PLA 2018: It’s Not About the Desk

Megan Rosen and Susan Brown, Chapel Hill Public Library | 3/22/18 10:45 am | It’s Not About the Desk: Service Philosophy/Design/Delivery

Happy to share that Susan worked at Lawrence Public Library (KS) and was a friend and colleague. She’s been at Chapel Hill for 5 years, to my 6 at HVL. We have fond memories of 2012 PLA here in Philadelphia.

Presentation actually about organizational change.  It’s not “moonlight and canoes” – it’s really hard. True change is a process – it’s about collaboration and cooperation and empowering people. Takes empathy, curiosity, compassion, and thinking differently about what we do and why we do it.

Moving product in and out, while providing service to 2,000 visitors every day in a pretty, new building.  But biggest strategic goal was to focus on people and service:  Human-Centered Design.  New building had an enormous “Titanic” single service desk (not designed for the user in mind, but a beautiful building). Created for Circulation and Reference to co-locate, but without cross-training, so patrons had to be shifted off.

Encouraged staff to get from behind the desk, but with limited success. “We are too busy to improve” attitude among staff. None of the change means the old way was bad, it’s a statement on the present and future. “Leadership on the Line” – technical v. adaptive change – changing the mindset. IMLS Grant received  – Useful, Usable, Desirable author came and worked with them over the year. From new Web site, collection layout, and new Service desk…but learned they didn’t have the foundation upon which to build those improvements. User-Focused Design – for them, not us. “We are Not Our Patrons” Invited staff to collaborate on process – teams to attack ‘things’ starting with mission/values. What are we in this business for?  Service Pledge for staff: “You are our top priority.”

Service Pledge – Not just a poster in the office – pull staff together to talk about the Service Pledge.  What does “friendly” mean to you?  Different definitions among staff – workshops helped with open, frank conversation to determine what the pledge looks like and where to experiment. Involved accountability and immediate feedback/coaching in the moment – that’s the leadership challenge. It’s our job “If you see something, say something.” Make expectations crystal clear.  Pointing example. Good poor excellent customer service map with Cheryl Gould.  Performance measures for friendly customer service. “Fully engaged Customer Service”  

Policy Alignment – reworked policies to be agnostic.  Help us understand your client and build our empathy. These folks aren’t ‘giving you’ a hard time, they are ‘having’ a hard time. Big shift in thinking. Big signs with fewer words – good idea for everyone, including the visually impaired. Coach staff to believe people, don’t police people, just give them a card instead of sending them home for a utility bill.  Susan couldn’t get a card because she had $40 in fines from 8 years ago – paid it. Start waiving fines, believe people, blow up dumb policies (book limits, for example).

Rules of Behavior – 21 items long – as people did naughty things, they were added to the list. “No staring at staff.” “No moving the furniture.” “No smoking, no crack, no guns.” and ‘No breaking the law.” Painful process and interesting conversation – instead of rules, have a tool for staff to feel empowered to take action and effect change when something bad is happening.  New Expectations for Behavior – “No breaking the law.” Super simple – involves the police s a partner. Staff embracing and using situational ethics. Examples: Sleeping at the library – role played with person asleep with all stuff hanging out. Wake him up and alert him that it’s not safe to have all his stuff out. Pregnant woman sleeping next to hubby working – she’s safe.

Service Pods (broke up desk).  The Five Why’s – Get at the actual problem.  Staff worried about lines of patrons.  Library card renewal procedure the root cause of a problem with people using the self-check.  Helped address the “We are too busy to change” issue – what are we doing that is busy work?  Blocking patron record at $5, short card registration renewal. What drives patrons to a staff member?  Most were frustrated patrons who couldn’t use the self-checks. And broke down the lines.

Staff & User Tools

  • Computing team made all computers the same (got rid of PC Reservation) and created “research stations” (Quick look ups – assets that do multiple things.)
    • We do this already, except they also provide staff access to ILS on these. – LEAP??
  • When people call, they get a real person 90% of the time. Cordless phone.
    • We do this already, woot.
  • Staff Badges – Big, bright, easy to read.
  • Service Points – “?!?” Tools throughout the building, so service point provides delightful service in line with pledge.  Design Challenge – furniture in line with service pledge but within the footprint of existing overhead light fixture! New desk – staff and patron work side by side, has a bench for the person waiting with the patron behind helped, designed to be a tool or a landing pad.

Compassion, Curiosity, and Empathy.

Q&A –

How did you get staff together? Repeated training and meetings. Only staff development day closed. Form teams of 3-5. Role of team to communicate about their work.

How many staff at the big desk? Where will they go with new desk? First was built for 4 people, but only ever staffed 2. No more sitting at the desk, just there when helping the users.  Staff count hasn’t changed, but scheduling changed. Desk = “Welcome hub” – Staff engage people on the floor and use service points out in the library. Unlocked self-checks and can log into staff side of ILS from them to help patrons there.

Staff who are not naturally helpful or friendly – Frowny natural resting face. We can’t legislate her face, but am more concerned about the staff member who is nasty when angry with patrons.  Help ‘coach them right out the door.’

Did staff feel less safe when desk was broke up?  Yes. Being out and about doesn’t feel safe, but the best security is being out and about and friendly to patrons!  “I’m around.”  Being out there is a deterrent. Try something and see how it goes to effect change. Focus on user and not on self.

Work at the Desk issue…Takes time to address. Have to change the way people think and fix obstacles and then blow up the desk. If are doing back of house work in front of house, that’s a problem. Give staff time to get work done where it should be done.  They are not being friendly,  helpful, and engaged if doing work and not helping patrons!

How can we find a way, with small staffs – the Five Whys – is there work they are doing that they do not need to be doing?

Did the patrons need to be retrained? Yes, some were unhappy to lose the desk (for aesthetic reasons). Used go-pro to see if people where wandering helplessly – not the case. We can’t train patrons, we have to adapt to user needs and design for humans!

If you need to make a user guide or signs, you need to rethink it!

Check out their web site – very user-friendly – giant buttons above the fold. Data-driven UX tumbler – used a month to see what patrons used the web site for. Only 4 tasks. User-focused web site, not marketing. All about allowing people to do what they want to do!  Give them what they want.

Mission Values and Pledge and Staff Engagement – then the staff transitioned into the new design/furniture.  Service to Delivery Evolution.  Experimenting, training, discussion among staff to reinforce the changes.

The Where Log – Staff wrote down verbatum what people asked at the desk. Measured over time and then made changes, and came up with new signage plan. Prototyping and testing. White board on lobby and asked patrons to vote – A/B Testing.

 

 

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PLA 2018: Wednesday Kari Chapin and Sally Yates

So, I’m glad I came in early and am able to stay in Center City. I missed the Book Buzz, but am glad I ventured out into the blowing snow to hear Kari Chapin’s “Imagine the Possibilities” motivational talk and later to hear Sally Yates. While I took notes at Kari’s talk, I just listened to Sally while she restored my hope in our country and system of government.  Also visited vendors and had a lovely home-cooked meal.  A lovely second day of conference.

From Kari’s talk:

  • Start each day with the question, “What is possible for me today?” and end each day with “What happened today that surprised me?”
  • Pay attend to every synchronicity
  • Along with being open and grateful, ask yourself “Who did I help today?” and “Who was helpful to me?”  It feels good to support others in their quest to be better.
  • If you’re having trouble asking for help, remember that you are denying others good feelings by not letting them help and be useful.  “Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don’t.” – Bill Nye
  • In the morning, set an intention or goal for yourself and then reflect on it at night – What interfered in reaching the goal, if you didn’t reach it? Goal setting encourages new ideas and possibilities.
  • Networking TIPS: Pick 3 things you can share (stories, leads, recommendations, interesting stuff) and pick 3 things you’d like help with (resources you need, a problem you need help with, programs, volunteer opportunities).  Ask people questions about themselves because those are questions we can answer easily.
  • IDEAL DAY Exercise: Picture every facet of the perfect day (a work day v. a personal day) and notice what is not there. Let go of what’s missing initially but visualize everything about the day.
  • What is the one area where you could ask for some support today?  What one questions you could ask to move forward.
  • Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself!  When you tell yourself you should or shouldn’t do something, it’s usually followed by something you really don’t want to do!  So, LET IT GO, or say no, or delegate it, or ask for help. Let yourself off the hook.  Open up new doors – be self-supportive.  Should Hangovers = Guilt.
  • What can you let go of to make room for new things to come in?
  • Give yourself permission.  It’s OK to have ideas and validation from others that the ideas are good. Give yourself this permission. When you writ it down, “strange magic begins to happen.”
  • Ideas to consider:
    • Get an Accountability Partner, with ground rules, to help keep you on track and determine why items stay forever on the to do list.  Did you leave that item on your to list for 3 weeks just to make you feel bad about yourself? Do you need help to complete it? Can you just let it go?
    • Organize a private FB group
    • Set up a local mastermind / lunch & learn / peer group to share resources, tips, and tricks with – cross pollinate with non-library folks
    • Quarterly self-guided reviews – Get real with the expectations you set for yourself.

My thoughts: I needed to hear that! I have stuff on my to do list from 2013.  I’m currently reading that Tidying Up book (which she mentioned) and now am motivated to finish it. When can I ask for help, delegate, or let go of things?  What unreasonable expectations do I set for myself? If I pause to reflect on what I accomplished each day, will I feel less scattered?  worth a shot.

PLA 2018 Project Outcome pre conference

PLA 2018 | Philadelphia | March 20 (all day) | Project Outcome Training Workshop

FREE to PUBLIC LIBRARIESwww.projectoutcome.org

What is an Outcome? Knowledge | Confidence | Application | Awareness

What is an Outcome Measurement?
Need Assessment (What does our community need?) | Output (How much did we do?) | Outcome (What good did we do?) | Patron Satisfaction (What should we do better?)

Why Measure Outcomes? To better measure and improve your library’s impact on the community it serves | To support planning and assessment over time | To help better manage services and resources | To demonstrate a need for funding and other support

Examples: Sacramento knitting club, Jacksonville PL for funding justification (SRP and story time) Richard Mott said, “Parents that attended our programs, 96% said because of program attendance, they felt more confident to help their children learn.”  Tells funders that libraries are essential.

Process: 1. Identify Needs 2. Measure Outcomes 3. Review Results 4. Take Action

Data Collection Team: Set up additional accounts to share training resources and set up a training plan that includes an overview and then the appropriate level of training for their part, for example, survey administration.  Build internal support and get staff buy in.

Strategies for Building Internal Support:

  • Start Engagement Early – Make everyone aware and give folks a chance to voice concerns and see who is interested in the process (Teen services, for example).
  • Build Internal Support – Identify library leadership/Board/staff who believe in the value of outcome measurement to help carry the message and make the case.
  • Be Upfront with What You Expect to Find Out – Know WHY you are doing this.  Be transparent about what kind of information you are trying to capture with outcome data. It could be seen as threatening and feel apprehensive about the change in the process. Goal is to provide the best service possible – what is working or not and change what isn’t working to make it better.  Ex: Summer Reading Program.  Forward thinking. What ways have libraries found to gather feedback about the internal process?  Seek out examples of how to check in with staff during the process.

Feedback from Dan Hensley, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the process gave the library “piles of beautiful data” and served as a “great advocacy tool” to tell stories. (His video is archived at the project web site.)

Q&A: How many libraries think about and document outcomes WHILE planning the program – so you know what success looks like before you start?  This project is adaptable, so it could be used to gather data for hyperlocal goals, outside the prescribed Project Outcome goals.

Outcome Measurement Continuum: From Patron-reported learning (immediate survey) to Patron-reported adoption/application of learning (follow-up survey) to Deeper analysis and long-term benefits (outcome measurement guidelines).

Survey Topics: Civic/Community Engagement | Digital Learning | Economic Development | Education/Lifelong Learning | Early Childhood Literacy | Job Skills | Summer Reading

Sample Immediate Survey – easiest, quickest option. Multiple choice with open ended questions, too. Online or paper, but survey can be edited/customized.  Example: Plano, TX included survey in with STEM kits that could be checked out and discovered a lack of knowledge of library programs, so a schedule/calendar was added to the kit. 90% of brochures were kept by patrons!

Follow-Up Survey – longer, 2 pages, with more response space. “Patron-reported adoption” – any change of behavior? Skill used in life or work? 4-8 weeks later (or earlier with computer classes).  Takes more staff time – administered differently (ask patron if OK to contact, then gather content, then contact them for an interview.

Summer Reading Survey is only available as an immediate survey. Includes a question, “What could the library do to help your child continue to learn more?”  Also it is different for Caregivers, Teens, and Adults.

Process for Choosing the Right Survey: Identify Community Needs > Identify Library Goals (from Strategic Plan) > Choose Program & Survey Topic (avoid survey fatigue) > Choose Survey Type

Example of Survey Questions for Civic/Community Engagement Immediate Survey.  Each Topic has a unique set of questions.

  1. You are more aware of some issues in your community
  2. You feel more confident about becoming involved in your community
  3. You intend on becoming more engaged in your community
  4. You are more aware of resources and services provided by the library
  5. What did you like most about the program?
  6. What could the library do to better assist you with your involvement in the community?

Follow-up survey questions:

  1. I became more involved in the community
  2. I used what I learned to do something new or different in the community
  3. I discussed or shared with others what I learned or experienced
  4. I checked out a book, attended another program, or used another library service or resource
  5. What did you like most about this program or service?
  6. What could the library do to help you continue to learn more?

Survey creation process is well designed and seems easy to use – we have to be mindful of what data we want to pull out when creating and naming the surveys. Custom questions can be added to the canned/standardized survey questions.  The standardized survey questions can’t be edited and the survey must be given in its entirety, if you want your surveys included in the aggregated online project system. Keeps the data clean. Can add up to 3 open-ended questions per survey, common questions are in a drop-down menu, be mindful of survey fatigue, be mindful of confidentiality, and do not ask for contact information on surveys. Anonymous. Use a separate process to gather contact information for follow up surveys. Example of canned questions, ‘How did you hear about this program?’ or zip code data.

LUNCH … so I’m going to publish the first part.

Administering the Survey – you can have a PDF paper survey or online survey (English or Spanish), unique for each survey. It’s tablet-friendly, can be emailed, or taken at a kiosk at the library.  No translations for other languages, yet. OK to translate if you have a trusted translator (ask in discussion board for Russian).

Survey Best Practices: For the Immediate survey, hand out survey at the end of the program, email/text the link, give clear instructions, have a drop-box for completed surveys, build in time in the program to complete the survey, and have a volunteer to help.  For Follow-up surveys, collect contact information at the end of program and explain what it will be used for. Send the survey 4-8 weeks after, if calling or interviewing, plan to get help.  Push to FB or add to Vertical Response to participants

Survey Schedule: For the year, stagger surveys and audiences.  If collecting a baseline, maybe it makes more sense to consistently survey one program all year.

How to Talk to Patrons about Surveys: Strategies to talk to patrons about the value of their feedback. Scripts. “There’s always room to grow. Even if you love the library and the programs, it is always useful to get patron feedback, so we can serve you better.” “We want your honest opinion.” New ideas, help us brainstorm. “This is part of a national outcome measurement initiative managed by PLA.” “The survey is 100% confidential and does not require any contact information.”

From the Web site:

How do I complete the survey?

[For Immediate Surveys] Please read the survey carefully. The surveys measure responses on a 5-point Likert scale, with the additional option of “Not Applicable.” The Likert scale reads from left (Strongly Disagree) to right (Strongly Agree). Please select one response option for each question and make sure to complete the open-ended questions below, which ask you what you liked most about the program or service and suggestions for improvement.

Survey Management Tool – Wow.  You can archive older surveys, immediately see responses, you can draft or delete surveys, and you can copy surveys. To enter paper responses, there is a quick and easy button to do it one-by-one online when logged in or you can enter multiple responses through a form without logging in. Works well with volunteers. “The usefulness of your reports and dashboards relies on accurate data entry.” Tip: Mark surveys that have been entered, in case the pile falls on the floor…

You cannot EDIT the responses, you would need to delete and re-enter the responses.  So be careful.

Review Results – PDF Summary report, data dashboard, raw survey data, qualitative data analysis, and tips for communicating data accurately

Report builder and step-by-step tools. Training videos are being made now.  You can include a custom narrative and logo, for board presentations.  PDF Report includes general information/canned verbiage about the process and an overview of the survey purpose, then Results with graphics, data, and comparisons. Eventually,  we will be able to include a few choice open-ended responses. We can include attendance, then the response rate is calculated by the system.  More blanket text included at the end of the report – “Implications for community impact“.

Data Dashboard – set of visualization tools. Interactive and use the same design elements for consistent presentation. Purple is positive, Green is needs improvement, Grey is neutral.  Overview shows aggregate scores, including state and national averages. Matrix – Topic and Outcome matrix can be used to find gaps in service. Can apply filters to specify data. Chord Diagram – When you hover, correlations drawn between topics and outcome indicators. A way to actively manipulate the data and/or show strong connections. Detail – breaks down each question with bar chart and includes state and national scores for comparison. Map – Plots locations of library with outcomes and demographic data. Look at geographic areas of service. Library Info – pulls from IMLS data (older), but pulls in general output (statistical) data into a similarly formatted graphic. Consistent with other outcome data in look/feel.

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This is research with a little “r” – so we must provide context if the sample size is small and may need provide additional information about why a program had a low response rate. We can access the raw data and do year-to-year comparisons and access open-ended questions. Dataset also shows comparison of print v. online response rate.

Open Responses also available through Detail dashboard with light filtering. Can filter by program name to group multiple programs together to analyze data and open-ended answers. Ex: Early Literacy programs, including all 3 story times. Includes standardized questions and any pre-determined additional questions or unique questions written by library.

Analysis of Qualitative Data – challenging area to approach – you can read through them, but how do you make decisions and identify trends?

  1. Condense & Categorize Data – group comments according to common topics
  2. Describe Categories – Describe what people said most often and any smaller categories that you found meaningful.  Start with categories that have the most comments.
  3. Share Findings – “Share internally with staff, discuss results at staff meetings, identify opportunities for change, or plan to use in eternal advocacy messaging.”

Create a spreadsheet that includes all of the responses and the categories determined in step 1, then score each response. Subjective process that might benefit from working with others. Archived webinar to further explain the process. Determine which categories are most prominent and then “describe what people said most often and any smaller categories that you found particularly meaningful.”  Describe the trends that you see – “makes for nice messaging.”

Communicating Data Accurately | Challenges:

  • Results based on number of survey respondents – be clear, “based on survey respondents” and include number of responses and response rate. Don’t try to infer data to a larger group.
  • Surveys measure patron’s perceived change – use results for program improvement and to determine if objectives are met, and back up big decisions with other data collection. Don’t use data for published research .
  • Data is a community snapshot – only show patron’s perspective, triangulate with other data to show a complete experience, “bring in average scores over time for more reliability,” and frame library s one factor in the outcome.  Don’t claim causality.

Using Survey Results – What Is Your Goal? (p. 47 of the workbook)

  • General advocacy
  • Justify Funding Requests
  • Programming Decisions
  • Community-Based Partnerships

Panel

  • Julianne Rist – Community Goal of minutes read in response to Jefferson County Public Library (CO) Summer Reading surveys – also had a donation to animal shelter when/if community goal was met. Also used Project Outcome to evaluate 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. Used the follow-up survey to see changes in behavior and if readers complete the program. Track by zip code.
  • Amy Koester – Skokie Public Library (IL), Village of 65,000, 90+ languages, 40% foreign born. Digital Learning Experience – targeted, modified surveys that include questions “Why did you sign up for this class?” (immediate) and “How successful was [class] at helping you achieve your goal?” (follow-up). Needs assessment built into Outcome survey.
  • Christa Werle – Sno-Isle libraries – Had to come up with a common vocabulary and used many definitions determined by Project Outcome.  “Issues that matter” programs – civic engagement survey to evaluate. Homelessness last year, mental health this year. Hyper-local or short duration interests, for example “Living with Bears” or “Solar Eclipse”
  • Interesting Q&A. Good uses of the process.  ROI to determine value of programs.

[Insert me trying to close the library early due to weather in the middle of all this.]

Roadmap – the meat of this workshop…a plan of attack!

 

Catalog of the Future?

Ever since Ruth talked to us at NExpress about FRBR and the promise of a truly user-friendly catalog…I’ve been patiently waiting.  Well, Pam heard about the Wonders of API at the Mid-Atlantic Innovative Users Group meeting in October and shared the Marmot Library Network catalog as one of several examples of what can be done with API’s.  I’d say they have tricked out their catalog enough to make my dreams come true:

Particularly awesome bits:

  • For a single title, “Otherwise Engaged,” I can see ALL of the various editions, including electronic content.
  • Under the “Book” format, I can see the various editions.
  • For the electronic editions, there is immediate access from within the catalog.
  • It’s also clear to see that the information displayed is only as good as the catalog record, for example the series information appears to be linked to a large print edition….but at least it’s there!

Out of curiosity, I looked up The Wizard of Oz, a book I had to catalog in library school and is notorious for having 1,000,000 different editions.  Wow, that’s pretty awesome.

Oooh, they include their hoopla content in the catalog.

So, am I correct in assuming that this kind of thing can be outsourced and if we throw sufficient money in the right direction, we too can have this kind of fabulousness in our MCLINC catalog?

I’m giddy.

Five Ways to Transform How Your Library Works with Your Community

Webinar – Five Ways to Transform How Your Library Works with Your Community with Erica Freudenberger, formerly of Red Hook Library.
http://ideas.demco.com/webinar/5-ways-transform-library-works-community/

Erica makes a strong case that the future is relational, not transactional and that libraries can strengthen the social fabric of their communities. It’s about connections, not collections. We need to undergo a Deep Transformation Through Community Engagement – Develop a collective vision that benefits the community. Libraries can/should/need to demonstrate value by being part of something larger than ourselves. Stop communicating value and just be valuable – or “Just Show Up!” Strategic partnerships are NOT community engagement. We must have conversations about community aspirations. “Don’t be arrogant and assume we know what the community wants or needs.” What vision does the Community have for itself?

How they went about answering the question: Spent 8 months collecting public knowledge by going door-to-door, going to festivals, and having 10 minute conversations with people. Using the Harwood Institute’s tools for “Turning Outward” and starting with the school Superintendent, they asked these 4 questions:

  1. What kind of community do you want to live in?
  2. Why is that important to you?
  3. How is that different from how you see things now?
  4. What are some of the things that need to happen to create that kind of change?

3-Part Approach:

  • Ask – one-on-one (with a 2nd person to take notes), 10 minutes
  • Aspirations – questions for groups, like Boards
  • Community Conversation – discussions outside the library with groups of 15 people

Volunteers helped and they built capacity – it was ‘high touch and personal’

Erica asserts it is not the library’s job to fix things but to alert people to the issues and to bring people together to find solutions. They helped identify the issues.  Examples from Red Hook: Went to the high school to do programming (space constraints and no budget), created a pop-up library with school to provide equitable library services (went to the local trailer park), creative place making – took a Hispanic Heritage program to the Farmer’s Market and used a public space for a cultural/arts event that also benefited the farmers, Diversity – created a strong Diwali celebration with international students to help strengthen social fabric.

Libraries can be economic engines. The “Read Local Red Hook Literary Festival” drew hundreds and the businesses had a great day. They’ve done storytime at the candy shop and movie night at the local cafe.

Erica says, libraries “empower citizens to be actively involved in a democratic society.” While it’s hard to let go of the idea that the library is the center of the universe, by encouraging community decision making there was joint empowerment. They rethought adult programs ($9.59 budget) and recruited community members and had programs by the people for the people: beekeeping, wine/cheese making, bird watching, etc. She told us to stop guessing and stop asking people what they want from the library because THEY DON’T KNOW. She reiterated that this is the high touch and time intensive work of relationship building. They found out what really mattered to people and made it happen – she wants libraries to go viral.

Q&A – Budget doubled in 6 years. People were willing to share their talents and staff helped identify and approach potential program volunteers. She inspired staff and the Board with an Aspirations exercise. She shared that traveling and spending time together with the Deputy Mayor and school libraries planning a mobile maker space helped build those relationships because they got to know each other. When she left, they had a full time program coordinator and had 600 programs a year with 10,000 attendees.

For such a short webinar, it was packed with great information and I realize I’m late to the game, but I have now been exposed to Libraries Transforming Communities and  “A Step-By-Step Guide to ‘Turning Outward’ to Your Community.”

I’m all inspired now to:

  • Increase attendance at programs – quality over quantity.
  • Increase circulation statistics
  • “Empower citizens to be actively involved in a democratic society” or help bolster community spirit
  • Use these Turning Outward tools for strategic planning – oh look, they have information just for that!

Library Journal Directors’ Summit

My mind is bursting. I have notes and ideas from the Directors’ Summit, notes from this Webinar, Ideas from the Libraries Transforming Communities Case Studies, and now I’m digging into the Aspen Institute Executive Summary. I’d been neglecting my continuing education and I’m happy I took some time out to change that.

Notes from the Directors’ Summit (a hodge podge)
LJ’s recap with full names, titles, and library details at libraryjournal.com

My ideas and take-aways:

  • culture through clothes/sewing or music
  • Know your stakeholders well enough to prioritize
  • Know who to partner with (be picky)
  • Define success at the front
  • Are we the last true public space where we can bring diverse people together?
  • What’s the future of suburbs? Is it a blip in social history?
  • Libraries can powerfully shape the narrative with our stories and that leads to the Agendas and ultimately to the Decisions that are made.

____________________________________
Developing Organization Culture Richard Kong, Skokie
Culture eats strategy for breakfast – culture are the shared values, standards, and beliefs
What is the personality of the library?
Created a Culture Club because the library serves the community but also it IS a community. The club created a culture statement: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
Monthly reflection time – what are we learning? What possibilities are there to move forward. Pause and Reflect.
Compassionate (buddhist) leadership.. “listen with only one purpose to give them a chance to speak out and suffer less.”

_______________________
Director’s Evolving Role panel with Siobhan (FLP), Ramiro (San Antonio), and Gretchen (Idaho)
Need for partnerships – FLP did scenario planning prior to the strategic plan to restart the Library. Community-based asset building – Read by 4th initiative, workforce development, work with Housing, work with teachers directly because no school libraries. Took Harwood Institute training.

From oversight to promotion, innovation, community strategist, connect/collaborate. Drivers impacting role: community goals, equity lens, education, civic engagement, workforce development, early literacy, and technology. Venue for discussions with community. Mission alignment with partners. Engaged outside library and delegating oversight.

New Director – went out with a library road show only to discover the staff fell short of the dream and what she had sold. They needed new skill sets. Culture and training – apply customer service to staff. Turn outwards and embedded librarians. Co-location with children’s theater/library. Motto was ‘lighter, quicker, cheaper’ and strove to be nimble. Agree on mission and purpose to set politics aside. ‘Hold doors open’ culture.
_______________
Economic Development and our role in civic life panel
Jamie – Fairmount Park – Civic commons and public space to share prosperity.
Shin Pei – Studies experiences in public realm. Design influences behavior and policy influences design. Loneliness is a threat. Public space awareness is greater while trust and civic life erosion increase. Social capital – sprawl makes it hard to have spontaneous interactions.

_____________________
What the City Needs from the Library…
Chicago aligns goals of library with city if appropriate. Jobs/literacy. Library a sought after partner in Chicago. Asks prior to partnering: Do we have capacity? Do we want to associate? Can they also commit? Ex. Learning circles have a 60% completion rate for online courses at the library.
Andrea from Nashville Civil Rights provides undergrad history courses at the library and shared a project where they give the course to new police recruits.
Summer Learning rather than summer reading. Sciensc, explore, track learning to combat summer slide. Learning ecosystem in the city. Create value you can measure. Digital skills – summer challenge with outcomes. Drives community change. Creates universal benefit for all. We are both universal access and impact.

Crosby Kemper spoke on the 1st amendment.

Free Library of Philadelphia newly renovated branch tour highlights:

  • Cafe seating facing windows with outlets a plenty
  • B/W signage on acoustic tile – clean, simple, just photos
  • Acoustic ceiling tile
  • wheels on everything – flexible space
  • Baskets of kids ‘manipulatives’ – people, kerchiefs, signs/cars, animals, dinosaurs
  • Small desks IN service area with light shade sporting a question mark
  • small collections (Siobhan likes Denmark and Belgium library innovations)
    Outdoor reading garden

More take-aways:
Be Intentional. Be. Be. Intentional. What would happen if we focused our programming for 2018 on a recurring theme? Music, for example, since Libraries Rock is the summer reading theme. What if we went with quality over quantity to we don’t overwhelm our potential audience and give ourselves time to market and promote. Better yet, what if we do as Erica suggests and be democratic with our programming and let people decide what they want and help provide it?

Community. Community. Community. Lower Moreland is a bedroom community with a top-notch school district that draws in families. Our sense of community is struggling. The Township is developing trails, adding sidewalks, and trying to develop a ‘village’ along Huntingdon Pike where we have salons, restaurants, boutiques, and stores. Our LM Business Association is ripe for a restart. What is the library’s role in that? The meetings are held at our location now, Pam organized a successful business breakfast, and she drew in several businesses as partners for summer reading. Do we want to further develop our role as an “economic engine” for this little Township? Lower Moreland Rocks – like the Geek campaign, what can we do to partner with LMTSD or the Township to spark community spirit? October festival? Library pop-up?

Be Substantial – Say No to Fluff. Where are we substantial and where can we be substantial – meaning valuable? What does our community need from us besides Friday movies and best-sellers? I like the notion of Summer Learning instead of summer reading. Early literacy and reading readiness could be expanded. ESL, diversity, culture, bringing together diverse people in a safe space to learn. STEM, robots, science of music – so many ideas.

Next up – a great webinar…

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

 

 

 

2015 Year End Review

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

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

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

 

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??