Monthly Archives: November 2018

New Items Added to Digital Horizons (September-November 2018)

The Digital Initiatives team has been keeping busy. Many items have been uploaded onto Digital Horizons the last couple months. Listed below is a highlight of new items added to the North Dakota State Library’s online collections. You can access the items featured below by clicking on them or by visiting the Digital Horizons website (where you will also find thousands of other treasures).

ND Memories

ND State Documents

ND County and Town Histories

ND School for the Deaf Banner

Grants for Libraries

Dollar signBank of the West’s Charitable Investments Program

Deadline: Ongoing 

Bank of the West supports nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life, particularly of low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. Public nonprofit organizations in the following counties are eligible to apply: Cass, Golden Valley, Griggs, Richland, and Stark. Grants are awarded for education and job training as well as for community and economic development.

Visit their site to find out more and to apply: https://www.bankofthewest.com/about-us/community-support/charitable-investments.html

Midco Foundation

Deadline: TBD

The Midco Foundation provides funding assistance to organizations that advance socially desirable goals in the Midco service area (which includes most of North Dakota from Anamoose to Zap). Eligible projects include facilities improvements, equipment, programs, and special projects, but not operational costs. The Spring 2019 grant application window opens the first week of December. Continue reading

Annual Evaluations

Annual evaluations of staff members are a necessary part of any well-run library. Not only do these reviews allow staff to reflect upon their previous year, but it also opens the door to establish future goals to work towards. Having a scheduled visit between employees and their supervisor lets them discuss their role openly and honestly in a more structured way than they may be able to in a different context.

It is important to note, however, that there should be no surprises during this review time. Any behavioral or work-related issues should be addressed immediately by a supervisor or, in the case of the director, the library board, as soon as they are discovered. These concerns can be addressed during the review as part of a reflection, but the employee should not be blind-sided by these issues.

Evaluations can be conducted many different ways. Some libraries are required to follow their city or county’s review process using their forms, and others have the freedom to adopt their own with board approval. All staff evaluations should be conducted by the staff member’s supervisor, and the director’s review is conducted by the board.

The evaluation process, ideally, has 3–4 steps:

  1. Self-evaluation

In the self-evaluation, staff members are asked to reflect on their previous year. This may be using a numbering system, a meets/exceeds expectations system, or free-answer system. Oftentimes, evaluations relate directly to the employee’s job description, but evaluations can be more general as well.

The self-evaluation will also typically ask the employee to create goals for the future and address their previous goals. To be the most beneficial, goals should be measurable and attainable. This means that instead of saying, “increase user engagement,” the goal would be, “increase user engagement by 12%” or, “increase user engagement by promoting databases twice a week.” From this example, then, the employee would keep track of user engagement throughout the year and then discuss the progress during their next evaluation. A common guideline is to make the goals SMART; Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

The director’s self-evaluation can also include a broader look at the library such as library highlights, issues of concern, and how the library compares to other libraries of a similar size.

 

  1. Supervisor (or board) evaluation:

The employee’s supervisor should fill out a similar form to the self-evaluation for each of their employees. For the library director, the board should do this portion. For example, if the employee’s self-evaluation asked, “Do you plan ahead with enough time to be able to effectively handle several projects and/or tasks at one time?”, the supervisor’s evaluation of the employee should read, “Does the employee plan ahead with enough time to be able to effectively handle several projects and/or tasks at one time.”

Supervisors should review the goals that the staff members identified to make sure they are SMART and be prepared to discuss them.

 

  1. Staff-evaluation (directors/managers only)

For a staff evaluation, staff members review their manager or director using a similar evaluation form to the self-evaluation. These reviews are submitted to the library board anonymously to provide feedback on the director. Since the library board is not often around during the day-to-day work at the library, staff are seen as a good measure of how a director is doing. Common questions that can be answered by staff better than a board member are questions about communication, timeliness, work-flows, and problem solving.

This type of evaluation is completely optional, and, if the board chooses to go this route, they need to remember the following:

  • Staff-reviews of the director should be read and understood as a whole rather than on an individual basis. This means that if one review indicates a poor communication style and the other seven indicate an excellent communication style, it is likely that one person had a bad experience and is using the evaluation process as a chance to air this grievance.

 

  • Staff should submit their evaluation of the director before their personal evaluation is reviewed. This way, they are unable to retaliate or bolster the director’s evaluation based on the feedback they receive during their review process.

 

  • The director’s evaluation should occur after they evaluate their staff members. This way, staff can be sure that the director isn’t retaliating against or favoring certain employees based on the results of the director’s evaluation.

 

  1. Evaluation review

The final step to the evaluation process is for the employee and the director (or the director and the board) to meet and discuss the evaluations. Typically the manager will go through each element and discuss what they rated compared to the employee. This is a time for both parties to discuss job satisfaction, goals, concerns, answer questions, compensation, and more.

The director’s evaluation review by the library board must follow open meeting laws which means it cannot be closed to executive session as per NDCC 44-04-17.1. For more information on Open Meetings in ND, see https://attorneygeneral.nd.gov/sites/ag/files/documents/Open-Meetings-Guide.pdf

Annual reviews should be signed by both the supervisor and the employee to confirm that they reviewed the document. The signature does not say that the employee agrees with their review, but that it was discussed. A copy of the review should be saved in the employee’s file.

Below are some examples of different library’s evaluations:

Self-Evaluations:

Self Evaluation

Self Evaluation2

Self Evaluation3

Self Evaluation4

 

Supervisor Evaluation:

Supervisor Evaluation

 

Evaluation of Director by Staff:

Director Evaluation—Staff

Director Evaluation—Staff2

Director Evaluation—Staff3

 

Evaluation of Director by Board Members:

Director Evaluation—Board

Director Evaluation—Board2

Director Evaluation—Board3

Book Drops: Options & the NDLCC Standards

NDLCC Standards

The North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries includes requirements for libraries having a secure, after-hours book return.

A book return may be a drop box, basket, return shelf, or some other receptacle located either outside of the building or in another location that allows patrons to return library materials outside of the library’s open hours.

Book Drop Alternative

Book-returns can be expensive to purchase or replace. A Demco product, for example, can run $800–$4,000. We recognize that this price range isn’t possible for some libraries, so we have found a solution. Consider using an architectural mailbox like this one:

Book Return

The Elephantrunk Parcel Drop Box ranges in price from $220–$320 and comes in four different colors. It can easily be bolted into the cement outside of your library and treated like a regular book drop (at a fraction of the cost). This drop box satisfies the standard to have an after-hours book return at your library and allows your patrons to safely return their materials at their convenience.

Continuing Education & NDLCC Standards

Continuing education (CE) is defined as an in-person or online training or workshop that furthers knowledge related to libraries, management, or job-related duties.

The North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries includes requirements for attending continuing education opportunities each year. Examples include library-related workshops, webinars, and conferences. [Note: If are unable to attend a live webinar, watching the recording would also suffice.]

The North Dakota State Library (NDSL) offers many training opportunities throughout the year. Keep an eye on NDSL’s monthly publication Flickertale for more information on upcoming CE opportunities.

Trainings from other library-related organizations would also count toward this standard.

Explore the list below to broaden your continuing education horizons.

Webinars

Most webinars are free and typically last 30-60 minutes.

  • Webinars (North Dakota State Library) – webinars hosted and/or presented by NDSL
  • WSL Training Calendar (Wyoming State Library) – the definitive place to find library-related webinars from across the county

Conferences

Workshops

  • Summer Summit (North Dakota State Library) – an annual library management symposium that invites library directors, board members, and staff are encouraged to attend
  • Research Methods (North Dakota State Library) – the course explores different types of research methods, library subscription databases, and internet search engines
  • Summer Reading Workshops (North Dakota State Library) – workshops hosted by NDSL staff on the upcoming Summer Reading Program