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  • valarie907 10:12 pm on November 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , youth   

    school library messages 

    school library signs and posters

    school library signs and posters collage made with photocollage.net

    Since our User Experience module, I took the opportunity to take a fresh look at the signs and posters we had up around our school library.  The image above is a fair sample of them.  I was relieved that none warranted immediate removal, but I did feel that a more personal touch could be added.  Signage has a tendency to become “unseen” after some time, so fresh messages are also important.

    The messages we send to our library customers can be subtle; with signage, in our correspondence, and use of physical space.  Children are especially vulnerable to these messages because they are absorbing knowledge about how the world works through their experiences which shape their future behavior, expectations and interactions.  I’ve been trying to see the “library” brand and their experience in our school library through their eyes.  Of course there is a list of improvements that can be made, some easier and cheaper to implement than others.  Fortunately, we have been progressing in the right direction.

    Yet, sometimes the obvious shames me…such as when I asked if a student was ready to check out and he exclaimed excitedly, “We can check out magazines?!”  I felt bad as I told him, “No.”  As he walked away disappointed, I asked myself “Why don’t we check out magazines?”  This led me to the conclusion that we should absolutely check out magazines if the students want to check them out, and any objection could be countered with a solution.  My co-worker agreed and amazingly enough a stand became available that would work perfectly for our new service.  We received permission to order a set of very nice, brightly colored, magazine covers, a policy was fashioned and voila, we are checking out magazines!  In fact it’s a challenge to get them back to change out the old issues.

    children's magazines for circulation

    children’s magazines for circulation


    • Pamela Hawks 8:44 am on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Of course! Why shouldn’t magazines be checked-out? I was surprised when I started working at my library that serials could be checked out because the old model was that serials were for reading only in house. A demonstration that re-evaluation is always a needed part of any public service. Good for you in bringing about a needed change!

    • Judi 11:23 am on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You’re a mover and shaker school librarian Valerie! This is a fabulous example of “Why Not?”
      It’s sad that lack of funding prohibits some of the best children’s materials in my local library system from being checked out because they’re too fragile and too expensive to replace, so are kept in the reference section. The disappointment is on a child’s face is heart-wrenching!

      Also, terrific sign photo collage!

    • Patty Miranda 1:18 pm on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      First of all Valerie I would have to say I love how you used the library signage pictures. I will have to try it out in one of my blog one day.
      I have also had students ask me if they can check out magazines or paperback books. Normally I would say they have to stay in the library, but because our student body and staff consist of 750 people and I am struggling to balance everything on a 15 hour work schedule by myself I tend to give in. I don’t have the time to officially add it to the library policy. I do wish we could get new subscriptions to magazines, but there is no money at the moment for anything. I am glad that at least I was able to catalog some new books that were transferred to our school when a Kindergarten center closed down. They are titles that we desperately needed especially since Kindergarten students were now going to be using our school library.

  • valarie907 10:50 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , reading, youth   

    read it maybe! 

    I know you might be tired of “Call Me Maybe,” but I want to share how a bunch of 3rd-6th grade students responded to a parody of it during Open Library (lunch/recess hour).

    Let me preface by sharing that I heard a little guy singing “Call Me Maybe” while playing a video game in the library last week and I thought how wonderful it was that he felt at ease to be himself in our library space.

    So today, I came across this video in my Facebook feed from I Love Libraries and shared it with my library/teacher friends and colleagues. When I opened the link to copy the URL for an email at school, and the video started playing, it grabbed the student’s attention right away. So I set it to full screen so they could watch it. They absolutely loved it!

    It drew quite a crowd, even the ones glued to their video games, and the look of surprise, disbelieve and happiness was precious…it made for a more playful and engaging atmosphere. They left the library with grins on their faces and a spring in their step…some were still singing it. I think I need to surprise them with something fun like this more often!


    • Pamela Hawks 12:30 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Woot! Go New York! Sorry, just a little home state love. Thanks for that Valarie…the perfect transition from my school work to my dinner prep time! I am glad you got such a great response.

    • Patty Miranda 12:52 pm on September 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That is so cool!!! I will try to see if I find any videos that the kids can watch and listen to while in the library. They would love that!

    • Angela Bernard 1:30 pm on September 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Here is another one, “Read it Maybe.” One of the patrons at the library I work at actually posted this on the wall of my Facebook page for the library – talk about working with your patrons! Enjoy!

  • valarie907 10:57 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , youth   

    no more “business as usual” 

    cc opensource.com

    It seems overly simple to say that libraries need to meet people’s needs rather than their own; after all, isn’t that what they’ve been doing?  Well, yes, but the traditional library model is also rather self-serving.  Libraries have formulated mission statements and set goals to promote ideals they feel society ought to value as much as they do.  It might be tempting for libraries to cling to traditional services they know and love when continued funding and support are questioned and/or reduced, if not eliminated.  It is what they know how to do…the problem is that younger generations are growing up using information in a very different way and a traditional model will not meet their needs.   The evolving digital landscape requires innovative services.

    The library of the future is focusing on the young people’s needs for
    the library, rather than the library’s need for young people.  ~ Mindspot the Movie, 2009

    cc City of Marietta, GA

    Participation is fundamental to the Hyperlinked Library model.  Without participation, there is no relationship on which to build upon in new and innovative ways; creating relevant library services becomes a guessing game.  Mutual participation affords an opportunity to gain insight into the needs and desires of users that libraries so desperately want.  In order to facilitate user participation, the users need to be let in…

    DOK’s Aarhus’ Mindspot program is spot on with the methods it uses to engage young library users.  Young people are the libraries future and if they are not engaged now, exactly when should we expect the library to suddenly become relevant to them?  I especially love that they use the young people to create their services and leave the library to meet them where they are at.

    There is still a place for traditional services provided they are modified to meet new access and delivery methods, at least for the time being.  A shift is required to involve as much of the demographic of a given community so that modified traditional services, new participatory services and library spaces are relevant to the community in ways that uphold the mission of the library.  It is exciting to see so many brave libraries and librarians paving the way for all of us.

    cc opensource.com

    cc opensource.com


    American Library Association. (2006). Core values of librarianship. [website] Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/statementspols/corevaluesstatement/corevalues

    Transformation Lab. (2009). Mindspot the movie: The library as a universe. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/ixsOLvLSARg

    • michael 1:04 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nice synthesis of core values in light of the model. Note: it’s Aarhus not DOK for the Mindspot program. 🙂 Those European libraries are on fire with innovation – easy to confuse them.

      • Valarie 1:43 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the correction! I’ll pay better attention next time, for sure. What exactly is it that is driving them? Are their public libraries funded much like ours or in a different way? I tend to think that money and economy drive much of what we do, though I try not to be a skeptic. While reading articles and watching videos about them (European public libraries), I wondered how they afford to do what they are doing.

        I was wondering if you have a source for blog publication etiquette? Do I go in and make a note of my edit? There’s been a few times (like just now when I published a post without a title or tags!) when I forgot to add something to my post or notice a mistake…I think it will improve with practice, but I was just wondering how best to handle those changes.

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