July 26, 2016

Managing Libraries

Cincinnati PL Board Votes Not To Support Coverage of Gender Confirmation Surgery

Rachel Dovel
Photo credit: Nat Kutcher

In a decision that could have reverberations for library employees across the country, the board of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC) announced at its June 14 meeting that the library will not add a rider to its health plan that would cover gender confirmation surgery for Rachel Dovel, who has worked at the library for more than a decade. The seven-member board cited the rider’s additional costs, which would be passed on to the library and its employees.

Rethinking the Much-Dreaded Employee Evaluation | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

They may be a bit of a pain, but employee performance assessments have their place in continuous worker improvement. The question for leaders is, is there a better way to manage the process?

Aspen in Action | Community Engagement

A LESSON IN PLANNING Columbus Public Library, WI, director Cindy ­Fesemyer (l.) incorporates the Action Guide as a text into the class she teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies, University 
of Wisconsin-Madison. Photo by Chloe Prosser

“We needed to change the conversation about libraries,” says Gina Millsap, CEO of Kansas’s Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL), the 2016 Gale/LJ Library of the Year. Millsap refers to her ongoing work with the Aspen Institute, an international leadership development nonprofit that has turned a lens toward public libraries. In October 2014, Aspen sparked a conversation about the future of libraries with its release of a report titled “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries.” TSCPL served as a case study. “The report gave us a framework and concepts to take out to the community,” Millsap tells LJ. As libraries engaged with the report, it became clear that many wanted more hands-on guidance about how to take recommendations from Rising to the Challenge and turn them into practical, achievable goals. In response, Aspen developed a new toolkit featuring 12 chapters of “ACTivities” covering topics such as “The Library as Civic Resource,” “The Library as Literacy Champion,” and “Jobs and Economic Development” to help libraries dig into the work of transformation, released in January as the “Action Guide for Re-Envisioning Your Public Library.”

Hartford PL Budget Cuts Reduced

Hartford Public Library Main Street branch
Credit: John Phelan  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18061497

A $600,000 budget cut will force Connecticut’s Hartford Public Library (HPL) to eliminate 10 jobs and curtail Saturday hours at most branches, but swift intervention by Mayor Luke Bronin prevented an even steeper reduction that would have left the system with no choice but to close three of its 10 branches.

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Building Vibrant Communities Through Literacy & Education: Ohio Workshop Shares Best Practices

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Directors and library leaders from around Ohio and Pennsylvania met for a half-day workshop to share best practices and discuss ideas for impacting literacy and education throughout their communities. The interactive workshop was sponsored and attended by EnvisionWare and featured presentations by The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, Akron-Summit County Public Library and Stark County District Library.

Safety First | Library Security

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The safety of staff and patrons is a top priority for all libraries, with managers striving to maintain a welcoming and secure environment for all who wish to make use of the space. Library systems nationwide enact security policies tailored to their respective communities and resources. Although these vary from library to library, librarians must strike a balance between offering a broad open door policy for all community members and ensuring a safe, secure environment for staff and patrons.

Steps to a Secure ­Library | Library Security

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For a primer on managing disruptive patrons, knowing when to get law enforcement involved, and how to form the relationships that make that call easier, we spoke to Steve Albrecht. A retired police officer and security consultant, Albrecht is the author of Library Security: Better Communication, Safer ­Facilities (ALA Editions). (For more from Albrecht, see Playing It Safe: Author Steve Albrecht Tackles Security Measures for Libraries.)

Tracking Trouble | Library Security

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Dealing with patrons who break library rules is no one’s favorite part of the job. But establishing clear policies and penalties, and a consistent system for tracking misbehavior, is the first step toward creating an environment in which staff feel confident when enforcing rules and patrons understand the consequences of misconduct.

To Float or Not To Float | Collection Management

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Most libraries that adopt floating collections expect circulation to rise because collections will be better distributed to meet patron demand. Yet how many have analyzed whether collections perform better after implementing floating than they did before materials were relocated? The Nashville Public Library undertook an experiment in floating with optimism. Did the results pay off? Here is how it all began.

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Research: Library Large Print Still Needed

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For blind and partially sighted individuals, reading is not just something they do for school or work: A 2012 study of blind individuals in the United Kingdom found that 82 percent reported reading for pleasure, with nearly 60% saying they read for more than ten hours a week.