Episode 215 Library Impact and ROI



Water drop impact on a water-surface - (5)(Tune in for a bonus episode Dec 7 on handling stress!)

Check our full information page for all our material!

This is our last episode of Season Two! It has been great talking about all these topics this season, and communicating with you. Thanks so much for downloading and listening – it means a lot to us. We are already starting to work on Season Three, which will start early in 2018. And in the meantime, you can go to our website, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, our social media, our online book groups. You can listen to all of our archive of podcast episodes from Seasons One and Two on our website (or your favorite app!). So we are not leaving you; we just have some different communication strategies to connect with you!

This week we are talking about the impact libraries have on their community, and ways to evaluate your Return on Investment (or ROI).

You know libraries are great. We know libraries are great. But, do your patrons know all about it? How about your Board? Your funders?

It is not enough to be able to say, “we are so neat!” and expect people to give you money and support. Instead, you need to be able to show, with specific data, how neat you are. Fortunately, this is amazingly easy to do! Any type of library and information science organization, including libraries of all types, archives, museums, and more, will all make big returns on the investments made in us. We just have to be able to show it, and then to loudly share that information with everyone else!


Episode 214: Programming



Check out our full information page here!

Programming in libraries is the tool we use to connect our services with our community members. All libraries and archives do some level of programming, and for most of us doing more is better. But finding time to develop programs our community members want and need, advertising it to everyone, getting needed materials, doing the programming, and doing evaluation of the results is a lot to handle! To help us with this, we have Guest Host Angie Yanke, from Zimmerman Middle-High School.

We have talked about building connections across your community, and programming can be a tool you use to reach out to connect people with your materials and resources. This is something very individual to each library or archive or history center – everyone will have a different population needing to be reached.

Some jobs are all programming and outreach, all the time. Most public services library people will be doing some level of programming, in addition to their other work. So, how do you know what to do? If you are new to your job, or new to doing programming, or just want to spice up your programming offerings in your library, where do you start? We have a few tips!

 


Episode 213: Reference



1930's - ca. - Alma Custead, Librarian, and Staff

Check out our full information page for all the material we discuss here, and some bonus links! Check out our Books & Beverages Podcast book group for different genre discussions every week!

Reference work is what most people think of when they think about a library. Take a moment to picture it in your heads: do you see a smiling person behind the desk, maybe typing into the computer, maybe handing you a book?

That is certainly not wrong, and in addition to this type of service it also involves a lot of other work. Reference is increasingly moving away from sitting behind a desk and waiting for people to come to you with their lovely, well-thought out questions. Instead it now involves setting up a lot of material people can use on their own schedules, spending time training people in using online databases and other resources, and being present in many other locations.

Whether your work in Reference is helping advanced researchers finding material to help them win the next Nobel Prize, or if it involves the more mundane questions of “my teacher says I need to find an author born on my birthday” – it all matters to patrons. And of course, the most common Reference question has never changed: Where is the bathroom? As with so much we talk about on this podcast, there is a system to help you answer questions the best way possible!


Episode 212: Open Access



Open Access PLoSThis is Open Access week, and we are celebrating with a podcast! (Check out our full information page here!)

This is a topic with a lot of passion involved, and lots of big feelings on all sides of the discussion. Today we are just going to walk through some of the basics of how OA works and what it means; and talk with Susan Schleper, from Centra Care Health hospital library in St. Cloud, about one aspect of using it in a library setting in her institutional repository.

As so often happens on this podcast, we are just introducing you to a big topic – and we want you to get comfortable with the basics and then be able to move on to a larger look that makes works for your organization and professional interests.

So, as always, we have a lot of material on the podcast page to help you keep building up your knowledge. And of course, we are always available to come to your library to help you, to talk with you, and to help you set up policies and procedures and training for yourself, your colleagues, and your organization!

Have you heard our book group podcast: Books and Beverages Podcast? Subscribe today for all kinds of genres, lots of beverages, and a parade of great guests!


Episode 211: Technology Training for Library Staff



Contents of our information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • A Few Technology Training Resources
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

Today we are talking about one of the biggies in the world of library work: Technology training. We all know it’s tough to keep up with the tech we need to use, and it can be even more complicated to help patrons to use their own tech! To help us with this, we have a Guest Host: Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist in St Cloud School District 742.

One of the “fun” things about technology training is that it is never done. You will never know enough, and the field will always keep changing. Don’t get discouraged! Just adjust your own framework to know that there will forever be something new and interesting and cool out there – and you will keep discovering these things and keep learning new skills! (Continuous learning is not only important for continued job success, but helps to keep your brain agile as you get older. So for those of us who are aging rapidly (all of us!), tech is a tool to keep us young!)

Remember: CMLE is here to help you with training! If we don’t have the material here for you, we will help you find it.

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program? We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

Episode 210 Customer Service



Customer service photo

 

Contents of our information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • The Basics
  • A Few Stories from the Front Lines!
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

This week we are talking customer service in your library: the good, the bad! Patrons, customers, or whatever you call those people who use your services, are the heart of it all – the reason our jobs exist. At our very foundation, we only exist in our jobs to serve these people. Some of them will absolutely be the best part of your job; they will make you happy to come to work, they will fill you with that positive glow of happiness in doing a good job, and will in general be a delight! There may even be homemade snacks involved!

Other patrons will make you question your job, your reason for being in a library, and your very will to get out of bed in the mornings! When, not if, that happens to you, try to focus on taking a deep breath and remembering that this too shall pass. Go back and listen to our episode #206 on Conflict Management, and look through our material on handling stress in the workplace.

But don’t let the few lousy patrons be too big a part of your job! Actively keep your perspective focused on the great things you are doing to build community, and to enjoy the customer service aspects of your job! We are not going to overlook the tough parts of this skill, but we do not want to dwell on it and overshadow the good stuff too. So sit back, relax, and let’s talk about some good customer service procedures you can implement in your organization to make things flow better. And we will share a few stores from the real-life side of working with patrons all day!

Next Week: we talk about technology training in your library, with Guest Host Angie Kaltoff!

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program? We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

 


Episode 209: Conferences – Attending and Presenting



ICAPP Conference on Natural Disasters and Environmental Protection

This week we are talking about professional conferences: attending them and presenting at them. This is your chance to meet other people who do what you do, who like the same things you like, and who are experiencing some of the same challenges you are facing! In our system, made up of all types and sizes of libraries, we have many people who are solo library workers, or who work with a very small group of people. That kind of isolation can be tough, so conferences are a great way to be sure you connect with other people in your area of the library world! And, as you are part of a big profession, this is also a chance for you to be giving back to everyone else with your ideas, your experiences, and your material.

We all work better when we are working together, and sharing information is a responsibility of being part of a community. (plus, it’s really fun to present at conferences! You get to feel like you are contributing, and you get the chance to really talk about issues and ideas that are important to you!)

Contents on our full information page:
Contents of this page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Attending a Conference
  • Presenting at a Conference
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

Episode 208: Evaluation



Performance-Evaluation-Process-z

Today’s podcast is kind of a Part Two to last week’s podcast on Strategic Planning. In any kind of planning process, you want to know how things are going – and that’s evaluation!

Does your library do regular evaluation? If you are like many, or most, libraries – probably not. It seems like a lot of work to get started, it seems hard, and it seems scary: what if people say negative things, or you find out you are doing things wrong or badly?

We get it! First: take a nice deep breath, and let it out slowly. Taking a relaxed approach to evaluation can make it all easier. Evaluation can also give you some solid results you can show to funders to demonstrate your Return on Investment (or ROI) – which is always a good thing, whether or not it is required in your library. We will be talking about Library Impact and ROI in more detail in Episode 215 coming up soon – so subscribe to this podcast now to be sure you don’t miss it!

Remember that you are never alone! CMLE is always here to help you – whether you have 100 people in your library, or if you are the only person and kind of scared to get started. Supporting you is our whole mission, so never hesitate to call on us.

Contents on our full information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Basics of Evaluation
  • Specific Evaluation Examples
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion
  • Links with Samples

Want to listen to an episode?

  • You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed: http://libraries.blubrry.com/feed/podcast/.
  • Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!


Episode 207 Strategic Planning



Wikimedia Strategic planning 09

This week we are talking about Strategic Planning.

Did everyone panic a little bit there? No need!

Strategic Planning is one of those things that sounds scary and hard and like it will take you a huge amount of time. But really, it’s just thinking about the future and what you want to do in your library. Generally strategic plans will be about three to five years. After that point, it becomes tougher to know what is going to be happening in your library and in the world around you. The idea is that it is a long term plan. Shorter time periods are tactical plans, or project plans.

(We are working on a new Strategic Plan here at CMLE; so if you are in our geographic region expect that we will be asking you for your ideas as we create and modify plans to help serve our community!)

Today we are going to do a quick overview of the steps involved in Strategic Planning. Your planning process may be more complex, or may be more compressed – you should work on it the way that makes sense for your library and for your community. There are a lot of different ways to create a good plan; but these steps will get you there!

Contents on our full information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Guest Host Kathy Parker
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion
  • Sample Plans
  • 30 Sample Vision Statements
  • 50 Sample Mission Statements

 

Want to listen to an episode?

  • You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed: http://libraries.blubrry.com/feed/podcast/.
  • Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program?  We are here for you!
Click here to get started!

Episode 206 Conflict Management



 

Usually we talk about how wonderful libraries are – and they are! And we talk about cheery, happy, fun things in libraries – and there are tons of them! But today we are talking about a much more uncomfortable topic, but important in libraries: Conflict.

We are all about Minnesota Nice here, and it would be wonderful if everyone was nice, everyone agreed on library issues, and everyone agreed on everything. But we all know that when you work with other people, and when you work with members of the public, things do not always turn out so well. Conflict is inevitable and dealing with it can be hard.

But: like so many things, there is a process you can follow to make conflict situations better! We are going to walk through some ideas here to help reduce conflict situations, and hopefully to make things better. We are not going to fix everything – nothing will. But “better” is a good step in the right direction! Check out our podcast on Stress in the Workplace from Season One to get some good strategies for handling stress that may be a part of conflict.

So everyone take a deep, yoga breath, sit in a nice comfy chair or be engaged in a happy activity, and let’s talk about some skills for reducing conflict in your library.

We have material on our site for this episode; and we also have material on this skill, along with many others, available in our Skills Toolbox section of our site.

Contents on our full information page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Strategies
    • Conflict with patrons
    • Conflict between staff
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion

Want to listen to an episode?

  • You can download an app, subscribe to “Linking Our Libraries” and all episodes will appear on your phone – it’s so easy!
    • Apps we like include Pocket Casts, iTunes, and Stitcher.
    • Download any of these, search for “Linking Our Libraries” and hit Subscribe.
    • If it is not readily available, just enter this RSS feed: http://libraries.blubrry.com/feed/podcast/.
  • Or, you can stream an episode right now on your computer by going to our streaming page, by clicking here.

Whatever tool you use, we hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening, and sharing ideas on libraries!

Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program?  We are here for you!
Click here to get started!