Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The future of all-things audiovisual

Back to Basics

The Public Perspective

A year ago my library made the big decision to re-purpose our audiovisual room to accommodate our growing teen community.  This new teen space would come equipped with doors and would give the teens room to breathe and talk without getting shushed every two seconds.  It has been a blessing, and the successes we've experienced because of this big decision have been surprising.

But moving the teens meant moving the entire audiovisual collection.  In many ways, moving a dying collection.  How used are our DVDs, music CDs, and audiobooks?  Is the cost of purchase worth the small circulation and lost/damaged rate?  Hoe much longer will these mediums be available for purchase and use by patrons?  These were the questions we pondered as we decided what to do with the collection.

Like reference, this was something we didn't really have an answer to.  After running the numbers, we determined that it was time to get rid of our music CDs.  They were old.  The new ones purchased were promptly stolen, and with the popularity of iTunes and other mp3 purchasing mediums, it wasn't worth the library's small budget to continue purchasing in this particular area.  There were some unhappy patrons, but overall, most of the community didn't even realize they were gone. 

DVDs are another story.  We've gotten rid of all of our VHS tapes, but I'm struggling to get our DVDs moving.  There are certain titles that go are never in (haven't seen Downton Abbey in months!), but our older titles don't really leave the shelves.  I've tried displays.  I've tried Facebook posts.  But I'm not sure what to do?  We have at least 5 Redbox machines within a three mile radius.  Is it worth it for the library to continue to purchase DVDs with the availability of new releases for a $1 at every convenience store?

Not sure what we're going to do.  With the rise of streaming, you're left to wonder if DVDs will still be available for purchase in the next couple of years.  But I'd love to hear what your libraries are doing!  Have you made any big changes to your collection or found a great way to get them moving off the shelf?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Q & A Bloopers

Q & A Bloopers

It's bloopers time!  Our last Q&A was all about our process on making YouTube videos.  Here's just a few of the moments left on the editing floor.

We hope you're somewhere relaxing celebrating Memorial Day with those you love!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Award-Winning Books Raffle

In Indiana, we have Eliot Rosewater books.  Named after one of Kurt Vonnegut's infamous characters, this collection of books is like the Newbery Award for Indiana...well, kind of.  It's a list of 20-25 books published within the last five years that are considered the "best of the best" in various genres and reading levels.  This collection is so great to have because it gives reluctant readers a starting point.  If a student doesn't know where to begin in choosing a book, the "Rosies" almost always have a book that will interest them.

But how do you motivate students to read more than one book on an award list?  This year I started what I call the Rosie raffle.  I collected donations last summer from various businesses, my school's PTO, etc. and even added in some library $$.  These are my prizes and range from books to movies to $5 gift cards to various locations. 

Here's how the raffle works:

If a student reads a Rosie book and passes a quiz over it (I use the Accelerated Reader program), their name is entered into the raffle.  Each Friday we draw a name and that reader wins one of the prizes.  We make a big deal out of announcing the winner by putting them on the school announcements, presenting their prize to them in class, etc.  And a student can enter the raffle during the first week of school and have their name drawn out a few months later, so the suspense is always there!

This has definitely increased my circulation of the Rosie books and has gotten the kids excited about the book list.

So take advantage of donations and think about awarding prizes other than pencils and bookmarks.  Your students will probably appreciate it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Doing a little "Goodreading"

Book Love

I don't consider myself a forgetful person, but I'm a busy girl.  There's always more work than time in the day, playing endless fetch with my feisty 10 month old puppy, blogging on two separate blogs, and making sure that I don't miss the latest episode of New Girl (best TV sitcom EVER).  For a person who loves books, loves their shiny covers, loves the sound of opening the cover for the first time, loves the feel of pages underneath her fingertips...finding (or remembering!) the next book to read can be difficult.  I see hundreds of books a day, and I wish I could store all the titles and authors in my brain to recall when I have a free moment to read.  But alas, I can not.  Thankfully there's Goodreads.

This summer I have some assigned reading, but I wanted to make sure I could fit in some books just for fun.  To keep myself on track, and not forget the titles I've been desperately wanting to read for awhile, I decide to start being smart about my Goodreads use.  So I made myself a "Summer 2013 To-Read list" of just 10 books.  Ten books that I will have no excuse not to read.  Ten books that I can finally mark off of my list.  Julia has her calendar, I have this very small list that WILL be completed by the end of July.  Fingers crossed.

Here's my list.  What's on you summer must-read list?


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Become a content creator

Back to Basics

Public Perspective

It is reported in a recent PEW research report that 81% of American adults use the internet.  That's not surprising, and it's nothing different than what we see every day in our libraries, but it's still an important number to understand and embrace.  Our patrons are on the internet.  They are posting, uploading, sharing, and browsing every single day.  The are content creators.  We need to be content creators as well.  We need to meet our patrons where they are, posting, uploading, and sharing right alongside of them.  If we're still debating social media policies, than we're proving the critics correct on questions of a library's continued relevancy in today's digital world.

Not only is it easy to participate...it's also fun!  Sure it can be time consuming, but being a productive and successful comes down to establishing a mission and goal for posting/sharing and spreading the wealth of work.

Here's a few ways (minimally) public libraries can participate in the online discussion that is social media:
  • Post program updates and summaries on Facebook
  • Post discussion questions on Facebook to get your community talking
  • Blog book reviews
  • Tweet great patron interactions
  • Connect with local organizations on Twitter and Facebook
  • Create super short program promo videos for YouTube.  Share on Facebook and your blog
  • Share booklists and program ideas on Pinterest
Just a few things, but the possibilities are truly endless.  Start small, build an audience, and have fun!

Would love to hear some of the ways your public library is using social media!

End-of-the-Year Tasks

Back to Basics

This is definitely a school-related post only since public libraries really don't have an "end-of-the-year" time frame like schools do.

But today's topic focuses on what tasks you may want to have on your to-do list as the school year wraps up.  Here's what I focus on every year:
  • Conduct an inventory on your collection.  I like completing an annual inventory because I want to have every item accounted for (or, of course, unaccounted for).  And the end of the school year is best for me since I can keep students out for the inventory mess!
  • Update your orders for the following year.  I always order my newspapers, magazines, supplies, award-winner books, databases, etc. so that they are set to arrive when school arrives in the fall.
  • Write an annual report.  These reports are great to have to remind you of the benefits of your program and the direction in which it is headed.  And of course this is a great way to promote yourself to your administration!
  • And if you have any extra time (ha!), consider creating some bulletin boards or book displays for the following year.  Use your students, too--they're always looking for ways to be creative in the library!
It's easy to want to get burned out at the end of the year, but trust me--doing some or all of the above tasks will make your school year start much smoother!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Library Shorts: Emily's Home Style

Library Shorts: Emily shares some home decor

So, as you can see, I have a pretty eclectic style!  What I failed to mention is that not all of my pop culture paraphernalia was relegated to the red room...my two sets of Star Trek drinking glasses are proudly on display in my kitchen!  See you next week with some of our bloopers!

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