A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Melanie Griffin Author Archive


Email: MGriffin@richlandlibrary.com  

Melanie Griffin works in human resources at her favorite public library in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also earning her Masters in Library and Information Science, writing fiction, and trying to keep up with Stephen King's publishing schedule.


woman sitting at desk writing

Essential Librarian Skill: Writing

But all librarians use writing to do more than remind patrons of fines. To keep up with the latest, you have to go back to the basics of stringing words together to make your meaning clear. Writing is all over new technology, so much so that we don’t even think about it or notice it until it’s glaringly unprofessional or outright unhelpful.

flle drawer labeled human resources

I’m Not Actually a Librarian: Human Resources Director

Ever stop to think about what a “human resource” really is? Your library runs on them! And it’s the human resources director’s job to negotiate the tricky task of keeping all employees, managers, and the government happy with each other.

woman with megaphone

Sharing Your Awesomeness: Personal Library Marketing

We work so hard on coming up with innovative, interesting, and just plain fun ways to make our libraries useful to our communities that sometimes we forget to keep our patrons in the know. But as public libraries, we have to constantly make sure our usefulness is known, whether it be during budget season when local support suddenly dries up behind pledges to lower taxes or watching our visit and circulation numbers drop throughout the year because people don’t realize what we’ve got. This is where library marketing comes in.

back of a person in yellow jacket with security written on it

I’m Not Actually a Librarian: Security Staff

Once your library is slated to get a security staff, how do you know what to look for in your personnel search? Former correctional officers and police workers are a good place to start, but there are other aspects to consider and find in your protectors:

back of a person in yellow jacket with security written on it

Safety & Security Workers Are An Integral Part of Library

Quick—how do you deal with a patron who is wearing a big coat on a hot day? Who do you tell when your shelver trips and breaks their arm rearranging the westerns? What can be done about the DVDs you keep having to replace because they go missing from the collection so often? If you are lucky, you can consult with your security team on these issues.

image of a padlock with copyright written underneath

The Other Side of Copyright

As library workers, we’re used to working with copyright on the spectator side. We have opinions about the Google Book Project can recite the Fair Use Clause by heart, and help thousands of patrons cite primary sources in just the ways to satisfy both their research needs and the law.

But what about your library’s own creations? Your marketing department wants more authentic user experiences, so you recruit patrons to take photos and guest blog for your website; your program’s folks ask you to record a song for summer reading and hand out copies as catchy reminders; your writing group wants to publish an anthology of their best work — how do you protect all of this?

forum

I’m Not Actually a Librarian: Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer coordinators are part human resources director and part public staff, and many are patrons’ first introduction to a deeper appreciation of how the library works.