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Community Survey Results

16 Mar

We created a community survey using Survey Monkey and also had it available on paper for people who stopped in the library and were willing to fill it out. After about six weeks, we gathered 333 responses, about 1/3 of which were gathered online, while the majority were gathered on paper. We also made the survey available at the Community Center and Senior Center in the hopes of getting more people to fill it out.

The results are in and it’s so interesting what people know and don’t know about our library. Many people are unfamiliar with our online resources, many people don’t know our hours or that our book drop is available 24/7 (even when the library is open) and there are always requests for more – more materials, more programs, more space.

Overall, I’d say that most of the people who filled out our survey are happy with the services we provide, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we have things to work on as well.  The first being customer service, one interaction is all people need to form an opinion about an organization and sometimes that opinion isn’t always positive.  I’m hoping that through our customer service training that we just covered last month, this will begin to improve. I also hope that by working at the desks along side my staff, I can see for myself what’s happening as well as set an example of what we should be doing.

The question becomes, why don’t people know about (insert resources, programs, materials here)? What can we do to better promote ourselves in the community. We are continuing to work towards a number of goals this year and I’m beginning to line up some ideas for next year as well – projects that take time and funding. I’d like to begin promoting ourselves better, something I’ve known for a long time and something that we are continuing to work towards as we create our strategic plan and new website design.

Finally, I keep reminding myself that we can’t change everything we do and we can’t make everyone happy, but we can continue to listen to our community and provide resources and programs that our community wants and needs.

Girl Scout Visit – Yoga

2 Mar


I had a visit from a Girl Scout troop this week and was requested to provide a short yoga/book program for the girls. I was well-prepared and created an entire lesson plan the week before, but about an hour before the girls came, I switched everything up and I’m so glad I did!

Here’s what we did:

First, I talked with the girls about yoga and asked them to share what they already knew. This helps me better understand the group and it gives the girls a chance to talk with me instead of just having me lecture them.

What Is Yoga?

  • Originated in Ancient India
  • Longest surviving practices of holistic health care
  • Came to America in the late 1800s
  • Practiced worldwide by all cultures and religions
  • Translated from Sanskrit means “to unite”
  • Connecting the whole self – body, mind and spirit

Benefits of Yoga

  • Healthy body – stretching, improves digestion, increase circulation, motor development, relaxes the body
  • Healthy Mind – reduces stress, expands imagination, calms and clears the mind, increases concentration, and relives tension

Caution – If it hurts, stop doing it!

After our conversation, we started working on breathing. I stressed that yoga is useful for when you feel stressed or have too many thoughts in your brain or if you body wants to keep moving , but you have to be still or if you’re really angry – you can use yoga to calm yourself down.

We started with a few breathing exercises from Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children by Lisa Flynn.

  • Conductor Breath
  • Bumblebee Bee Breath
  • Lion’s Breath

Then I read, You Are a Lion and Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo and we practiced each pose as we came to it in the book, guessing what animal it would be.

After our story we did a few sun salutations – the girls were really receptive to breathing at the right times and really trying their best, especially when we got to the plank pose and had to engage our core muscles.

Then we settled down and I read, I Am Yoga by Susan Verde – a beautiful story with a female protagonist as she learns how to use yoga to improve her imagination and understand where she fits in.

Then we used Emily Arrow’s song based on I Am Yoga and went back through the story and did all the poses with the pictures. The girls loved the balancing poses the best and did such a great job!

Finally, we did a few calming poses and a gratitude meditation from the same book, Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children by Lisa Flynn.

The girls did a great job and I think they had a lot of fun and many of the parents were very thankful as well and thought that yoga is a missed opportunity in the school system. I think teaching kids to be able to identify their feelings and mediate those feelings are two concepts that are needed more than ever as kids are feeling a lot of pressure from their parents, peers and themselves. Maybe meditation and yoga could help!

Library Card Drive

1 Mar

library-card-driveI spent a few hours last night at our new community center talking with residents about the library and signing up residents with library cards. Many of the people I saw come through the doors were people I see in the library on a regular basis. I gave them updated an event calendar and let them know about some new programs we’re offering. Others had questions about how to update their library card and although I couldn’t update their cards on site, I let them know what they needed to bring to the library and how easy it was to update their cards. I talked to a few people about OverDrive for eBooks and audio books and also showed a lot of people Playaways and how easy they are to use.

We donated a few Playaways to the Community Center that focus on guided meditation after a suggestion of a regular library user and new community user. I’m excited to roll out this really cool partnership and hope that many people take advantage of trying out meditation.

In the end, I was able to sign up four people for library cards (which isn’t too many), but I think it is so important to remind people that we still exist and to show them everything that we have to offer them for free! I’ll be stopping by the community center again on Saturday morning to hopefully hit up another group of people!

Uncommon Partnerships – Government Access

23 Feb

We’re lucky to have a very strong connection with our local government access channel. They help us by filming large programs and running them on our government access channel at a later date.  They also help us by creating Public Service Announcements for our summer reading program and for other children’s programs. We’ve even done promotional programs talking about our services for patrons – online resources, children and adult programs and more.

Our newest partnership with the government access channel is currently in the works – we’re looking at providing a reader’s advisory program once a month with suggestions based around popular books for children, teens and adults. Our first show will highlight Diary of a Wimpy KidEverything, Everything and All the Light We Cannot See. The plan is to offer four suggestions for each title to help our community with common read-alike questions and to promote books for all ages! What kind of partnerships do you have that are not “typical”?

Libraries Are For Everyone

8 Feb

lafe-truly-epic-english.jpg

By far one of the coolest graphics around! For the past couple of summers, librarians have commented on wanting something a little different, more unique for the summer reading graphics and the mastermind behind the blog, Hafuboti decided to take matters into her own hands. Since then, you can expect her to be posting images for each summer’s theme with diverse, inclusive graphics that are just really neat.

So it’s not a surprise that in today’s political climate, she again decided to roll up her sleeves and get to work, creating what I think is some pretty cool artwork. Are you honestly going to be able to represent every single person on this planet? No way, but I think she’s done an amazing job. And what’s even cooler, after someone commented on her globes all featuring the western hemisphere, she went back to work making even the globes diverse by featuring different regions.

You’ve got to check out all her different designs, languages, colors and more at her blog: Hafuboti. And if you’re so inclined to use some of this artwork for your own library, she does take donations (because this isn’t even her real job, she’s also a librarian)! Thanks Hafuboti for caring so much to provide the library world with a way to promote our safe space for all people!

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