A Seat at the Table

This Friday marked the end of my second week as a librarian and I pondered how the courses studied while pursuing my MLS provided a firm foundation of ideas and knowledge.

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 While in class, I would jot down ideas and goals for the day that I actually had “my own library” and wondered if I would ever be in a position to make some of those ideas come to fruition, or if they were just busywork to get our minds engaged in the subjects at hand. Yesterday, we had a meeting for the department heads of our library, and since I am the new Circulation Supervisor, I was asked to sit at the table. As the meeting unfolded, it appears that my department is central to the funding of the library.  In addition to the efficient flow of material and creative coverage of the circulation desk, my position will involve increasing our overall circulation statistics in the coming months.

My director pointed out that the library is valued by its circulation stats and the goal of the meeting was to brainstorm on how to improve circulation.  This gave me an opportunity to reach into the recesses of my mind and pull out ideas that I had discussed in my classes.  I found the experience rewarding.  Finally I was in a position where my ideas could be—not only taken seriously, but put into practice.  Here are some of the ideas that we hope to run with, and if you are reading this with similar goals feel free to use parts of our action plan:

social media 1. Have each employee who has social media accounts pass the word about how great our library is. (Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and Pinterest-in addition to the tried-and-true Facebook.)

2. Plan for non-book related programming to bring in the public: cutest dog fashion show, writing clubs for kids, art contests, etc. ( You see, six years ago, a brand new library was built in our city and many of the long-time residents thought our branch had closed.  We are determined to get the word out that we are here and providing personalized services for our patrons.)

3. Schedule ambassadors to walk around the library and suggest additional titles for check-out, explain our online services, and register first-time visitors for library cards. (Retail calls this up-selling, but we call it expanded literacy.)

4. Write grants that address illiteracy in under-served populations of our city and expand services to them. (This is an idea that I will only hint at, because I want my grant to win. :] )

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As you can tell, I am pretty elated about the possibility of being in a place where I can really make a difference, both in the library’s vibe and in improving my community’s access to great material, and I hope you check back in a couple of months to see how much our circulation figures have risen, and how that has affected the growth of our library’s budget.