Category Archives: Kansas Library Association Conference

Getting CLASSy with Lifelong Learning

Morgan Davis, Salina Public Library, Community Learning Coordinator
Outreach Department. Has a background in PR and communication. Job is a great way to be infused in the community.

Library’s mission statement: “Connecting people to information, learning, and culture.”

CLASS: Community Learning and Skill Sharing

Each semester CLASS has 50-60 classes. Instructor are community members who have been found to teach the classes.

People who come to classes, never stop learning.

What is CLASS? A program of non-credit classes offered by community members at a low-cost and with low-commitment. Chose not to offer certification or for-credit courses, so the library doesn’t compete with other community organizations.

1.5 hrs 1 time, up to 6 week-classes. Most expensive class is a beginning Spanish class, for $89, 20 hours over five weeks, includes a textbook.

“programs” library programs are typically free to attend and may serve a specific purpose or present a specific point-of-view

“classes” lifelong learning classes require a course fee and are broadly educational in nature, and make sure there’s a value-added take-away from the class.

Are instructors paid? $15/class hour offered or volunteer time. This is built into the class fees. The library makes no money off this program.

From the beginning:
Grassroots: Learning for Life began with 6 people and a vision for community learning. 410 people in first semester. Learning for Life was a trademarked name, so it had to be change.

Non-profit status: In 2004, CLASS was granted non-profit status.

Move to the library: After CLASS reached out to the library board, they were allowed a trial run for the fall 2005 semester. Library director was one of the original creators of the program.

Today: our semesters average 700 enrollments and are almost entirely self-sustained.

Program website:

Think through registration process, including simple approaches at the beginning.

Signup registration software. Switching to CourseStorm for credit card processing. Can add cash & check registrations on the back end.

Close registration a week before the class. Have a course-enrollment minimum set, and if that minimum isn’t met, cancel the class and let registrants know.

LERN is the bomb! International learning organization that the library belongs to.

Community support is critical for this program. If the community isn’t willing to invest time, money, interest, buy-in and more, the program won’t succeed. Financial support is only a small part of what makes CLASS successful.

Positive word of mouth keeps CLASS going. Friends sign people up for gifts, surprises. Invest in the people.

Have a liberal refund policy for people. Registration refundable if a participant cancels a week before.

How can you afford to offer classes?

How to price course:
Course fee involves: instructor fee, staff time, room use fee, materials, library supplies, (monetary value — will this class be worth the fee set). Divide the total cost to run the class divided by the course minimum, to then determine the course cost.

One course may have a surplus, but one may not. It all evens out in the end.

Program called Pass the Buck, for people to contribute toward a scholarship fund for people who can’t afford classes. Someone who asks for a scholarship will attend a class at half-cost.

Is there a dedicated space for classes? Community learning center has 2 classrooms, but also find spaces in the community to host the classes.

Offer classes in the best venue for the class. Community kitchen. Cabinetry company has kitchen as well. Schools. Churches. Main library building used. Some of these do charge for the space.

A week before the class, a reminder email sent, including map to the class location. If they don’t email, a phone call will be made.

Do people object to going outside of town for some classes? Every now and then, someone does say that, allow people to drive attendee out to the class location.

Sounds great, but who’s going to teach?
*Teachers will come to you (credentialed and passionate teachers)
*Students will come to you (“I want to learn x…” who can teach that?)

But if they don’t come to you, check these places for people and topics:
*Community calendars
*Art center, museums, or libraries
*Colleagues and friends

This helps you find topics and attendees and teachers, but it also helps you know which dates to avoid (especially the school calendar).

Teachers that receive negative reviews….ask the instructor how s/he thought the class went, let the instructor read the evaluations, and that opens the door for further conversation. People usually know, they’re good at self-evaluation.

Usually asking someone to teach, it’s a compliment to them, encouraging to them.

If library staff teach a class, it’s voluntary time, still have to go through the application process.

The numbers part
Statistics will differ with each library the type of information you need to track.

Good things to know in building your program:
*Marketing reach
*Types of payment being taken

Always get participant and instructor feedback via evaluations

Talk to people! If they have to pay for something, they won’t be afraid to let you know whether they thought it was worth their time and money.

Course catalogs mailed to people who have taken classes over the last 3 years. Also sent to three-targeted carrier routes. And left in common community spaces. — track where people hear about classes.

Targeted course catalogs cheaper than newsprint.

Staff attend beginning of first class, to make sure things go smoothly. LERN suggests leaving sticky note with “feel good” message for instructor.

Challenges: inter-departmental relationships. Library departments and communication. Have conversations with library staff often. Understand what other library departments do, their time, their challenges…that helps communications.

*CLASS 4 Kids! 10 classes targeted at kids + family classes
*New demographics
*Increased participant input
*Stronger online presence

If 50 percent classes go the first time on a new approach, that’s a good success rate. Try things twice, two different times of year, day, venue, etc.


Leadership for the Common Good: Lessons from the Kansas Leadership Center

Kansas Leadership Center was set up by the Kansas Health Foundation, based in Wichita, KS.

Emporia State University is an official partner with the Kansas Leadership, and infusing parts of the KLC with the undergraduate and graduate courses, including SLIM.

KLC’s materials are not copyrighted, and free to use. Methods come out of Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Adaptive vs technical problems Dr. Andrew Smith

Adaptive vs. technical problems change in approaches and outcomes. Technical problems can be complex; critically important; resolved through application of authoritative expertise, and in organization’s current structures, procedures and ways of doing things.

Adaptive problems are bigger than technical issues. Only can be addressed through changes in people’s priorities, beliefs, habits, and loyalties. Q: Why are we doing this? A: It’s always been this way. If you start changing things, that’s adaptive.

The practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald Heifetz

Technical problems are clearly defined, have a clear solution, and the locus of work is authoritative. Doesn’t mean that it’s simple and easy to do and may very well be expensive.

Technical and adaptive problems are clearly defined, the solutions require learning, and the locus of work is authoritative and stakeholders.

Adaptive problems require learning to be defined, the solution requires learning, and the locus of work is the stakeholders.

If you start thinking about problems and solutions from this perspective, it’s very helpful when you are the one who is having to come up with a solution. Getting to the stage where you can figure out what type of problem it is, can better help you figure out how to best solve the problem.

Distinguishing leadership from authority

Leadership isn’t the same as authority. As we are learning leadership principles, these are things we can take, learn, and apply, without being the boss. That’s not the same as being the boss. Authority — one person in charge, can take a problem, determine it’s technical, and say here’s how to fix it. Adaptive problems, involves more people in the decision-making and solution process.

Leadership problem: not asking the people at the ground level how to fix something — they can know the solutions, but aren’t in authority positions to make changes; those problems aren’t treated as adaptive, but technical problems. The TV show Undercover Boss reveals this again and again.

You don’t have to be the person in charge to do adaptive leadership.

There may be more going on in a situation — we may need a lot more information than what is first presenting. Doctors ask a lot, am I fixing a symptom or the illness?

Adaptive: change something, not just solve a problem. Management may need to change approaches, processes, workers may need to change how a task is done, etc.

Seldom do you have all the information you need, you need to ask for more. More people may need to be asked. Who are the stakeholders? Paying, consuming, doing, paying from a distance. Asking the right people and enough people, not just diving in and solving the technical issue.

If it truly is a technical problem, has a clear, authoritative expert solution.

Adaptive, need to look further, and making changes, talk to more people.

Competing Values/Commitments, Dr. Gwen Alexander

Lisa Leahy and Robert Kegan, Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization

What’s keeping you from achieving your goals?

A hidden dynamic in the challenge of changes: competing values/commitments

The technical fix often works for awhile, but there may be underlying causes that need further changes and not just technical fix.

You may say, I want to make a change, but parts of you contradict that need to make a change.

We’re unable to make the change we want to make because we misdiagnose it as technical, and it’s really adaptive, and requires much more thought to solve the challenge.

Adaptive solutions change yourself — changing to the situation.

Competing values/commitments cause IMMUNITY to change.

How can you bring your competing values and commitments together so they work together, not barriers to change?

There can be other stakeholders involved and politics at play with competing values and commitments. A lot in the environment could be affecting the opportunity for change.

Exercise: Write down your goal. What are your behaviors that allow progress toward the goals and preventing achieving the goal? What are the hidden competing values and commitments? Defensiveness comes out, rationalizing our behavior. It’s easier to come up with a rational defense, than to come up with the steps to make it happen and suffer the consequences/repercussions.

You cannot use technical means to solve adaptive challenges. Technical issues: the skill sets necessary to perform those complicated behaviors are known. Adaptive issues require you to develop a more sophisticated approach.

If you have worries, you may have competing commitments that are preventing you from achieving your goals. Do you have competing commitments or do they have you? When you have competing commitments, you’re driving with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake.

Observe your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and learn to use this information. Bring your new capacity for adaptive changes to other issues in your work and personal lives.

Care of Self, Dr. Robin Kurz

Competing priorities/commitments: We tend to put everything above ourselves.

As adaptive leaders, we must know our strengths, vulnerabilities, and triggers; know the stories others tell about us (self-image vs. reality); choose among competing values. Most of what we do isn’t immediately life-threatening/critical. Take a sick day when getting sick.

As adaptive leaders, we must get used to uncertainty and conflict (organizational – especially around change; internal; external); experiment beyond our comfort zones; take care of ourselves as individuals (and not put our expectations on others).

Sometimes we misinterpret a situation.

Too close to a situation, need help understanding other viewpoints, shift perspectives, adapt to a situation.


Leadership on Demand from the Kansas Leadership Center is a 10-week video series to help you make progress on an issue you care most about in your community or organization. For $50 you will have access to KLC online curriculum and a Leadership on Demand workbook. Watch the first video in the Leadership on Demand series free.

KLA 2011 Wrapup post

At the KLA 2011 conference this year, “Share the Vision”, I stayed sane, and only presented once. And I plan to act accordingly at KLA conference in years to come. Last year’s insane presentation schedule was fun to do (I ended up doing 4 separate sessions with panels of people, plus taught a pre-conference), but I didn’t get to enjoy the conference at all — I’d crash between presentations in my hotel room.

I won’t do that again. And I don’t recommend this at all (friends don’t let friends do crazy presentation slates — remember that!). Conferences are meant to be enjoyed and a time to visit with your colleagues and peers, and also attend sessions (yes, I advocate the priority of talking to people above attending conference sessions; conferences are a great way to meet new people and learn from one another)

This year I only gave a presentation with the fabulous Liz Rea, on online security tips, “Naked in the Library: Keeping Your Private Information Private, Online“.

Side note: Previously the funniest (and most useful) presentation had been the Cloud Computing presentation Sharon, Liz, and I presented together as a team at different times in 2009 (which reminds me, after TEDxOKC and hearing from a member of the Chrome OS team, I think we should resurrect the cloud computing presentation again; it’s even more relevant today). End Side Note

I didn’t think we could have more fun than using silly cat pictures to describe the wonder and perils of cloud computing and what it can mean for libraries. But Liz and I managed to do just that with “Naked in the Library“. People get bored or overwhelmed or confused or lose interest in security presentations or conversations; we’d both experienced this. So how to get people’s attention when security is more important than ever, especially as cloud computing is an exploding trend? With a combination of live simulated hacking, videos, and the Keep Calm and Channel Han mantra, we had our audience participating, laughing, engaged, and appearing to remember what we’d discussed over about 40 minutes. I have a feeling we’ll be doing this one again. [Presentation info: Slides, Handout, Resources]

I spent time at the conference helping produce and moderate two virtual track sessions — great fun to hear from Susan, Leah, and Gail in their sessions, and I just realized I have another set of notes to type now from their sessions to share (another day). I thought the sessions went well and we have fantastic archives of information that I hope people listen to post-conference. (For fun, here’s the Xtranormal video promoting the track and the Xtranormal video thanks).

Note: If you registered for the conference or the virtual track only, you have access to these sessions; see Cindi Hickey’s message reminder on KANLIB for more info. If you haven’t seen the message or are interested in getting the archives to the sessions, contact Cindi directly; her contact information is on the virtual track page.

I attended a few other sessions, including Heidi’s Silent LIbrary: Using MTV as library outreach programming, library advocacy in Kansas update (notes coming), one of Maribeth’s sessions on computer security (notes coming), In Pursuit of Library Elegance, and Placing a Hold on the Love of Reading.

All in all it was a great couple of days in Topeka. Royce, Mickey, and the other conference organizers did a great job bringing the conference together. I had a wonderful time connecting with good friends (had a bit of fun in downtown Lawrence and laughed way too much; thanks Kate, Heidi, and Rachel — SLIM will forever connect us :) ), talked to many other library colleagues, and continued to find intersecting threads of thought that were still in the process of being pulled together. Some had been present for months, some came at CiL, some came at PLAVSS, and some came at KLA.

Then I left Topeka and drove to OKC for TEDxOKC on Friday. The drive down to OKC went by quickly thanks to phone conversations. Between a conversation with a college roommate and a marathon phone conversation with Buffy Hamilton (I think we talked 3 hours!), the 4.5 hour drive went by quickly. I stayed with Kirsten, talked library shop as always, and headed to bed. I knew Friday would be exciting thanks to knowing a lot about the TED and TEDx concepts, but I had no clue how exciting and life-changing it would be. The threads I’ve been seeing merged, exploded, and came to life. Stay tuned for those notes and reflections over the next few days.

Placing a Hold on the Love of Reading: A School and Public Library Partnership in Atchison, KS

Cathy Coronado, Atchison Middle School Media Specialist

Diana Weaver, Atchison Public Library Director (as of right now; she’ll be the new director at Basehor Community Library at the end of April!)

How it all began….

NEKLS Summer School Librarians Workshop in 2009, featuring Tasha Squires, author of Library Partnerships: Making Connections Between Schools and Public Libraries

The information at the workshop was great, but the best part was the driving to and from the session. Diana and Laura (new elementary librarian) and Cathy never had really talked before; Diana was the new director of the Atchison Public Library.

Building our Partnership:

  • Breakfast w area school librarians (4 schools (Lutheran, Catholic private schools, and public schools). wanted to meet again but never could
  • Personal visits over coffee
  • Participation in MS in-service on school discipline
  • Library is a block from the MS. Teen problem. No consistency in policies and discipline enforcement. Things in the library did change, but still didn’t change completely. Not just the library’s problem to solve. Library went to MS inservice on discipline. Brought back info to library staff with mixed results, but did start a conversation. Building read over a million words. Public library wanted to be a part of this.
  • Meet w the school district superintendent to support the reading system: school had a courier system. Diana asked if the courier system could stop at the public library.
  • Public library staff visit to all AMS reading classes to demonstrate how to place holds through the NExpress shared catalog system. If the kids didn’t have a library card and their parents wouldn’t give them a card, a building card was created so holds could still be placed.

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Read in Every Child, Donalyn Miller

“Part of wearing a reader’s clothes is learning how to navigate a library and feeling at home in one” (Miller 59).

Wanted to make the middle school kids feel at home in the library.

Students Tour Atchison Public Library: All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade reading classes toured

Students learned about:

  • the YA book collection, including graphic novels
  • available tech like laptops, audiobooks and video games
  • upcoming and ongoing teen events
  • how to get their own library card
  • what homework resources are available

The Process to send books to the Middle School Library

Atchison Library (already processes 80+ holds per day as part of NExpress):

  • AMS has its own card to place holds and checkout (with Cathy’s permission) — has checkout out 400+ books on the AMS card since October
  • Items are transferred between the school and public library through the school district courier.

The Process at AMS

  • Students can place holds on books at the APL Online Catalog Station
  • Students write the title of the book they want and their name on a slip of paper and deposit it in the box.

“Because so many students’ reading choices are dictated by their teachers, they never learn how to choose books for themselves. How can they shape a self-identity as a reader if they never get the chance to find out what they like?” (Miller 28)

This is all done through one card. Kids who have local cards, can place holds, but then have to pickup at the local library. Teachers are now starting to use the service as well — quick access to the public library.

AMS Process Continues

  • There are in and out boxes for the books
  • Each book is checked out to the student using a temporary number
  • I use the code APL at the beginning of the call numbers of all the books
  • I periodically check the holds and books checked out to see if they match my records

The Benefits of our relationship

  • Public libraries have more funding for materials and resources
  • School libraries have direct access to young readers

Public library Benefits

  • Kids reading our stuff
  • Cooperative collection development
  • Better behavior in the library (Cathy said the library staff were her friends on the visits)
  • Student volunteers
  • Library board members
  • Presence in community
  • Teachers also visiting us more

School library Benefits

  • Supplements our collection (no money for collection)
  • Reference books and books written primarily for adults are available
  • Provides a service to teachers who love to read
  • Teachers try out classroom sets of books
  • Keeps students interested in reading when they can have the book they choose

School wide competition in 2nd quarter. AR test system used as a quick test system. Word count. 100 million words goal w teachers. Teacher teams — 1 hr for lunch given to winning team.

Teachers taken out of the equation, and only kids the second time, made it to 99 million words

“Our national discussion of reading has been reduced to a talking point a measurement score. How can we get our students to open books and start reading when, in many classrooms, the focus is on test performance?” (Miller 180).

Now, drill and skill. Demoralize teachers.

Word counts of what students had read tracked by library (thanks to AR tests — just to be a check, not accuracy of test scores). Principal looked at the bottom of the words lists.Cathy plotted # of words where the person’s score was. Anyone under 100,000 words typically was not passing assessments. Lightbulb went off in principal’s head.

Practice comes from what the kids want to read. Not specific books.

We Both Agree: The most important thing is creating life long readers and future library users. Thank you! Blog

Comments/questions from audience:

A homework pass for every 2 hrs students read. 25 teens typically participate. 170+ teens participated after the homework pass project. (Can’t remember now which library — maybe Bonner Springs??)

If you can hook that one person, it builds that relationship and can get passed onto others.

What do you do if your town’s school librarian wants nothing to do with your public library? Can you go directly to the teachers? Yes.

People are going to be more receptive to the public library-school library partnership because budgets are in bad shape.

HS/MS brings the public library books in the summer, 300-500 books per year during the summer. Teen section is tiny at public library.

At the beginning, discussed who’s responsibility is it to pay for the books? Certain loss involved. Price of doing business.

Haven’t lost many books through the sharing. Cathy’s loss rate is better than the public library. She has a captive audience

Homebound patron category that doesn’t accrue fines used at the public library to check the books out to the middle school. That’s what the school uses.

The high school students participate but not at the same level. The teachers love the library.

The private schools in Atchison also use the public library (the teachers particularly mentioned from these schools).

The students are being trained at the middle school and will hopefully take their love of reading onto the high school level.

Building a culture of reading.

“Ask for forgiveness, not permission” philosophy. Brief discussion about ages and book challenges.

I was really glad I attended this session. Diana, why is this the first I’ve heard of your successes there?? :) You and Cathy need to share this success widely. And I highly recommend the book mentioned at the beginning of this post by Tasha Squires. NExpress libraries, it’s in the NEKLS collection — request it through NExpress. Other Kansas libraries not on NExpress, request through the KLC. Outside Kansas, request through your local library!

In Pursuit of Library Elegance (KLA version)

I enjoyed this session so much at Computers in Libraries when Erica gave the presentation in DC, I came back for more at KLA! (You might want to read those notes first; my notes here may not give a complete recap, as this was the second time I’ve heard the presentation).

Presentation was given by Erica Reynolds and Matt Sapp (Johnson County Library system).

The book is “In Pursuit of Elegance: Why The Best Ideas Have Something Missing” by Matthew E. May

Speaks so much to where libraries are at right now. We hope for change….

“Because without a new way of viewing the world we will most assuredly succumb to employing the same kinds of thinking that created so many of our problems in the first place….” — Matthew May

“Because by nature we tend to add when we should subtract, and act when we should stop and think.” –Matthew May

Four key points in the book:

  1. Symmetry
  2. Seduction
  3. Subtraction
  4. Sustainability

Real power in his book and ideas are how to all these ideas relate and what do they mean and how can we come up with solutions.

This presentation is one big book talk and readers’ advisory

1. Symmetry:

Simple rules create effective order:

in libraries: circ rules. Streamline guidelines. John Wooden, fewer and fewer rules and nice guidelines. Rules should be simple and concrete and work across the system. “Rule ourselves to death”

Jackson Pollack painting. Richard Taylor, physicist. Analyzed Pollack’s paintings and found they were fractals. Pollack was painting in 1955. Fractals were discovered in 1975. Somehow Pollack was able to observe nature and paint what nature is, before the pattern was even discovered. Maybe that’s why pollack’s paintings are so attractive and appealing. He is painting nature, very much like treebrances move in wind.

How can we mirror that in libraries? Equations. E=mc(squared).

Just because something is complex, doesn’t mean it’s not elegant. Simple rules.

2. Seduction: Curiosity. What makes us want to dig in and learn more?

Venus Rising from the sea–a deception painting.

Libraries strive to serve curiosity. Reader’s Advisory displays to attract curious readers, to whet appetite to make people want to read or research more.

Limiting information creates intrigue. May doesn’t just say be seductive, he talks about how to do it. Give patrons just enough information to make them come back for more. Not overload them with information, kill them with information.

3. Subtraction: restraint and removal can increase impact and value. Picture of the letter E that’s not completed.

Work of Dutch Traffic Engineer Hans Monderman: there’s no painted lines, no street signs, no signs. To make traffic flow better in a busy intersection, he took out all traffic control. 20,000 people go through intersection each day, including bicyclists, pedestrians, cars. Fatalities significantly dropped.

When you take away things that told you what to do, you have to engage your brain. Should you go? Hit someone? Have to think.

Build library spaces — what do we need to take away that magically adds value and impact? (Learning Commons, Signs, Weeding, Desks?)

Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub,
It is the centre hole that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room,
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there,
Usefulness from what is not there.

-??, Chinese proverb (missed the name)

4. Sustainability. What works across multiple libraries? We can’t work all 70 hrs a week.

Limited resources spark creativity and innovation.

Mohammed Bah Abba’s Pot within a pot cooking system. Nigeria. Food quickly spoiled. Lots of waste. Trying to sell products, disease happening. Girls had no time to go to school. Unsafe to be walking to market. Financial hardship.

The answer is refrigeration. But in Nigeria, couldn’t afford refrigeration and didn’t have electricity.

Had to build solution that required no electricity and would be simple to use and used local materials.

He created pots within pots. Filled the outer pot with wet river sand and covered it with a cloth. It was so hot, the heat would pull the moisture into the inner pot and cool the food enough for it to stay safe for weeks.

Girls go to school now. Disease dropped.

Made with: Clay. Sand. Cloth. Water.

How can hard times situation make libraries even better?

The creative tension at the center of elegance: achieving the maximum effect with the minimum effort.

How do you get to an elegant solution? What is optimal.

XI + I = X (which is wrong)

X + I = XI

IX + I = X

or ???

Moving one stick makes it correct. But is this optimal?

Flip over XI + I = X and it becomes X = I + IX. Happened in Zero moves. Just had to change perspective.

Thinking outside the box. First thing after seeing a problem, is don’t act. Observe and figure out what’s optimal, not what’s doable.

So many times in libraries, we think about what’s doable, not what’s optimal.

Don’t ask: What should we do?

Ask: What’s possible? What’s optimal? [Library eBooks???]

The really brilliant solution looks obvious in retrospect, but to get to it is difficult.

Key is getting out and enjoying your lives. We’re not going to come up with great ideas if we constantly work and never take breaks (comment: I saw a friend comment last night on Facebook about having writer’s block, going to the gym, and having two major breakthroughs in her research!)

Ideas come when working in gardens or on a walk.

The path to elegance:

  • resist the urge to act or add.
  • Observe
  • Ensure a diversity of opinions and expertise are heard when you are considering what’s possible and how to get there.
  • Carve out time to think and time to not think.
  • Get away from your devices.
  • Get some sleep
  • Get outside

Path isn’t to add more signs to a library….

If you’re always on a device, not giving brain time to relax and rest.


  • Archimedes’ discovered volume displacement during a bath
  • Einstein’s theory of special relativity came to him while daydreaming
  • Philo Farnsworth: first television while plowing
  • Richard Feynman – throwing a plate, theory of quantum electrodynamics.
  • JK Rowling was traveling on a train when the character Harry potter flashed in her mind.

We have to do the research, we have to read and do the work, but we should also rest.

Sit and not do anything. Watch a waterfall. Jump in mud puddles.

Specific elegant examples from Matt now about what JoCo Library is doing.

Public Computers

Want the Public computers to just work. All the time. Locking down worked, but when new technology and software came out, computers didn’t work anymore. Tax season. Silverlight. Flash. Pushing out updates, weren’t working. So they asked, why lock them down then?

So they stopped locking down the computers. (LOVE THIS — our approach at NEKLS already to library computers; DeepFreeze ’em, but not many other security settings!)

Service Desks at the branches

Information Services, youth desks, Circulation desks were separate.

Now, consolidating desks together. information services staff now roam. Patrons happier having needs met, and less staff needed. Roaming reference with iPads. Staff interacting more with patrons, learning more. Are able to do more with less staff due to funding cuts.

Self-check rename

Self-check stations vs. checkout names rename. Patrons don’t want to do it themselves, just by changing the name they now do it themselves. Hide the circ clerk games. Ha!

IT help desk

Help desk tickets weren’t standardized. Now, everything has to be emailed. One path, so people don’t lose tickets or go on vacation. Emergencies can still be called (how do you enforce this? If someone calls, it’s not important, do you say politely, please email that to the help desk?)

Communication improvements

New phone system installed. Do we just replace the phones? Or make major improvements to everything. Single phone number for whole system now. Upset patrons at first, because they couldn’t call their local library. By centralizing everything, phone calls were better dealt with and branches could better deal with in-person patrons, not answering the phones. Still struggling with this situation — too many phone calls.

Backroom circulation efficiences

Every branch is currently different. Consolidating processes and finding symmetry in the processes. This is in process.

Kids PCs area

some adults/teens still use that space. make it obvious that it’s a children’s section (different types of chairs, colors, etc.)

Other Ideas/Comments from the audience

Darien Library: does have a brand-new building and lots of money.

  • Bought a Surface. No rules set. No instructions. Kids just figured it out.
  • Concierge Desk, not circulation desk.
  • Reference desk is a table with a computer. Both at the table together at same level.

informal RA on badges.

Signs get a due date for community postings.

iPhone came with no manual. People still used it.

Bookdrop was blank and library had weird hours. Library hours were sprayed onto the bookdrop.

Libraries undercut easy solutions.

Library Swaps like Trading Spaces or House Swap — maybe this needs to happen!

No meeting room available in one library. So the kids room had shelving on wheels, and it would be moved out of the room while the programming would go on.

Weeding makes shelves useable. No one wants to read old moldy books. You now know your collection.

Graphic novel collection wasn’t circulating at a college library. Swung couch around so the books could be seen at a different angle and the books were suddenly seen and flew off the shelves.

Library spaces. Right design for spaces not always seen. What people see and what they don’t see.

Better utilize space just by adding windows, and adding shelves. Home locations vs. floating collections

End comment: I’m starting to read the book this week. I highly recommend it already! Erica did a pretty good job of convincing both audiences in Topeka and DC to read the book. Anyone else read it, starting to read it, or going to read it? And Erica, you should do more booktalks :)