Blogger Meg Smith

Youth Services Basics: Cross-Training by Building Confidence

Are staffers outside of youth services ever responsible for staffing your children’s desk in a programming pinch?  Would employees outside of your department feel comfortable and confident in providing this service or would they feel stunned like a deer caught in the headlights? At our community branch library, information services staff members also staff our children’s services desk, and we receive a great number of children’s reference questions at our adult information services desk.  Staff members outside of youth services must be familiar with the needs of children and those that work with them. Being cross-trained to provide customer service to customers of all ages is a necessity, but how do we ensure that staffers receive the training necessary to handle the unique needs of our young customers? My colleague recently presented training for library staff outside of youth services. Not meant as a substitute for advanced youth services training…

Blogger Meg Smith

It Takes a Team to Present Successful Children’s Programs

    Do you believe your children’s department is isolated from the rest of your system’s library team, or have you found the support you need from other departments and volunteers? Teamwork is as essential to the success of youth services as is a love of children. Partial cross-training remains critical to the survival of youth services at smaller branches and library systems. At our Hope Mills Branch Library, a community branch of the Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center in North Carolina, children’s staffers are supported by other departments. Our children’s staffers lead our programs, but employees in Circulation and Information Services play an instrumental role in serving our youngest library patrons. As space and staff are at a premium, all library employees at our Hope Mills Branch are directly involved with ensuring that children’s programs remain a success. Behind the Scenes Page staffers assist with the inventory of…