Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reader's Advisory's - How do they work?

     Reader's Advisories work  in many different ways and views.  Most of the time there a conversation focusing on the readers likes and dislikes.  There may be a discussion on reading level, genre, style of writing, and perhaps characters, storylines and setting.

   Hopefully after the discussion, the advisor, can help the patron by suggesting books to be read.  "Readalikes: which focuses on a similar genre or author's style is one great way to proceed when helping patrons.

   The goal is to suggest titles, or authors, based on the patrons individual interests and tastes.  While we may suggest our favorites, we have to keep in mind to hone in on the patrons interests, otherwise we are not being at all helpful.

   You may ask the patron to describe a book they have read and enjoyed. Have them focus on not just the plot so much, but the elements of the book that they found appleaing and interesting.  The advisor draws on on personal knowledge of their collections or by checking the  online catalog. The librarian advisor may also suggest titles that point readers in a new venue or genre.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Office Organizing at my Desk

   I am still organizing in my new office . I think I have gotten it how I would like it.  Now I am making sure that I can find what I need to at the drop of a hat.   This is my side  cabinet and I have used the top to serve as a host for my most used items. 
  On the top I have my 'famous' notebooks which I put out to grab , one is my daily use organizer notebook, a notebook for my budget items, and one for policies and procedures.   I also have an  in box and a to file box.  Next to that are items filed vertically which I use on a daily basis. Two I have marked with items for the director , and items to take care of. I also have my folder with book suggestions.  I have plain file folders and a place for interlibrary envleopes to  send items needed along the way.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Readers Advisory at the Public Library

     Readers Advisory  services can be a great way to get to know patrons and their reading preferences,  Readers Advisory helps us connect to individuals and groups as readers.
    Asking for book suggestions and giving book suggestions is a core task of a librarians daily activities. Many patrons  however do not know they can ask for suggestions for something 'good to read.'
     There are patrons who ask 'What's a good book to read?" .When they do they may get a variety of answers depending whom they ask.
     It is helpful to find  out what kinds of books the patron likes and then lead them to some comparable and  similar authors and series.  This can be done informally by conversation. Some libraries also provide simple surveys to see what patrons like and then work with the survey and patrons to complete the  process.
    Other ways to provide Readers Advisory is though books displays, discussion groups, read alike lists, and posters.   Now we can also include blogs, or pod casts( as part of the library website) and social networking sites. ( twitter, Facebook)
     Readers Advisory is how the library connects to patrons. So if you plan on doing Readers Advisory formally , think about how you will go about it and what kind of form you will use.    I will have other blogs in the weeks to come as I learn more about it and try to figure  out how I will go a bout doing it  ..Will I form a formal program or just informal.  All of these questions I will think about and decide on as I continue learning more about it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Public Libraries and Customer Service

     School librarians are on a quest to educate students how to use all of the resources in the library, including the newest technology and the latest  materials. While a public library has the same goal, public librarians must also think about customer service. Many patrons do not have the desire or time  for education, they need the information to help them in whatever they are looking for. So we must focus on Customer Service to draw them in and keep them returning.

   How can we help our patrons?   By providing services and showing them the value of our services to them and to the community.
   In the spirit of customer service I am thinking of ways to improve service to my patrons.So this is what I came up with.

   1. What is more important- a perfect library or helping people? - you know the answer to that.

   2.  Should I point a finger to a book or hand a paper with a call number?

   3. Can I walk to the stacks to help find an item?

   4. Can I look up online for a request?

   5. Do I greet each patron with a smile, eye contact or small chit chat?-- Remember we are a part of the community !

  6. Do I return phone calls and answer the phone  courteously and in a timely manor?

  7. Is the activity urgent or important and more important that helping patrons.

  8.  Can I help patrons with copies, computers, book suggestions,  or scanning?

  9. Is the library inviting and does the signage  show where the different sections of the library are located?

  10. Are my volunteers friendly, helpful and love to be at the library?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Public Library Blog- librarianbyday.net

   Bobbi Newman at Librarianbyday.net  is a public librarian  who has been blogging since 1999.   As an ALA Councilor-At Large, and also on several advisory boards she is a busy lady.  She has designed some interesting projects which you can read about on her blog. Two that I can't wait to delve into: This is what a librarian looks like, and Library Day In the life.

   On her site you will find a variety of posts on issues for public librarians. There are many categories: Best Practices, Books- Read this, Customer  Service, & digital literacy( just to name a few). They are interesting and provide a lot of food for thought and change for you and your library.

  I plan to really dive right in here and get a lot of insight for my new position as library branch manager. There are posts on training for managers and  a youtube segment that I think looks really helpful.

   Does any one have any favorite blogs- whether you are a school or public librarian?  I just think they are so helpful!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Organizing work spaces in your library

     In my new position as library branch manager , I have many  places to organize, update, and streamline.  My desk was on of my priorities and yesterday  I think I have it the way I want it.( For now anyway)
   My husband brought in a side lamp  to improve the lighting. The main light is in the a very high ceiling(  the library is in a 1915 brick bank. I needed a bit more light especially since it is getting dark much earlier.

    We moved the file sorter with files( More on that later) to a side cabinet which also has some of my organizing notebooks ( see organizing your office- part 5, 4/26/13 )  ).  Since we did that I turned my hard drive on its side and moved the monitor and keyboard to the middle.( it was on one side )
   So when I am not using the computer, I have a wider spread of desk, and I can spread out to work if need be.  Previously I was going out to one of the library tables which was okay, But when y6ou are trying to get a project done , if you are in your office with doors closed there is much less interruptions.

   For more information  on organizing the main tasks of the library, order my eBook The Organized Librarian.,   See the tab on top of thge page "Books To Order"


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Public Libraries -Heart of the Community

     Public libraries serve the community by bringing people and information together. As so many people in the US are facing job loss, the public library is becoming the place to seek assistance and obtain new skills .  Most of the our public libraries are also now technology hubs. Many patrons still rely on the public libraries for their internet still service.

    Many times the public library is a source of information in helping people with serious needs, loss of housing or public assistance. Library's can be a contact point to community agencies for people in need.

  Public libraries are equalizers. They are a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can freely use a variety of resources and receive guidance of librarians who are information specialists.

    When the economy is down, as it is presently, public library use is increased.  Patrons use the library to gain information, borrow movie and music cd's and dvd's , borrow rather than purchase books, learn new technology skills, and  participate in free programs.   What impact the public library has is always dependent on funding. Librarians with adequate funds can provide more resources for patrons in need.,