Administrative and Management Skills

How to look ahead…

We are in a historical moment. A pandemic. We can’t do what we have always done, and maybe that’s a good thing. I hope that our systems, our peers, and ourselves take a second or eighth look at what we have always done and see the potential to do more or rediscover what we could do. As numbers increase across the country, and more uncertainty looms with the flu season upon us, it’s getting kind of hard to go work. Even if you love it. And so many of us really do. This is a difficult time to work in the public, and it’s a difficult time to manage those who do. Psst. I don’t actually have any answers. I keep going because it’s my job, and I want to serve my community and support my staff. So, to go on… I practice safety at work. I wash my hands…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Keeping Connected with Custom Collections

At a time when Rochester Public Library (MN) has limited ability to provide direct services to children, teens, and families, our custom collection service has helped us stay connected. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people experiencing homelessness and running a COVID-19 call center. We also provide library services through our digital library, Curbside pickup, Bookmobile services, Deposit & Homebound services, phone reference, and Internet access by appointment. This work has required our library to collaborate as a large team, with staff from multiple divisions sharing ideas and responsibilities on the various projects. As a result, our Youth Services team hasn’t had many opportunities to work together. During this time, two YS programs have allowed us to provide direct service to our kids, teens, and families. In June, we launched our Pen Pal program which has been…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Summer Playlist: At Home Edition

In 2017, Rochester Public Library (MN) launched the Summer Playlist program to replace our traditional Summer Reading Program (SRP). You can read all about that process here. Summer Playlist is an all-ages reading and adventure program that is inclusive of all abilities and interests. When we started our SRP overhaul, we intended that the program would remain relatively unchanged for at least five years. For 2018 & 2019, we ended up making several large changes that were much-needed simplifications and improvements. In early 2020, we finally had the most absolutely perfect Summer Playlist program yet; everything was ready to go, our reward bags were ordered, our log was ready for the printer, and it was going to be the BEST! And you know how this story ends. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

(Emotional) PPEs that aren’t supplied…

I cringe with this title, because, hopefully, the majority of these readers work somewhere that is supplying gloves, masks, and face shields in this public health crisis. But, I know better to hope for basic essentials. Instead, I wanted to talk about the PPE that lives in each and every one of us and is currently required for doing library work in a pandemic. It’s our emotional self and reserve that we need to use daily, sometimes hourly, to protect ourselves from the wear and tear of this job. P- People skills: Knowing how and when to defuse escalating situations. Giving service with a smile. (Even when it’s a snark hidden under a mask) Using a touch of humor to connect with patrons. Remembering that you can still safely connect with patrons through your sanitation shields. Meeting different users where they are- whether from 6 feet away or a screen…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Feeding Body, Mind and Spirit: Lunch at the Library

This has been a rough summer for most of us, I think. The reality that the pandemic is not going away anytime soon has started to really sink in. We’ve seen businesses open only to shutter again after a few short weeks. The hope of school returning as normal in the fall has faded, bringing challenges to many families. It’s been a hard reality to swallow. In our community, as in many others, we are still reeling from 2019. We had significant property loss due to wild fires in the fall, and a tragic school shooting at Saugus High School on November 19, which resulted in the injury of five high school students and the death of three. We were traumatized before the pandemic hit. We are now hunkering down now for another semester of online classes, unemployment, social distancing and life in the “new normal.” Graciously, there have been…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

No-Tech No-Touch: Real Life Programming in a Pandemic

Our library is talking about how to serve children in more tech-free ways. Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt, but how do we give our community some of the fun passive activities we are used to while keeping our staff and families safe? I know we are all missing our kiddos and their grown-ups and they are missing us. We want to feel connected and lately the virtual connection doesn’t feel like enough. So I looked around to see what other libraries are doing and here are a few of the things I found. Scavenger Hunts: Check lists like hunts from Glenside Public Library District are easy to replicate and hunt lists could be tucked into books if locations are doing curbside check outs. Neighborhood hunts have also been very popular and are simple to participate in, the Northbrook Public Library’s Bear Hunt  is cute and book based. Quite a few libraries have…

Pandemic

ALSC & You: Staying Connected

alsc and you graphic

I hope you and your loved ones are taking the best care possible during this time. From the beginning of shelter-in-place orders, ALSC committee members, staff and leadership has been thinking of ways ALSC can support those in the profession during this time. We know one thing is certain: remaining connected is a bit difficult, but so much more important now than ever before. How can we continue to network? How can we continue to share ideas? How can we continue to build on our passions in healthy ways during this time? Using ALSC channels and platforms, I want to share just a few ways we can stay connected: Join a We Are ALSC Chat (WAAC): The ALSC Membership Committee hosted a first WAAC at the end of April to connect with others and share some initial thoughts on the impact of this pandemic in an informal setting. ALSC’s School…