Tag Archives: North Dakota Library Coordinating Council

YA Programming: Resources & NDLCC Standards

NDLCC Standards

Programming is a vital service that public libraries provide. Because of this, the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries includes programming requirements. Consult the Standards for additional information.

Definition

So what exactly is a young adult program? Well, the federal definition (slightly reworded) is as follows:

Any planned event for which the primary audience is young adults (age 12-18) and which introduces the attendees to any of the broad range of library services or activities for young adults or which directly provides information to participants.

Young adult programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. They programs may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need.

Examples of young adult programs include board game nights, Nerf battles, video game tournaments, escape rooms, coding clubs, trivia, selfie contests, etc.

Young adult programs can be held on-site or off-site and be sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Young adult programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities are not considered a program of the library.

If young adult programs are offered as a series, each program in the series can be counted. For example, a coding club offered twice a month should be counted as 24 programs.

Resources

There are a lot of resources available online relating to library programming. It can be a little overwhelming to even know where to start. Below is a list of resources that make great starting points.

Young Adult Programming Resources:

General Resources (for all ages):

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

Children Programming: Resources & NDLCC Standards

NDLCC Standards

Programming is a vital service that public libraries provide. Because of this, the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries includes requirements for children’s programming. Consult the Standards for additional information.

Definition

So what exactly is a children’s program? Well, the federal definition (slightly reworded) is as follows:

Any planned event for which the primary audience is children (age 0-11) and which introduces the attendees to any of the broad range of library services or activities for young adults or which directly provides information to participants.

Children’s programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. They may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need.

Examples of children’s programs include story hours, summer reading events, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, Lego clubs, reading to animals, movie nights, STEM activities, etc.

Children’s programs can be held on-site or off-site and be sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Children’s programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities are not considered a program of the library.

If children’s programs are offered as a series, each program in the series can be counted. For example, a story hour offered once a week, for of total of 48 weeks a year, should be counted as 48 programs.

Resources

There are a lot of resources available online relating to library programming. It can be a little overwhelming to even know where to start. Below is a list of resources that make great starting points.

Children’s Programming Resources:

General Resources (for all ages):

Space Needs Assessment

A space needs assessment is a process that documents and analyzes the space needs of a library. A space needs assessment should be conducted by the library director and board. In some instances, a library could also work with a building consultant.

Libraries looking to meet the Future-Focused level of the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries need to perform a space needs assessment every 3–5 years.

Benefits of a Space Needs Assessment:

  • Advocacy – A library could use the findings of an assessment to advocating for new shelving, a new building, new children, teen, or adult spaces, etc.
  • By conducting a space needs assessment, “librarians and trustees can obtain a general estimate of their library’s space needs based on their library’s underlying service goals” (Public Library Space Needs: A Planning Outline).
  • With a space needs assessment, “planners can assess the adequacy of their library’s existing overall square footage…” (Public Library Space Needs: A Planning Outline).
  • “An estimate of the library’s overall space need can be used to evaluate whether the existing space is sufficient or whether an expansion is warranted” (Key Issues in Building Design).

Step-By-Step Resources:

  • Public Library Space Needs: A Planning Outline (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) – This narrative outline and corresponding worksheet can help public library staff and trustees estimate their library’s future space needs to determine whether more comprehensive facility planning should be conducted.
  • Library Buildings and Construction: Library Space Planning (Connecticut State Library) – Using this Guide and its accompanying Worksheet, librarians and trustees can obtain a general estimate of their library’s space needs, and help initiate a larger facilities planning process.

Additional Resources:

  • Resources for Space Planning in Libraries (WebJunction) – Whether you are planning a new building or renovating an old one, you will need to develop a detailed space plan that takes into account the actual space needs to meet your library’s mission and service plan. Library space planning expert, Linda Demmers of Libris Design has put together a guide to some of the best resources and tools for library space planning as well an an introduction to the lingo.
  • Key Issues in Building Design (IFLA – the space needs section starts on page 6) –Based on the IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section’s Library Building Guidelines, this short publication summarizes the key points to take into consideration when designing a new or refurbished library building.

Worksheets, Spreadsheets, & Forms:

Examples:

Adult Programming: Resources & NDLCC Standards

NDLCC Standards

Programming is a vital service that public libraries provide. Because of this, the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries includes programming requirements. Consult the Standards for additional information.

Definition

So what exactly is an adult program? Well, the federal definition (slightly reworded) is as follows:

Any planned event for which the primary audience is adults (age 19+) and which introduces the attendees to any of the broad range of library services or activities for adults or which directly provides information to participants.

Adult programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. They may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need.

Examples of adult programs include book clubs, escape rooms, knitting and crocheting clubs, genealogy 101 classes, resume building workshops, adult coloring, lectures, etc.

Adult programs can be held on-site or off-site and be sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Adult programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities are not considered a program of the library.

If adult programs are offered as a series, count each program in the series. For example, a book club offered once a week, for a total of 52 weeks a year, should be counted as 52 programs (a very prolific book club in this hypothetical scenario).

Resources

There are a lot of resources available online relating to library programming. It can be a little overwhelming to even know where to start. Below is a list of resources that make great starting points.

Adult Programming Resources:

General Resources (for all ages):

NDLCC Standards Compliance: Weeding

Guest post by Mary Soucie, State Librarian (first published in the November 2016 issue of Flickertale)

This is part of our ongoing series regarding compliance with the ND Library Coordinating Council’s Standards for Public Libraries. This month we will focus on weeding.

Weeding your library, similar to weeding your garden, is vital if you want your collection to thrive and grow and produce good fruit. I know many librarians who are reluctant to weed. “Someone might want this” is the cry of these librarians. And that could be true, someday someone might want that material. If so, chances are good that you’ll be able to get the item through InterLibrary Loan. The fact that someone, someday *may* check out an item is not a good justification to keep it on the shelf. Each item needs to earn its space in your collection.

Statistics show that when you weed your collection, circulation naturally increases. I have personally experienced this multiple times. Once you pull out the items that aren’t circulating, people can find the gems that were hidden by the bulk. There are standard criteria that you should consider when weeding, such as number and last date of circulation, condition, age of the item, other items in the collection that are similar or on the same topic, availability through ILL, historical significance or local interest, and for nonfiction, the accuracy of the information. Personally, I always employee the “smell test” if an item is older and it smells musty or makes me sneeze when I sniff it, the item is pulled. Part of weeding is also identifying items that are out-of-date but still valid to have in the collection in an updated version. The Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding method (CREW), developed by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, is the gold standard for weeding. You can download a free copy of the CREW manual at http://bit.ly/2fwM266. We strongly urge libraries to utilize the CREW manual when weeding.

At the Mountain Plains Library Association conference in October, I attended a fabulous session on the politics of weeding or in other words how to not get caught up in a weeding scandal. Our patrons may not understand the need for weeding our collection. The presenter, Mickey Coalwell, suggested taking a proactive approach when undertaking a weeding process by writing an article in the library’s newsletter about why we weed and how it is necessary to not only add to the collection, but also remove items for the various reasons stated above.

Mickey also stressed that libraries need to have a weeding policy in place. Weeding should be an ongoing function of the library. It is often when the library undertakes a massive weeding process that the community gets outraged. The “whistle blowers” are often staff, trustees or volunteers that don’t understand that the weeding process is a core function of the library. Each of those groups should be trained on the “whys of weeding.” You should know your weeding policy as well as you know your library’s elevator speech. You also want to make sure that you are following local and state policies for disposal of public property.

Once you’ve withdrawn the items from your collection, what do you do with them? One option is to allow the public to purchase them through a book sale or book cart. You can work with Better World Books or other similar entities that will attempt to sell them on your behalf and will share a portion of the proceeds. Goodwill Books may be willing to pick them up and resell what they can, recycling the other items. You may be able to work with physicians’ offices, oil change places, and similar businesses where people typically have to wait to set up a “Take and Read” service. Recycling, after the covers are removed, is another option for disposal.

Weeding is an essential function of the library and one that all libraries should undertake. Corinne Hill, Director at Chattanooga Public Library, summed it up best when she said “weeding is a complex issue. That’s why it’s done by the professionals.” If you have questions about weeding, please contact your Library Development Specialist. If you’d like assistance with getting the ball rolling, I have assisted a number of libraries with weeding projects during “Librarian for the Day” visits and would love to help you out as well.

NDLCC Standards Compliance: Strategic Plan

Guest post by Mary Soucie, State Librarian (first published in the October 2016 issue of Flickertale)

This is the ongoing series we have on compliance with the ND Library Coordinating Council’s (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries. The standards are effective July 1, 2017, and public libraries must be in compliance with the standards in order to apply for NDLCC grants.

One of the standards for all libraries is to have a 3-5 year strategic plan on file with the State Library. Many people are intimidated by the idea of writing a strategic plan, assuming the process to be complicated and difficult to undertake. While certainly some processes are more complex than others, the process can be simple depending on the needs of the organization.

When the State Library decided to create a strategic plan last year, we opted to work with a facilitator. We did an all-day retreat with our staff, off site. We also conducted a staff survey to help narrow the topics to be discussed at the retreat. By the end of the day, we had identified three priorities for the State Library to focus on. Administration then worked with our facilitator to identify objectives that would be used to measure progress of the goals. Library Vision 2020 and our Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) 5 year plan round out the documents that make up our strategic plan.

Hiring a facilitator is one method that can be used to develop a strategic plan. Larger organizations often find it useful to work with an outside facilitator. Libraries that work with a facilitator may opt to utilize surveys, focus groups or a combination of both to help inform the development of the plan.

Smaller libraries may not find the use of a facilitator to be necessary or an option. You can still conduct a patron survey. You can develop the survey using the free version of Survey Monkey, Google forms or another method. The survey can be shared with patrons that come into the library and on the library’s website. Focus groups are also a very useful way to gather information about the community’s needs and wants from the library.

A very common place to start the strategic planning process is to conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are often internal to the organization while opportunities and threats are usually external. When identifying your library’s strengths, questions to ask include what do you do better than anyone else, what can you offer that no one else can and what do others see as your strengths? When identifying your weaknesses, ask what can you improve, what should you avoid, what do others see as your weaknesses? To identify opportunities, look at trends in both the library world and in your community, region and state. When looking for threats, identify what obstacles the organization faces, who your competitors are and what they are doing better than you; again, remember to look at the local, regional and state communities. These are samples of questions you can look at; they are by no means exhaustive. Once you’ve completed the SWOT, you can identify the weaknesses you want to work on and the opportunities you want to take advantage of.

There is no prescription for how long your strategic plan should be. Typically, a plan has three to five goals, with measuring objectives for each. Wendy Wendt, director at Grand Forks, refers to her strategic plan as a roadmap and points out that you will not necessarily complete every single item in the plan. I think that’s useful advice to remember. You want the plan to be obtainable while challenging your organization to grow.

While you are creating your strategic plan, it is the perfect time to examine your vision and mission statements to determine if they still work or if they need to be updated. A mission statement should be short enough that everyone associated with the organization, including trustees, can remember it. The mission statement can be full sentences or a series of short bullet points. The NDSL mission statement is “Making connections, strengthening communities, impacting lives”. This statement guides us when planning services and programs and helps us determine how to use our resources. That is the goal of a mission statement- to help guide the organization in the use of resources while conveying the message of what the organization is about. The NDSL Vision Statement is “providing pathways to information and innovation”. The vision statement is what you do while the mission statement is how you’ll do it.

Your Library Development Specialist can assist you with your strategic plan, from assisting you with conducting focus groups, drafting a survey or reading through the plan and making suggestions on ways to improve the plan. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can assist in any way. You can also visit our website at http://library.nd.gov/strategicplanning.html where we’ve pulled together a variety of resources on strategic planning.

I love strategic planning and would be happy to read your plan or answer questions on the process. If you would like me to assist with a focus group or help you conduct a SWOT with your board, please invite me for a Librarian for a Day; you can contact Cheryl Pollert to schedule a visit at cjpollert@nd.gov.

NDLCC Standards Compliance: Programming for Teens and Adults

Guest post by Mary Soucie, State Librarian (first published in the September 2016 issue of Flickertale)

libraryThis  is  our  continuing  series  on  compliance  with  the  North  Dakota  Library  Coordinating  Council’s  Standards  for  Public Libraries. This month, we are going to focus on library programming, one of my passions. I absolutely love library programming for all ages. In today’s busy world, libraries are serving the needs of their patrons in new and traditional ways. Library programming has increased as has attendance.

The standards for public libraries indicate that libraries serving a populations of up to 12,500 should provide programs for all ages. For the libraries serving populations over 12,500, there are a specific number of programs required for each level- kids, teens and adults.

Many of our ND libraries offer programs for kids. More libraries are offering programs for adults; including everything from coloring clubs to books-in-bars book clubs to craft programs. Some of our libraries offer summer reading programs for all ages while others offer summer reading programs for kids and teens and a winter reading program for adults.

I think it’s important to offer programs for all ages.  As libraries continue to strive to prove their value and relevance in the “Google era”, it is one way to meet the needs of the community. Programs will bring different people into the library and will get people talking about the library.

I am going to focus on adult and teen programs because our ND public libraries have a good handle on offering kids programs. If you’re struggling with how to start expanding your programs to include adults or teens, consider offering some programs that are open to teens and adults. Craft programs are one type of program that you can easily include both age groups in. When the State Library recently held our Pokémon Go event, we had people of all ages in the library; and the different age groups participated in all aspects of the program. If you have an adult coloring group, why not open it to teens?

If you are struggling to serve teens, consider partnering with the local school district on something. Perhaps a book club that is held at the school but run by the library. Stock up on duct tape and have a drop-in “build a something”, a wallet for example, from duct tape.

Consider offering adult programs beyond just a book club. There are lots of ideas for adult programs. One program that I wanted to implement at my last library (but left before I got the chance) was a “cooking club”. Choose a different food group each month, such as soups, and each person makes a sample and brings it to share. The library can share the resources that they have that tie in with the food group; be creative and think beyond cookbooks. A friend of mine did this at her library and patrons were very responsive.

Programming doesn’t have to be hard or onerous on the librarian. Don’t feel like you have to provide all the programs either. If you know someone with a hobby, invite them in to do a library program for you. If you ever want to bounce ideas for library programs, give me a holler, as it’s one of my favorite topics to chat about. You can also visit the Field Notes blog (https://ndslfieldnotes.wordpress.com/) where you will find a plethora of posts about library programs.

NDLCC Standards Compliance Resource Links

Whether or not you attended one of our recent Summer Summit meetings, I wanted to ensure these resources were readily available and in one convenient location. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Library Development Specialist here at the North Dakota State Library!