Tag Archives: library director

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!

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

Strategic Plan Involvement

12 May

You may or may not know that our library is currently in the midst of developing a strategic plan. As a new director, this was my first goal for our library, creating a roadmap for the future, that can be adjusted as times changes, but provides us with a guide for developing new programs, making changes and providing new resources.

From the beginning, I have kept my staff involved to whatever extent they so choose. They are not required to take part, but my goal was that by the end of this process, the staff couldn’t complain, “Well no one asked for my opinion.” There have been emails sent out with regular updates, small group meetings for input during our SWOT and PEST analysis and posters in our staff hallway looking for suggestions.

My goal is that the staff feels as though they’ve contributed not only to this strategic plan, but have a stake in creating the best library for our community. I want my staff to feel as though we have a direct and positive influence in creating a stronger, more vibrant community. Plus, with staff involvement in the early stages of the strategic plan, they’ll feel more invested when we start discussing goals and objectives for the upcoming years.

And if you’re thinking, well don’t just involve staff… don’t worry our advisory Board has been involved since the beginning and we offered a community survey at the beginning of the year as well. Our development plan is right on schedule and I’m so excited about how far we’ve come already and the next steps we’re going to be taking!

%d bloggers like this: