April 26, 2018

Heather Acerro | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Change Agents

“Failure is a critical ingredient to success,” says Heather Acerro, head of youth services at the Rochester Public Library (RPL). Her creative approaches to community needs have resulted in positive outcomes for RPL. Despite the challenge presented by Minnesota’s “11-and-a-half months of winter,” as Acerro jokes, she wrote a grant that resulted in the addition of a bicycle-pulled trailer (the first in the state) for library outreach. In 2017, after winning a citywide award for the project, Acerro used the prize money to add an ArtCart, filled with supplies for creative projects.

Rachael Rivera | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

Monday morning movie screenings at the Auckland Central Library (ACL) give the local homeless population—aka “rough sleepers” in New Zealand—a sense of community and normalcy. The DVD shown is voted on by the 30–40 attendees. There’s also a book club of about 20 regulars who are “voracious readers” and often ask for help creating Facebook pages or résumés, says ACL’s Rachael Rivera.

Eva B. Raison | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Advocates

“The longer I work in libraries, the more I see how our mission and core principles are tied to supporting a more just and equitable society,” says Eva B. Raison. This philosophy drives her work at the Brooklyn Public Library, which serves a population that speaks more than 90 different languages and hails from 180 countries, to be as inclusive and proactive as possible.

Live from the Library

Facebook Live is video streamed over Facebook and archived there afterwards. All libraries need to get started is a smartphone/tablet and the Facebook app, or a webcam attached to a computer running the Google Chrome browser.

Gina Seymour | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

Gina Seymour’s grandmother was a clerk at the Queens Borough Public Library, NY, and as a kid, Seymour spent many hours there. Unlike at school, where her book selections were limited to those with the “pukey green” level label, she says, at grandma’s library she could read any book and learn about experiences different from her own.

Ann Plazek | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Community Builders

Ann Plazek has long believed in going where non–library users are. She developed her passion for outreach as a young page riding along on bookmobile runs, honed it as bookmobile supervisor at Medina County District Library (MCDL), OH, and today excels at it as the library’s outreach services manager. “I love opportunities to…let the community know how much has changed in the last ten years,” she says, using regularly scheduled Pop-Up Libraries to do just that.

Elizabeth Joseph | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Innovators

“When I first became a librarian, there were two tasks I totally rejected—outreach and programs,” says Elizabeth Joseph, the coordinator of information and adult services at the main branch of the Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT. “Now, they are the very reasons I come to work.”

Into the Wilds: A History of Cutting Edge Outreach | Editorial

Back in 1917, two librarians from the Missoula Public Library wanted to bring library service to the remote lumber camps that peppered Montana’s vast mining range. One of them, Ruth Worden, was from a very powerful Missoula family. When she brought the idea to the man in charge of the camps, Kenneth Ross, she didn’t know if it would work—if the lumberjacks would actually use the books—and neither did Ross. In fact, he expected they would not, notes a story in the Missoulian (ow.ly/qmqA0). But Ross felt he couldn’t say no to Worden, so packets of books started to arrive in the camp office in Bonner. A year later, 4,000 books had been checked out—and the case was made.

Delivering the Library

Bookmobiles, like the library systems they serve, have been in a state of transformation for quite some time. As with libraries in general, public perception sometimes lingers on the nostalgic past, while in fact today’s bookmobile services are focused firmly on the future.

I Don’t Need Two Forms of ID When I’m Standing at Your Door | Advocates’ Corner

I suspect we are missing our key audience when we follow our traditional inbound service model during Library Card Sign-Up Month. I believe we can be much more effective if we take a page out of political campaigns and meet the public door-to-door. I’d settle for event-based sign-ups at the grocery store, bank, train station, or playground. But door-to-door is extremely effective in transforming a contact into a conversation and that conversation into action.