Seek to clarify, look to understand so you can then be understood.

2 – Content Reflection – “It sounds like you’re saying” – provide a restatement. Restate a word or key words used by the speaker to show you’re listening.

3 – Feeling Reflection – “Sounds like you’re ___” Name or identify the EMOTION for the speaker to feel heard or validated.  Enhance with positive body language.

Empathic Listening

  • Feeling of the speaker is reflected
  • You’ve gotten to the heart of the issue.
  • The words are the tip of the iceberg, while the meaning is hidden beneath.
  • What if you identify the wrong emotion?  No worries – the speaker will CORRECT you!  Yes it’s risky and may cause anxiety, but it will get to the real issue: Emotion.
  • Emotions: disappointed, frustrated, angry, concerned, exhausted, shocked, afraid, sad, hurt, impatient, drained, deceived, worried, vulnerable, etc.
  • Ask permission before offering ideas, feedback or solutions.  “Would you like to talk through ideas?” “Sounds like you’re really frustrated, How can I help?  What do you need from me?”

Resources:

  1. Listening with Empathy by John Selby
  2. Habit 5: Empathic Listening by Stephen Covey
  3. Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols

Whole Message Model

  • Delivering the hard messages and handling the difficult discussions.
  • There is often a disconnect between what’s being said and what is heard.
  • This is a Template – all of the elements of a message can be mapped out in advance.
  • Web resources I found: Performance Feedback | Whole Messages by TalentFutures | hal.ph Whole Messages Communication

Observations – “I see…”  performance, behavior DIRECTLY observed

Thoughts – “I think…” we need, as a team, to follow the policy

Feelings/Emotions – “I feel…” really frustrated that, concerned, uncomfortable, anxious, etc.

Seek to Understand – ask for information – pause if needed.  What if there’s a really good reason for the behavior you observed?  This is the time to hear about it.

Wants/Needs – “I want or need…” you to come to work dressed professionally, for example.

It’s Simple, but not Easy!  Teach it to others to fully understand it.

Genuine listening is hard work; there is little about it that is mechanical… We hear with our ears, but we listen with our eyes and mind and heart and skin and guts as well – Alfred Benjamin

KLA MLA Wrap Up

Many of the presentations are now posted online, so I’ve included those in the original ‘notes’ for my memory and future use.  I’ve also found a few other cool programs I didn’t get to go to, but am copying the blurb and presentation links for future use!  I did this after PLA 2012 and STILL use the “How Are Things” (HAT) and APOP (“Annual Piece of Paper”) staff evaluation method I only read about from my Post of Posts: Abolishing Performance Evaluations.

We’re trying to kick-start our teen/tween program, so there are a lot of presentations on that to share with my YS department (of two – go Glynnis and Jessica!) and some other admin-type stuff that I just find interesting.

Overall, a FANTASTIC conference. Kelly worked her butt off and it showed with a flawless experience for the participant.  I really enjoyed the opening reception at Kansas City Public (and not JUST because I got to eat Rudy’s chicken tacos again – as in twice in the one trip).  All of the presentations I went to on Thursday were extremely good, timely and I used the scenarios Vickey posed in her Transition v. Change program at my budget presentation last Tuesday (2 days after I got back from conference).  I completed my evaluation – did you? Here it is:

Overall Conference Evaluation: https://goo.gl/PQ3Bmq
Breakout Sessions Evaluation: https://goo.gl/M2vWX2

First one I’m sorry I missed (and not JUST because it featured Katie Hill’s Library in Coffeyville):

Library Makeover Tour around Southeast Kansas  | 2502A |  Session Materials
In May 2015, Southeast Kansas Library System sponsored a bus tour of five SEK libraries that had recently remodeled their spaces. The library communities ranged in size from under 300 to 10,000. Some had grant money and some found ways to work with their communities to achieve phenomenal changes to their buildings, use of space, and furnishings. We will show pictures of the changes, discuss the process the libraries went through, share their sources for materials and give ideas for other small libraries working with tight budgets.

Audience Focus: Kid/Teen/Adult Crossovers  | 2502B |  Presentation  |  Session Materials
Teens have always known what adults are just now learning—their books are better. This session will explore the appeal of teen literature to adults and adult literature to teens. What are adults finding so intriguing in young adult books? What are some of the trends in teen literature that adults are discovering? Which genres are crossing over the most?
-Readers’ Advisory Track

A Storywalk in the Park  | 2505A Presentation
Learn about how Scenic Regional Library used a Racing to Read grant from the Missouri State Library to put Storywalks in 7 parks, and tied them to Racing to Read literacy information.
-Programming & Outreach Track

Reading is my Superpower: Comics in the Library  | 2502B  |  Session Materials
Have you ever wondered why Batman isn’t in any of the Avengers movies? What in the world is the difference between an issue and a volume? Want to lure the cosplay crowd into your library? Join comics fangirls Lindsay and Karen for a newbie-friendly foray into the wonderful world of comics! We’ll be talking about comics history and terminology, collection development and programming. Learn how to respond to those patrons and coworkers who still feel that “comics don’t belong in the library!”

YA Literature Update 2015  | 2505B |  Presentation  |  Session Materials
What’s happening in YA Lit in 2015? What trends are popular and what genres are taking over? Learn about need to know titles to share with your teens in this popular annual session given by Youth Services Manager Sarah Bean Thompson.
-Youth Services Track

Horrible, Evil Library Books: Intellectual Freedom for New Staff  | 3501A/B Session Materials
Does your staff cringe when someone asks for 50 Shades of Grey? Does Wicca make them wince? Do they gasp in horror at splatter punk? Do they bury the the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated? Do they blush at bosoms? How well is your staff trained to practically engage with Intellectual Freedom? Join us for an overview of how we developed a purposeful method to train new public library staff. Find out what we have done, what’s been done learned and what we will do in the future.
-User Services Track

Don’t Be Scared, It’s Just an Early Literacy Fair  | 2505A Session Materials
Have you wanted to host an early literacy fair? Curious as to what one is? We can show you how we use grant funding to make an early literacy based program that can be done on any budget. This presentation will focus on how to design a program incorporating the five early literacy skills for an audience from babies on up to readers and adults. Join our interactive session and get ideas on how to use everyday objects to create fun literacy tools that anyone can duplicate.

STEAM-y Storytimes  | 2505A  |  Presentation
Come play with STEAM! (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) At the Olathe Public Library, 2-5 year olds, and the adults who bring them, explore these concepts in creative ways through engaging activities. Come for the easy, inexpensive ideas and stay for the hands-on fun!

Format Focus: Nonfiction–Got to Be Real  | 2502B Session Materials
Narrative nonfiction is one of the fastest growing leisure reading areas in the past ten years. From micro-histories to memoirs to travelogues and history, nonfiction offers the same compelling story lines, breath-holding suspense, and colorful characters as the best fiction. Hear about some of the most popular nonfiction areas for readers, what the reader appeal is for nonfiction, and some failsafe titles for library staff and patrons.

Engaging Tweens and Teens in Our Libraries  | 2505A |  Presentation  |
We will talk about how our different systems ignite and encourage youth in middle and high school, as well as those of that age who are not currently in school, to find what they are passionate about and to then “geek out.”

STEMming Outside the Box: Passive and Self-Directed Programming for Teens and Tweens  | 2503A |  Session Materials
It is hard to talk to a children’s or teen librarian in the country who hasn’t heard of the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math(STEM) programming, but many libraries feel like they don’t have the resources, space, or expertise to put on a STEM event. We will demonstrate STEM programming ideas for teens and tweens based on the NWKLS You Try-It! Kits and the NCKLS Maker Kits. STEM, itself, covers a broad range of subjects, and the sample kits address these different areas in unique ways. This panel will provide directions and resources for creating kits and discuss ways of using kits for passive programs or for circulation. We will also discuss community organizations available for partnering in STEM programs. There will be time during the session for participants to try out materials from the kits.

KLA/MLA 2015 New Adult Fiction

New Adult Fiction: A new genre for a growing audience – with handouts – one is by author Deborah Halverson at DeborahHalverson.com

Presenters: Lisa Palmer – Mid-Continent book group coordinator and Beth Atwater

My Google search: “New Adult” The Next Big Thing? WritersDigest.com | Library Journal Genre Spotlight: New Adult

Age Range of the target audience: 18-30.  Perception of adulthood has changed – there’s a ‘pseudo adulthood’ period.  The books for this group cover topics of interest to this group – identity, overcoming issues, etc.

Genre read by all – the topics have broad appeal.  Anyone can be the audience, but the New Adult crowd is morphing into romance, so a predominantly female audience. The Traits: People who are making their way in the world (like on campus or starting their first job or experiencing true independence for the first time – fish out of water stories).

History of New Adult: 2009, St. Martin’s Press.  Dan Weisse editor.  No initial bookstore support, so it was slow to be adopted.  55% of YA readers are over 18 according to Bowker (Twilight/Hunger Games/etc.) – Crossover appeal.  A few self-published authors embraced this new genre and audience – and found profound success.  By 2012, publishers created own divisions.  Now it’s new, but mainstream and beginning to branch out of the romance sub-genre.

The 18 to 26 year olds had been left out of literature. – The Missing Genre Some argue it’s just YA with sex. Others argue it is unique and is about the “blisters and aches” of transitioning from teen to adult, according to Kristan Hoffman, winner of the St. Martin’s first New Adult fiction contest.

My question: How is it different than chick lit?  Was that a precursor?  Lisa mentioned Bridget Jones, and that made we wonder.

Core Collection Authors/Titles:

  • The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines – the ‘edited and uncut’ version a re-release  eBook often releases before the print edition.
  • Catching Liam: A good girls don’t novel by Gennifer Albin
  • This is Falling by Ginger Scott
  • Authors: Glines, Cassia Leo, Christina Lauren, Colleen Hoover, Cora Carmack, Gennifer Albin, Ginger Scott, J. Lynn/Jennifer Armentrout, and Jamie McGuire
  • Many write both YA and NA.  As with Romance, there is a Happy Ever After ending.  Tend to be contemporary romance, as well.
  • K. A. Tucker – an author for the slightly older crowd
  • More LGBT and other lifestyles portrayed in this genre.  Cora Cormack series – Friday Light Nights for New Adult with gay characters. All Lines Up first book in the series.

Review Sites:

Marketing to New Adults?

  • It markets itself – some shelve it with romance
  • Some libraries upsell and share – put it in your patron’s hands.
  • Epic GoodReads New Adult book club – idea for a library.  The digital book club brought to the library.
  • No more ‘spicy’ than a red-cover harlequin.
  • Trade size paperbacks with photographs – “young people almost kissing” covers
  • Sample titles: Wait for You, Eversea, Blue Notes
  • Many authors write under pseudonym if they write for multiple genres
  • Themes: mortality, romance,
  • How to: Writing New Adult Fiction by Deborah Halverson with forward by Sylvia Day

Beth – batwater@mymcpl.org

Bully by Penelope Douglas – Beauty and the Beast story. Stands up to the bully next door and he falls hopelessly in love.  Transforms bad guy to good guy in just a few pages. Takes advantage of the age group to explore different themes.  Multiple book series.

Perfectly Damaged by E. L. Montes – Main character is schizophrenic.  Goes off to college and is diagnosed.  “Sad girls looking away” cover.

Frigid byJennifer Armentrout writing as J. Lynn – Stand alone, with a new sequel called Scorched.  A friends become lovers story – go out with friends in a cabin – and then it morphs into a stalker story.

#Nerd by Cambria Hebert – Tutors the football stars theme. Sells hot on Amazon and eBooks.  Print-on-demand titles. Not the best binding, but worth purchasing because of grassroots publicity.

Lisa – lpalmer@mymcpl.org

Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski – Great cover with immediate visual appeal.  Contemporary romance, just turned 21 and Cam likes to think outside the box.  Gets on a bus to see something new…and meets Andrew.  About friendship, love, living in the moment and taking time to follow your dreams. A little spicy.  Narrative is point of view.

 

KLA/MLA 2015 Day 3

Format Focus: Non-Fiction

Kim, Polli and Amanda are sharing all things great and good about non-fiction.  Book list to come (which is why you come to these).  I will comb through ALL of the handouts and pick out the stuff I missed and want to share.

State Librarian Luncheon (I passed – Italian sausage, ravioli in cream sauce and green beans)

Best part – a great conversation with the staff from Basehor Community Library.  I found out how they organize their Readers Theater program for 3rd-5th graders (info from Scholastic).  It’s a 3-hour workshop.  Library staff (Vicky and Patrick) pick the book, make copies of the script, read through the script, create costumes and scenery…then perform the book to friends and family.  Vicky will read the book first, so the kids are familiar with it and can talk about the story and motivation.  Patrick says the costume and scenery part is what the kids get most excited about.  Vicky will make recommendations for who gets what part based on her knowledge of her kids’ reading skills.  I think when the younger kids want to participate, I heard she may give them a part as ‘frog’ or another sound-effects-type role.  There are lots of online resources and scripts – just search ‘readers theater‘.

We also talked about an Adult Readers Theater, which might be fun, too. Think of it like recreating the good-old days of radio!  Might be great for Seniors.

I asked about passive programming and incorporating tech into story time.

IMG_4737

LibrarySimplified – a NYC Library program – search one place for an ebook – “One discover and reading system for all ebook vendors.”  Multiple vendors is invisible and only one app is needed.  (Would be good for feeding/overdrive/oneclickdigital.)  Looks like KDL, Boston and Chattanooga are all using it.

The State Library BOUGHT Mango – so they don’t have to subscribe.  I wonder how that works?  Seems like a more cost effective options, if you can update.

KLA/MLA Day 2 – Tech Tool Trends 2015

Tech Tools Trends 2015 – Cynthia Dudenhoffer – Presentation (with all the hyperlinks)

Cynthia started by saying this was a research based talk – “there’s a lot of crap out there.”  More critical about what she shares.
Data Visualization – (dissertation topic): enable, ask, inform, see, relationships, highlight.  Present the information visually, with meaning and thoughtfulness
Types:
  • Taxonomy: London hipster coffeeshop names – won an award.  beautiful.net.  Connections of library systems example
  • Health Information: Plot medical outbreaks on a map tons end out vaccines.  Crowd source tool – get info immediately and share in a meaningful way
  • Statistics
  • Library Data Visualization Data plots for circulation by region, state circa data, play with it – great ways to work the data to share with Board and commissioners
  • Game of Thrones: Relationships decoded – very cool.  (sex one, too)
To Make:
  • Infogr.am
  • piktochart.com
  • tableau.com – vaccine map – upload data sets
  • Google sheets/fusion tables
  • visme
  • easel.ly
To View:
  • Flowing Data has education data
  • statistics.com – training offered
  • visual.ly
  • informationisbeautiful.net
  • visualziang.org
Convince your board of anything if you give them a pretty enough picture.
Digital Collections – Content and projects to share docs and pics
  • DPLA – app section useful to search by color, for example
  • Serendiptomatic – aggregator (like wordle but an image search that pulls images from other sources of image collections)  Metadata attached to them.
  • Kngine – new type of search engine by asking questions.  Separates content out by images, articles, answers – strips out all ads – great research starter
  • Omeka – Digital content place and make exhibits online for free (or a hosted version)
  • OpenCollections – better for libraries that have a programmer
Virtual reality
  • Google cardboard  – google explorations teams up with nasa – look and see into space.  Teen program idea.  Augmented reality affordable and educational accessible.  Libraries count for the apps.
  • Aurasma – video tutorial tool for iPhone (app) – notate a picture. Easy to use.  Library tour idea.
  • Chromville – program idea for technology with iPads – free, color, change the world with the colored pages
Education Hacks:
  • Shelfari – digital bookshelf images to highlight a collection
  • Icanhazpdf – twitter hashtag – articles will be tweeted back to you and works really well. Crowdsourced ILL.
  • ExplainEverything – white board app to notate and record voice to make tutorials (college class example)
  • DigitalPassPort – Digital citizenship tool – safe online – prepare for the internet
  • Pinterest – students use it to store citations – just use what they already use
  • SubText/AR360 – bought by accelerated reader
  • Biblionasium – gam-ifies reading for kids 7-13 year olds. Badges, etc.
  • WhatWasThere – GIS – stand in a place, and tells you the history!!!  Philadelphia!  You can add things, as well.
  • WordLens/Google Translate – virtual reality – to translate signs in real time.  JOAQUIN
  • Paper – http://www.fiftythree.com/paper – list sharing, gesture-based, annotate, take notes, share accounts to many people, grab images or pieces.
  • Poems by Heart – Produced by national council of English Language. to help children memorize – expose to classic literature and helps them.  PROGRAM idea. UK tool. Her 7 year old son loves it
  • ResearchReady – Craptest – web site test.  evaluates websites. Good for students.
Maker:
  • Koma Koma – stop motion animator easy to use. record play back forward Cool little movies
  • Crowdflik – GIS and aggregates – concert example, find other videos of events
  • Stripdesigner – graphic novel comic book creator Templates, upload your own art
  • printShop (Makerbot) – App to draw and then print 3D
  • Lightbot – teach kids programming.  Puzzle based games (like robot turtles).  Looks like minecraft.  Teaches general functions of programming
  • MyBrushes – Painting app – options
  • Canva – Online graphic designing tool. Fun.
Mining/Analytics
  • Scrapy – open source way to scrape data behind web searches. Like google analytics
  • Buffer – Organize your social media accounts – dashboard, schedule, etc.
  • SproutSocial – Proactive – use to monitor social media by topic and create an alert – trending topics to encourage you to post stuff.
  • Topsy – 2006 Twitter archive. social media search engine.
  • SocialMention – Search engine of real-time social media
Overlays/Managers
  • Storify – pull social media to make a story.
  • Odyssey – GIS location based stories.  Vacation example – notate.
  • Veooz – News aggregator with social media.  Beta but good.
  • WWSGD – Seth Goden – Plug in for wordpress to remind you to thank you for commenting.  Notices for web site – bring people back to the web site
  • Trendsmap – social media and data and GIS – overlay twitter geographically in real-time.  Syria, for example. No translator built in.
Q&A – 
Mashable is where she learns about these things.  Search in Veooz for social media trends.  LifeHacker network gives ideas of new tech trends, too. Follow or get a news aggregator. Gizmodo, too, for tech side. Pocket plug-in. iPhone app to live in toolbar like pinterest.  Daily Skim – sends you links to read later. Fee.ly
App – Poo Log – What’s Your Poo Telling you?