Has this new wave of hands-on programming called “Makerspaces” peaked your interest yet? From knitting areas, to creativity labs, learn how to get started. A panel of librarians from different MA libraries discuss the successes and challenges involved in getting started; including the planning, grant writing, sustainability, policies involved. Smaller budget? Learn some simpler versions too!
Many libraries are frequently being asked to host events for self-published authors or to add their books to library collections. It can be difficult to handle these requests. NERTCL’s panel of librarians, including Adult Services Librarian Kelley Rae Unger, Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA, Senior Collection Specialist Joan Hansen, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO and Children’s Librarian and self-published author Laurie Collins will discuss ways to manage the influx of programming requests from self-published authors and ways to address self-published materials in your library’s collection development policy. Laurie will also give her unique perspective on the self-publishing process as both an author and librarian. There will be time for questions and discussion following the presentations.
Laura Saunders of Simmons College GSLIS presented this session on Monday at 12:30pm.
The ACRL defines information literacy as “a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” Though the term “information literacy” itself is somewhat problematic and can be off-putting to some, most faculty recognize its importance. Despite the agreement about the importance of IL, many college students are not as prepared as faculty would like. The library fits into the larger mission of the university, providing an opportunity for collaboration in this area. However, the reality is that most IL instruction is covered in “one-shot” classes or within General Education (GE) requirements; there is a lack of assessment, a lack of time devoted to it, and a lack of faculty buy-in (they agree that students should have the skills, but aren’t so sure it’s their responsibility to teach them).
Who is responsible for doing what? Where does the library fit into curricular support? Though IL instruction is often covered in GEs, Saunders suggested it might be more useful to move it into the individual academic disciplines. There are “cultures within cultures,” she found when she surveyed faculty, asking, “Do you think information literacy is different in your discipline?” Common concerns include searching for and evaluating information sources, but different kinds of information are preferred in each field (primary vs. secondary sources, for example).
Most IL instruction sessions, however, are structured the same way: most of the time is spent on finding sources, not evaluating them. In an oft-retweeted phrase, “The role of the librarian is to turn students into skeptics.” Often, though, students aren’t skeptical enough. In the words of one faculty member from Saunders’ survey, “The idea of digital natives is such a lie.” Indeed, Project Information Literacy (PIL) has found that students value convenience over quality.
How, then, can librarians improve information literacy instruction? Talking to faculty is the most important step, Saunders said. Anticipate the needs of the faculty, know their concerns, talk to them about what they’re interested in, target your message to their discipline. Students must realize that finding information is only the first step, and just because something is peer-reviewed does not mean it’s 100% reliable; evaluation (“thinking”) is still necessary.
Saunders had excellent slides to accompany her presentation; I didn’t get a chance to write down the details of her data, and the material isn’t up on the conference site (yet). Meanwhile, PIL has lots of great data, and Saunders also recommended Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (RAILS) on track, which is a neat resource.
Open-source library systems such as Koha and Evergreen give libraries large and small an alternative to having for-profit corpo-rations control their local systems. Learn how three New England states are making open-source solutions available throughout their states. State library officer panelists include Diane Carty from Massachusetts, Martha Reid from Vermont, and Michael York from New Hampshire.
- It’s a rural state – only 18 out of 183 libraries serve communities greater than 10,000
- VT’s state-wide and ILL catalog is Sirsi, which is no longer supported (and not liked by users), so open source presents an opportunity to do better
- ILL is important because if people only have access to the collection in their small rural library, they’ll stop using the library
- a better state-wide catalog opens the potential for a state-wide card for borrowing items and using electronic resources – however, some libraries are worried about the demand this might generate (and send their items elsewhere), and other libraries worry about lost revenue from charging out-of-town patrons for use
- VT is currently running a Koha pilot with five libraries
- Highly populated and organized/automated state, with 9 library networks
- Three networks applied for and earned an LSTA grant for collaborating on catalog software
- This is called MassLNC, uses Evergreen – after grant money was spent, the program is funded by contributions from the three networks (has one employee, the MassLNC Coordinator)
First card-based union catalog started in 1932, centralized at the state library and offered phone-based ILLs to NH libraries – replaced in 1984 with NAIS automated statewide system, using LS/2000 from OCLC; then migrated to Gaylord product then to SirsiDynix, which included 234 publics and 600+ school libraries – this used a “node” system of co-op areas, and GMILCS, which serves NH’s population centers, is the only one left (others never achieved critical mass of population). The failure of other nodes led to individual libraries buying “playschool” versions of ILSs, which makes participating on a state level now difficult, because those very basic ILSs don’t support interoperability. Starting looking at open source, and decided to go outside the regular state government system (because of how slow and “no you can’t do that” it was – using the Park Street Foundation in Concord as funding agent for open source software
Why Open Source?
- It gives libraries control, and lets them collaborate together and with the larger open source community, and there is a cost savings
- you can use a single-service vendor (hardware, software, networking), instead of different vendors who never own (or fix) problems but just blame it on another vendor
- libraries can identify the most important shortcomings, and devote development dollars directly to it
DIY or Vendor Support?
NH: uses ByWater Solutions – vendors have expertise that local support might not have, and it’s outside the state’s requiring justification for every change. As for the privacy of data in the cloud, that ship has sailed – no one has privacy or security anymore
VT: initially chose Evergreen because their evaluation determined it was the better option, but then switched to Koha because so many VT libraries were already using it. They first tried to hire new state employees to support the project, but couldn’t fit them into the budget, and then approached the state IT department and UVM but they weren’t interested, and so ultimately went with ByWater because that is who the VT libraries were already using. VT also used MARChive as a one-time records cleanup
MA: MassLNC contracts primarily with Equinox, but also does local development with network staff. This required a clear conflict of interest policy, to make sure network developers weren’t contracting on the side for projects they should be doing on network time. MassLNC and networks also have centralized bug reporting and development ideas tools
What is the future?
NH: Offer state-wide resources, but local areas can supplement these services with additional resources that are important to them (such as more frequent van deliveries, etc). Probably not a state-wide library card system – that was tried 1973-75, but stopped because it didn’t compensate lending libraries for lost access to their own material
VT: still have 30+ libraries not automated or using basic ILS (such as LibraryWorld), which need to be helped to connect to the rest of the libraries in the state. State-wide program is called Catamount, and VOCAL(?) is an existing network of about 50 libraries. One big need is to start a state-wide delivery system – current ILL is about 100,000, which is small because patrons cannot initiate ILL requests
MA: goal is to develop MassLNC into a state-wide catalog, with a common state-wide library card, with the minimum goal to get everyone on the same software and improve accessibility to all
Margaret Donahue from Feng Shui Connections shows how to recognize environmental patterns that hold the keys to your success. They can help things run seamlessly or contribute to obstacle after obstacle. Empower yourself! Bring more balance, ease, flow, and success to your life by creating sup-portive and effective home and work spaces through feng shui.
“Feng Shui” means “wind water” in Chinese. It is the art of placement: arranging your environment to improve your life – the goal is to allow ch’i to flow freely (ch’i is energy force of all things).
- live with what you love – bring yourself to workspace
- make sure everything is safe and comfortable – soft & curves, and special focus on electrical and plumbing systems, which symbolize health and wealth (if your pipes are leaking, not only is your building unhealthy [poorly maintained and growing mold], but you’re also leaking money with wasted resources)
- express yourself creatively: represent the community in the library (this is your environment)
- organize everything – get rid of clutter, and everything has a home
9 Steps to Take Charge
- place your desk in a command position: ideal spot for desk (and bed and stove in the home) is with a view of the door but not in the way of the energy flowing through the door, plenty of space in front, support (such as a wall) behind
- supportive chair
- reflect your personality – whatever stirs your passion
- add fresh plants – they offset EMFs from electronic devices and also clean the air
- incorporate the colors you love
- minimize clutter
- set positive intentions
- apply Feng Shui Bagua: it’s an overlay that maps our environment to 9 key areas of life – see slide #48 for diagram [pdf]
- express confidence in yourself
Check out http://www.earthing.com
Innovations in the e-book arena go beyond vendors and devices. This ITS panel explores new strategies to improve the patron’s e-book experience. Marilyn Borgendale from the NH library consortium GMILCS explains the advantage of inte-grating 3M’s Cloud Library into their catalog. Deb Hoadley from the MA Library System provides an update on the Mass Statewide e-book initiative. Meena Jain of Massbay Community College, discusses the challenges of providing e-books and devices in a universally
Really wanted to be guided by the ReadersFirst.org principles, and their current offering puts the patron first whenever possible (and way better than other existing options).
They chose to use 3M Cloud Library as ebook platform, because it integrated so well with their Polaris system. Using an API, ebooks can be totally integrated with the catalog and patron accounts. Patrons can check out ebooks right in the catalog, and can see their ebook hold list and return ebooks from within their account. Also, ebook purchasing process automatically downloads MARC record to the catalog, so ebooks show up immediately after title is purchased.
3M uses Adobe Digital Editions at the vendor level, so patrons don’t need to mess with it – they just need their library card number and password. [This is awesome!]
Is very app-based, and works very well with mobile devices that use apps (have to side-load to Kindle Fire). For those that don’t, they can still download via computer and transfer with a cable.
Seamless device switching! Since it’s in the cloud, everything is account-based, which means you have the same access to everything no matter what device you access it with. Checkouts show up in your account instantly on any device, as long as you’re logged into your account.
Drawbacks: no audiobooks, and Hachette and MacMillan won’t sell to 3M.
Massachusetts is starting a state-wide ebook program. We’re contracting with three vendors, Biblioboards, EBL, and Baker & Taylor, to provide content. Libraries will then have option to put records in their catalogs, link directly to vendors, or use a Koha union catalog for searching (which will link to vendor interfaces for checkout).
The three vendors offer different types of content, and different lending models. Biblioboards offers curated public domain historical content, in an extremely easy to use organized interface; EBL uses simultaneous-use short-term loan of school/reference-type resources; B&T offered traditional one-checkout-per-copy downloads of popular reading fiction and non-fiction.
The goal of this project isn’t just to provide wider ebook access to all state residents, but to also push the boundaries of the ebook experience, to draw a spotlight to what doesn’t work.
The project is starting with a pilot stage of a mix of 50 MA libraries, for six months. Content will be about 120,000 ebooks. After that the project will be opened up to the rest of the state, and content will continue to grow. Projected pilot start is early November.
Ebooks need to be accessible to everyone, and that includes ebook readers.
The Nook is not at all accessible to the blind. Amazon has recently started putting some effort into making the Kindle accessible, but the iPad is doing the best job. It offers audible confirmations after different functions (for instance, a bing after it starts up, instead of relying on sight to know the screen has come on), and will read out app names when hovering over icon with your finger.
Many libraries want to be part of the makerspace movement, but don’t have the space, budget, or knowledge to start one. An alternative might be supporting an existing community makerspace Clint Crosbie from the Port City Makerspace in Portsmouth, NH, discusses what makerspaces are, how people use them, and ways libraries can be involved.
Information wants to be free, but it also wants to be expensive. – Stewart Brand
Information doesn’t want to be anthropomorphized. – Cory Doctorow
A good makerspace has to be, at its core, a geek hangout – a place where geeks who like to build and tinker can build and tinker or talk about building and tinkering.
Libraries often can’t afford, or doesn’t have the expertise, to host their own makerspace. In that case, partnering with an existing community makerspace is a great option. There are a variety of community makerspaces – look for one close to you at hackerspaces.org
Besides local makerspaces, look for existing maker-type groups to partner with
- computer clubs
- high school tech classes/technical high schools (shop, auto repair, welding, computer, anything)
- look on meetup.com for other local groups
Makerspaces in libraries
- Crafternoon programs for kids
- Have makerspace volunteers lead classes or workshops in the library – Lego mindstorms, building a solar-powered cell phone charger, etc
- Host mini makerfaire – these have been very popular lately, and if you hold it they will come
Final note: check out the Library as Incubator project
With more and more patrons using their own devices, access to library resources isn’t just about public workstations anymore. This trend means that patrons are asking for help with constantly changing hardware, and that underused library equipment is available to be repurposed. Amy Andreasson from Eldredge Public Library in Chatham, MA, describes her library’s in-person training and support for patrons’ hardware, Dean Baumeister from Memorial Hall Library in Andover, MA, shows how his library has found new uses for old technology, and Mat Bose from Hooksett (NH) Public Library presents his library’s Gadget Group as an example of an organized, proactive approach to helping patrons with their devices. The program is sponsored by ITS, and their business meeting is included.
- Hands-off: to protect staff, we don’t touch patron devices
- We provide as much help as we can, within reason
- We provide help at the time of need, so don’t require appointments (unless it’s a device/problem you’ve never heard of, or a topic that requires research)
Our most frequently asked questions:
- Connecting to library wifi – we created a handout to help with this because we get asked so often
- Phone questions from patrons seeking tech support on their home computer
- Patrons who received a device as a gift (usually from their kids), and now feel sufficiently guilty about not doing anything with it that they want to learn about it
- Which device should I buy? This always depends on the intended us, and usually we refer them to retail store to touch and feel devices to see which is the most comfortable for them
- The single biggest Ah-Ha moment is showing someone the hidden menus on the Kindle Fire
Gadget user group
- all devices are welcome
- registration required (form asks about devices, areas of questions, etc)
- usually 5-8 patrons attend
- goal is to provide support, but it also gives a great opportunity to promote library resources, services, and programs
- use email list to remind attendees, send out agenda, and links to resources
- always have two library staff in the room to field questions
- usually start sessions with ice breaker question (what new apps have you found?), the 15 minutes of sharing library news, 15 minutes of answering questions, then break into small groups based on interest/device
- ways to promote: email list, electronic sign at library, referrals from desk staff, kiosk thin client computer using smugmug slideshow, EveryoneOn.org website
Repurposed old public workstation PCs into catalog lookup stations.
- set them up using free Linux Terminal Software Project software
- terminal/with server, means everything is run off server and PCs are just thin clients – don’t even have hard drives
- all they need is good network connection and a web browser
- using WCGBrowser, which is very basic kiosk-type browser, so don’t need to worry about
- patron hacking into Firefox/Chrome/etc’s fancier functions, because it just doesn’t have them
- how-to steps at http://www.mhl.org/ltsp
NETSL’s second session this morning featured Ben Abrahamse on MarcEdit. MarcEdit is free and was developed by Terry Reese. It can be downloaded at MarcEdit. This utility that works only on Windows doesn’t replace your catalog but helps you acquire, clean up, or transform metadata. The heart of MarcEdit is the toolbox or the Tools. The tools take Marc metadata and converts raw Marc into plain text format. MarcEdit includes a plain text editor. When you need to see your records you can see them in MarcEdit without having to open another text editor. Ben showed us some of the basics of MarcEdit and some extra features such as converting Marc to xml or into a tab or comma delimited spreadsheet.There’s even a RDA helper or a feature called “Generate Call Numbers”! Ben explained that there’s a great support community for MarcEdit that includes a wiki and a listserv. He finished up his presentation with a real life example of how he uses the tool at MIT.
This was a great introduction to an extremely useful tool for catalogers and metadata librarians.
This was an awesome program full of inspiration and action items to help you improve your relationship with the computers in your life (and the people who support them).
Helen told us up front that the hour would be about attitude (who you are/who you want to be), skills (and how to get them), and tools. There were so many great suggestions and ideas that I can’t include them all here, but her presentation (including lots of links) will be on the conference website so check it out there.
Here are a few of the many take-aways I got from this program:
- Embrace a can do spirit — computers can sometimes be scary but a willingness to try is the first step.
- We who are doing customer service stuff need to bring up our competence and confidence level to take some of the stress off our over-stretched IT folks. (Yes, your blogger is an over-stretched IT person, but Linda said this and I totally agree). Learning how to “undo” in whatever software you use is a great skill that will reduce your stress.
- Ask your IT people how THEY want issues report to them and do that (at what point in the problem, via phone, via email, etc.).
- Push your challenge line . At what point does your technology make you uncomfortable? Find that place and learn stuff/try stuff to move yourself a little past the line. Do this regularly (daily, weekly, what you can manage regularly) and you will find yourself way ahead of where you started.
- Save early and often and back up your backups (today’s presentation was the backup of the backup version)
- When a message comes up on your screen read it — you might understand it. If not, capture it (or write it down) to report to IT.
- Lots of tools for learning, and screen capture, and keeping up are in the slide show — check it out on the conference site. In addition to Helen’s links the discussion added some to Helen’s list: gizmodo.com, IO9, snopes.com, politifact.com, cnet.com
- “If you can insert a little joy into this process it will grow. Find the things that are going to insert the joy.”netsl
Presenters: Linda Dyndiuk, Robbins Library in Arlington, MA, Theresa Maturevich, Bedford (MA) Free Public Library, Sophie Smith, Nashua (NH) Public Library and Sean Thibodeau, Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell, MA.
Theresa’s Cookbook Book Club handout
Theresa’s Cookbook Book Club flyer
Sophie’s Adult Summer Reading PowerPoint
Sean’s Nonfiction Book Club poster
Sean’s Nonfiction Book Club ground rules
Linda runs the Not So Young Adult Book Group for adults who read YA lit.
- YA can be read quickly which is a plus for those with busy schedules
- Easy to run. They have a casual, informal discussion. Sometimes use discussion questions, but with YA books the questions provided are often more about reading comprehension
- Repeating programs increase membership month after month
- Group votes on titles and keeps running list of suggested titles.
- in local businesses at first but since attendees reported learning about it in library, they stopped that.
- Print bookmarks and put in books to remind people of meeting
- Post on blog about meeting and 1 reminder email beforehand
- Press releases to media, Facebook and Twitter
- 4-6 people for every meeting, but not the same people. Email list is 20 people. All 12 copies of book on reserve for group are checked out
- Attendee age varies from 20s-70s. Average is 30s.
Challenges: Wanted to get out of library and into community so they initially met at a local Starbucks. Talked to business first and chose a Monday night because it was a slow business night. When program was evaluated, it was decided to change venue to library due to noise and uncertainty of table availability. It was also realized that if they met in a public space, it would be harder to ask a member to leave should there be an issue.
Highlights: Had author Brendan Halpin come last year. Local paper ran a story which interviewed members- positive article about trend of reading YA, library, and program.
Theresa runs the Cookbook Book Club where participants read a cookbook and come in for a brief discussion of the book and a cooking demonstration on 2-3 recipes from the book.
- Idea came from reviewing circulation stats and seeing that cookbooks were one of the highest circulating nonfiction collections.
- Began with guest speakers to do cookie decorating and talk about being a chef, but now generally runs program alone
- Costs of program are paid by Friends. (breakdown in handout above)
- Additional cooking supplies like a portable stove and a convection oven also approved by Friends
- Attendance averages 24/program. Most popular programs were a chef visit, pies during winter holidays, cupcake decorating, and slow cookers
- Promoted on social media (Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest) as well as local media and in library
- Polls audience for future topics
Highlights:Improved circulation of cookbooks, positive impact on attendance at other programs and bringing in new patrons, Networking/community outreach opportunities
Sophie runs an Adult Summer Reading program
- Prizes/incentives are critical
- year 1: gift cards, an e-reader
- year 2: All entrants earned raffle ticket for grand prize. After 5 books, free book from book sale. 10 books, get a mug. 20 books, gift card for local coffee shop.
- Start simple. They used same software for online registration that was used for children and teen summer reading (Evanced)
- Ask adults to log books read, rate, review, etc. Reviews were available to others.
- Online system allowed for easy statistics
- Participants still had to come to library to pick up prizes
- For 2nd year, length of program was expanded
- Large numbers of 25-44 year olds. Primarily women joined.
- Of the small number who completed evaluations, the #1 reason to participate was prizes (so they improved prizes for year 2). #2 was to read more.
Sean has run a nonfiction book group for 3 years.
- Monthly attendance is 12-13 but can be as high as 35 depending on topic
- Try to get a mix of medical journalism, historical narrative (especially WII), and essay. They don’t do biographies/memoirs unless it’s very popular.
- They use a ballot process to vote on the books. 10 books on the list. Each person gets 2 votes and the top 2 vote getters are chosen for the next 2 months.Titles are dropped from ballot if no votes and also dropped from ballot if not chosen after four votes.
- Lots of men attend
- They needed to create ground rules about acceptable behavior. Group needs to agree on the rules
- Try to keep conversation organic but light.
- Tends not to use discussion questions.
- Set time limit of no more than one hour for program
- Name tags help
- Email list with ballot one week prior to meeting
Mary White, director of the Howe Library in Hanover, NH, led a Table Talk on Sunday at 3:45 in the Board Room. She facilitated the discussion about long-range planning, starting by explaining the process at Howe: there, they have a 10-year strategic plan with a 5-year review, and a separate technology plan. All plans are available to the public from the library website.
- Strategic plans are important documents (especially for new directors)
- A separate technology plan is smart because technology changes quickly, often in unanticipated ways
- Make a “community asset map” – what resources already exist? Where are the gaps? Don’t duplicate services, put library resources toward what is necessary and useful to the community
The Howe Library plan has “four areas of strategic opportunity” and “16 goals for the future” (PDF, see p. 9). Mary White’s monthly director’s report is structured to address each area and goal, so that the strategic plan is always at the forefront for the library staff and Board of Trustees (not mouldering away, forgotten in a drawer).
Participants in the Table Talk discussed how best to go about collecting information from the community and how to get community participation and input to develop the strategic plan. Ann Knight from Wayland, MA framed it, “Help us plan the future of the library by answering 10 questions.” She also suggested a potentially revealing question for library patrons: “Do you use other local libraries? If so, which? Why?”
John Bucci from Cranston, RI suggested using volunteers from LIS programs to go out into the community and ask questions. Other techniques include using social media, surveys (online and/or paper), and talking to voters once they leave the polls. Of course, it’s important to try to reach non-library-users; John suggested visiting organizations such as Head Start. If there is a survey, it should be marketed widely, not just in the library. It can also help to incentivize by offering prizes. Aside from surveys, focus groups and stakeholders often produce the best results. Remember that children are stakeholders too – ask them what they like best/least about the library.
The topic of survey design came up, and several resources are available:
- ALA’s Planning for Results
- Consultants (can be expensive, but there may be someone in the community with experience)
- State organizations (e.g. the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has this resource page for planning, and the Massachusetts Library System has these long-range and strategic planning resources)
- Other local libraries are usually willing to share their tools
- Pay attention to how corporate surveys are designed
Another important point to note is that the library has a positive economic effect on the town; people might come to the library and patronize local businesses while in the area.
Mary White said to remember when planning, “Something is better than nothing.” If your library doesn’t have a plan, don’t be too intimidated to start one.
Edited to add (10/31/13): Here are a few additional resources from Mary:
State Library of Ohio – Planning for Results:
Building Shared Vision:
Kalamazoo Public Library:
Book: Strategic Planning for Results:
Howe Library’s Plans:
Helen Linda is just wrapping up her presentation, “How to Communicate Effectively With Techies” and it’s awesome. She showed us some great prevention techniques to deal with tech problems before they happen. She also shared some great software such as screen shot and casting software. Beyond that she pointed out some great learning opportunities such as w3schools or codecademy. Her presentation will be posted soon to NELA’s conference site.
Her upbeat presentation aimed to help us become more comfortable with technology. Her mantra has been “attitude” during this presentation. In fact, it’s about keeping an open attitude – open to trying new tools, open to learning new trends, open to learning how IT operates and open to discovering what you can do with technology. To sum up her presentation: “Technology is one of the major tools used by information professionals. It is in our interest to become familiar and more confident with technology.”
Rock on Helen!
Beth Fredericks is from the Boston Children’s Museum and is director of the Museums/Libraries Project of Race to the Top.
She talked at length about the connections between active learning and exploration and cognitive development. She shared a video from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard that outlines the need for parent education in tandem with early childhood education. As their child’s first teacher, and half of all library and museum visitors, parents need to be nurtured as educators.
Ms. Fredericks also shared many inexpensive manipulatives that could be incorporated into story times, existing programs and even in passive library experience. She highlighted outdoor experiences such as Story Walks and the emphasis on exploration rather than on facts and figures.
More information on the grant project will be available soon.
Pat Scales, chair of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, presented details of sites and organizations that claim to alert to caregivers to inappropriate content for children.
Ms. Scales has researched many of these programs, their claims and expertise. She warned that sites like Common Sense Media overlook the context of the media presented. She had great examples such as their objection to violence in books about the Holocaust.
She also warned strongly against organizations such as Accelerated Reader and Lexiles that rate material based on word length and sentence complexity but gives no consideration to emotional content. When this happens, books such as Perks of Being a Wallflower, end up on elementary shelves.
Some questions were asked about potentially beneficial sites and she strongly recommended sticking to library review journals and trusting the children… an interesting piece of advice from a retired school librarian.
Bruce has been a trustees for 7 years, 4 as chair. In his library, trustee is an elected position.
How to be a good trustee:
- Be a passionate advocate for the library. Be a salesperson.
- Talk to staff, know what they’re doing and what their responsibilities are (80% of budget is salaries)
- Communicate! When there is a problem, communication is always the issue.
- Model good behavior in library and advocate in the community (go to library events, say hello to staff, show that you value the time staff take in planning programs)
- Show your appreciation to library staff
- Make sure everyone knows who talks to the media.
- Know your job (many trustees are unaware of the scope of their obligations; training is paramount)
State-wide training for trustees is available in NH. Trustees need to be educated on their area of governance and responsibilities.
- set policy
- hire/evaluate director
- make sure library is adequately funded.
They do not handle general collection development or complaints about staff. There are generally processes for issues like that which the director handles. If trustees need to be informed or pulled into discussion, director will do that
Richard: Current director and has been a trustee, including 4 years as chair.
- Only worked with elected boards, but there are towns where trustees are appointed.
- Stresses the key issue with trustees is keeping them informed. “Trustees live in town. You don’t want someone coming up to a trustee in a supermarket to ask about a library issue that the trustee is unaware of.”
- They need to know about budget, important staff issues, changes to services (the launch of self-checkout), and any bigger patron concerns.
- Orientation for all new trustees is a must and includes introduction to staff and explanation of responsibilities
- Directors should have an agenda for every meeting (must be posted several days before – open meeting law)
- Remember trustees live in town so they are your ambassadors
- Be sure trustees know your vision for your library and provide them with lists of what projects/programs have happened or are on the horizon
- Encourage rotation of the trustee chair. Helps protect trustees from burnout and is good to for the health of board.
- Again, communication is key.
- Go to every Friends meeting. You are giving them an outlook for the library and they approve funds for programs/ equipment.
- Make sure staff knows who Friends are
- Find out what they consider they’re focus (some friends won’t pay for things they consider the responsibility of the town like carpeting)
- If there are issues between Friends and staff, start by reminding everyone that they are there to benefit the library.
- Encourage rotation of involvement and the formation of committees (book sale, fundraising, etc.) to help reduce burnout and keep group healthy
- Recognize friends every chance you get. Plaques on donated equipment, signs at programs
April: Directors, staff, friends and trustees can call/ contact for help.There are also associations for Friends of the Library and Trustees that can help. They also do trustee orientations all over the state. Next one is March 8.
MBLC has help for:
- Board evaluation
- Hiring a director
- Director contracts
- Bylaw and town charter info
- Policy making
- Incorporation process for Friends as well as book sales, fundraising
- Info for new directors
Also made recommendation for
- ALA’s United for Libraries, a resource for friends and trustees and guides.mblc.state.ma.us
- Written communication helps eliminate confusion.Always recognize trustees and friends
Questions from audience:
What recourse do you have for an elected trustee who is not fulfilling duties?
- Bylaws may a collective authority clause to deal with a board member operating outside the board.
- Trustees cannot meet outside officially posted public meetings. It is a violation of public meeting laws. Public can only be excluded during executive session.
What about people who are both on friends and trustees?
- Try sending friends to training or encourage self evaluation.
- Attend meetings of trustees/friends. Try to sway them to embrace new ideas
What about succession planning for friends/trustees?
- Try to markets library and the work of the friends/trustees via Facebook/Twitter.
- Promote those groups at public gatherings.
- Minimize responsibilities by encouraging formation of various committees to spread out work (nomination, fundraising, marketing, etc.)
- Evaluate what skills sets and what demographics do you need represented?
- Appoint alternate trustees who move up after a few years as alternate.
- Find a project/goal that they can accomplish. They need an early win to generate and keep enthusiasm.
Nancy Dennis, Cathy Fahey, Tara Fitzpatrick, Zach Newell, Jason Soohoo, Carol Zoppel – Salem State University
iPads have transformed their engagement with working with students and faculty. They shared general and specific apps on the iPad that have used to enhance student research and instruction in information literacy classes. They have demonstrated database apps such as EBSCO and discipline specific apps in their subject areas. They used iPads to teach info lit classes, conducted workshops on apps, collaborated with different departments on campus, used iPads to provide roving research assistance to students across their 3 campuses.
Various free apps were demonstrated including Flipboard, ISCOTUSNow, HaikuDeck, Naxos, CloudArt, PoppletLite.
Important for librarians to keep up with technology and info access
can be exciting tools for class exercises
new solutions for student/faculty/librarian productivity
competent back-up when classroom technology/internet fail
makes it easy to go where the students are
difficult to find specific apps for classes
hurdles in some apps requiring college/university authentication
not everyone has a smartphone/iPad
IPad cord (dongle) is a bit touchy
Laura Hibbler. College of the holy cross
Increase in in-depth research consultations implemented at Holy Cross because of decreasing reference stats. These individual consultations have enhanced libraries role in supporting teaching and learning.
Research support. Online chat, text, drop in workshop .
Scheduling system. Springshare. Libcal. Create calendar, easy to promote. Appointment scheduler. Students can schedule a research session. Since initatied this service in 2011 , increase in consultations and popularity. And more students are emailing for consultations.
Things to consider when implementing a research consultation program:
Where is the optimal place for consultations. Not at the reference desk. So they develop a research consultation area.
What hours should consultations be offered? How far in advanced .
Promotion the service. Embedded into libguides. Wallpaper on computer stations. Word of mouth.
A typical research consultation. Or personal research session. Or office hours by appointment . So what is a good approach to take.
Thoughts for the future. Expanding the service- add data services. Virtual research consultations.
If you want to pick up the handouts from a program you may have missed (or just didn’t remember to get a copy of the handouts for) you will find any remaining materials from the programs on a table in the registration area. It is the table closest to the entrance to the hallway with all the fabulous baskets. There will also be links to electronic versions of the handouts on the Conference website as the links are collected from speakers.
The struggle to create a workable, equitable model for library access to e-books has dominated library news in recent months. As state librarian of Kansas, Joanne (Jo) Budler made headlines by challenging the status quo and taking ownership of the state’s e-book collection. The Information Technology Section (ITS) sponsors her appearance to tell her story.
Kansas was buying Overdrive content like crazy to make sure everyone in the state had access to ebooks, at any small library. Overdrive changed the contract to raise prices by 700% and take away ownership of ebooks (which the Attorney General’s office confirmed). Overdrive wouldn’t change this contract, so Kansas decided not to continue with Overdrive (even though the Overdrive staff was always nice and competent).
Jo started approaching other vendors to see if they would create a platform which they could use with their own content (initially, no one was interested). The next step was to write letters to the publishers to make sure no one would challenge moving the content. They got permission to move about 65% of the content away from Overdrive (Hachette completely refused). During the transition, since patron demand was still there, they really emphasized public domain/Gutenburg project content. The consortium eventually moved to multiple platforms
- One Click Digital (Recorded Books – patrons like this)
- 3M (patrons also like)
- B&T (patrons had the most problem here, and eventually Kansas didn’t renew)
Joined CALIFA in summer of 2012, now called Enki, which uses the Douglas County model of hosting its own content, and also started offering Freading in 2013. Patrons like having options, but have expressed a preference for having a single econtent interface (right now they link from the single state-wide catalog to each different vendor platform).
They have a live-staffed 800 number to provide tech support to patrons, but it is too much for one State Library staff person that runs it, so they will buy a device to any other staff who is interested so they can provide support too. Libraries across the state are doing the quick-fix questions themselves, but if it gets beyond what they can handle they refer them to the state helpline.
What to care about moving forward:
- Didn’t care about ownership, they cared about access (but by changing the contract, Overdrive opened the door to limiting access)
- One reason why people like Freading is because there is no waiting lists – that model works in the online world
- Getting content at a fair price (and having publishers give up the idea of not selling to libraries at all)
- When they are being unfair, call them out: like the Big Six (now five) Facebook page, to support the idea of selling to libraries at a fair price – the number is dwindling, so it’s working!
- If you’re interested in a state-wide hosting platform, be sure to include a self-publishing platform (Kansas likes Smashwords)
- Consortia are important (most publishers don’t want to work with consortia, and many pilot programs won’t scale up from small or stand-alone libraries to consortium)
Are ebooks here to stay anyway?
- Sales are dropping dramatically.
- It was new, and the novelty is wearing off
- Not all books lend themselves to ebook format – textbook use up, kids books ebook use going down
- Physical books have special appeal
- There are so many options – patrons can buy themselves (“Amazon” model), Oyster (Netflix for ebooks), Scribd (unlimited subscription reading)
- They might be just another format like cassette and other formats that just drifted away
We have to keep caring as long as people still need access – that’s what we do. Especially for blind and physically-handicapped. We provide education to people for their whole lives.
Bottom line: don’t sign a contract you haven’t read or you’re not comfortable with.