Tag Archives: training

Publishing at the Public Library – Free PLA Webinar

I’m a staunch believer in libraries fostering creative growth and providing their patrons with tools and outlets for the production of artistic and cultural works. As libraries have an obvious and long-standing synergy with authors, it’s a perfect fit for them to help local writers self-publish their work. Brilliantly, PLA is offering a free webinar to help library administrators learn how to do just that!


The one hour webinar will give you the tools you need to:

  • Better understand the role of self-published e-books within the library lending model
  • Be able to help local authors take advantage of free self-publishing tools
  • Know how to form a public library e-book self-publishing partnership

Learn more and register to attend here.


Strategic Planning for Your Library

While your friendly Field Services librarians aren’t out visiting you or doing cool things like preparing book clubs and technology kits, we’re busy planning a day-long colloquium on, well, planning. During it, we’ll cover a panoply of important topics, like writing your mission statement, assessing your community, surveying your users, making sense of the data you’ve gathered, writing your goals and objectives, and what to do once you have a plan.

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Strategy for the masses!

We encourage all library directors and library board members to attend this excellent and eminently practical event!

The Colloquium will run from 10am-4pm and it will be held in six locations during the month of August:

August 5              Bismarck Public Library
August 7              Dickinson Public Library
August 8              Minot Public Library
August 13            Grand Forks Public Library
August 14            Leach Public Library (Wahpeton)
August 16            Alfred Dickey Public Library (Jamestown)

There is no cost to attend, but you must register. Choose the date and location that works best for you: http://engagedpatrons.org/EventsCalendar.cfm?SiteID=9851&thisMonth=8&thisYear=2013

Here are a couple helpful resources we prepared to whet your whistle with:

A Community Assessment Tool for North Dakota libraries.

A Strategic Planning Template to help you with the writing process.

Library Director Orientation in Mott with Kimberly Herring

I had the pleasure of visiting the Mott Public Library this Wednesday to meet their new director, learn of her plans for the library, and take her through the very first Library Director Orientation training that NDSL Field Services has offered.

The town of Mott is lucky to have Kimberly–she’s very enthusiastic about the library and impressively dedicated to it (as was their last librarian, who’s now serving as the City Auditor right next door). She’s already got plans underway to update the Children’s area, carve out a YA area, and boost adult circulation through more prominent displays of new material close to the entrance. She’s also preparing to start public movie screenings (licensed, of course!) and has been seriously thinking about options for gaming in the library as another way to bring in the young folks. Huzzah! Beyond that, she’s continuing the cataloging retro-conversion that her predecessor began, and constantly posting updates to the Library’s website and Facebook page. Oh, did I mention that she’s planning various Gnome-related Summer Reading events to tie-in to the Dig Into Reading theme?

Photo of Mott Public Library Director Kimberly Herring holding two gnomes

Kimberly Herring, Mott Public Library Director, with two friendly gnomes

For the first such orientation I’ve done, I must say that it went great! Kimberly and I covered an impressive checklist of topics, including services offered by the State Library, planning, library policies, board and director responsibilities, online library resources, library friends groups and foundations, weeding, technology, library law, and statistics. We wrapped up just as school was letting out, and she encouraged me to flee before the place was overrun.

A snapshot of part of the checklist of things covered during the orientation, including State Library services, public library statistics, library board and director responsibilities, library law...

Just some of the topics covered

Kimberly did note that she really wants a book drop for the library, so if anyone has any ideas on how to scrounge one (or if you have a spare!) please let us know.

Finally, if you’d like a refresher on any of these topics, don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Field Services librarian. We’re always happy to pay you visit!

How Teens Do Research

In 2012, the Pew Research Center conducted an online survey of teachers. They were asked what research sources their students are most likely to use. The top four sources students use are:  Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and their peers. Less than 20% of students use databases or librarians for research. 64% of teachers say today’s digital technologies do more to distract students than to help them academically.

The Pew study also noted that today’s students lack traditional, low-tech skills like reading printed reports, talking (not texting) on the phone, or conversing (not emailing) with a colleague at the next desk.

[Purcell, Kristen, et al. “How Teens Do Research in the Digital World.” Pew Research Center Report, November 1, 2012, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Student-Research]

The subscription databases provided by the ND State Library are credible sources for student research information. They are easy to search and provide a variety of citation formats. The challenge for teachers and librarians is to get our students to use them.

 “A library is richer than Fort Knox and everybody has the key.” (Robert Morgan, Author)

Credible information

Clear highways and cold weather characterized road trips to Wahpeton High School for a teachers training and to Grace Lutheran Elementary School in Fargo for a student session.

Trainers from the State Library conduct free sessions that give overviews of the online library resources provide by the state. The online subscription databases are a great place for students to begin research. They can be searched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from school or home.  Parents and teachers can rest assured that these databases are evaluated for quality and are appropriate for students of all ages. Plus, there are no distracting ads.

“My mother and father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn’t believe this access to knowledge we have here in America. They couldn’t believe it was free.” (Kirk Douglas – Actor)