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 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.


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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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?

KLA/MLA Day 2 – Thinking Outside the Stacks

Kathleen Morgan – kmorgan@lawrence.lib.ks.us, Lawrence public library Foundation director – outward facing functions of the library and Judy Keller, Jeffrey Byrne and Associates, Inc. – fundraising consultant for capital campaign and now a Board member | Presentation

Demystifying Fundraising.  Many libraries have foundations, but how do we pursue these gifts?

Lawrence Public Library’s Story: Ribbon cutting to newly renovated and expanded building after 10 years of hard work.  $19 million project with parking lot.  Library had to raise $1 million of the project, then $18 million bond.  Daunting task – a lot to raise.  Inexperienced Foundation board, with a project of this scale.  Hired a consultant and raised $1.2 million.

Most library capital campaign is $3-6 million range.  What advantages were there going into the campaign?

  • Everyone understands what a library is and does – intuitively know libraries are a good thing
  • Established leadership
  • High visibility
  • Mayor made this his/her issue and got Commission behind it
  • Library building needed it – 42 year old building and it looked it (Helped that Topeka’s library was much nicer in comparison)


  • Director resigned in early stages
  • Two lead architects left the firm in early stages of the campaign and raised questions about continuity and design
  • Highly visible and many loud opinions (on the local newspaper comment sections)  ‘chatter’


  • Other campaigns going on in town
  • Economic climate – just starting to get out of recession
  • Private v. public funding mix
  • Obsolescence – why do we even still need libraries
  • Wealthy people are shopping at Amazon
  • Foundation’s personal interest – all board and senior leadership MUST contribute


  • Friend-raising – 2 fundraisers a year (indoor golf and after-hours at the library)  Get over stodgy reputation and raise awareness
  • Feasibility Study – Closer to campaign date – “smartest thing we did” – Expensive and adds to cost.  Internal and External examination of where you are in the community and what land-mines you may encounter.  Look at donor database, mailing list, etc. and interviewed community members, Board members, leadership team, etc. Provides a pre-game plan.

New Stories – name of the campaign – Six Criteria for Success at Jeffrey Byrne

  1. A case that is valid, realist and universally accepted.  A Case For Support.  Has to make sense.  3-5 page white pages left in draft form to test with significant prospective donors.  Vetting the Case Statement – think from a donors perspective.
  2. Commitment by organizational leaders – Support and endorse with their own financial support
  3. Involvement by community leaders – Editorial staff, community leader as a champion (with credibility with donors)
  4. Strategy to obtain pacesetting gifts – $100,000 to $200,000 lead gift, plus a $75 and 2 $50’s to make up top 30% of the campaign – proper cultivation.  Must come early in the campaign
  5. Proper planning – Planning before you enter public phase is MOST critical
  6. Proper timing – What about those other campaigns?  There will always be others (hospital, school, church) – the best time is WHEN you are ready

Tips and Tricks:

  • Be Bold – “We only get to do this every 42 years”  Go for it and do what needs to be done to reach your goal.  Library touches every life int eh community
  • Be Prepared – Do the feasibility study and be ready to address any concern that pops up during the campaign.  Have the answers before the questions are asked – do your homework.  Talk to enough people
  • Know Your Community – Look, feel message must be tailored to your community
  • Get Good Volunteers – Someone respected, trustworthy, positive and very hard working.  Fun when you like each other.  Get a diverse group – draw on those networks in town.  Steering committee should be broad
  • Follow the Process – There’s an order – channel Julia Child – start from the inside and work out.  Inner family first (Board, staff should give and participate first), and then to major donors and then foundations and businesses and go public for the last 30%.
  • Be Patient – it takes time and you should expect lulls.  Don’t skip a step.
  • Ask for a specific amount – Naming opportunities as the center piece to start conversation.
  • Don’t under ask – It can offend donors
  • Be Enthusiastic – the Donor can tell if you’re faking it.
  • Celebrate Accomplishments – weekly appreciation and thanks.  Parties for landmarks – Food, Beer and Wine
  • Be Grateful – Stack of Stories to track progress.  Stack of books, reminded visitors of what was going on, brought it out after first 70% was earned.
  • Can’t be Grateful Enough – Donor wall has “Citizens of Lawrence” as the biggest donor (bond issue)


  • Set up for future success – Humanities grant on heels of successful capital campaign.  Raised another $1 mil for program endowment.  Matching grant – National Endowment for the Humanities.  Opens up other opportunities – faith, legitimacy and proven track record.
  • New Landmark Library


  • New campaign – different donors, different focus, but still had naming opportunities but some same strategies and the matching piece was appealing to donors
  • Was the campaign cost rolled in?  Yes – 10% admin expenses and lead gift was 10%.  Ended up using 8.5%.
  • Still doing events?  One a year and alternate them – caddy stacks and then the adult party.  More manageable for staff and board.
  • After hours party – last one was ‘sneak a peak’ party.  Permits, fire marshals, stress!  Thursday 5-7 pm or a Saturday night at 7 after the library closes at 6.  Fun to drink in the library after dark – magical party space.
  • Adult supervision:  Tax credit opportunities for the donors (in KS and MO) and post-campaign fundraising you can grow the endowment and support perpetual sustainability.  Planned giving with an endowment campaign (state of the art).

KLA/MLA Day 2 – Managing Transitions

It’s Not Change That’s the Problem, Its the Lack of Transition That’s the Problem with Vicky Baker, Mid-Continent Public Library | Presentation

Book: Managing Transitions by ??

Change v. Transition
Change is situational – move, new director
Transition is psychological – let go, go through the neutral zone and then make a new beginning
“Just because everything has changed, don’t think anything is different.”
Celebrate the new beginning and give time people to unplug from the old way.
Move towards acceptance of what is happening.
Letting Go:
The process causes feelings of: Fear, denial, anger, sadness, disorientation, frustration, uncertainty, sense of loss
Yes, these are also the stages of grieving.  Even happy changes are difficult transitions – everything is ‘so completely different’ for example, when you have a baby.
Go through this stage completely – if you escape too early, you’ll lose creativity and problem solving.
Case Study:  5-10 years in the future, no more print materials (we used this scenario to discuss all three stages).
Who is losing what?
Security,memories, staff lose work, everyone loses something, donors/supporters,
What exactly are they losing?
Newspapers, 24/7 access to materials even without power, losing the vehicle for stories and information, losing activities like lap-sit reading between kids and parents, poorest lose access to books because they can’t afford the devices, access v. ownership issues
How do you talk about the change?
Push acceptance and present as positive, just losing how you access the stories and information, business access, customize reading experience
Is everyone losing something?
Yes – unless you don’t read.Transfer importance of books to the new thing.  No more weeding!
How Can You Help?
  • Give as much detail and possible – who, what, when, where, how.
  • Give people information when you have the information and get it out
  • Listen sympathetically  the whiner may wear you out you have to try and understand
  • Accept the signs of grieving
  • Define what’s over and what is NOT over.  Find the positives.
  • Mark the Endings – celebrate or have a funeral
  • Let people take a piece of the old way with them (include patrons).
  • Treat the past with respect – honor where we came from
Neutral Zone – waiting for the new thing to come and you’re  one grieving
  • Anxiety rises and motivation falls
  • Absenteeism increases
  • Old weaknesses reappear
  • People are overloaded because they don’t know what they are doing
  • Systems are in flux
  • Consensus breaks down – don’t know what we are doing
  • Teamwork is undermined
  • Loyalty to the organization is lessened (during that time period)  Why?!
  • People will be frightened because they just don’t know what to expect.  Free Library example when the budgets were cut
Case Study in Neutral Zone – work is backing up and bad habits returned:
How do we motivate?
Prioritize with the person and let them start with what they enjoy, be flexible with job duties, Buy in.  Volunteers – provide help.
Absenteeism – how do you make work fun?
Small goals and then celebrate.  More days off?  Let them go.  Remind them of the importance of what they do. Give more autonomy – flexible schedule during the transition, work with them as the manager, What do we let go – identify.  Create talking points and lead from the front, Appreciate the staff that does show up (chocolate/lunch)
This too shall pass, growing pains, Celebrate all victories and improvements, Talk about it and confront the issues.
How can you help?
  • Give people a metaphor to hang on to
  • Protect people from any other changes while int he neutral zone. Delay more change.
  • Review policies and procedures
  • Create task forces and project teams (helps with buy in)
  • Set short term goals
  • Provide seminars to help people during the neutral zone – workshops and get staff out of the library
  • Encourage creative problem solving – bend and create new rules
  • Create a transition monitoring team – don’t run it, just keep tabs. Feedback.
New Beginnings
  • Beginnings reactivate old anxieties
  • New Beginning/ New way seems like a gamble
  • Fear that if it is a failure there will be punishment (who will be blamed?)
  • May have preferred to stay in the neutral zone – more creative = more fun
  • Communication is Key
Scenario: what communication? what are new duties, what are new measures of success and is everyone ‘there’? Positive, personalized help, reassure, tech competencies and training, confidence building, RA, training materials and guides,
How help?
  • Provide encouragement through the 4 P’s:
    • Purpose
    • Picture – illustration
    • Plan – more detail about what’s happening
    • Part to Play – roles and responsibilities
Reinforce the new beginning
  • be consistent and say things consistently
  • ensure quick successes
  • symbolize the new identity
  • celebrate the success

KLA/MLA Day 2 – Dealing with problem patrons

Presentation Bringing Sanity Back to Difficult Interactions with Patrons – Resources KLA/MLA Conference 2015 | Ruth Harries

What is a problem patron?  Stinky people, tired people, someone upset about policy, annoyed by another patron, needs extra help (lots of it), and someone whose behavior endangers others, etc., etc.

Strategies for Sticky Situations:

  • Build relationships – listen to your regulars and think about what people complain about the most (reduce fines or fine free days if fines are a squeaky wheel)
  • Listen actively – use body language that says “I’m listening” and empathize with the patron – “I’m sorry you’re going through that” or “I know this is frustration” or “That sounds really frustrating”
  • React appropriately – don’t over or under-react and enforce policy consistently, knowing there will be exceptions.  Think about how enforcement of a policy is going to impact the patron

If it all goes wrong…

  • Stay calm
  • It’s not about you personally (there  bad day is not your fault)
  • If necessary: get backup, disengage, contact the police (threats, abusive behavior, intoxicated)
  • Document, document, document – Incident Report Forms are your friend and let staff know what’s going on – to identify patterns of behavior.  Use careful language – describe how they appear, that they have bags with them, that they smell (don’t say they’re homeless…’cause you don’t know that!)

SupervisorManger Responsibilities

  • Create Patron Policies – code of conduct includes behavior policy and make sure staff members know what’s in it.  Post in a public place, on web site, as handouts that you can give a patron to read, etc.  Sample policies to come – with your Board
  • Craft an effective policy – tail to your library and clientele, lay out behaviors that will result in a ban for X amount of time (and how many instances of problem behavior) and cover behavior that interferes with others’ use of the library and anything that endangers others.
  • Back up your staff!! – provide training on all policies, on basic reference questions (Michael C. Hall Basic reference interview – look this up and Colorado State Library has virtual training for staff and how to be more approachable), and on how to handle abusive behavior.  Provide reinforcement when necessary and model behavior for staff. Practice in staff meetings, provide scripts, etc.
  • Use bans judiciously – follow your policy and make sure you’ve created a paper trail (Incident Report Form again) – when, why, how often, what was done, etc., etc.  CYA again and for succession reasons.
  • Include right of appeal – and you can’t ban for life – just for a year and give them an alternative means to access the information which is a first amendment right according to the courts.


  • Computer use scenario – kick off one of these teens so I can complete my job application!
    Ask the teens if they’re willing to get off the computer, explain that the teens have a right to use the computer, bring out a laptop for him to use, rely on time management software (person on the longest – so you can say when a computer will be available), provide other places for patron to go for computer access, try to find an alternative, ask for volunteers to give up a computer (who is leaving soon?), call to reserve a computer – HAVE A POLICY – Cool idea: job application/school work ONLY computers at Hutch public library.  “Empathize and use active listening skills.”
  • Muttering pacer scenario – other patron is disturbed and worried about his/her mental health
    Engage with the muttering patron and ask if they need help to assess his needs, don’t assume (it could be the complainer who has the problem), address needs of both and offer a quieter place to go for the student, involve two staff person (one to engage and one to observe), are they in a quiet area? – address the policy.  Librarian411.org – Mo State Dept of Mental Health! Address the behavior with compassion and empathy.  Be familiar with resources in your community and involve an outside agency if necessary.



KLA/MLA Day 2 – Weeding Without Tears

Weeding Without Tears: Don’t let weeding become a public relations nightmare with Mickey Coalwell  | Oct. 1 | Presentation

Day 2 – and I’ve already had another hug (and a hangover, but that’s my own damn fault).

Mickey is now the Regional Director of LSSI for the Western Region after 10 years at NEKLS as a Library Development Consultant.

The politics and public relations of weeding.

Stories of publicity ‘debacles’ – Corrine Hill from Chattanooga Public Library was interviewed for this session – she was 2014 Librarian of the Year and by September a former Friends claimed she had “no respect for books whatsoever.”  August 2015 weeding backlash at KCPL – “Bibliocide” claimed the Friends of KCPL.  Urbana, IL…rallies in Berkeley, CA. When public gets involved in the weeding process, it often lead to the Director resigning or being fired. Whistleblowers were always staff, volunteers or Friends of the library!

What went wrong?  Causes:

  • No policies or vague policies
  • Public perception of the library as a museum/archive v. popular lending library
  • Untrained boards, staff and volunteers
  • Time and resources – “big weeding projects” are poison. It flags the public.
  • Emotional resistance in the form of irrational bibliophilia – romantic attachments
  • Past mistakes and lack of consistent weeding practices


  • Clear, consistent weeding criteria and philosophy – do you talk about it with the board, staff and Friends?  Procedures – how and why we weed.  Add a mending policy, too.
  • Regular, scheduled weeding with detailed documentation – keep the list!  provide more data, not less. Be transparent about our data – share what and why we are taking off the shelf.
  • Ideas: Free books just weeded, so the staff see what’s being removed and can take it home if they want!  In Academic library, involve the staff and faculty to give them options to unweed potential weeds.  Book Sales – gives the public option to see and take home the books!  Better World Books and online book sellers. Story of a recycling center also giving folks the chance to take books home.
  • Hints: pull out memorial bookplates before weeding (or return books to family if possible), second chance displays, etc.
  • CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries by Jeanette Larson BEST RESOURCE EVER.

Bottom Line:

  • No Surprises
  • Train and educate staff at every opportunity – formally and informally
  • Board and volunteer orientation and training, including hands-on involvement in weeding
  • Share with staff how to be sensitive to the perceptions of the public.
  • We are good stewards, data-driven decision makers – and make sure deselection is talked about as much as selection
  • Be careful with “Big Projects” like RFID and moves – they trigger emotional responses from public.
  • Weed everyday or every week, just like you add new books everyday and every week.

Know the Numbers:

  • Data driven – helps protect you against irrational attacks.  Counter arguments against ‘morally reprehensible weeding’
  • Turnover (Circ/holdings)
  • Cost per circa (Expenditures/Circ)
  • Space for face-out displays, circ ALWAYS goes up, and people can SEE what GOOD stuff you have

Criteria:  Physical condition, frequency of use, date of publication, duplication, availability, and long-term historical significance or local interest  (MUSTIE)  Talk about these at staff meetings.

Product Life of different collections, formats and types – and include that in the policy.  “Board books last one day.”

How do you deal with local history and local authors?  Historical societies or take them off the floor.  You have them, but keep them ‘in a special place’ off the stacks.


  • Policy justification
  • Clear, written weeding criteria
  • Detailed record keeping
  • Consistent adherence to weeding guidelines
  • Inventory management approach
  • Training and communication
  • Include board and volunteers and friends in the weeding process – own the process and build a bridge with the community because they are involved in the process.

What to do according to Idaho commission for libraries:

  1. Make sure weeding is fully explained in your policy
  2. Fall any laws or local ordinances about the dispels of public property
  3. Give the public a chance to acquire materials before discarding them
  4. Work with the media preemptively

Weeding is a complex issue. That’s why it’s done by professionals.” – Corrine Hill

KLA/MLA Day 1 – “A Pennsylvania librarian goes to Kansas City”

Day 1 for me was all about hugs and seeing all of my friends and colleagues from Kansas and a few from Missouri, too.  Lots of networking and seeing people I haven’t seen in 3 years…but many who I keep in touch with via Facebook.  A great tool for an ex-pat Kansan living in Philadelphia. I confess, I also went to lunch with a friend from Tongie and bought new shoes.

Here’s the keynote Slideshow “The Architecture of Understanding” by :


Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplaceb – Gail Santy

I am VERY sad I missed Gail’s program on the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (based on the book by Gary Chapman and Paul White).  Luckily, I ran into someone who had an extra set of handouts!  Woot.  I am a huge fan of the Love Language book, so I will be reading this one, too.   Here’s the Web site: http://www.appreciationatwork.com

Cues that Appreciation is needed:

  • Discouragement
  • Irritability and Resistance
  • Increased Absenteeism or Tardiness
  • Cynicism and Sarcasm
  • Apathy and Passivity
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Negative Work Environment

How to Communicate Meaningful & Effective Appreciation:

  • “Make sure your communication is personalized and individualized.” The recipient need stop “feel you mean what you say and that you took time to think about them personally.”
  • “Communicate appreciation in the language or languages that are most important to the recipient.”
  • “By learning a person’s language of appreciation you can give and receive feedback and appreciation in a way that can be effective.”
  • The ways people experience appreciation:
    • Words of Affirmation
    • Quality Time
    • Acts of Service
    • Tangible Gifts
    • Appropriate Physical Touch
  • “Each person has their own preferred ‘language of appreciation.’  And within each language, there are specific actions that are most valued by the individual.”
  • SO: Figure out what kind of appreciation (love) language a person responds to, and deliver it in that way.  easy peasy, right?

Up Next:

Reception at the Central Library.  I heard Rudy’s will be there and I hope that means there are chicken tacos!!!