Training through Utah State Library: The programs, the results

Here is an update on training through the Utah State Library recently.

First of all, the Utah State Library’s Needs assessment for 2014-16 is underway. Be sure to be a part of this and tell us what you’d like to learn, or what you can contribute.

Our recent training topics:USL training

  • Strategic planning
  • Turning the Page 2.0 advocacy
  • Cataloging and Tech Services
  • Hottest social software
  • RDA Cataloging
  • Library Policy

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“New Librarianship”

I just started a conversation with David Lankes and the rest of the nationwide iLead USA David Lankesteam, on the “New Librarianship.”  What? Couldn’t we have said that 2,000 years ago or at least last century, when we started talking about 21st Century Librarianship, now over 13 years old?? Of course we could have. But did we?

What is New Librarianship? David may say, read the book. But I would say, it is about figuring out what it is that makes us a librarian and using that in meaningful ways to connect with communities, to connect with conversations, to connect the dots and help make knowledge accessible to all. The whole point is to raise consciousness, human awareness, that there is something else out there that’s bigger than oneself. There are ideas, there are concepts, there are ideologies that unless explored remain in a box.

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Top 3 trends in public libraries today

There’s always so much to think about in public libraries today, but if I could consider the top three trends, I would say:

1. Collaboration is huge. We are busy meeting the public’s information needs in different, more dynamic, more effective ways now, and it’s all about collaboration. Ask yourself, what does the fire department and the library have in common? Then decide: both are involved in public awareness of fire prevention. Then decide together on a booth, a display, a night where the fire chief comes and speaks at the library, on safety in the home, or whatever else may come into play. People can have fun with this one, it can be sort of like solving a riddle. Better yet, use your long range plan to decide with whom to collaborate (first choice, actually).

2. We are retooling our library spaces to be much more customer oriented. We enjoy style, adequate space for people to meet or work or just relax, ample lighting, views of the outdoors, maybe even something to nibble on while we’re there. Though I only have a couple of grievances with Melvil Dewey, he is now old school in favor of bisac (bookstore model) cataloging.

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Catching Fireflies

Betsy Erickson, Library Director of the Ephraim Public Library in Ephraim Utah, went to the Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference in Raleigh NC, Sept. 26-29, 2012, through a grant sponsored by the Utah State Library. This is what she wrote on the experience.

“I can remember a time, many moons ago when I was just a little girl, oh about eight or nine years old, when I could not wait for Saturday night to come and all the fireflies would come out littering the warm outdoor air with their blinking yellow glow.

‘Our family would gather in the backyard, jars in hand and search and catch these wonderful magical fireflies.  My older sister was stealthy at it where I was more like a bull in a china cabinet running left and right screeching with delight.  My parents were off to the side, with their cool glasses of lemonade chuckling at the two of us, I’m sure.

‘The best part for me was having those little bugs light up my room that night.  In preparation, I would fill the jar with twigs and leaves and just a little bit of water.  I really thought I could make them comfortable in their new fabricated home and hopefully they would live.  It never failed to make me sad waking up the next morning to see my glowing little friends at the bottom of the jar not glowing anymore.  My only solace was I knew I could do it again next week.

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One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as Library Director

Patrick Bodily, the Library Director of the Richfield Public Library in Richfield Utah, attended the ARSL Conference in September 2012, through a grant sponsored by the Utah State Library. Here are his thoughts on the conference.

“I was one of the lucky few who were able to go to the annual conference for the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) in Raleigh, North Carolina, thanks to a grant funded by the Utah State Library.  This was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my time as Library Director, and I would recommend to anyone that can that they make it to the ARSL conference next year.  At the conference, you are surrounded by other people with a passion for libraries and want to make our services better and patrons happier.  It is a great reminder that the problems and challenges that we face here in Utah are also being faced across the country.

‘One of the sessions I got the most out of was entitled “De-Clutter Your Collection: Tips for Weeding Library Collections.”  The presentation covered reasons why we weed, as well as excuses that we make for not weeding.  In the Richfield Public Library, where I work, space is an issue.  This presentation helped me to make sure that I wasn’t just weeding for space; I was weeding items from the collection that were no longer useful to the patrons that I serve.  Again, I would like to give a big thank you to the Utah State Library for making attendance of ARSL possible.”