Library Space Planning with A. Cohen

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

Share knowledge and build communities – Knowledge Managing Concepts

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

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

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

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

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

User Space Needs – how much space do users need?

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

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

Library Planning Approaches

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

Methodology for Change:

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

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

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

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

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

Design Modes – ‘breakthrough for today’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writable walls in staircase as a way to communicate.

Phase plan overview pre-plan…  <end notes>

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

 

 

 

 

Save

Advertisements

ALA 2017 in Chicago Recap

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

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

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

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

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

Save

Save

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.

 

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

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.

 

A Strong Foundation: Library Master Planning Webinar

Listened June 30, 2015 | Archived Webinar by Library Journal

Presented by: Margaret Sullivan Studio, McMillan Pazdan Smith, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, and Library Journal

Panelists:

  • Margaret Sullivan – Principal, Margaret Sullivan Studio
  • David Moore – AIA, ALA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, Project Architect, McMillan Pazdan Smith
  • Peter Pearson – President, The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library; Lead Consultant for Library Strategies, a consulting group of The Friends
  • Moderator – Emily Puckett Rodgers – Project Coordinator, New Landmark Libraries

CE: 1 hour

Speaker 1: Margaret Sullivan

Library Master Plan is the framework for the future – it’s is flexible and allows for growth 20+ years into the future.
The process:

  • Articulate the Library’s Vision, values, and brand identity | Build a strong leadership group | Gather community data
  • Research Trends – Visit “Center for the Future of Libraries” and look at market segment data.
  • Positive User Experience
    • Who are the users?
    • How did they get here?
    • Why are they here
    • What activities will the participate in?
    • What are their interests?
    • Write User Narratives of Example Patrons
  • Identify the Library’s key Activities and Programs
    • Then, let the architects find the patterns for the spaces and places that will enable the programs to be successful.
  • Why? Identify the Learning Outcomes and Culture of the institution
  • It’s never to early to Pin design ideas
  • Ask and identify your library’s approach to:
    • Collections – type, shelf height, % of floor space, holds, etc.
    • Technology – iPads, eReaders, laptops, charging stations (MacBook Pro with Adobe Creative Suite 6…if we’re going to dream)
    • Special Equipment – printers, 3D printers, Sound booths, Green screens, kilns(!), sewing machines, (cake pans)
  • Look Around You
    • Visit libraries and businesses – maker spaces, for example
    • Connect with Experts – Ask for involvement early in the project to promote engagement and buy in.
    • Have Fun – Interactive workshops with patrons, stakeholders, staff
    • Develop a sense of ownership and engagement about the project with the community
  • Holistic Service Model
    • Staffing and Operations connects to
    • Customer Experience connects to
    • Place Making connects back to Staffing
    • All three need FUNDING to ensure success
  • Articulate the Project and Goals

Speaker 2: David Moore – Architect from Greenville, NC.

Road Map Approach (as written about in November 2011 Library Journal article about Clemson Library)

This Approach develops small steps and improvements to turn the “Before” into “After”

  • Identify Needs First – get input, input, input
  • Conceptual Solutions and ‘test fit’ the ideas, identifying shortcomings
  • Turn Challenges into Solutions and Rearrange Your Space (according to a phased master road map)  Examples shown had: better sight lines, increased seating, more shelving and more study spaces
  • Phased Implementation or “Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time”
    • Each phase is self-contained, meaning nothing feels unfinished when the phase is over
    • Ideally, you only move things once (twice at the most if you have to go to temp housing)
    • Complete little interventions as funds allow
    • Each phase has it’s own Cost Estimates: Scope of work for construction costs + FF&E estimates + professional fees = estimate
  • Benefits:
    • initiates momentum for positive change
    • Allows you to take baby steps
    • Enables better space sooner
    • Allows for constant use and continual tweaking
    • Provides flexibility
    • Demonstrates good stewardship of resources
    • Phases are practical and planned by order of importance – one phase builds for another

Speaker 3: Role of Private Funding in Capital Projects with
Peter Pearson, President of the St. Paul Friends of the Library
LibraryStrategiesConsulting.org

Capital Campaign Includes:

  1. Final project plan
  2. Obtain public funding commitment (grants? Township funds? Existing CIF?)
  3. Access architectural renderings
  4. Build on history of annual fundraising – prepares donors for a capital campaign

Process:

  1. Feasibility Study
    • A Neutral third-party person will interview potential donors to share idea and gauge interest
    • Cost ranges from $20,000-30,000 depending on how many people are interviewed.
    • If you have no contacts within the donor’s world, start with your annual fundraising supports
    • Aim for one lead gift that covers 15% of the project costs
    • The neutral person will identify, during the course of the interviews, concerns to be addressed and reveal potential barriers (such as feelings about leadership, staff, etc.)
    • Learn how donors feel about the stewardship and leadership – perceptions.  Outside person can ask the hard questions and can play Devil’s advocate
    • Find out what inspires potential donors
    • It’s a cultivation tool – prepares donors for the “Ask” – they can begin planning if they’re excited about the project
    • Interviews are an opportunity to redefine old ideas about libraries
    • Largest donors are often people who do not use the library
  2. Campaign Leadership
    • Create a cabinet group with new and existing leaders
    • Identify possible campaign leaders during the interviews – people who are enthusiastic joiners
  3. Case Statement
    • Use to help motivate donors
    • Describe the project
  4. Quite Phase
    • Personally ask major donors to contribute
    • Major donors would be giving $100,000+
    • Many projects expect 85%+ of costs to be covered by Major Donors
    • Recruit a Chair – someone persuasive who “you can’t say no to”
    • Make a case for support
    • Personally solicit lead donors (often at their house)
    • Thank them and plan on a Donor Wall
  5. Public Phase
    • Smaller gifts
    • Marketing campaign
    • Plan a public party to celebrate the successful end of the project
  6. Beyond the Campaign
    • Raise visibility of the library in the community and among donors
    • Keep donors – convert Campaign donors to annual donors

This was definitely worth hour of time to watch.  Great information.

 

Ben Bizzle Promoting Your Library in the Digital Age

May 14, 2015 at the Doylestown Branch of the Bucks County Library System | CE: 2.5 hours

Topics: Library Web site, Programming, Traditional Marketing and Social Media

Intro: Ben Bizzle is one of several movers/shakers behind the company Library Market and author of Start a Revolution: Stop Acting Like a Library. He is also the director of technology at the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library.

Website:

  • Library Web sites ARE our Digital Library and we are JUDGED accordingly.
    A crap Web site = low expectations of the library in general.
  • The Web site can be the DIGITAL HUB, pushing people back into the Library’s front door.
  • The “Trinity of Evil” is our competition: Google, Amazon and Wikipedia because there is no longer a ‘dying need’ for a cited source
  • Web sites HAVE TO BE available on All Platforms: PC, tablet and phone
  • Best format for Web sites is the F-Pattern:
    • Focus on 1. Header, 2. Sub-header and 3. Left-hand side of the page for most important information on the site.
    • Nielsen’s F-Pattern priorities – “F-Shaped Pattern for Reading Web Content” (with cool heat-map images of eye movement on Web sites).
  • Discussion of the Example site Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library (AR):
    • Slides for events, services, card application – anything current and up-to-date
    • 3 Click Rule – have a THIN and B R O A D site
    • Menu drop downs from Main bar
    • Use the Language of the Common Person!  “Research” v. “Databases”
    • Events Calendar – Easier to read a column:
      May 15 – Event 1 blah, blah (Enough info for a ‘buying decision’ – title, info, photos
      May 15 – Event 2 blah, blah
      May 15 – Event 3 blah, blah
    • Online Registration – They set up PCs in the kids section for Summer Reading registration
      Provides DATA – school, reading level, email for automated reminders
  • Language plug in to increase accessibility
  • Children’s and Teen pages have typography and colors similar, but different, from main site

Programming is King:

  • “Fun and Sexy” – Sell the Sizzle.  If you have a BAD program, you LIED and diminish trust that the organization will have a GOOD program in the future
  • Examples:
    • Pete the Cat concert at the Mall
    • Zombie Prom teen event on a Friday night with 63 teens attending
    • Arts on the Lawn – craft show and market. 50 vendors, 10 x 10 space. Repeat twice a year with themes (Renaissance, Vaudeville, etc.)
    • Make a cool program cooler and know it’s OK to FAIL.  Example: Lunch and Learn – wasn’t interesting or enticing enough to give up lunch hour for until they brought in animals!

Traditional Marketing:

  • Postcards, bookmarks, READ posters, Press releases, etc. all done but…Focus on new, fun and creative ideas.
  • Examples from Jonesboro – had inexpensive access to several billboards around town, which they used to advertise library with fun and creative themes.
    • Year One: eCards
    • Year Two: Typography
    • Year Three: Infomercial parodies using catch phrases from TV
    • Year Four: Guerrilla Marketing with Bansky-inspired street art (complete with a barcode that links to the Library’s phone number)
      Bizzle Example 3
  • Summer Guide, because it’s more than just reading!
    • Sell Fun (crafts) and Deliver Steak (books)
  • Keep It Simple – bright colors, clean graphics, simple designs
    Bizzle Example
  • Take Inspiration wherever you can get it – while brainstorming at the bar, Ben and his creative team had an idea: Why not advertise the library on coasters!!
    • Funny – each coaster has a joke, “Add a Word, Ruin a Book”
      Ex.: “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Malfunction”
      Ex.: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Parlor”
      Ex.: “50 shades of Grey’s Anatomy”
    • 3,000 coasters cost $800 and with 15,000 drinkers reading the, the cost was $0.053 per drinker
    • Each coaster included: picture, joke, the name of the library and the Web site.
    • From Advertisement to Delivery in Real Time.  By adding the Web site, you get instant delivery of service…from a smart phone…at the bar.
      Bizzle Example 2
  • EXPOSURE – Keep the Library out and about in the community, and get people talking about the library using fun, funny, quirky, and engaging ideas.

Social Media – Not Just a Bunch of Cat Pics

  • Image library available Here.
  • “Facebook is the only effective method for advertising library events.”
  • Twitter is more ‘throw and hope’ because it’s not as engaging
  • Pinterest isn’t social media, but has value as a resource
  • Facebook Advertising:
    • Paid ads reach the intended audience in your area.
    • Example: Henna tattoo event for 13-18 year olds in Jonesboro.
    • FB Ad for $50 had 10,000 impressions = 50 teens came to event.
    • Idea – Summer Reading ad in late June with a link to the Web page/post with information and registration link.
    • Pair with Google Analytics to get DATA
    • Increase Value of services – Created a FB ad for Freegal “3 Free Song Downloads each week with your library card” and a link to the service. With the promotion, use of the service increases, making the ROI better.  Stewardship!
    • Data: Use stats before and after ad runs.  More use = database/service is value goes up
    • What other databases and services would benefit from a $50 ad??

2014 Year End Post

Another year, another post?  Amazing how working in a busy public library and living in a vibrant city sucks away at your blogging time.  So, as part of my self-assigned Annual Review..I’m going to re-cap. General themes to watch: increases in circulation, the search for the right new team members and karma (in the positive attracts positive sense).

January – circ: 8,778

  • 60th Anniversary event with Larry Kane signLarry Kane spoke at our 60th Anniversary Brunch on Jan. 5, 2014 – we had 146 attend in spite of icy sleet and gave away copies of “When They Were Boys.”  We got good media coverage, including an article in the Midweek Wire.  This was billed as a Celebration, but with the sponsorships from HV Bank, the Friends and the Brauns, it turned into a fundraiser!  As a bonus, a hand-made quilt by Friend Andee Polokoff brought in $520, which they donated back to the Library (and it eventually bought a new picnic table).  My thanks to Board Member Miryam, who negotiated with the country club, wrote the press release and coordinated the days events.  This wouldn’t and couldn’t have been done without her. Also, Ingram was great to work with – we could order, then order more and in the end, send a bunch of books back that we didn’t need.
  • On January 9, the Friends and Library Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding, as drafted by the Association of Library Trustee Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF).  This was significant as a symbol of the renewed trust between the Friends and the Library, something I had worked hard to re-establish.
  • The Friends approved $34,550 in Wish List expenditures, including a paperback book standing order, a loveseat for the children’s department, and the Summer Reading program.  We also worked on a more efficient method of managing reimbursement requests that rely on quarterly QB reports, trusting that we accounted for expenditures correctly.
  • We joined the Geek the Library awareness campaign – something Pam really wanted and supported by taking a very active role in promoting.
  • Hosted two local authors: Cubby Moreland and children’s author Dean Morey on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16.
  • On Jan. 26, Pam, Tetjana, Glynnis, Christina, Shawna, Rhonda, Rita, Miryam and I visited the exhibit hall of ALA midwinter and had dim sum in Chinatown.  Good time (and good idea Pam had to ask Ingram for free passes)!
  • Strategic Planning Update: Met Jan. 28 and put together a work plan and decided to hire Catalyst (Liz V. as our consultant), identify stakeholders and move forward on community forums and a customer survey.
  • On Jan. 21, we sent a formal letter to our neighbors in the Bryn Athyn Borough to invite a representative of the Borough to join the Board as a nonvoting member.  Again, this was a move we had discussed for some time and knew we wanted to strengthen the relationship with our neighbors.
  • We had 9 volunteers donate 71 hours of time.  This includes teens and adults who applied and were then interviewed and trained by Pam.  She’s amazing and this is a statistic to watch…

February – circ: 8,556

  • Staff In-Service Feb. 17 – I made a presentation to the staff about the Geek the Library campaign and together we explored various online databases and subscription services, like Zinio and OverDrive.
  • Pam and I created and posted a new Library Associate position – a hybrid cataloger and library assistant position to help us stay on top of our new book linking.
  • Pam and Marilyn volunteered to open the library on Sunday, Feb. 9 as a ‘warming center’ for community members without power after a series of storms in early February.  They manned the fort from 1 to 5 pm
  • At the (rescheduled due to snow) Board meeting, they decided to pursue another author event in late 2014 or early 2015.  Miryam agreed to chair!  She also contacted the June Fete committee on our behalf, so we could have a presence at that long-standing local event.  The Board also amended the inclement weather policy – Eleanor and I will make the determination, with input from the Township (regardless of what the School District does).
  • With information from the recorder of deeds for Montco, we started contacting new residents to the Township with a welcome letter.  This needs to be re-started in 2015. I have let it lapse.
  • I participated in revising the District’s Strategic Plan with Mary Maguire and Directors from across the County.  I had the continuing education section and promoted the idea of having collaborative CE events.
  • Feb. 27 – I submitted the Annual Report (state statistical report) and a royal time-suck (as in a full week).  Jonathan Shina, who compiles the monthly statistics for me, has helped us align the monthly statistics more closely with the annual report, so the numbers we collect fit better with what the State wants.
  • We had 16 volunteers donate 90 hours of time.

March – circ: 10,327

  • PLA in Indianapolis – See the posts here.  A great networking opportunity and a chance to see a bit of family, as well.
  • March 27 – Gerry Shur author event – Inside the Witness Protection Program, Celtic Pride concert, Crafternoons for kids and Teen Tech week also in March.  The Shur event went well, was well-attended and  brought in a diverse crowd (gender speaking).
  • Board Meeting notes: Hilarie wrote a Request for Proposal for Community Forums on March 3 for the Strategic Planning Committee, Miryam contacted Valerie Plame’s people for a possible author talk/fundraiser and we discussed having LM High School liaisons.
  • I met with Girl Scout Troop 754 to help plan their Bronze Star garden and research walnut tree toxicity on Mar 7.
  • Summerlin Memorial Book WormMarybeth Summerlin, a former Board member, passed and her husband named the library as a memorial recipient.  We received over $2,000 in Marybeth’s honor and bought book cases and our bookworm (that we used as inspiration for new paint in December).  Every donor received a letter from the Library and we shared the names with Mr. Summerlin so he could send notes, as well.
  • Pam, Tetjana and I conducted several interviews and hired Jessica as our new Associate.  She is a capable and enthusiastic worker and soon-to-be Librarian working on her MLS through Drexel U!
  • The staff completed a SWOT analysis, apart from the Board’s, at our March 28 staff meeting.
  • With help of the Library Assistants, usage reports that are reviewed and marked-up by me, we’ve been weeding non-fiction and adult fiction.  This also leads to re-orders, deletion carts and book repairs.  All weeded items are reviewed by me, with suggestions made by the staff to ‘delete, reorder or repair’.  I usually say delete! Our collection is SO OLD, it’s tragic.  As part of this project, we talk about weeding theory and I share with them the dramatic statistical evidence that a well-weeded collection, is a well-circulated collection.
  • Pam and I visited the ANC Secondary Girls’ School in Bryn Athyn to meet with Brenda, the librarian.
  • Submitted a Keystone Grant letter of intent for 3 new HVAC units.  The grant would pay for 50% of the $68,000 total cost. We also submitted a letter asking for support directly to a possible private donor.
  • Fetched documents for the 2013 Audit visit.  Time and effort involved preparing for the audit.
  • In March, we started making “One-on-One Tech Appointments” with patrons who needed in-depth help with their device, laptop, resume, or other techie-need.  Marilyn M., Christina, Debbie, Pam and I all help.  From our help, Cliff has a new job and Andre has a resume and email address so he can get a new job!
  • We had 13 volunteers donate 125 hours.

April – circ: ?

  • Shared all of our Strategic Planning documents with the Township commissioners, after presenting on the Geek the Library campaign at an open meeting on April 8.  The Township Manager and Commission President returned the favor and came to our April 10 Board meeting.
  • One of our most successful programs was April 23 with Ruth K. HartHVL New Logo and Library Card design by Christina H. z, author and a hidden child of the Holocaust.  We also celebrated National Poetry Month with Lynn Levin.
  • We launched Geek the Library during National Library Week and Christina took portraits for our customized posters.
  • We received gifts ear-marked for a new Library Endowment from Mr. Rumpf (from the Board) and Mr. and Mrs. DeMartinis (from the Township Commission).
  • We wanted to update our logo and library card to match the new energy in the library, so we asked Christina to put her graphic design degree to work and she designed our new library cards with the tag-line by Pam.  I really liked using the rainbow to signify energy, fun and inclusion, along with an architectural feature of the building. I like 3-word tag lines (Tonganoxie’s was “Enjoy. Learn. Grow., so I LOVE Pam’s 3-E’s: Engage. Explore. Enjoy.
  • At the quarterly Township meeting, we discussed ideas such as the Library as Community Center, fundraising goals, facility needs, and the new lease.
  • We set up an Amazon Smiles account to help with fundraising and to earn money on all of our DVD orders!
  • We had 12 volunteers donate 127 hours.

May – circ: 9,172

  • Board Meeting notes: We welcomed a new Board Member – Mr. Rumpf and board orientation ensued.  We accepted the bid from Catalyst Center for Nonprofit Management to help with our community forums.  I worked with Liz Vibber on logistics.
  • We sent a formal request to the Township for a few important documents missing from our archive.  Working effectively with the Township was and is a personal goal.  We (Chris, Pam, Rob and I) have met quarterly, the Library has requested and received important historical documents missing from our archive, I have made a concerted effort to increase our fundraising and I have every expectation that lease negotiations in 2015 will go smoothly.
  • Our Stucco Replacement Crew!On May 7, the Township opened bids for NEW STUCCO!  We were allowed to select both the color of the stucco and accent color for the architectural features.  The scheme ended up being a very K-State purple and gray, when it was suppose to be gray and blue.  Oops.
  • After discussing the idea with the Friends, I announced plans to have a Library-organized wine tasting fundraiser at Simpatico! restaurant at the Board meeting.  The Board’s Marketing and Fundraising Committee then met May 21 to assist with the event.
  • Held another Memorial Day Open House, with Board members and staff with donuts and hand-shakes.
  • Summer Reading preparations started for Fizz, Boom, Read (kids) | Spark a Reaction (teens and online) | Literary Elements (adults).
  • Pam and I visited several local businesses on May 12 to invite their participation in the Geek the Library campaign and went to the May 8 Women’s Club Luncheon to eat crab cakes and graciously receive a check for $1,600 in support!
  • We posted for two vacant positions, I sent a thick packet of supporting documents to the State for our annual report, and we bought books for a new Rumpf Investment Collection!  Woot!
  • Pam launched a new videogame collection for us.  With a grant from the Friends, we purchased a gaming system and an assortment of new/used games from a local retailer.  Pam linked the items for us and it’s proven a very popular collection.
  • I served on the committee to revise our District Negotiated Agreement with other Directors from the county.
  • With the Friends, we planned and executed a new, secure process for self-service fundraiser registration and money-handling.  The Friends Station launched in time for a summer bus trip to NYC.
  • Pam and I met with the Township to discuss a new Emergency Preparedness Plan – this is still in progress.
  • Building maintenance issues popped up ALL year, including HVAC and HVAC maintenance company issues, false fire alarms (with fire trucks and everything) and elevator battery replacements.  I had the Township open an insurance claim after flooding on April 30 ruined a wool rug in Anna’s Corner and lead to wet carpets, insulation and drywall.  (This mess eventually lead to drywall repairs and new paint in December.)
  • We had 16 volunteers donate 222 hours.

June – circ: 10,395

  • The Library stayed open until 5 pm on Saturdays throughout the summer, due to demand and our ability to staff the extra hours.  In the past, the library closed at 2 pm for 10 weeks every summer.
  • The Strategic Planning Committee met June 4 with Liz, our new consultant, and brought her up to speed, picked Community Forum dates, and I shared a draft customer survey created with help from Web Junction.
  • Jessica and Michelle at the June Fete 2014Jessica, Michelle from the Friends and I participated in a special Pirate and Princess party at the June Fete on June 7.  Jessica prepared a story and great photo opportunities for the kids.
  • We received a Memorandum from the Township on June 10 with some of the information we requested, including the 1990 referendum and meeting minutes from several meetings held in 1961 about the library tax.   Amazing information to have for our records.
  • Summer Reading kicked off for kids on June 25 with Eyes of the Wild and for adults on June 26 with Sherlock Holmes and the Speckled Band, as performed by Neill Hartley.  The teens program started on July 7 with author David Lubar.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Sellner was appointed as the Board Liaison for Bryn Athyn and attended her first meeting.
  • We had 20 volunteers donate 166 hours.

July – circ: 13,572

  • Unrelated to work – we went back to Indy for a fun-filled family reunion over the July 4th weekend…and my nephew got married in late July, so I got to visit Kansas family, too.
  • Glynnis and Diane organized, promoted and hosted 31 programs over 7 weeks with a total attendance of 1,496 for Summer Reading.  We hosted 5 teen programs with 41 attendees and 32 adult programs with 513 attendees.  We were busy.  We had author Bernard Miller and a Women in Science lecture for adult summer reading.  The teens made Hunger Games crafts and Diane had weekly Library Labs to explore science with the kids.  So much activity, involvement and teamwork!
  • After strengthening the computer requirements, we re-opened a vacant Library Assistant position.  I participate in the interviews, while Pam trains and supervises.  She interviews and hires the pages.
  • We found out we need a maternity leave policy before January 9…(we’re caPam at the Bryn Athyn Bounty with our Geek the Library boardlling the baby Mathilda Topanga, but her mom doesn’t seem to be feeling that as a name).
  • I noted weeding before and Glynnis weeded the children’s collection.  Circulation rose 134% for Board books and 36% in ER and circulation decreased in picture books, which didn’t get any weeding attention.  She also inter-filed Juvenile fiction hardback and paperback, after a thorough weed.
  • The new library cards finally came in July, after much fussing about print quality, cut-off barcodes and the like.
  • Debbie wrapped 40 mystery titles in brown paper and Jessica wrote ‘clues’ on the outside of each to promote the adult summer reading program: Literary Elements.
  • Pam, Elizabeth Sellner (our new Bryn Athyn liaison) and I took Geek to the Bryn Athyn Bounty farmers market on July 19.  Pam created three “Geek” chalk board that we invited participants to write on both in the library and during outreach activities.
  • Shawna and MCLINC installed a new 53 Mbps Internet connection, upgrading us from 1.5.  Wifi and a few of the patron workstations continue to run on the free Comcast line.
  • We had 29 volunteers donate 329 hours.  Pam submitted an application to the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards to be come a certified organization.

August – circ: 10,966

  • The Board voted to cover the cost of the wine for our wine tasting event, giving us 100% Board participation in 2014 fundraising efforts!  They also voted to give the Director the authority to grant permanent employment status to new employees.
  • Tom joined the team – he has a TON of (academic) library experience AND works at B&N, so he’s very good with reader’s advisory.  Karen came on as a new page, also with great experience from another MCLINC library.
  • We started advertising three community forums in October, as well as a teen forum on October 13, with help from our Teen Board Liaisons!  The Board began meeting with community stakeholders, with a script and questions crafted by the committee with help from the consultant.
  • I submitted a first draft budget and presented to the Township on September 30.  The budget included funds for a new color copy machine, a Summer seasonal position and new electricity contract.  We also submitted our application for State Aid.  As part of the budget, we created the 2015 Wish List for the Friends, with more than $40,000 in requests.
  • Geek the Library made the Midweek Wire on September 3 and Glynnis and I geeked Back to School night at the High school.
  • Liz, the Board and I finalized the Customer Survey for a September 1 launch.
  • We had 20 volunteers donate 189 hours.

September – circ: 10,563

  • We held our Department Head meeting at Always Cafe on September 5 for a change.
  • PMarybeth Summerlin's Memorial receptionrior to the September 11 Board meeting, we invited Mr. Summerlin and his family to the library for a memorial reception in honor of his wife, Marybeth.  Former Board members, Friends and retired staff also attended.
  • Our September program schedule took a hit when we had to cancel the Foreign Film Series.  Following a purposefully quite August, we lost momentum in adult programs that lasted throughout the fall.  Glynnis had author Pat Guth at a Read-Aloud storytime on September 13 and a fun Talk Like a Pirate dress-up storytime on September 19.
  • We set the “Taste of Italy Wine and Dine Fundraiser” date for December 1, with wines selected by Jeff and Hilarie from the Board.
  • I worked on a draft Annual Appeal letter.
  • Glynnis went to the PaLA conference in Lancaster and came back with ideas and a new passion for passive programs.
  • Banned Book Week Display I submitted a complicated Keystone Grant application with historic reviews, letters of support, detailed photos and narratives prior to the due date.  But if we get it, that’s over $30,000 in grant support for new HVAC units. UPDATE: We got it!
  • We launched a new ESL collection, supported by the Friends and cataloged by Jessica and Christina created a really great Banned Books Week display.  Other displays soon followed, once the space was created.
  • How do we promote databases?  Use is low, cost is high and this is an ongoing struggle for us. The weekly newsletter highlights a resource each week, but the impact is minimal.  A goal for 2015!
  • The Girl Scouts installed a new garden outside the Library front entrance in September for their Bronze Star award.  With help from the Township, the garden looks fantastic.
  • We received donations and gifts throughout the year, but were surprised with a $500 book donation from Valley Orthodontics and a bequest from the Mary K. Frank estate in September.  Glynnis bought books that support school reading lists with Dr. Chen’s gift and the bequest will go to the new Endowment Fund.
  • With Tetjana, we created several new collections in Polaris, including New Books, Lifelong Learning (for our very popular Great Courses), and Lucky Day. The Lucky Day collection will replace rentals (we make more with fundraisers) and New Books will help us identify WHERE these new books are for the first 6 months of their life here.
  • We selected new interior paint colors – friendly yellow and brighter colors for the children’s department – blue, green and red – pulled from the new Bookworm.  The walls will be repaired and repainted as part of the insurance claim from spring.
  • We had 24 volunteers donate 172.5 hours – the equivalent of $1,489 in personnel costs.

October – circ: 10,182 – 5th month in a row and 6th month that we were over 10,000 in 2014!!!!

  • On October 7, Pam and I again met with the Township (Chris and Rob).  Rob kindly reviewed and made great suggestions for improving the Annual appeal letter.  These meetings have improved communication between the Library and the Township.
  • A goal for 2015 discussed at the Board meeting – Community Open House with businesses and organizations from the Township.
  • The Fire Prevention Open House on October 11 went great! Marilyn, Miryam and I represented the Library at a Geek-themed table at the Fire House and the crew here at the Library Mariel's Lunch Bunch crew at a teen Community Forumpainted faces and shared snacks and crafts.
  • The Community Forums held on Oct. 13, Oct. 16 and Oct. 25 were facilitated by Liz and attended by the Board.  We were very excited by the success of the two Teen forums on Oct. 13 that I facilitated with help from Mariel – they gave us great feedback and new ideas.  The Teen forums were promoted at the High School on their TV channel.  We extended the online Customer Survey and received 265 entries – staff (Tom) input paper surveys into Survey Monkey to help with analysis.  We heard from 19 teens, 8 community members, 1 school district administrator and 4 Friends.
  • Staff and I made home-made treats for a Friends Appreciation reception on October 22, prior to a program on Leonard Bernstein with Karl Middleman.   Other programs: Crooked Eye Brewery, author Paula Marantz Cohen and Medicare 2015.
  • IKEA couch with two of our great Teen volunteersTom and one of our teen volunteers put together a new IKEA couch (a Friends Wish List purchase) in the Children’s department and we added a new doll house in memory of Harriet Miller.  The Children’s area is so comfortable now, that we have a dad who brings his daughter here for most of the day, so mom (who works nights) can sleep!
  • Jessica wrote a SUCCESSFUL PA Humanities Council grant for a Teen Reading Lounge with facilitator Cheryl Levine!  Glynnis submitted a grant to the Jeanes Hospital for a new Yoga Fusion Music & Movement series for kids in 2015.  While Jeanes did not support Yoga Fusion, the Friends did, along with last-minute requests for a button-maker and Legos.
  • I revised and submitted the Personnel manual to the Personnel committee on Oct. 31.
  • Pam spearheaded moving our Sci-Fi and Fantasy collections, moved a shelf from the workroom to juvenile fiction, and worked with Shawna to set up a temporary “shelving” status for books just checked in, but not yet put away.
  • Debbie, Pam and I took our Geek campaign to the High School homecoming game, which we won!  In 2015, we will go again but just to promote the library and sign folks up for cards.
  • We had 25 volunteers donate 213 hours.

November – circ: 9,466

  • Goldberg Bucks County WinterAt the November 13 Board Meeting, Dr. Goldberg presented Tetjana an original framed print called “Bucks County Winter” in honor of her 30 years of service at the Library!
  • After updating the budget (monthly) to gauge year-end expenditures, we determined that we could afford to mail a professionally-printed annual appeal letter and replace a faulty heat exchange.
  • Miryam booked author Lisa Scottoline for a May 16, 2015 event and fundraiser at the Philmont Country Club!  She is also still in contact with Valerie Plame.
  • I researched Trustee Training and we decided to go with a two-tier approach: ALA’s Trustee Academy online courses and a follow up with Liz from Catalyst to help answer questions and provide information pertinent to us as a non-profit organization.
  • As a result of the Community Forums, I attended a School District Diversity Committee meeting on Nov. 11 and am excited to build a stronger relationship with the schools.
  • I worked to book adult programs for 2015, with children and teen programs pursued by Glynnis, Diane, Mariel and Jessica.
  • Christina left us for a full-time job, so Pam and I posted her position and interviewed candidates on November 28.   We hired Kathleen, a local with a banking background and excellent customer service skills. We also started our year-end “Annual Piece of Paper” conversations with staff to review 2014 goals and set new ones for 2015.
  • After a thorough review and weed of our magazine titles, we renewed with Ebsco.  Titles available through the Zinio online subscription allowed for the heavy weed.
  • We had a full house for Glynnis’s ticketed “Snow Queen” performance on November 22, sponsored by an annual gift from the Daveler Fund.
  • We had 23 volunteers donate 115 hours.

December – circ: TBD

  • Taste of Italy fundraiser with Judy, Board treasurerDecember 1 – Taste of Italy fundraiser!  We had 53 people and made about $1,200.  Hilarie put together a great wine guide and acted as MC for the night.  The restaurant Chef and staff handled the logistics and fed us well.
  • We had another full house for the Write and Illustrate Your Own Book Young Authors Gala with special guest and author Marie-Helene Bertino.  Marie had contacted the Library earlier in the year to let us know she would be speaking at the Book Expo to promote her debut novel.  Marie won the VERY FIRST Write and Illustrate contest in 1990 when it was started by children’s librarian Nancy Hensler.
  • We had two additional author visits – a read-aloud storytime with Michal Noah and Vincent Feldman shared photos from his book City Abandoned.
  • The Annual Appeal mailed after a few last-minute corrections.
  • The Library closed for a second Staff In-service on December 10 so we could ALL participate in mandatory reporter training.  To off-set the cost of the trainer, we opened the afternoon up to other library staff in the county and the Valley Youth Center.  One of the Goals of the new District plan was to have collaborative Continuing Education, so I was happy to organize the first one! The Friends fed us a Thank You brunch that morning.
  • Hubby and I are going on a trip in late December and I leave knowing the library is in very capable and dedicated hands, as has been proven over and over all year long!

Closing Thoughts:

Wow.  What a year.  I want to start with sharing my condolences to Joanne, Jane, and Judy who all lost loved ones in the last 12 months.  We had good times, too!  We celebrated Tetjana’s 30 year anniversary, a new baby to come in January (Update: she came on Jan. 13 and is adorable), and promotions and new jobs.

imagejpeg_0Without intent, we had 12 authors speak this year and we already have Lisa Scottoline booked for next year.  We had two successful fundraisers and I can hardly wait to see how the Annual Appeal will do.  We had our busiest year ever.  Our relationship with the Township and Friends grew in positive and fruitful ways – from more frequent communication, meaningful collaborations and recognizing our interdependence as an asset and strength.  We have actively focused on improving our karma by giving help, giving support, giving our patrons positive experiences and creating an experience and atmosphere in the Library that is uplifting, comfortable and friendly.  I mean, even our new paint color is called “Friendly Yellow” – we take this seriously!  And the smiles, new visitors, that laughter, amazing increases in circulation and program attendance are all the proof I need that we’re going in the right direction.  Now, how much of this forward progress has anything to do with me is debatable.  While I’m stuck back here with spreadsheets, bills, and press releases – they’re up front actually helping people.  Kudos, as always, to them.