Saturday, May 31, 2014

Establishing Routines- Part 3 - Floor Time

 "Floor Time" is when I am Not in my office( that is Desk Time- see Establishing Routines- Desk Time).  Each day I try to spend as much time as possible  on 'Floor  Time". Why?  because I want to be viable to the patrons and the staff and I want to be available for help  when needed.

  This is a time when I am really 'being' a librarian by assisting patrons with reference and reading questions. During this time, I can help patrons locate books,  provide computer help, and discuss reading   suggestions and preferences.

   There are many other tasks and activities that I also do during floor time which helps me keep tabs on the physical site of the library building. This is a challenge  because we are in a 100 year old bank building so something is almost always is needing attention.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Professional Reading Journals for Public Librarians

  There are many great journals  for public librarians.   The two we receive and share with the librarians in our branches are : BookList , and Library Journal.  Both of these are excellent . I also find that the articles are great- especially the ones in Library Journal.

 I use these for mostly reading reviews of the latest books  and look  for their stared reviews and special sections on various genres.   Both also have great websites.

. Booklist is a book-review magazine that has been published by the American Library Association for more than 100 years. It  is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy . It  also has an extensive website and database, e-newsletters, webinars, and other resources that support librarians in collection development and readers' advisory.

  Library Journal is another  trusted and respected publication for the library community. Built on more than a century of quality journalism and reviews, Library Journal  provides  features and analytical news reports covering technology, management, policy and other professional concerns to public, academic and institutional libraries. They have vast reviews and  evaluate 8000+ books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos/DVDs, databases, systems and websites.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Magazine management

   How do you manage your magazines?   How do you keep track of if anything is missing?  There are many ways to do this. One of the easiest is one described in The Organized Librarian ( See under tab for books for sale).

   Now that I am in a public library , my clerks do most of the keeping track and it is one thing I do not have to stress about.  When a title is missing , I just give a call to our magazine supplier and our friendly Allison takes care of it.

 But I do recommend   keeping a listing of what magazines you receive. Now I also like to track how times each title goes out so I can decide if I will reorder when the renewals come up. 

 We bar code each one as we get  a newer one each month. Which means the current month does not go out, but back issues can. 

 Our present magazine rack is not the greatest. But I am hoping that our Friends group will be able to purchase a regular one for us.

 We keep the magazines for a year and then we discard them. We have a "Free Box" where patrons can recycle their magazines. So at times we will place the outdated magazines in their.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Processing

 You still may be processing  your new books. And you may be getting tired of doing it and wish it were done.  Especially in a public library when you may get a shipment every month.  How can you get it done and still do something / anything else to have your library in good shape ?    In "The Organized Librarian" I give some ideas  on getting everything done or at least not feeling so very overwhelmed at all there is to do.

        But I still get the feeling that the books will Never  get all done and then a new shipment comes in with more books. Now I love love new books but I want them to be all ready for the staff and patrons, and not have them staring me in the face.   So what I do is this , depending on the number of other things I need to do , I set a daily goal of the number of books  to do each day.  

         The rest I 'hide"- no I really do not hide them , I just place them on a cart facing toward the wall or in a closet  so I do not see them 24/7.  Then I get the book goal done as soon as I can - coming in early, staying late, making sure that the other activities I need to have completed  are finished. If I am having a good day- I sneak out the next days goal and do them. 

        If there is a great day of only a few classes or a meeting that I do not have to attend then I sometimes do a marathon day of stamping, date due slips,  and  putting on genre stickers.  Then I really feel great about getting all the books ready.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

File Cabinets

 Making your file cabinets easy to use!
     At my new position, there was stuff filed in the file cabinets but not in hanging file folders and not in any kind of order.  so it was very difficult to find things quickly. I also went through and got rid of many files and papers that I did not need. I had to make sure what to chuck and what to keep.

    At the public library level , you are required to keep many records at least 7 years.

    So this is what I did. First I took EVERYTHING out.  Then I got a stack of new file folders and new hanging file folders.  I made new folders for almost everything that looked dog eared and ratty.

   Then I  rehung the hanging folders and filed items in ABC order.   I also have a small cabinet in my desk.  I did the same thing.   I made files and got the hanging file folders  and put that in Alphabetical order.

   What a difference! Now I can actually find quickly what I need.  Now as per  The Organized Librarian , I want to make a listing of what is in each drawer so that when I need to find soemthing I can check the list to see where it is located.

  I still have the files downstairs to do but that is another days' job.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Establishing Routines- Part 2- Desk Time

  At my new position of library manager, I am still trying to figure out routines and schedules.  I still struggle with using my time wisely.  As a school librarian, I had one large room and multiple classes, and the regular library duties.

  As library manager, I have  regular library duties , and then I also am the manager of a three story building.  So this is a learning curve for me, and I am slowly figuring out the routines and changing them.

  So I am dividing my time into two parts : library duties and building duties.   The library duties are also  a little different in that I actually have a book budget in which I can purchase books each month and I can get the latest best sellers that patrons want.

  So in establishing my routines I am deciding  between ' desk time" and 'floor time'.  During my desk time, I  do the following activities at designated times: First thing in the Am ( before opening) check emails,  track wireless, check answering machine .

  Also I have Desk time  during coverage of lunches: Again I check emails, work on purchasing lists, reading reviews,  printing out calendars, flyer's,  making phone calls.

  At the end of the day, I also do a little desk time: again check emails, make phone calls,  file papers,  clean up my desk,  make plans for the rest of the day, and check my calendar and planning books.
I might also during  any of these times, write down questions I may need to ask my Director or Assistant Director.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Library Signage

  Library Signs are important to both students and patrons  in that they help them find sections and areas needed. Even more so in a Public library or a large school library.signage is important because  it will save you and your staff time  in answering continuous questions about where things are located.

  So think about  several things before making signs.   What sections do you have and do they need to be noted ?   What areas are you always directing patrons to?   The most obvious are of course , fiction, non-fiction, children's room, Ya room, or reference section.

 Depending on your library , you may also have  a computer lab/area,  over sized book shelf, large print books, archives ( local history) or  reading or study area.  

  Having signs for these will allow you  to define areas of the library where many patrons / students  want and need to be.   So now for the signs: what kind will you have? 

  If you have a large budget, then check out the library suppy catalogs or find a local person that can design and make signs for you.  The advantage of this is that these will be lasting signs.  Hang them carefully and you will use them for many years.

 If your budget is not large, then do what I do. I made colorful signs on a power point program or a publisher program.  I then cover them with contact  paper.
 These signs  will be placed where needed.  In a few years if I need to make new ones I will. The advantage of this is if I move areas around , the signs are easy to move around also.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Promote with new technologies

 Use the newest technology to promote your library. We have already discussed blogs, podcasts, and other printed promotions  But what about  the really new stuff?? How about twitter,  wikis, you-tube,  Facebook, texting,  and   Apps?

  The teens and young 20's know all this stuff and if you want to reach them, then try to get some of these Social Media and let them help you get the attention  of the younger generation.   At our library we have just hired two young  people on our staff for children's and adult programming. I am hoping they can show / teach us which of these are the most powerful to attract teens and 20- 30 somethings into using the library and all its resources.

  What are you doing in your library to attract the younger set?  Can you share with us what you do to get the teens and young adults into the library??

Friday, May 2, 2014

Your Circulation Desk

   Start at your circulation desk is a good way to organize and begin to be more efficient.    This is the one place where everyone spends a lot of time, the circulation desk!
   Take 15 minutes the first day you can , and see where you can be better organized and more efficient.

    Do you have pencils/ pens handy both for your use ,  your assistant and even your patrons / students.   Get some sharpened and ready. Make a can that people can grab if they need too.

    Look at your calendar. Do you have one? Is it up to date? Clean it off so you can see and write or pencil important dates/ tasks for you to remember. The calendar is one of the most important things for you to use in your quest in being organized and efficient!

  Other  tools that you need at the circulation desk:    Information on programs ( if at a public library) cards to sign up for a public library card,  phone books,   paper clips, paper, staples,  tape, and glue.

  Most importantly keep your items needed for circulation: date due stamps, stamper, re-inker, slips or  slip printer,    and  slip printer paper.  Also keep a supply of pockets if you use them and  other items related to the check out of books and materials.