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Alison Poage's picture

Managing Children’s Services Discussion Group - Minutes from July 12th

Managing Children’s Services Discussion Group

Meeting Minutes

Palmer House, Spire Room

July 12, 2009

The group introduced themselves, and brought up and discussed the following topics:


1.      Working with homeschoolers:

Some libraries find that groups will use library resources, but are so well organized they do not need other library assistance.

One library hosts a discovery club for homeschoolers to entice them into the library, but has found that not all homeschooling group philosophies mix.


2.      Working on new construction:

               Architects will make requests for certain information as they plan a new facility.  Look at your strategic plan; define your space based on function.  Decide what YOU want your space to do. Communicate this to your architect.

               For help with space planning, consult: Lisa Gooden, Kansas City Public Library, Penney Markey, Los Angeles County Public Library, Kim Bolan, consultant, Indianapolis, Indiana.


3.      Excessive attendance at programs: (We are victims of our own success!)

Advertise “limited seating.”

Hand out free tickets one-half hour in advance of show.


4.      Nurturing staff in busy times:

               We are all experiencing creative challenge of being asked to do more with less as we are facing staff and budget cuts.

               Share more programs with other librarians. 

               Reorganize staff and jobs.  Ask employees what they want to do for the upcoming year at their reviews.

Ask staff to decide what services they feel are most important to the community.

               Have face to face meetings with staff; work with peers.   

               Delegate jobs to staff, making sure you give credit to them.


5.      Owning the brand of “reading’ in a community

               We need to value ourselves so others can value us.


6.      Valuing the work of ALSC:

               Mention the authors you meet at ALSC functions.

               Mention committees that ALSC sponsors.  Librarians serve on them.

               Join ALA Connect to stay abreast of news in the field.