NEST 2010 – Notes, etc.

NEST 2010, 20 years!

(I love taking notes during workshops and this is an easy way to do that…so read if you’re interested or skim if you’re not.)

2009 Best Small Library in America Award – Union County Carnegie Library

Nancy E. Rosenwald – Library Director at the time of the award.  Union, South Carolina

Librarians as Change Agent

  • 1905 Carnegie library
  • Staff of high school graduates with retail experience, high school students and volunteers – now, 3 members are getting Library degrees!
  • Nancy philosophy time:  Librarians must be the agent of change within their community.  We serve the people in our communities and can provide assistance during difficult economic times – we are valuable!
    • First responders to community’s lifelong information needs (and technology, job-seeking, and entertainment needs).
  • Union County, South Carolina – only library in the county, rural population of 29,000, bookmobile serves 7 additional textile mill villages (100-150), 105 year old building with high maint. costs, and each year at least one big area is sacrificed (raises or technology or building maintenance)$.52 per capita!  ouch.  High unemployment, obesity, high disabled…and the library still flourished!
  • Where did they start? Who used the library and who did not?
    • Nancy sought out lovers and haters (nosy Yankee with no manners, so she could ask personal questions).
    • Examples of what she heard: “No one spoke to my children when I brought them.”  “When I went to get a card, I was told my son had a book 3-years overdue.”  Staff who pointed.
    • Nancy made staff talk about things – problems, issues – and they finally acknowledged that the Library was not inclusive or kid-friendly.
    • Talked about the Mission – people leave with what they want!  Everyone committed to it.  And implemented it immediately – not some time in the future.  Staff who couldn’t commit, left.
  • Community responded positively, especially to better customer service.  Daily feedback.  Rewarding.  Children enjoy the library, etc.
  • So decided as a staff to apply for “Best Small Library” – How did they assess their accomplishments?
    • Focus on excellent service to all library users regardless of age, gender, race, ability or status
      • With teens, all staff have training, kids are expected to follow code of conduct, given 3 strikes, when asked to leave, left with “it seems you’re having a hard time following the code of conduct today, so I need to ask you to pack up your things and leave for the rest of the day, but we look forward to seeing you again tomorrow” – leave with an invitation.
      • Understand that teen brains are not fully developed, but they learn  quickly if they want to continue to use the library!
    • Programs and activities emphasize the historic library building and the county’s wealth of history including family genealogy
      • Everyone has someone connected to Union County!  Even this lady in Great Bend.
      • Picked the staff member who “hates genealogy less than others on staff” – Bernice was good with it.  Soon will be the ONLY certified genealogist in the state of South Carolina.  Her research generated over $50,000 in donations! (Wills, good experiences, gratitude!!!)
      • LSTA Grant to archive county cemeteries – database development.  Photographed, mapped, and tagged images of 3 cemeteries in the County.  State Library will be making access available on line to anyone.
    • Use of technology solve library communication and space issues, and to help county residents become participants in a technology-centered society
      • Used teens and Tech supervisor to train individuals, staff and small classes.
      • Staff blog/google calendar hybrid to communicate schedules and news.
      • Everyone went there daily in the morning, so news was spread effectively.
    • Commitment to the growth and well being of the community’s children by providing quality literature, dedicated service and exceptional programs with an emphasis on children’s increasing technology needs
      • TumbleBooks – ebooks for kids
      • A parent volunteer weeded the picture books, after complaining!  Worked great, circulation went up
      • Art Cart – available with crayons, markers, pencils and paper (Walmart donations and local art council) and a sign saying “Please draw and color” and display art on the walls.
      • Healthy snacks
      • Tutor workshops
      • Read to Me Cards (laminated) – grab a book and can go to any staff and hand it over to be read to!  Teens do it too – feel its the best program the library has.
      • Cooperative games to help build teamwork and to build bridges.  Many kids are exposed to kids for the first time at the library!
      • Every child at the end of spring, would have a Summer Reading packet (homeschoolers, too).  Kids could get up to 50 books to take home over the summer (log, suggested titles, bookmarks, calendar of events and instructions).  Logs collected the next school year.  Big presentation at school and kids get a book (provided by school) and the Library does a “make your own sundae Saturday” celebration.
      • Invited a band The High Strung that plays at libraries (good musicians), played on front steps, police blocked off the street, neighbors were informed, but ended up participating!
      • Most controversial program – snack program.  Kids left at library 3-8, with no food.  School lunch programs, and most don’t have dinner at home.  A staff member set up this program as part of her undergraduate degree.  Local stores and church donated gift cards provide snacks – crackers, PB, juice, fruit, etc.  Being adopted by other libraries in the state.
  • Library Use – increased dramatically and packed from open to close (down about 3 hours a week).  Visits up 167% from FY06 to FY09,  Circ up 32%, Computer use up 154% and Web site visits up 435%.
  • City pride – banners are still flying in Union.
  • We are in a profession that allows us to make a dramatic change in our communities.

Programming Lightning Rounds

  • Edible Books at Atchison library – Diana Weaver, Diane Trinkle and Amy Parton.  Displays set up for all 3 libraries – Atchison, Nortonville and Effingham – to promote their library services.  Chef Mike Davis demonstrated Fruit carving (learned via YouTube videos!) and they had a magician come in the afternoon.  Amy promoted via Facebook invites.  Diane Trinkle demonstrated cupcake decorating.  Voting done through cups, dollar store and bookstore prizes, many awards, brought in judges.  Schedule: 10 -3, carver, then Diane, then judging and magic show at 2 and awards at 3.  Used the NEKLS snow cone machine, too.  Cost: Not expensive to build an edible book, invited the community to participate and put up displays (not a lot of takers, but staff did displays and ‘edible books’).   Other ideas: Seattle Edible Books and Edible book wikipedia article.
  • Halloween Coffee House in Paola – Edgar Allen Poe-themed featuring a classical guitarist.  Opened up the main room of library – used battery candles, card tables, musician played in front of the fire place (too crowded), and they advertised using personalized invitations to folks who would ‘appreciate this sort of stuff’ and had 50 people come.  Having a poet and one-man-show this year “Born to be Mild” – intimate environment appreciated.  Friends furnished food, gourmet coffee shop provided coffee and the musician cost $200-300.  Centerpieces were donated books covered with faux Poe book jackets, candles and big feathers.  Friday night when normally closed.
  • Classic Film (Pride and Prejudice) – expose the inmates to black and white films.  Created a wikipedia study guide and made a trivia game – had a book club discussion of the movie and a copy of the book was the grand prize.  45 participated and requests for more.  Every Monday night for a year.  Now he gives bookmarks and some books.  Average attendance between 20-45, with a mix of silent, black and white and foreign films.  Highest – 70 in the library – for Alfred Hitchock Rear Window.
  • Jumpstart’s Read for the Record – Pearson Foundation – Oct. 7 with the book Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day.  Like one book, one state.  (Bonner Springs)  Used this as a way to bring in kids from daycares, etc. into the library.  Preschool Day, tied into Jumpstart, Library brought the headstarts a copy of the book, senior center donated a tote with songs, fingerplays, etc. to go with the book.  Had 300 kids come!  Did a tour of the bussed-in kids.  Library as a field trip donation with (poor) schools.
  • Bonner Adults – Spa Evening – Found “home spa treatments” on the Internet and bought the products needed to make your own remedies.  Food, new age music and stations, used zip-lock bags and pulled out relaxation/spa books.  15 attended.
  • Mary Cotton (Sabetha) – “Fantastic Friday” in October, activities sponsored by (missed this part).  Library did an “Arts in the Park” on the library lawn.  Newly renovated library has empty/blank walls, so local artists had their works displayed throughout the library.  Girl scouts did crafts with the kids, face painting, finger nail painting, basket weaving, duct tape art demonstration, etc.  1:30 to 4:30 and at end of day had a group picture on the lawn – spelled out the world “READ” with people and had it published in the paper.
  • Topeka – Trivia night once every other month.  250-300 show up and had to extend it.  100 questions asked of teams of 5-8.  10 rounds.  Pop culture, literature, appeal to all ages, Lissa Staley and Thadd co-prepare this.  Mystery-themed trivia night in November after Celebrate the Book conference.  9 years old – pay for prizes (mugs, etc. total of $10).  Exchange questions with other libraries that do this.
  • Effingham – Geocaching (high tech treasure hunt) with an explanation of geocaching (GPS units and/or smart phones) and found 4 sites in the town.  30 attended, including a few teens.  Picked up trash as they went walking through town.  University extension office may have GPS units available for you to use.   Add a geocache box to the library!  “Lettterboxing” – older than geocaching.
  • Open House to show off new paint.  Open House with a Shiver – Atchison is full of haunted houses, so inviting a couple that appeared on a ghost-themed tv show to give a presentation along with the producers The Sally House documentary.
  • Marilyn Daniels – carecalendar.org – Organize and sign up for care packages and food delivery. “CareCalendar is a web based system to organize meals and other help for families during a time of illness or life changing event, such as the birth of a baby or death of a family member.”
  • Hiawatha – Culinary Quest Club – Cook and bring in foreign cuisine.  Next month is Greek.  Share recipes.  Stolen from Richmond (where they have cookbooks as a fundraiser).  Provide beverages and space.  Run off copies of recipes.  Took off with almost no work.  25-30 – families.  Sustainable club-approach with Susan Bryant coordinating.  Club decides the themes, library helps coordinate.  Everyone cooks a dish and brings is – pot luck.  No rules on it (Richmond says it has to be ‘authentic’) and bring sample-size portions.  Social, more than an educational, event.  Club-approach puts the responsibility on the patrons (Gardening, scrapbooking, etc.) – staff facilitates community-initiated programming.  “Sure, we love programming where the patrons do the work.”

Breakouts:

Why do we Dewey?  Staff from TSCPL.  The Topeka library noticed a concern with non-fiction circulation using the traditional stack structure, so they created the Wing Committee to find a solution.  Neighborhoods, starting with Travel.

  • Problems with stack: warehouse of books, customers dependent on librarians, reactive, emphasis on finding specific titles
  • Goals: user experience, inviting, customers empowered, anticipate needs (use lessons-learned by helping patrons), browser AND title specific friendly (bookstore model, with item-specific call numbers, too)
  • How?: Displays in the stacks, improve organizing and HAVE some visual merchandising
  • Dewey arrangement – not user friendly and not browsable.
    • Bookstore option (common language and browser friendly, but hard to find specific books.  Hard to categorize everything.  Huge sections (cookbooks) need further breakdown
    • Better Signs option – easy, no major changes, but a cop out, and don’t want to make patrons wander
    • Combo option – Nonfiction Neighborhoods (stolen from another library) – Individual nonfiction collection that brings together like materials into one section, but still use DDC to gather materials and give a shelf address.  Like Genre collections, in fiction.  Smaller non-fiction collections.  Akin to parenting collections.  Takes a lot of planning and can be confusing at first.
  • Visual Merchandising – stuck with stack structure (lighting), so IMPROVED:  shelf headers, shelf labels, end cap signs, more face out displays, relevant art work and stickers on the books
  • Pilot: Travel Neighborhood – different section from rest of fiction, all travel-related materials, identified in the catalog, labeled, mostly 910’s, PLUS foreign language phrase books, hotels, RVs, traveling with children – also ‘weeded out’ non-travel books in the 910’s.  Had to do some re-cataloging and catalog clean-up.  Also made it possible to add shelf labels, like ‘Kansas’.  For User Experience: Web site, travel bag, travel t-shirt and photos.
  • Stats: 3,000 items, 3 months to complete project, 1 year to complete the full inventory and 17% increase in Circs, while NF circ went down 5.3%.
  • Other Neighborhoods: Health and True Crime.
    • Health more complex, worked with community partners, got media coverage.   Endcaps have small signs and display shelving (based on themes, similar titles, last-chance-before-weeding books).  HealthFocus in a Bag – stress, diabetes, etc.  Showcase community assistance and health information pamphlets near the collection.  Stenciled art on wall to merchandise the collection and a wall-monitor with digital slides made using picnik.
    • Pilot project with Stormont Vale and St. Francis HealthCare systems to provide health literacy training for doctors, nurses and the community.  Library made their own pads that doctors/nurses used – “Information Rx” – ask a librarian to help you find more information about…”  Then there are 4 Web sites and a place to write book/site recommendations.  County Coroner “Loves” these pads to help explain to families what happened to their recently deceased.  Health use went up 35.7%, NF went up 9.8% from Oct ’08 to Apr ’09.
  • Other Neighborhoods: Jobs and Careers, Education and Testing,  Home Improvement, Lawn and Garden, Business and Investment, Crafts, Collectibles, Weddings, Humor, Writing and Pets.  Neighborhoods can be a way to get $$ from outside organizations, from community partners who are excited by the ‘new’ neighborhood.
  • Applying this mode to children’s picture book collection.

Leaning Express – Heather Braum

  • Interactive online learning platform provided by the State Library of Kansas
  • Works at all public libraries and home, but some schools/universities have difficulty accessing
  • Tutorials, computer skills, tests, college prep, citizenship, etc.
  • Videos are not narrated
  • Instructions for adding a link to your KLOW site provided as a handout (ask Heather)
  • Promote with local schools – test prep, college prep tests (ACT, SAT, etc.)
  • Training Webinars upcoming – Sept. 23 and 30
  • Funding for this service?  Where, how long, what source, ever at risk?
  • Practice tests for civil service, cosmetology, CDL, Electrical, Military, AVSAB
  • Computer skills – MS, Adobe, WordPerfect, Operating systems
  • Job and Career Accelerator (video tutorial with sound), includes Resume builder and includes an occupation matcher and “in demand” occupations
  • The resume builder is really good – simple, step-by-step and you can save or push to Google doc.
  • Homeworkkansas is still around – www.homeworkkansas.org
  • Brainstorm Ways to Use This in the Library:  Placeholder in the stack (fake book in stacks pointing to this web site – idea, use an empty VHS case with a custom-made ‘book jacket’), Facebook, Web site, Back to school, Present at teacher in-service (or have them in the library for a tea or luncheon).  Other ideas: Encourage adults to take the citizenship test on the 4th!, homeschooler programs, school newsletter – post success stories.
  • Update: Funding is through ILDP grants, the contract is year to year, funding is in the budget for the next year but has not been approved yet (courtesy the State Library chat reference).

Collection Development Panel

  • Standing orders and patrons – Diana’s favorite sources for Collection Development
  • Half of what Diane buys is used – Amazon!
  • 41% Baker and Taylor discount. Eric also buys from Amazon, because they have 46-60% discounts.
  • Buying trips to half-price books (audiobooks bought here for 1/4 the price of recorded books)
  • Genre v. Author standing orders
  • Books lists from NPR, Oprah, People magazine, KC Star, Fiction-l list serv
  • Amazon reviews as peer reviews, Wish list for patron suggestions, $3.99 shipping on a $.01 book (cheap and pay attention to seller ratings).
  • B&T Booking ahead is free, also
  • Half-price books have inexpensive Sci-Fi and Westerns
  • Use smart phone to check NExpress and Amazon to see what’s already in the system and/or a ‘good deal’
  • Second hand stores (new children’s books) and garage sales
  • Buy video games from locals (not a Fence…) – make parent come in with child before buying
  • Big Lots – post Thanksgiving sale, you can get cheap TV series DVDs, new DVDs, etc.
  • Book Club brochures – put yourself ‘on demand’ not standing order, and you can receive and use the book club brochure for CD (Sci Fi – I used this trick, too)
  • bestdealmagazines.com – $3.99 per year (100 items), then it goes up.  Purchase with credit card.
  • Leased collections – NEKLS new fiction, audiobooks at Sabetha and Oskaloosa
  • Betterworldbooks.com – You can BUY books with free shipping
  • Audiobook Future – People still use CDs, playaways are gaining popularity (but not available used), still circulating well – transferable, easy to use, use in car, etc.  Moving towards downloadables.  Will we be locked out, due to DRM issues?
  • Cool Kids Read – site for ‘tween’ titles
  • Library YA sites
  • Some publishers will increase the discount on regular print edition after you purchase the large print
  • The idea of “Turn” – inventory management tool – run reports to see how/if a collection is being used.  A possible new statistic.  “Chunk” the collection, continuous weeding – ‘moving things out of the inventory that aren’t moving’ – How many times does a book need to circulate to have ‘earned it’s worth’
  • Global edit training (to do)
  • Look at YA trends – series that build in popularity (Hunger Games, for example) and word of mouth
  • Betterworld book donations can be requested to be sent to Kansas libraries (says Diana)
  • Idea: Open up the Wish List or create a Gift Registry to encourage Patron donations (Brenda’s idea)
  • Need name of helpful Amazon customer service rep Diana worked with who helped her set up a corporate account

Tech Lightning Rounds

  • picnik
  • xtranormal – examples on Bonner, Hiawatha and Effingham sites (using an embed link)
  • techsoup.org – cheap, cheap technology/software (including Quickbooks for $40)
  • kidoz – up through late elementary – it’s a product that takes over the computer and provides restricted access to games and sites (free)
  • Google apps – Folders can be color coded
  • screencast-o-matic
  • Layouts of furniture – diagrams of computer network – flowcharts – gliffy.com
  • Tech Toybox – woot
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