Blogger Heather Acerro

Getting Logical

Late last year the Rochester Public Library (MN) administrative team worked with a consultant from Wilder Research to develop a logic model. I know what you are thinking: What is that and who even cares? But if you stay with me for a minute, maybe I can sell you on this wonderful tool for tracking outcomes. Yes, outcomes! Those nebulous, seemingly impossible to track things that prove what the library does changes or benefits the community. It has felt in the past that it is best to leave tracking outcomes to the academics, but with a simple and straightforward logic model, even the smallest community library can get tracking. A logic model is essentially  – everything that your organization is doing, everything that you want to know about how your organization is doing, and everything that you hope will change because of what your organization is doing –  all in…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Top Takeaways from 2017 FLA Conference

2017 FLA Conference

Two words – water. slide. Ok, technically not one of the takeaways, but WOW!  what a site for a conference!           The FLA Conference will be held at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida for two more years.  That’s two more chances to enjoy an amazing facility in the tinsel-coated heart of Orlando.  You have to be a guest to sashay down the slippery path of watery fun, but it is so worth it! Turns out, I’m the only one who said this was a top-five takeaway.  Let’s explore what everyone else had to say. Here’s Your Top 10 Takeaways! Networking!  This was the #1 of the takeaways by FLA conference attendees in an informal, unscientific poll.  Networking is a chance to catch up with colleagues, make new ones and hear about the latest from around the Sunshine State. Pre-Conference Rocked! – “We received very practical, helpful information that could be utilized immediately.” Performers Showcase…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth

On May 15th, educators from University of Minnesota Extension visited Rochester Public Library (MN) to deliver the workshop “Lessons from the Field: Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth” to 77 youth workers from the area. This workshop focused on providing gender-inclusive environments in order to support healthy habits and positive body image for transgender youth. You’ve seen the statistics for transgender youth, so you know they are at great risk of harassment, assault, homelessness, and substance abuse. For transgender youth, having supportive adults and a safe environment can improve their well-being considerably. The report discussed yesterday is brand new and provides background information as well as steps that you can take as a youth worker. To read the report visit University of Minnesota Extension: Children, Youth & Family Consortium and click on Children’s Mental Heath eReview: Transgender Youth. Some more library tips for serving LGBTQIA youth and families can be…

Blogger Angela Reynolds

Researching at the Baldwin

Old books

If you love old books, there’s a good reason to visit the University of Florida. At the George A. Smathers Library you’ll find the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. With over 100,000 items, including approximately 3500 published in North America and Great Britain before 1823, this a truly a treasure trove of children’s books. And the best part? Anyone can visit and examine these books. By the way you’ll, feel like you are in a Harry Potter book when you enter the Grand Reading Room.

Professional Development

Support Your Leaders

What do you think about when you hear the phrase “support your leaders”? No matter who your mind finds, that person is likely in a position above yours, right? Maybe a director, supervisor, or even a mentor. But what about the leaders that don’t have positional authority? What about the great people on your staff, or those looking to build up their own leadership skills in your organization? Supporting future leaders, empowering them to strengthen their abilities and take on new challenges is one of the most important things a manager can do. As you think about ways to encourage the leadership skills in your staff, consider the following: Meet with your staff regularly: One-on-one meetings provide an opportunity to get to know each other, talk about your employee’s work, share feedback, ask questions, and mentor. This is a critical part of being a supportive manager and encouraging leadership. Help staff think…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Yoga, Tai Chi Research Shows Public Librarians Already Know

Jonathan Dolce demonstrates

Yoga: the numbers are in According to a recent ALA-YaTsALL (Yoga and Tai Chi Sessions for America’s Limber Librarians) survey, 21% of librarians are now offering public yoga and tai chi sessions.  Statistically, this marks the highest level of public library interest in fitness in recorded history.  “It only made sense, really” says lead researcher Ben Denstretch. “We have already been doing yoga and tai chi all these years. We simply had to put names with the repetitive poses we perform during our daily work.  Hatha, ashtanga, even bikram when the a/c goes out – we’ve done it all!”   As a result, the increased popularity of yoga and tai chi in libraries has decreased membership in gyms.  Sadly, local chambers of commerce have noted this shift: “Many former instructors are struggling, and switching industries”.  One instructor says, “It’s good that I double majored.  I still have massage therapy to fall back…