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A Successful Fall Workshop
The 2008 ULA Fall Workshop was held Friday, September 19, 2008 at Price, Utah under ideal weather conditions and in a perfect venue. ULA Continuing Education committee members were thrilled with the very hospitable reception and excellent facilities made available to us by Barbara Steffee, CEU Library Director, and with the assistance offered throughout the day by CEU library staff Aimee Lauritsen and Lori Brassaw. Over 60 participants enjoyed the day’s various sessions held in the welcoming atmosphere of the CEU and it’s beautiful library.
The opening session, a World Café style forum on library outreach presented by the ULA CE committee, was held in the student center and proved to be an activity that the participants could really sink their teeth into… literally! Each table was furnished with a question for discussion, and with a generous supply of fruit and morning snacks to enhance the comfortable atmosphere and to stimulate participation. A moderator at each table was charged with “keeping the ball in play”, but the flow of ideas came freely from the participants, who supplied creative ideas and suggestions to supplement any library’s consideration of the timely topics. A synopsis of the question and discussions from each of the café tables will be posted on the ULA website under the Continuing Education Committee link.
Morning sessions included a useful exploration of the best online health websites, presented by Eccles Health Sciences librarian, John Bramble. John provided us with many useful tips on evaluating online health information and sources, and an introduction to new and useful internet tools that can assist us in keeping current with our health information research.
Concurrent to the health discussion was a presentation by Scott Russell, who is with the Salt Lake County Library Services, and who’s discussion focused on effective ways libraries can publicize, advertize, display, and communicate their message to the various audiences they serve in an effective, attractive, and professional way.
The luncheon (the price of which was covered by the bargain-priced registration fee) not only provided the participants with a generous sandwich buffet and delicious desert, but included a presentation by Sue Ann Martell, author, historian, and director of the Western Mining & Railroad Museum, at Helper, Utah. Her insightful talk, entitled “Carbon County: the Wild and Woolly, Historically Accurate and Mostly True Tale of the County’s Past,” highlighted Carbon County’s ‘bad boy’ image, and described the struggles and strengths needed by early settlers to survive those difficult and colorful times.
Afternoon sessions were also stimulating, and well attended. In fact, a few of the sessions were down right cozy, as the over 60 participants chose to attend the session of highest interest to themselves between the two concurrent sessions offered at each time period throughout the day. Colleen Eggett, of the Utah State Library Division gave well received instructions on getting the most out of Pioneer, Utah’s Online Library, focusing on its new look and feel, and the top uses that patrons make of this exciting resource.
Looking for possible new trends, Mary Beth Cox, from the Provo Public Library, discussed the highlights of current Young Adult Literature, and pointed the session participants toward the books that are now hot on teens reading lists.
The nuances of providing effective modern reference service were included in the discussion presented by Cheryl Mansen of the Utah State Library Division. She reviewed time tested and effective elements of the reference interview, and helped participants focus on the many important elements of the reference process.
Jennifer Fey, of the Salt Lake County Library Services, rounded out the possible choices of presentation topics with a discussion on the value of storytime as a tool to assist parents and caregivers in cultivating verbal communication and literacy skills in young children. Her discussion reviewed the numerous resources available that will assist librarians in this important service.
If you can judge by the enthusiasm and participation of those attending the event, it must be considered a complete success. Workshop organizers of the ULA Education Committee give grateful thanks and warm appreciation to the knowledgeable presenters and the hardworking host librarians from the College of Eastern Utah for their generous support for the event. Plans are already underway for organizing next years workshop which is tentatively planned for September, 2009. Mark your calendars and we will see you there in 2009!
Mike Beier for the ULA Continuing Education Committee.
World Café Summaries
How Can We Promote Library Resources and Services Through Outreach Activities?
Questions and responses:
How can Librarians prepare themselves to deal effectively with issues of diversity in their libraries?
The first thing librarians should do is identify the diversity of the community and what the diversity issues are. The communities are different for public, academic and school libraries and rural versus urban. Diversity information can be gathered through surveys, demographic and census data, and observation.
Diversity is a concept which includes such categories as ethnic, age, culture, language, disability, and literacy. It also covers variation in intellectual ability, technology capabilities, types of businesses, clinical workers, etc. Librarians need to learn about the different groups and their needs. It is important for librarians to develop tolerant and helpful attitudes to all and be accepting of others’ differences.
In many places of the world libraries do not loan books, so free, open libraries that lend out items is a new concept that must be explained to immigrants.
If possible, hire people who are diverse. Use the knowledge and strengths of current staff. If the staff is large enough, have staff specialize in certain areas such as technology, literacy, and languages.
Preparation can include the following:
- Learn about various groups in the community
- Provide staff with cultural sensitivity training
- Take classes
- Learn key words of foreign languages
- Attend and host literacy groups
- Join professional organization and attend relevant sessions at ULA, ALA, etc.
- Use Google translator for language information
- Rossa training
- Visit with various groups in the community – communicate with them
- Use volunteers or bring in specialists to help staff
- Obtain patron input
- Use ALA’s and other organizations’ resources
- Celebrate important holidays of ethnic groups
- Go to city or county officials’ meetings to develop administrative support
- Take note of what books, etc. patrons ask for and build collections accordingly
- Offer a diversity of media and print, e.g. collect audio for the blind, vernacular books for language populations, etc.
- Plan programs for diverse groups in the community
- Form partnerships with community groups and organizations
- Make the library welcoming and comfortable to diverse people
- Help businesses and organizations that work with different groups of people
- Use students to assist non-English speaking classmates
How can librarians raise awareness of community diversity?
- Utilize the library as a community bulletin board (Web) or event distribution center (Facility)
- Resources- classes, internet
- Staffing- curriculum
- Multi-Lingual Signage
- Create political and cultural awareness:
- Invite Governor, Mayors, City Council members, Library Director and other dignitaries, officials and prominent figures from the city/town.
(To help create a political awareness among the City, County and State Leaderships as well as among the members of the majority groups)
- Invite Ethnic Businesses to visit library to celebrate their important festivals (give space and promotion but they bring most of the “show”).
- Celebrate other cultures celebrations/festivals and celebrate ALL holidays (National and International).
- Reach to the ethnic community stores and inform them about your programs.
- Communicate with ethnic clubs and inform about the events taking place at the library
- Contact Church community to reach out to help clubs
(To help create a common binding within ethnic community)
- Promote (or co-sponsor) various programming
- ELL (English Language Learner Classes)
- Come together at library
- Cross culture community events
- Culture classes
- Bilingual Story time
- Organize Spanish Story time for Spanish speakers as well as for
- International Night dinner
- Hate Crime awareness
- Increase Collections for minority communities
- Foreign Languages
- Books on various International festivals
- Archival Programs documenting diversity
- Multicultural Topics
- Books on Holidays
- Book displays on various International festivals
- Some festivals and celebrations the library can promote and celebrate:
- El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day)
- Eid ul-Fitr (Festival of the Breaking of the Fast after ending Ramadan)
- Diwali (Indian-Hindu Festival)
What are some free or low-cost methods for promoting library resources and services?”
- Book fair
- Emails to patrons, city officers, community members, teachers
- PTA $, Partner with the PTA
- Newspaper, Press releases
- Radio announcements
- Public TV, Channel 1
- Plexiglass in library / Table tents / posters
- Flyers, organizational materials you can self-brand or collaborate with another group, agency
- Public bulletin boards: Grocery store, Post office, Daycare centers,
- Newsletter – sign-up
- Web page
- Screen saver on computers
- Cork board
- Link library’s services with various community professional groups (eg. doctors, lawyers, CPA’s, teachers)
- MP3 “class”
- Booth or table at fairs
- Get on city council agendas & present
- Announcements on Pioneer Online
- Library tech training for the public
- Hold workshops in library
- Exhibits programs, including patron-built or student-built
- Network with other libraries for “lending” exhibits / displays
- Collections programs
- Get on list at Speaker’s Bureau
- Utility bill insert
- Personal invitations
- Use campus resources already in place: TV studio, Newspaper, Radio, Different departments
- Get invited to faculty meetings
- Faculty luncheons – show new items
- Donations from community
- Breakfast bookclubs: ex: “Mom’s & Muffins”, “Dads & Donuts”
- Use free stuff from publishers: ex. bookmarks, posters, etc.
- Announcements over school PA systems
- ALA resources
- Promote “100 Best Picture Books” or the Newbery List
- Word of mouth – talk about it
- Hold big library events (& partner with some in the community):
- Author visits
- Movie night
- Personal invitations to mayor, etc
- Donations as prizes
In what ways can libraries cooperate with each other to better serve various community needs?
- Public librarians can introduce themselves to teachers and school librarians, and explain the services they can provide.
- They can share information about successful programs and survey data with other librarians
- We can share resources to help low income, ESL, and other groups of patrons.
- We can share expertise in helping patrons do things like writing a resume.
- Informal meetings, as well as conferences, are a way to meet with each other to cooperate. Friendships with other librarians can lead to better services.
- Inter-library loan programs
- Union Catalogs
- Co-operation in ask-a-librarian programs
- Inter-library cards let patrons use several libraries with one card
- We can cut the price of out-of-town library cards. People in Duschene can buy Uintah library cards for reduced rates
- Librarians commit to having seminars to share ideas
- Shared newsletters
- Shared blogs or RSS feeds with announcements and community events
- We can cooperate in holiday programming
- Collaborate in grant-writing to get funds to help the community
How can libraries develop collaborative partnerships with the community to promote library use and sources?
Collaboration or the “we not I” philosophy is an important, maybe even vital leadership tool.
Collaboration is creating a shared understanding and interdependence to solve a problem. It is used to solve problems that are complex, new, unfamiliar, or challenging. Group members may be more open to diverse solutions when they realize a problem can’t be easily solved using current or past solutions.
- Pick a project that all parties are interested in
- Develop cooperative goals
- Seek integrative solutions – those that meet all in the rooms needs. How? Get all needs on the table
- Who do you know?
- Make yourself known @ city council and amongst commissioners, not just going to them for money
- “create value” i.e. combining tax bases
- Meet with the following once a month: Business, schools and theaters
- Support reciprocity (help others as they help you)
- build trust relationships
- How? Go to events of theirs, be honest and open
- Find out what people’s needs are
- Who needs to be here if we want to _________
- See the connections
- Think of each other as partners
- Library can be a community center
- Have a clear sense of priorities
- Show your “value”
- Keep in the eye of political machinery
- Use a “mole”
- Make sure all parties needs are being met – not just yours
- Community meeting on the topic
- Web blogs about topic
- community events – company sponsored
- Students need connections
- Be a research center/arm for public entities
- Work together
- Explain the economic impact of having a library in the community
- Put yourself out there – make yourself known to organizations
- Trying to get the powers that be on the same page is hard
Examples of projects/groups to collaborate with:
- Dia de los ninos
- Create a learning center for bilingual materials, resources, storytime
- Reading club
- Early open for seniors (once a month)
- Community fair with focus in bike safety, early literacy, health
- Police, mental health department, churches, community leaders, community college
- Read a book then see the play (about the book) put on by local theater group
- PTA, Principals, Teachers
- Beehive Books
- Senior Citizen Center
- Rotary Club
- Daughters of Utah Pioneers
- Literacy Group in school
- Partners at Vernal Head Start, Christian School, Spanish class
- Health: “info prescription” – e.g. go to library for info
- Library display @ fair, etc.
- Chamber of commerce
- Historical society
- Invite H.S. kids into colleges
- Port Chester New York: Carnival – huge in community – community center, reading program, prizes, lawn of library. Each institution shares resources
- “Temptations in chocolate” – raise funds for library, Provo Public Library
- So. Main clinic and Salt Lake County library cooperation
- UVU – BYU – Public Library
- Webpage contest to design library webpage. Open the contest up to the community.
- Friends of the library for high school students so they can use university libraries
- Attend School Board Meetings
- Work with Government Entities
- Tie in with grocery stores
- Involve public health and clinicians
- Private Schools
- Prime-Time (Vernal) group
- Teach grant writing
- Quilt group – class
- History center
- Literacy partnering with schools and human resources
- County fair displays
- Muffin Monday – people come to the library and discuss ideas
- Community read: Provo Library involved all the schools
- Bulletin board: the “write” stuff
- Crafts for Young Adults
How can Technology be used for library outreach activities?
Pioneer resources were often mentioned as a great resource for successfully using library technology to reach out to the public
— Newspapers and magazines in different languages.
–e-books, audiobooks, videos, available as download files.
–Overdrive program offered & Net Library to downloaded media!
–etc, etc, etc. Free download links. Old ILL – New books online.
The key is getting the word out. Promote, promote, promote! More promotions, more often. Get information to Patrons!
Some promotion technology ideas…
–Use Library websites, advertise successfully through your web page – – reach your target audience with target specific messages through target specific media. Let people know what the library has for them specifically.
–run add at local theatre (community service add)
–on website, age specific areas.
–put out an add in MP3 format with audio loan downloads.
— BYI Idaho, “Meet the librarian” videos… http://www.lib.byui.edu/
–to reach YA use ‘texting jargon’ for posters, send it out as a phone text message.
–Send out library overdue notices & activities info through phone text messages.
–Chat platform integration: Meebo, etc.
–Library Facebook account?
Use technology to instruct on what’s available…
–RSS feed links on web page with links to local papers, etc.
–Have ‘how to’ instructions online.
–Utilization of internet communication technology, Skype, Webx, etc.
Open services to business/professional communities.
–Integrate web 2.0 technology for patron use.
— Blogging pages for patrons and librarians, RSS feeds, make links.
–Research what other libraries are doing that are effective in web 2.0 tech and copy/implement.
–Have staff and volunteers offer hands-on teaching for technology access.
Make it fun!
Libraries should communicate with each other and organize cross-library online training, communication, and even competitions!
–Wii. Have interlibrary Wii Olympics!
In conjunction with schools…
–Visit schools. Offer free cards to school-age children. Increases patronage and promotes library tools.
–Proctor testing for Electronic High School testing so youth can get High School credits.
–Pioneer Database/ Have teen link in text jargon/ text to phone messages.
–Teach students/patrons about resources
–Send letters home with students/mail/e-mail
–Go to school programs, pass out flyers.
–Use what’s popular at the moment to entice YA. Twilight parties.