Tag Archives: director

Director’s Thoughts #12 – Office Space (or Mantras to Work By)

12 Aug

directors

My office has some fairly hideous carpet – dark green border with a pale lilac faded interior color, which makes decorating my office extremely difficult, but what I did find were some of these absolutely adorable children’s book posters that I use as my director mantras (it also helps that I chose them in shades of purple to offset the carpet. Coming from a children’s librarian perspective, these are not only the perfect fit, I adore them! Take a look at Bookroo for a variety of amazing posters and if I were independently wealthy, I’d probably by them all… I’m especially eyeing The Polar Express as it carries a lot of memories for me around the holidays. But, let me explain to you the reason I specifically chose these three posters.

Lily and the Perfect Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes is about a small mouse named Lily who has a really difficult day at school which causes a lot of frustration and anger on Lily’s part. But, she learns from her ever-inspiring teacher that tomorrow is a new day and learns how to comprehend strong emotions, taking turns and be considerate of others. My director’s mantra from this book: Try again tomorrow.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is the story of a young woman who grows up to travel the world, live by the sea and as her grandfather says, “…do something to make the world more beautiful.” And so, everywhere Miss Rumphius travels, she plants lupine flowers all around her town, which makes her little corner of the world beautiful. This is a quiet story with beautiful illustrations and a lovely message. My director’s mantra from this book: Make the world more beautiful.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is the story of a young princess named Elizabeth who is having a really rough day – a dragon destroyed her castle, lit everything she owns on fire and took off with her prince, so with nothing to wear Princess Elizabeth dons a paper and sets off to find her prince. When she finally reaches him, the prince is less than impressed with Elilzabeth’s messed up, tangled hair, her paper bag and her appearance in general and demands that she goes back to the castle and come back to save him when she looks more presentable. Elizabeth decides the prince isn’t worth in the end. My director’s mantra from this book: Sometimes you have to say, “Screw it” I’m going to make the decision that is best for us (even when you don’t think it is).

I love all three of these stories and find their messages help me get through my tough days, my great days and all the days in between. How do you decorate your office (or what are your mantras)?

Director’s Thoughts #10 – Shifting Collections

1 Jul

directors

After you weed the entire collection… what do you do next?

That was my question, after spending 5 months and countless hours running reports, scanning, stamping and sorting books. The next step for us…. shifting the collection. Although tight, our children’s department had a lot more wiggle room at the end of this process and not as much needed to be shifted, but in our adult department, space is still at a premium, so I went to work.

We first mapped out what we wanted tot do – redefine our space for nonfiction by tightening up the collection and moving it toward the back of the library. This collection although still gets some use, it’s got nothing on our audio collection and fiction collection – prime space for collections that hold their weight in circulation. So first the nonfiction was shifted, it wasn’t an easy task, but with a staff that’s, how should I put this delicately?, advanced in age and some have lower back issues – I did the majority of the moving. I just spent a little time each day and it took me about 5 weeks. And man, does it look good! Everything is nice and neat, new aisle labels and everything! Next up, was audiobooks and Playaways, two collections that are heavily used in our library and had grow out of their current space – these two collections were shifted to better use space and were also better organized.

Now, I’m on to fiction and after that Large Print – these two collections are jam packed in some areas, have empty shelves in other areas and overall are a hot mess. We actually gained shelving after all the other shifting has been done, so I’m hoping to give each shelf some wiggle room for additional material that we purchase.

Shifting is an interesting beast – I’ve never quite figured out how to shift just once. I always end up shifting the collection and then going back and shifting it again to get it just right. I can’t figure out an easier way (without getting super math-y), but I love the way it looks when we finish, so it’s all worth.  And hopefully, it will be easier for our patrons to find material and pull it from the shelves too!

Although we weeded about 20,000 items, it really only gave us the wiggle room necessary for our current collection. It didn’t gain as much space as we need as I keep pointing out – we’re adding more than we’re getting rid of, so that’s a problem. But, we hope to keep up with our weeding but following a strict monthly schedule in the hopes of preventing our collection from getting out of hand, but soon… we’ll just need more space, which is whole different conversation!

Pennsylvania Library Association’s Directors’ Institute

8 Jun

logo.pngI get to spend the next few days at an LSTA funded program for library directors learning about my leadership strengths and how to develop them to use at work. I am a strong believer in continuing education and that can be seen by my two graduate degrees, additional online courses and the leadership programs I’ve attended. What I like most about continuing education is that when it’s in the library world, I don’t have to explain myself – all of these colleagues have either experienced what I’m going through or know someone who has and it’s a refreshing place to be.

Before this particular institute, we were required to read Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams and Why People Follow Them by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. At the end of the book, you take an online test to discover your five strengths. Mine (which are no surprise to myself) are Discipline, Consistency, Harmony, Learner and Input. The book and report from the online test then teaches you about how to use your strengths in the best way. I’m excited to learn more about this information over the next few days and networking with other directors.

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

Blogging Challenges

20 May

I’ve been struggling lately with my blog – it started out as a suggestion from my boyfriend a few years ago and at the time I thought, “Who would ever want to read anything I wrote?” and since, I’ve come to enjoy sharing my programs, discussing issues and connecting with people around the world.

But now, I’ve taken a new job and feel like my blog has somewhat lost its purpose, so that’s where I’m at. My job now is much more focused on everything from large-scale projects to the mundane paperwork of running an organization… but that’s not as interesting to write about. I’m having more and more difficulty coming up with content for daily posts six days a week that won’t completely put everyone to sleep.

I’m hoping to start working on a calendar of ideas so that I’m not thinking about content everyday and having to write it up, rather I’ll have put some thought into it in advance (which is what I should have been doing all along). With this new position, I’ve had little time to really focus on what I want this blog to become and so that’ s what I’ve been thinking about lately. Library/Librarian blogs have somewhat of a small audience – mainly other libraries/librarians, some teachers and parents who stumble onto programming ideas and others who get here by accident. It’s not like a lifestyle blog or a Disney blog that has the potential for a much larger following. Or does it?

So if you’re a regular reader, comment on what parts of the blog you like and would want me to keep and I’m going to spend much of my summer trying to figure out where I want this project to go. Thanks for the input!

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