Posts filed under ‘Cool Ideas’
Douglas County uses Website to Engage Teens
The Douglas County Library System (DCLS) implemented an online only raffle through the Plinkit based website for the 2012 Teen Summer Reading Program. With just a few days left for the raffle, over 195 online book reviews have been received. Each review counted as an entry into a summer-long raffle drawing for a Kindle. Entries were only accepted online. Bookmarks and flyers with QR codes linking directly to the raffle submission form were distributed. Although the county-wide raffle is still ongoing through August 11, the number of participants has been a welcome surprise. Cindy Hutchison, the Youth Librarian for DCLS, expressed, “I am very pleased with the number of entries so far.”
The book reviews will be featured on the DCLS Teen Scene website. In addition to the online raffle, the Headquarters library in Roseburg held weekly raffles based on book reviews submitted in person. The weekly prizes included a Kindle, movie money, Hunger Games Trilogy, and a Munchkin Zombies game among others. Teens also had the opportunity to win prizes through daily trivia questions. Crafts were set out weekly for the teens to complete at their own pace, such as zentangle, origami, owl pellet dissections and more. Victoria Carnate presented a tie dye t-shirt program for each of the DCLS branches and headquarters. -Julie Jeanmard, Douglas County Library System
I Love my Librarian Award
The Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians.
Nominations for the 2012 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Awards are open through September 12. Ten librarians each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times, on December 18, 2012. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library.
Recognize the accomplishments of your exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarian. Promotion tools are available at
Library staff could promote this on their library website, near the OPACs or circulation desks, via social media feeds, etc. The promotional section has sample copy for blogs, newsletters, and campus newspapers. -Jen Mauer, Oregon State Library
National Library Support Staff Certification Program
Believe it or not, we may actually get a national library support staff certification program before I retire. I was starting to have doubts…
The national Library Support Staff Certification Program project is an attempt to establish nationally recognized professional standards for support staff. This project has been awarded a 3-year grant, and the first year is already half done. This is what they hope to accomplish:
*Finalize competencies in Year 1.
*Develop an assessment program in Year2 (starts July 1, 2008). Develop policies and procedures in Year 2.
*Field test the program in five organization types in Year 3.
So far, the draft competencies have been written.
Competencies cover the following areas:
- Foundations of library services
- Access services
- Reference and information services
- Technical services
- Reader’s advisory services
- Supervision and management
- Public Programming services
- Technology services
- Communication and teamwork
- Marketing services
- Youth services
The goal of the competencies is not to establish everything everyone should know to do their job, but to establish a baseline–what every library worker should know and be able to do.
Certification won’t automatically lead to an increase in pay–the job market will have to take care of that. But it will do a number of positive things. It sets up the baseline standard of what support staff in libraries should know. It will improve library service–states such as Minnesota that have voluntary programs have already seen improvements in morale and performance. It can provide a refresher course for older employees, and a possible chance for promotion or recognition for other workers. It will help those who want it a chance to be a little better.
It has always seemed a bit crazy to me that the current job structure does not officially recognize any education for library workers between the high school diploma and an MLS. That’s a big gap. Certification might be a useful marker of an interim step.
You can find more information about the program at:
http://www.ala-apa.org/certification/supportstaff.html The FAQ page at http://www.ala-apa.org/certification/supportstafffaq.html is quite helpful. The project directors’ names and addresses are at the bottom of the page, and they welcome questions.
ILoveLibraries.org (http://www.ilovelibraries.org/) is a website designed for the people who use and love libraries. It’s meant to keep the public informed about everything libraries have to offer, as well as develop new ways to involve the public in their continued health and vitality. Links to YouTube movies and a Flickr library stream are available through this site.
ILoveLibraries.org is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and it features the 65 Reasons to Love Your Library tool kit (PDF). Developed by the Texas Library Association Public Relations Committee, under the leadership of Sue Haas, committee chair, 2003-2005, this tool kit is used by Texas libraries to develop local promotional campaigns. The elements of the 65 Reasons tool kit can be adapted to fit your library and your needs.
Google Custom Search Engines
http://www.oregonlibraries.net/find is a Google Custom Search Engine that limits a search to websites that Oregon librarians have shared with patrons on L-net more than once. If you want, it can limit to specific pages shared more than once, or search the QuestionPoint global knowledgebase.
I don’t think reference work is a real substitute for collection development, but I think that if more than one librarian thinks a site answers a question, it is probably good for something. The main advantage is that it gives patrons a self-service option before asking a question from a librarian. I haven’t evaluated whether or not they find what they are looking for, or how often someone clicks on chat after searching.
The search gets rid of ads and other search “results” that aren’t web pages, like images, news, etc. If you search ‘Martin Luther King’, it is mostly the same as Google, except an infamous hate site is left out of our results. Good for research, but maybe bad for information literacy.
On the negative side, if L-net librarians usually find resources on Google, we are essentially creating a search engine of just some of the things found in Google, and it might not ever be as good as Google itself.
The list of resources it searches is updated every day automatically when I export transcripts from OCLC.
—Caleb Tucker-Raymond, Oregon Statewide Digital Reference Project Coordinator
Oregon Battle of the Books
If you think kids these days are just playing video games and checking their MySpace accounts, think again. OASL’s (Oregon Association of School Librarians) Oregon Battle of the Books program has kids devouring books in preparation for an epic showdown between schools. The premise of the Battle of the Books is that students are assigned a list of books to read, they then read the books, discuss the books together, and then compete in a quiz-style format to see which school’s team knows the most about the contents of the books on the list.
Students are already warming up for the competitions which are set to start this spring. Competitions will be held regionally, and the regional winners will meet at the state level for a final competition. Check OASL’s website for the schedule: http://www.oema.net/OBOB/Calendar.html and plan to attend a Battle of the Books in your area. Reports from last year indicate that students could hardly wait to beginning reading again in preparation for the next Battle of the Books.
Food for Fines
Looking for a way to spread some holiday cheer this season? You might try a “Food for Fines” program. There are a variety of ways to implement this, for example the Williamsburg Regional Library system waived the fine on one overdue item for each non-perishable food item the patron brought in; Oregon’s Corvallis-Benton County Public Library is reducing fines by $1 for each canned food item brought in up to a maximum of $5, which is similar to a program run in Park City, Utah. And not just public libraries have been participated in this program, American University’s Bender Library has been operating a Food for Fines program for twelve years. The food goes to a local foodbank and patrons just might be a little more likely to pay off those fines!
OSU Creates Childcare Center for Student Parents
In order to help Oregon State University student parents in need of care for their children, the Associated Students of OSU and the Valley Library have teamed up to create Our Little Village-Library.
Our Little Village-Library, a short-term childcare center for student parents, is located in Valley Library Room 3564, directly behind University Archives.
Any currently enrolled student can drop off their children ages six months to 10 years old on a first-come, first-served basis for a maximum of two to three hours. Student parents must stay in the library while their child is being cared for at the facility.
Parents are given a pager when they drop their child off so center staff can contact them.
The space is divided up and there are age-appropriate toys and programs, said Stephanie Duckett, student-parent advocate for ASOSU.
The program is paid for by student fees, so there is no extra cost to use the center, Duckett said.
“This is an excellent way of alleviating the guilt that parents have of being a student, but also being a parent,” Duckett said. “This helps support them in their goal of higher education.”
“It is exciting to be the first university library in the country – as far as we know – to be able to offer this innovative resource to our students,” said Karyle Butcher, University Librarian. “The university’s focus on student engagement calls for all of us to look at new and different ways of providing services to our students so that they feel that they are a part of the university community. Our Little Village is one way that the library can do this.”
Hours for the center will be 2:30 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.