Stuff….it is!

(Disclaimer, before this session which was at 9:30 AM on Thursday, we had our DLA Executive Breakfast and reporting meeting – I will definitely being sharing that as soon as I put a few final detailed touches on that post!)

Photos Courtesy of Tom Gavin.

The session I attended, Let’s Talk About Stuff, Thursday was a perfect blend of sharing the latest going-ons among public and school libraries. Like what?

Checking in with the Baltimore County Library system in using an app that can check out items with their phone.

Additionally, more social workers were hired to be available in the public library settings, and I can totally understand with how the after shocks of Covid has had detrimental impacts on school library communities.

THIS I love – the book bike that carries books and IS ELECTRIC. I love the possibilities of where that could go in a community, especially areas closely connected together such as suburbs of larger cities.

Then Frederick County Public Libraries talked about utilizing Life Sized Jenga in communities when visiting and also displays. How they began to experiment with attaching photos of library staff under books that were being reviewed to resemble a book store feel and personable review of books. In that vein the conversation was brought up about books that are taken off after being “new” were converted into other spaces on the library to make other types of displays, as those “new” books come off displays for “new” books.

Again, I thought of the plan I had to assign a student their own shelf to help, throughout the year – to come up with new ideas to promote, weed, and familiarize people with the books on those shelves, to give new perspectives to shelves of books in the library. I like this idea alot as I think many different ways would be thought of to have shelves, and what is on them represented in different ways.

It was mentioned that Library IQ was utilized to help generate stats for the libraries, and the fact that libraries were providing lunches for individuals so that this also brings patrons into the library and is a way to connect them with summer reading programs and getting them into this early before summer starts.

Another mention was the need for hot-spots to keep students connected over the summer, and I mentioned how some rural areas, and even in towns in DE, hot spots do not help and how frustrating that is. I brought up the various programs that Delaware has regarding the consortium schools currently and how public /school libraries can connect because of that. Additionally, we through out the idea of how to involve students more – and I asked how other libraries reach out to students and connect their public libraries to the school libraries.

Several ideas that people wanted to do or who already do, was to put on the idea of library lock-ins for promoting the library, events, and resources/ games for a chance to advertise the libraries services to youth, also involving home-schooled students in those events.

Going back to the issue of helping student connect, one library mentioned having routers to check out in place of hot spots, and I wondered if that might make a difference in connectivity at all if hot spots cannot help. One attendee mentioned his library has the issue of hotspots either disappearing and not being brought back, or a reset button being used that lifts all the restrictions for patrons (mainly younger ones) then having to be reprogrammed when coming back. Both of these were reasons that partucular library was moving towards not lending them anymore due to the negatives and time tied to them being greater than the benefits. Some attendees were able to offer some possible solutions to that issue as well, so the back and forth ideas, problems, and talk was ideal for this workshop.

Some of the libraries work with Bibliocommons and I can see how this connects all libraries together in the public library realm. Additionally, some libraries discussed a space they designated a Discovery Layer area just for Tween/tens etc that felt as if that was their space at their public library that help younger patrons be more at ease and likely to be part of other events at their public library.

A suggestion also give to me for making a tighter connection to students who can’t always travel to their public library was an idea called Battle of the Books. I didn’t know this was a THING, but I am intrigued – The competition possibility of this is interesting and a great project to promote literacy, love that! I am intrigued by the book lists and chance to delve into new books I never discovered before. Might be a project to get into 🙂

Another great suggestion was just getting students to keep records of a booklist, 1000 total in a year and as they make it higher they get object to mark their progress on a visual like a caterpillar being moved up to the next level of milkweed and then add a butterfly at the end of their goal. Another person mentioned having an ice cream festival to celebrate books read by students and then free books given out at the end of year event, and yes, we all agreed ice cream and books? A win.

It was nice to have a session with an easy back and forth feel and just to get to know what other libraries use, struggle with and suggest and get ideas back and forth. VERY important when libraries and libraries get together often to do this allows everyone to generate ideas that fit their needs. The workshop presenters below did a great job in letting everyone compile and hash out ideas and issues.

I being able to compare Delaware to Maryland, I cam et realize how far reaching counties were in Maryland and the challenges to connect with so many differences in populations and needs. I feel we are VERY lucky in Delaware due to the followng aspects:

The existence of UDLIB where the whole state has access.

The ability to join the State Consortium that will provide a stage and platform for more professional librarians to have a place and visible need, and the chance to bring public libraries and school libraries together to advocate for each other stronger. We have many successes despite the challenges we see everyday.

I do see the challenges we have in rural areas in DE similar to rural areas in Maryland with connectivity- I am wondering if renting routers would be better than renting hotspots to connectivity, and want to research that deeper.

It was great to have State Librarian Dr. Norman and Tom Gavin, and seeing Kaitlyn Jurewicz from Capital School District all in the same place as we were able to represent Delaware well with many of the topics that were being brought up.

Amy Moser / Assistant Branch Administrator / Fredrick County Public Library

Teonja Jung / Circulation Services Manager / Baltimore County Public Library she/her/hers

Laura Bandoch / Materials Assistant Director / Harford County Public Library she/her/hers

An open discussion session in which attendees can share what’s happening in their libraries related to any area – circulation, technology, programming, new services, post COVID changes, supervising, etc. Attendees may submit any questions they have ahead of time so that they m


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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