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Director’s Thoughts #11 – Marketing

12 Jul

directors

Our township has a quarterly publication that promotes the township departments and we usually have a little space in it. For the summer, I made sure to include the information about the summer reading program as well as where we are in our strategic planning process. I strongly believe in communication with my staff and with the public.

Then our public information officer stopped me in the hall and said that she had a little more space in the publication and asked if I wanted it.  I didn’t even stop to think and said yes, which of course meant they needed something by the end of the day. I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to share, but I knew the space was valuable.

So after a quick brainstorming session, I realized that we are continually asking how we can show people that we offer so much more than books. In fact, our unofficial tagline is “So much more than books!” With that in my mind, I created an article entitled, “We bet you didn’t know the library offers…” with a list of things that we offer that are more than the physical books on our shelves. I was super proud of the idea and our information officer was shocked by everything we can do for our community – I’d say a win-win situation!

Power of Audiobooks

23 Jun

June is Audiobook month and Audible has some really powerful commercials promoting the (for a lack of a better phrase) the awesomeness of audiobooks. I love that a company (Amazon) is showing how great reading can be in all its formats. In one commercial they show a young woman listening to an audiobook (referencing The Girl on the Train) on a train, maybe commuting home from work. In another, an older gentleman sits in a diner alone listening to a science fiction audiobook while he eats dinner and as he peers into his coffee cup he can see a galaxy. And finally, a young woman running on the beach gets to a point in her audiobook where a storm comes in, the waves grow rough and the wind whips up.

I love how these commercials take a person and blur the lines between reality and fiction as their audiobooks bring the story to life. I don’t get a chance to listen to many audiobooks as I have a very short commute and often listen to podcasts when I travel further distances, but for people who listen to a lot of audiobooks – Audible is an awesome place to find anything and everything you’d want to listen to.

Don’t forget that if you’re quite ready to commit to paying for Audible, check your local library for audiobooks on CD, Playaways and audiobooks you can download from OverDrive and Hoopla!

Director’s Thoughts #9 – Telling Stories

17 Jun

directors

I’m trying something new with my staff as of the end of this week. I’ve been asking the question lately, “How do we make people care?” People being our staff, stakeholders, supervisors, etc. I want our staff to know that we’re making a difference every single day, I want our stakeholders to know about all the great things we’re doing and I want the township supervisors to see how we impact our community.

Statistics work great – how many people walk through our doors, how many items are checked out, how many people attend our programs, but these statistics don’t tell our story. So, this week I taped a piece of posterboard to the wall in our staff hallway (we don’t have our own break room). All I wrote on it was “Our Impact” and now I’m asking staff to share patron stories – nice words at the circ desk, a kind comment after a program or a word of thanks for help using the computers.

I’m hoping to show our staff just how much our community values the work we do. I’m hoping for great stories to share on our social media. And I want these strong stories to share with our Board in the hopes that they are not only impressed by our numbers, but also see just how much we do to impact our community in a truly positive way.

How do you collect and share your stories?

Community Connections – Interfaith Education

14 Jun

I spent a few hours last night at a Sharing Ramadan event hosted by our local Islamic Society. It was a wonderful event with a speaker who took the time to talk about the beliefs of the Islam faith as well as how Muslims are being viewed by the media. He even took time to answer questions from the audience – and there probably would have been even more questions, but it was time to break the fast before prayers. We also got to go into the prayer area of the mosque for prayers and then shared dinner together as a large group. It was so nice for a group of people to open up their house of worship for questions and understanding and when it comes down to it many of today’s religions (specifically in this case Islam, Judaism and Christianity) are far more similar than they are different.

I’m now thinking about ways to provide an interfaith program at the library from an educational standpoint to share how people are people and that a person’s beliefs are just one part of their identity. We’re also looking at partnering with the school district on a bullying prevention program and with the police department on the opioid epidemic. I believe that these topics all require community connection and dialogue because no one agency or organization can make a difference, but by working together we can start to make our communities stronger and safer for generations to come.

If your library is currently working on anything like this, I’d love to hear more!

Director’s Thoughts #8

1 Jun

directors

Last week we introduced our Coffee Cart to the public – our library doesn’t have the space for an actual coffee shop, so this is what we came up with! This was an idea that’s been circling around my brain for quite a while and after discussing it with my Board and staff, I realized that it was actually a very doable project. Continue reading

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