PLA 2018: Beyond the turnstile…

Beyond the turnstile…

IMLS Research project – better ways to assess efforts, especially for people who prefer to talk. Program evaluation…
National stats gathered about library programs:
# of programs, # of programs for youth, # of library users who attend programs
Q 1. Describe a program or service (1) designed to meet the information needs of library users who prefer to talk when interacting with information and (2) involves your library working with partner.
Free Library of Philadelphia – ESL, interpersonal, in branch with greatest linguistic diversity.  Walked the street to gather interest.  Volunteer instruction while walking the business district – recommendation. 12 participants with 6 languages in the class!  Would hang out after class and formed a bond. 12 week class, then graduated to community college (followed instructor).
Find a cooperative partner willing to give 50/50 effort. Clear roles and responsibilities. Cross pollinate ideas, but also benefits business nonprofits in the neighborhood. Easier to work with ‘small fish.’
Outcomes: Wanted to expand class to evening and expand reach into another zip code. Process – teacher gave entrance assessment & exit to see improvement.  (Project Outcome)  Assessment?  Staff assessed comfort level of participants – brought children in, got to know others in community, employment on corridor, etc. Polling place, tell stories to staff of how they were empowered. “reach back into the community by connecting others with library.”
Seattle – 2018 Literacy collection outreach project. Don’t want to check out materials b/c of fear of fines, so purchased 500 items that were handed out at programs for home use. Somalia family safety task force as partner. Powerful director of the organization – expanded from computer classes to discussions and increasing literacy skills and dynamic partner helps spread the word. Took materials to computer classes and to local events. Required patience and grace to work with nontraditional organization (non-white). Cultural differences. Evals: Outcomes based eval. Determine outcomes built with cooperative organization. Some of the libraries outcomes had to come off the table to work with the group.  Assessment? What is the change in the lives of the people participating? Computer language classes were women only and they felt more confident in basic communication outside community. Talk with teachers as needed. Could talk more confidently with kids about schoolwork in English. Some felt ready to pursue work outside their community!  Airport, for example. Word of mouth and requests for new partnerships.
Cleveland – Collect in 45 languages at the library, but users felt uncomfortable. Who to ask, not sure what to do.  Videos in spanish/arabic, etc. More accessible – quick hits of information (library card, programs, etc.) Legal clinics asked about, so will make more videos to address need. Legal Aid Clinic partners – throwing money at a project was their an ROI? Did we really help our community? Took a slower approach. 1 clinic to start. 10-14 lawyers came to library (paid) and had people waiting outside the door. Mortgage/rental law issues. Built it. 5th year of program. 30 clients – 2.5 hours a piece. Successful for city and library.  Assessment? Neighborhoods keep score!  Other places were contacting outreach department to request the program. Lines waiting outside show value! Outcome measures: continued growth.
Best practices for serving populations in the margins. IMLS grant study. Assessment models used bubbled to the surface:
Interactions and relationships
Changes in lives
Other branches contacting us?
Numbers sometime still work
Models:
1. It takes a village – Partnering with other organizations – Are people bringing friends? Furthering education in area (community college)?
@. Safety-net model – Focus on objectives and leveraging resources.  Show how library helps others in community to hold the safety net. “Since we started, have you noticed change in your clientele?” Example: Legal aid saw smarter clientele attending library events
#. Changing the Conversation – If library needs to be held accountable for larger phenomena. Program on teen sex abuse – research showed a need and even though 0 attended first event, all brochures placed around library disappeared. Excited to offer program again. More reference inquiries about topic?
How did you follow-up with participants?
Christina – 6-month follow up and she’d go see them and ask how program impacted the person in the business district. Personal connection.
What outcomes? Did you use Project Outcome? No, designed out outcomes.
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PLA 2018: Strategic Planning for Culture Change and a Dynamic Future

Auburn Public Library and Plano Public Library | March 22, 4 pm

Auburn, Alabama – Auburn University, 62,000, 20th fastest growing city in USA, top retirement destination, too.

  • $1.9 million budget, 22 FTE, municipal library , advisory board, stable funding
  • Strategic process goals: be intentional, engage employees at every level, and have a living, breathing document
  • Key Questions of the process:
  • Why are we here? Aspiration statement – big picture developed by leadership and board.
  • What do we believe?
    • Guiding Principles: Guideposts to help with decision making – questions to ask. Our community is at the heart of everything we do (don’t plan in a vacuum) and be responsive to the community – yes and maybe to patron requests. We work as a team – Every person at every level contributes to success of organization. People always come first (not that they are always right) – think about people not books or facilities. We don’t circulate the Gutenburg Bible…we can replace books, not people and relationships.
    • Policies and procedures are designed to make the library easier, not harder, to use.
  • Who Are We? We all fill different roles, including the Library.  Service Roles: collection, community connector, literacy and learning leader, place, and technology resource. A way to talk about ourselves and what we do, and to explain what we do to Board and City government.
  • What do Our Patrons Need? Service Priorities: Accessibility and Openness, Literacy and Education, and Community Engagement (partnerships)
  • Their strategic plan fits on 1 page – these 4 questions and all the answers.
  • The Process: Teams, Vision for excellence, Initiatives and activities, Lots of sharpies and post-its.
  • Program of Work – Enhanced To Do list for the year – Initiatives and activities to focus on for each fiscal year – priorities for the year. Owners listed,  and a timeline for each initiative. Priorities for follow through.
  • Never stop planning because planning never stops. Service Roles set for longer term, Service Priorities set for intermediate term and Program of Work for the upcoming year. It’s part of the budget process to update the POW – used to organize statistics, annual reports, and Director’s update – organized around the POW.
  • Results – great communication impact inside and outside. Used to explain the library to new assistant city manager (their boss). Accountability, day-to-day balanced with big picture, and integrates with other plans (department plans, professional development plan, and city department plans).
  • Chris Warren – @cswarrent321. cwarren@aubrunalabama.org

Libby Holzmann (libbyh@plano.gov) Plano Public Library System Director – Groove is in the Heart!

  • 277,000 population, Toyota moved to town, 5 locations, $12 mill budget, 179 staff
  • One Library, Five Branches – same and awesome – goal.
  • New director – started the process by listening to the staff and make it a collaborative process. Hear concerns, questions, ideas – themes popped up.
    • Didn’t understand why, where we are going, don’t know people outside the building.  Now join us with this project
  • Leadership Team (LEAD team) – Us v. They – anyone with manager or supervisor in the title told they were leaders and brought onto this team.
    • iOpt – online 24-question survey to see how people process information.  Needed to understand how everyone works and combat fear.
    • Questions for culture check – strengths/weaknesses of library? What are your responsibilities? What would it take to improve your skills? What are 3 key initiatives you would like to see for your library?
    • Conversation about “us” (what we believe about where we are going together as a team) | Changing “Our” direction | Creating consensus/clarity (Get 20 people on the same page)
  • Team Building taken to staff – asked to answer the same questions. Work as a team to gather info and get it back to LEAD team. Processed answers and found themes:
    • Place | Programs | Community | Development
    • Designated “champion” teams for each initiative
    • Champion teams created goals and actions, including “on boarding” new staff orientation
  • Staff Development Day – staff input
    • Director visited all libraries
    • Champions and supervisors leaded conversations in small groups – cross pollinating and made people uncomfortable – discussions. Staff can ask what the goals and objectives mean – personal understanding.
  • Training a huge component
    • Defined cross-training opportunities
    • Hands-on learning sessions
    • Cross-stem meetings
    • Ongoing & Frequent
    • Food is good
  • Tools: Visual org charts (asset mapping and picture in email) | Intranet | Outside Facilitator | Champions (communication) – authority to deliver | Training (frequent) | Reinforcing the Plan
  • Journey for everyone and bring them along with you. What do you Need from us?
    IMG_3001.jpg
  • Staff can now answer WHY they do what they do.
  • Next steps: measuring the outcomes | Sharing status and progress | Engaging the community
  • Momentum and pulling together | Next year invited to have a table #morethanbooks at community event (pull a fire truck)

Q & A

  • Team building consultant rather than a strategic planning consultant
  • Role of the trustee? Governing Board would have a much deeper involvement – mission and visioning. Staff, front-line involvement impactful (be able to tell the boss they have a bad idea). Director relies on staff to have the good ideas. Trustees speak for the needs of the community and constituents
  • How do you find boundaries – can’t be all things to all people. The plan – who are we, what are we trying to be for our community. Can say “Great idea, let’s connect you with these folks who do this” Mission creep. (Zoolander example). Understand your community. This is what our community needs us to do, not ‘this is what the library can do.’  Awesome at 5, rather than mediocre at 50.
  • We want all the things, but can’t afford all the things.  Asset mapping – using assets strategically to complete projects with existing staff. Using skills and abilities. Do that within your community – find everyone and asset map to the community. Partnerships.
  • How did you engage the community – external input? Auburn: greatest shortfall – didn’t seek as much as seeking for new plan. Surveys and focus groups and using outside resources from other existing plans, including citizen survey.  Plano: Asking the community at outreach – survey on the fly and take notes.
  • Where did capital/building planning fit into this process?  Auburn – parks and rec master plan included capital planning. “Library as place” service goal.
  • Leadership training helped give staff the skills they needed to self-guide through the process
  • Middle-management influence?  People with influence make the case to admin.  Storytelling and influence to get the Director to listen and be on board.

HV Library of the Future

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

The Demco Interiors blog is a gold mind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Library Design Trends (demco interiors blog)

http://www.demcointeriors.com/blog/top-5-library-design-trends/

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

Library Design Showcase – 2017 and 2016 – pretty pictures…

https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2017/09/01/2017-library-design-showcase/
https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/09/01/2016-library-design-showcase/

2016 Library Building Award Winners

https://www.bdcnetwork.com/best-library-design-aia-names-seven-projects-2016-library-building-awards-winners

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

8 Technologies to Implement

https://ebookfriendly.com/library-future-technologies/

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

The Future of Public Libraries: Emerging Trends

https://blog.learningbird.com/future-public-libraries-emerging-trends/

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

2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus +

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

Delta:

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

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.

 

 

 

 

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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?

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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.