Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Step One- Organizing your office.

    Maintaining a neat  and organized office workspace is an ongoing process.   You should never think that you are organized  and that is the end.The initial  organizing will be the most work , but you can begin seeing improvement after a few sessions.  When you think you are done , then you will be on a maintenance schedule  similar to  keeping your house work  done.
      If  you have read my blog on 3/11/13 about Organization in the Library, and files and piles and have started to begin this process then you are on your way. By now your library will be looking and feeling more organized and you will be getting more work done  and feeling better and better.
    Let's look at some other areas of your office and library where you might want to be more efficient. Look at an office supply catalog ( print or online ) When you do you will so many organizing tools.  If there is a spot or area that needs redoing , look for ways that organizing tools could help you accomplish that task.

   Where you do keep your files?  Do you have adequate file space? Are the files in order?  Keep your file with your current to do and daily activities close to where you work.  Other files that are needed can be kept close to your desk.  Files that are needed but not looked at daily can be kept in another file cabinet .  ( I call them my historical files)

    Develop and keep a consistent naming system for both your  print and computer files. ( See The Organized Librarian book)   This will help you to easily find and retrieve the information and files you need .

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Writing your Newsletter

   There are certain key ideas to keep in mind when writing your library's newsletter.  First of all, determine your audience  whom you are writing to. If you can identify  who will be reading your newsletter then you will have adjust your tone and readability.

  Then write to that audience as if you were talking or in  conversation with them.  Keep the language ( words) so that it is understandable. Develop your writing style to be short and simple.  Yet don't talk down to your audience.

  Secondly , be consistent in your style. Do not have one article long and wordy and another brief and sparse.

  Think about composing a style sheet for your newsletter so that whomever is writing will know how to proceed. Actually have more than one person responsible is a good idea to spread the word ( and ideas ) around. This guide can be helpful to note font styles, sizes, and other consistent items in the Newsletter.

  When the newsletter is complete, have proof readers waiting to do their thing.  Having 3 others ( who are not the authors!) read and make corrections before publishing is a smart idea.  These persons will look for several items - grammar, spelling, punctuation and to see if all the sentences make sense. This can save the library and newsletter committee from possible embarrassing items in the Newsletter.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

  Here is another 'social media' site for book lovers. I am having so much fun discovering all these different yet interesting sites where book lovers, librarians, and  readers can meet and find out about new books.

  This is a free resource that helps the reader search for book related content. When you get to BookSpot you will see a listing of main pages on the left hand side. The top sources for best sellers has main list and also has listing by genre, including audio books, Christin, and children just to name a few..

There is a listing of major awards which is helpful for librarians wanting the best for their patrons and libraries.

  The Book Review tab shows magazines which have book review, including NY times, booklist, and Horn Book , just to name a few. This is very convenient for the busy librarian. ( I wonder if there are any that are not!)

  Under reading lists you can find top sources of reading lists and also a "if you liked" section, which is great for readers looking for similar books.

  Another great section for  both librarians is the section on the side called "Behind the book: . This is a very helpful page . One tab is the Book Discussion center. There you can find links to online discussion, publishers guides to books,  and tips for reading groups.  There are also links to discussion guides for a nice selection of books, both current and older titles.

   A great guide for school librarians can be found under Children, and Young Adult in the Genre Corner. There are links to best sellers, reading lists, awards, reviews, and online books .

  The main page has links to other book related sites, lists for librarians and readers, and recent book awards and questions with answers about books.

   So check out for some really interesting content  and ideas about books!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More on Newsletters!

    When  you have figured out the basics of your newsletter frequency and authors you need to decide on layout , design, and format.  What you want to do is make your newsletter tailored to your library. So you need to decide on design, graphics, and layout.  You want to design a unique newsletter that showcases your library. Another item to decide how many pages you newsletter will consist of.

   Front page of newsletter:: Article highlighting major activities or services of the library.   A listing of up coming adult, children, technology programs, events, and exhibits. You may also include a listing of new items, and new technologies.

  Second pages : Short book reviews written by staff , information about Friends groups,   book club news, discussion groups held at the library, ect.

   Newsletters can include clip art, photos of staff or programs, a listing of opening times,  patrons using different resources . Don't forget to obtain photo releases if using pictures of patrons - both adult and children).

  Even just a  two page newsletter can highlight the most important aspects of the library. It is also a great way to advertise  its programs and service. Keep in mind that the newsletter is intended to inform, inspire and grab the attention of patrons and future patrons,


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another List! Accomplishment List!

    Here is another trick I use that gives me a great sense of accomplishment during the day and week.
I keep an "Accomplishment List"  This helps me keep track of what I have actually done each day, even if it was not on my to do list.
   At the end of each day ( or during the day) I reflect on what I did get done and what I actually did.  Did I make important phone calls, did I assist a patron? Did I work on a project that was not on my list?   Did I complete a job necessary to the management of the library?

   I write this down in my planning book what I actually did- especially if it was not on my list to cross off.

   At the end of the month, I would look back on the list and the major activities. Then if the library board, or the Director needs to know what I've been doing or what I have accomplished, I can look back and give the needed information.

  This also shows me what tasks and jobs I dedicated my time  and energy to. I can also determine, if I need to focus on specific areas and activities. I can also use this list when I am evaluated  so I can discuss what projects and tasks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Browse- another social media site for librarians and Book Lovers!

Book Browse  Visitors can view BookBrowse  for free. You can also join for even  more content- I did not join yet- I am too busy seeing all I can for free.  There are lots to do and I want to see all that I can get for free!

   On the main pates  there is a featured daily book with reviews, publication information and summary, short excerpts , and a reading guide questions ( all for the featured book!)   Also , you will see This Weeks Top Picks, which showcases 10 or 11 books and gives the same information at noted above.

   There is a free twice monthly newsletter with lots of information on the newest books.  Among other tabs,  one is Recommendations by members.  Another is Read - a -Likes lets you browse recommended title and authors. There is a book club tab where members can log in and discuss books.

   Also this site has a great tool for librarians to help keep them on top of the newest books.  We can also use it to help our patrons find their next great read.  It would also be a great help with collection developments.

   The site contains book reviews and other tools in a very user friendly and searchable.   In Book Browse, you can browse or search for your preferences. There are cross references to genres, themes, and time periods. Book Browse pulls the best  books  to help guide readers to the books they will love,   It can also be linked to you local  OPAC at your library.

  Key Features: Browse or Search, Readalikes, Complete Book information, reader reviews, and resources for book clubs.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why Newsletters for Your Library?

   Why should a school or public library create a newsletter?  Newsletters at both the school and public library serve multiple purposes.

  Mainly they help advertise library services and programs.  For public libraries, newsletters can also post hours of operation and holidays dates  whey they are closed.     A newsletter is a way to promote library activities, new arrivals, and special  programs and exhibits. 

 Newsletters are a highly visible , low risk, low cost  , way to communicate with patrons who use the library. It is also a great way to grab the attention of the marginal user.

  The discussion about starting a newsletter are few. Will it be paper or online ? How frequently do you want your newsletter out? Should it be monthly, weekly, bi weekly? That depends largely on who is writing the newsletter, and the amount  of time that the person or group of persons have.

  Once the determination is made on frequency, then the discussion is to figure out format. What will you include?

   Promoting the libraries resources is just one thing to include.  These can be lists of new titles, or titles in a certain genre( think special sections like mystery, biography, cook book, science fiction, ect) Provide full title , author, and call number  so the patrons can use the newsletter to come to the library to get the desired item.

   Also newsletters can promote new devices ( nooks, kindles, ebooks)  which can be borrowed by the patrons.  Articles of new features to the library is a great way to introduce them to patrons ( Wireless, online card catalog, online databases)

  Discussion of library issues is also common in Newsletters,  Promoting library programs, and events is a great idea- advertise workshops, speakers, and exhibits to bring patrons into the library.

   All in all, the newsletter helps the community and beyond learn about the many opportunities and information  available at the library!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

To Do List & Folder System

     I have a new thing I am doing and it seems to be working  really well for me. I thought it might work for others so I am sharing here.  When I revise my The Organized Librarian, I will have to include it. Anyway I am getting tasks accomplished accurately and on time.

      Here is what  it looks like. I take  my to do list ( this is my Master list or it could be  from a daily or weekly list. ( Does any one like weekly lists as opposed to Daily lists?) 

     Back to topic:  From My Master list I take a big project with a due date.   I then take a file folder and put a sticky note on the tab to indicate the name of the project.

     Next comes a piece of lined paper. I will write the steps that need to be completed to accomplish the project. At times I may date a segment to be done by.

   Then each day , I spend time doing something on the list. When the segment/ sections is done I cross it off and go on to the next step.

  I find this system works really well on large projects. I can pullout a folder  and do some work on ti . At the end of the day, it goes in my daily stack sorter. This is where I keep the current projects I an working on ( It keeps my desk neat and my focus on what is needed to be done.
  I have been using this for annual reports, volunteer teas, and  thank you letters.   Let me know your thoughts if you try this- I feel really good about my list when working this way.