Conference Notes

Shawn’s conference report

After getting bumped, driven down to Albany, New York from Burlington, Vermont, leaving the next day because of leaking oil into the engine and debris on the Chicago, O’Hara Airport runway, I made it to the beautiful capital, Madison, Wisconsin for the Back in Circulation, 2014 conference.

142 people from 22 States and one Canadian Province attended the one and a half day conference. It was about 50/50 split between public and academic libraries. The conference took off on the 3rd floor of The Pyle Center, which overlooked Lake Mendota with the key note speaker Dee Dee Rapp who presented “The power of Leading to Achieve Great Service” . The conference continued with a choice of 2 sessions in the morning , 2 after lunch and two in the late afternoon. The next day we all had a choice of two session then we all gathered to listen to the very entertaining and memorable Kelly Krieg-Sigman who was a nicer version of Jane Lynch, but just as funny.

The 1st session I went to was “Leading the Way to yes: Building Good Will Through Circulation Policy and Practice.” This talk was delivered by Heather Jett, Access Service Librarian of University of Wisconsin-La Cross Library. Her soft spoken, dry Tennessee accent had us in stitches as she presented this topic.
We had a delicious lunch in the Alumni Dinning Room which looked out over the lake and then off to my second session, “ Making Service Great-For YOU!”, which was presented by our key note speaker Dee Dee Rapp.

The second session I went to was, “An Access Service Model Responsive to Change”, by C.J de Jong, the Canadian representative from University of Alberta Libraries. Click on the link it will bring you to some of the presentations that were posted. Budget cuts and staff reductions was what CJ inherited when he was hired as the Access Services Librarian.

The 3rd session I went to was “Help Me Do My Job Better or Make Me a Better Person: training circulation assistants beyond standard expectations” presented by Sarah Andrews, Access Services Supervisor, University of Iowa Libraries.

The closing Session with Kelly Krieg-Sigman had us breaking in groups and playing with Legos.
“The Lego Approach: Skill Sets for Today & Tomorrow”
Kelly has been a involved with Libraries since 1987. She presently is the Director of La Crosse (WI) Public Library. She asked us if anyone knew why she went into Library studies. After various responses she said “I chose this field because I didn’t want to deal with computers.” Her presentation was entertaining, informative and she didn’t use any technology except for a marker and a pad of poster paper (and Legos). Kelly described the traits she looks for in people that she interviews for any position:
1. Imagination
2. Flexibility
3. Ability to play
4. Sense of humor ( particular with yourself)
5. Patience
6. Curiosity
7. Wiliness to solve problems
8. Ability to deal with high values of ambiguity
9. Irresistible drive to learn and serve
The conference was an informative and fun conference. I would recommend going to this one again for any library folks. Plus Madison is a nice place to visit.

Anyone wanting further information or links to specific presentations, please contact Shawn.

NERCOMP student management summary

From Shawn:

The NERCOMP workshop, Student Empowerment – Enhancing the Education of Students Through Practical Job Opportunities was set in a lecture-like class room similar to one of our smart class rooms. This would be the 2nd time I have gone to this workshop. Joe, Stew, David and I were the furthest traveled participants. Although we did bump into Joe Antonioli who was at a different workshop in the same conference center. Below are the links to the presenters’ power points.

The work shop consist of four lectures; Sharon and Ben from Clark University,
Lavette Scott-Smith From Boston College:,%20Reach%20the%20Heart,%20Lavette%20Scott-Smith,%20Boston%20College_443.pdf
Bill, Christine and Susan from Quinnipiac University:
Adam, Chris, Loriann, and Casey from Yale:

Although, every presenter was from a technical back ground, the concepts could be used with a circulation or library student worker. Some colleges held strict rules while other were more relaxed. Everyone agreed that even though workers were students 1st we had to hold them to some form of work standard because it would had been an injustice for them when they started working in the “real” work force.
Every presentation showed how each particular school ran their operations. Everyone was slightly different. For instance Quinnipiac relied heavily on students. Two of the presenters where students in a supervisor role and there was one manager, Bill, who oversees them. Yale had many managers who were once students.
Overall the workshop was informative and it was interesting seeing how different yet similar each school operated and treated their student workers. The one concept that was apparent with every school was that we all enjoyed working with students and that certain functions of the colleges would have been very challenging to operate if it wasn’t for student workers.

Bowdoin site visit by Todd

Bowdoin circulation November 18, 2012 notes from meeting with Library staff

Bowdoin Library is a 70’s style building attached to the old library building. Much like Starr was, it’s not air conditioned and the stacks are spread throughout the building and an adjoining wing of the old library. Their collection is similar in size to Middlebury’s with about 850,00 monographs. One thing I did notice and appreciated was there were a lot of couches throughout the building, which was nice for sitting and talking to the circulation staff during my tour.
One of the first questions I asked the circulation staff at Bowdoin is whether or not they had a stacks supervisor? The quick answer is no. Instead they train all their circulation students to shelve and they are responsible each day for shelving. The bulk of re-shelving is done at night when it’s quieter.
Amy says that she follows a strict three strike policies with the students. Tardiness and absenteeism without a good reason are not tolerated.
Bowdoin books are returned to the front desk and checked in just as books are at Armstrong. They do not have a check in station like we have here at Davis. They are sorted to holding shelves just behind circulation and to the right (this for entire library). When a section is ready to shelve students sensitize them and do a second check in. Then they are put in order and taken to the stacks and re-shelved.
Amy and I did talk about shelf – reading. In the past Bowdoin had stacks monitors, each in charge of a certain section of the library’s stacks. These positions did not work out as these students weren’t always diligent about working their shifts or shelf reading their assigned section. Currently Amy and other staff walk around the building each day picking up loose books and looking for areas that need straightening up. One interesting thing that Bowdoin doesn’t do is sweep public carrels or study areas leaving books and papers where they are.
Reserves are kept right behind the circulation desk, and shelved by class, not LC?
Equipment is separate from the circulation desk and it sound like IT is more separated from the library then it is here. The circulation desk does loan computers, but the usage is low.
Bowdoin does allow public use of the library, but limits computer use to just 6 computers which are grouped together on the first floor. If the library is busy then the public have to yield use of these to Bowdoin students. Printing is reserved for students, staff and Faculty, via a print card. Students are allotted $50.00 a semester. Circulation does have a card that they can swipe for the public to use.
I also visited the science library on campus for about an hour and talked with Jeff as he gave me a tour of this new facility. I found it similar to Armstrong as it had three long narrow floors with a lot of study space on each side. Jeff asked me a lot of questions about the science collection here and how we dealt with space concerns. They too like Armstrong use compact shelving, but face issues of enough shelf space.
The last part of the day Barbara Harvey show me how they (Bowdoin Staff) had done a large shift on their own with just students and staff. Using a map of the building Barbara laid out plans showing students where exactly each section of books had to be put and when. The plan was simple but very effective. Overall I feel the trip was very worthwhile. Not only was it good to see how another NESCAC school’s circulation department runs, it was also helpful to be able to talk to the staff at Bowdoin and compare notes and answer their questions about how we do things. Amy was very interested in knowing how the penalty point system works out for us.

Conference report by Kim Gurney

Conference: Unlocking the 21st Century Library
Atlanta, GA, Nov. 8-10th, 2012

The conference started off with Warren Graham talking about library security, an ever increasing concern in public and academic libraries across the country. He advocates simplicity, clarity of rules, administrative back up and training. He uses the “any behavior that is disruptive to the use of the library” as the rule of thumb. He pointed out that your co-workers lose credibility if you let the rules slide or give preferential treatment to some patrons. Another point was “just because you pay does not mean that you don’t have to follow the rules. Warren created his 30,30,30 rule; take 30 seconds every 30 minutes to observe the library for 30 days, you’ll learn a lot about the ebb and flow of the patrons and what goes on in the building. Over all it was a great start, the speaker clearly knew his stuff. He described some of our patrons as “reality impaired.”

Several workshops focused on customer service and working with students. The University of Michigan has developed a video training program for their student and staff who work in circulation. This came out of the need to have consistency across different buildings with multiple access points, with staff working different shifts. The video has a movie theme, the staff being the actors learning their parts. They also serve popcorn when doing a screening to complete the ambiance. This approach has worked well for them; other departments are asking for help to creating their own training videos as they run into the same challenges with location and different shifts.

Texas A&M is a huge college, over 50,000 patrons of various types. The access services manager created a program called; Get it for Me. They’ve refined and tuned the service, sent out surveys to gain information, and have been given an A+ rating from their constituents. The presentation of the system was really top notch, one of the best at the conference.

Technology in the library and our patrons using technology was a hot topic. In general it was noted that continued training for circulation staff was a must and that patrons like convenience, eBooks being a good example. Access services teams should regularly discuss the future of their team and what they can do to improve and stay informed. One thing the University of Seattle did to simplify was to make just two patron types, those affiliated with the college and those that were not. That may not work for us, but I did notice that we have many types of patrons; maybe we could simplify a little.

Virginia Tech came to the conference to discuss what they did after a shooting to respond to a lock down or an evacuation of the library building. Working with law enforcement they have devised a plan that works so well they can evacuate the building in about 5 minutes, it’s a big building so this is a feat. The library has four different entrances, one half of the building has 6 floors and the other half has 4 making it awkward to lock down quickly, but they were persistent and can also lock the building down in under five minutes. All staff members have a part to play in both scenarios and they regularly have drills to keep them sharp. It was clear to everyone that Virginia Tech totally revamped how they respond to emergencies; they are well trained and are passionate about protecting themselves and their patrons.

Access Services Conference – Atlanta GA

Valuable information was gathered at the recent Access Services conference held at Georgia Tech. Learning various customer service styles and techniques utilized in libraries ranging from student populations of 2,000 to 48,000 was eye-opening. The major takeaway was how change is the “new normal.”  Integrating new technologies and innovation with excellent customer service were major themes. Tips on Reserves policies & procedures, merged libraries, media, student employees & professionalism at the Circ Desk, Reference, and privacy/confidentiality issues were topics of interest. Info regarding maximizing customer and employee satisfaction was particularly enlightening. Power Point presentations will be available from the conference site in January 2012, but I am receiving some of these presentations directly from specific schools for my reference. I will place them in our Conference folder in the 2011 Orgs drive.

Report from Steve: GLLS 2008

Last week I traveled to Chicago to be part of the 2nd annual Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium, a conference geared towards public, school, and academic libraries and focused on the topics of gaming, information literacy, and the place of libraries in serving a youth/student culture which has games and gaming as part of its daily life and experience. Over three days there were a handful of keynotes on gaming in the lives of our patrons, breakout sessions and panels discussing games and our role in promoting, providing, and circulating them, and opportunities for open gaming with each on various consoles, PCs, and with tabletop games.
Continue reading

ILL Meeting – 7/30/2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 ill meeting at Norwich University.

Morning presentation by Dan Denault from Relais International.   The two products relais Express (scanning) relais ILL were shared with the group.   The news here is that Relais International is moving all or part of the relais software to an open source model.

     The afternoon was left open for discussion.    topics included extending dur dates forr ILL materials.    Some schools already have a longer loan period,  while others have gone to long loan periods (ex. 60days) without allowing renewals.

Also discussed were Electronic journals, overdue notices, and purchase vs. copyright fees.