A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘staff training’

people around table meeting

Library Directors Group Enables Collaboration and Learning

The support from the community of library directors is one that I value greatly and am thankful to have.

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Shaking Things Up at Your Library

Let’s start with a gross generalization: Libraries as an institution seem to prefer conformity within our organizations; but librarians as a profession also strive to counter conformity. We cater our services to various nonconformists, and provide service to those who want to learn something new on taboo topics, or to have access to materials they may have been denied elsewhere. We will fight to the death for the rights we all have to express ourselves, and privacy is very important to us. But as a profession, we shy away from change. Even the most forward thinking librarians can be afraid to rock the boat. Let’s face it, we embrace the rules.

book-research

Don’t Forget Research Rules

Before I started working in libraries, I taught research methods (and statistics) for over a decade to undergraduate and graduate students. I conducted my own research in the field of social science, presenting it at conferences and in publications. I currently assist two different library publications in their peer review process. I actually like research and statistics. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an increase in focus on research in library circles. As it has become more necessary to focus on outcomes, progress, and effects–rather than simply usage—research projects have become a focal point. I think this is a worthwhile trend.

thought cloud and exclamation point

Leaks or Bursts: Managing Feelings in Workplace Communication

In this post (the second in a series) I am focusing on communication via the book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most  by Stone, Patton, and Heen. The authors do an incredible job of breaking down the elements of difficult conversations and offer some very practical steps on how to approach all types […]

record-store

What Libraries Can Learn from Record Stores

What can libraries learn about customer service and reader’s advisory from record stores? Enhance the library experience through a passionate, knowledgeable staff and a creative, playful approach to reader’s advisory.

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Projects to Watch – IMLS Funds 276 Library Grants

From expansion of STEM learning to televised reading programs for families of the incarcerated, IMLS funding expands library initiatives across the country.

Boot Camp logo

Results are What Matters: PLA Bootcamp 2015

The Public Library Association (PLA) held its annual Results Boot Camp program this year on August 24th – 28th at the Nashville Public Library. Facilitated by Sandra Nelson and June Garcia, this year’s event focused on strategic planning and service delivery. In its tenth year, Boot Camp is described by PLA as “intensive library management training,” although the specific focus varies each year. Participants attend four full days and one half-day session, which feature a mix of lecture-style instruction and small group work. Time is also allotted for individual reflection about how the content fits in with your particular library’s situation.

business people

Dress Codes at the Library

I was at a recent gathering of library directors where the subject of dress codes arose. Our policies weren’t very different, but our personal views about what is acceptable for staff and administration were almost as varied as our zip codes. Most policies considered the work being performed. Pages have to bend, stretch, climb up, […]

Woman holding manager sign

It Takes More Than a Trust Fall: Establishing a Great Management Team

For this first blog post I want to focus on the issue of building trust. Lencioni addresses this in his book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. According to Lencioni, before you can get healthy as an organization, you need to establish a strong team. To establish a strong team, you must establish trust.

Deadline Approaching For 2016 Emerging Leaders Program

The August 1 deadline is quickly approaching for consideration in next year’s group of ALA Emerging Leaders. According to ALA’s website, this program “enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and [provides an] opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity.”

open book with glasses on top

Coping With Eyestrain

In the May 5th issue of American Libraries Direct, Amy-Mae Elliot discusses a topic that is an unavoidable consequence of modern life: eyestrain. Anyone who spends several hours a day on a computer has dealt with it. Elliot says 68% of Millenials have reported suffering from digital eyestrain.[1] However, that’s not the only age group […]

Woman with question marks

Library Ethics

What happens when a patron wants to check out materials but has forgotten his card? When a well respected member accrues a large fine? How about when a staff member sees a young library user copying and pasting large chunks of text into a school report? Or when a resident asks for help to fax a credit application to a predatory lender? We know the laws and we know our policies, but aren’t there times when the rules should be bent? Instances when we should speak out? Occasions when we should do what we think is right rather than what is prescribed because sometimes it is more ethical to break the rule than to follow it?

library with fiction books

Separate or Keep Together?

Many book stores separate fiction into genres. Some libraries do it too. Should you?

Statistics

Data Visualization for Public Libraries

Big data is everywhere and patrons are increasingly turning to libraries to learn not only what it is, but how it can help their businesses. And just as businesses use big data to target their customers and generate more sales, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) saw an opportunity to better determine how to best deliver relevant content to its users by implementing big data. Their experience is one that could well help other public libraries leverage all their data to best serve patron needs.

Hands holding tablet

Tablets: Are They Right for Your Library?

Matt Enis’ “Meet the Tabletarians” discusses different libraries that have incorporated tablets into their everyday work life. While many have tried to use them as a roving reference accessory, others have found tablets to be most beneficial and effective for special projects such as story time or other youth service events