Working with The Friends of Your Library

Working With the Friends of Your Library

Working With the Friends of Your Library

Friends of the Library groups are a libraries’ secret weapon – one that fights against poor economic conditions, advocates for the library’s mission, and calls the community to action when the library faces scrutiny or misjudgment. Members of a Friends of the Library group may include teachers, former librarians, advocates for education, or those who just love to read. Each type of member in your friends group is an invaluable opportunity to reach out to your community in unexpected ways. Here are a few tips to work with your Friends of the Library

  1. Tell them what you need and why. Communication is key in any personal or professional relationship, and dealing with your friends of the library is no different. The Friends are there to help the library raise awareness about key issues in the library and help find funding in unconventional ways. When you communicate with them about happenings in the library, the Friends won’t feel like an ATM for the library; they’ll feel needed and appreciated for what they do. This in turn will help them want to be available for assisting the library.
  2. Listen to their advice. Sometimes, the Library Board, members of the community, and the Friends can throw many new items onto your “work plate.” You may feel that you’re so busy that you cannot handle another piece of work to do, but if you listen to the Friends, they may be able to give you ideas on how to manage your work load more efficiently or they can help you completely change the path in which your library is headed.
  3. Share the results of your library’s programs, circulation, and other statistics with the Friends. Why? The Friends can share that information with potential funders and use it to request funding. They can also use the information to come up with new ideas in which to improve the library. The possibilities are endless when you share how well your library is doing with your Friends. When you share the statistics with the Friends, they can also share the facts when the library faces scrutiny or misjudgment.
  4. Invite the Friends to help with programs and events at the library. If your summer reading program is low on volunteers, ask the Friends if they could spare a few hours to help out. If they have time, they’ll most likely help. Or they might know of someone else who can help.
  5. Thank your Friends for all the work they do. Appreciation and gratitude go a long way. Hold a year-end banquet for the Friends and the Library Board as a way to thank them for all their hard work; it can also help bridge relationships between the Board and Friends, helping them to work together. Send out thank you cards to the Friends if they’ve helped with a program or an event. Give out small gift cards to local restaurants. Any little bit of thanks helps the Friends know how much they’re appreciated.

Use the library’s secret weapon, and you’ll make lifelong Friends!

Teen Summer Reading Program Results and Lessons Learned for 2014

Thank you to all our kind supporters

Thank you to all our kind supporters.

 Working with teens can be challenging… and rewarding. This is a key lesson that anyone working with teens needs to understand before making a teen summer reading program (TSRP), preparing for any event, and providing services to teens at a library. I certainly saw this lesson in action during this year’s teen summer reading program.

The program was the first ever that I have planned and executed, and I hope that the lessons I’ve learned this year will help me prepare for the next one and any future activities that our library provides for teens. If you would like to see the statistics and results of the TSRP, check out the Prezi I made: http://prezi.com/m1gcuudo5lrc/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share. I plan to share this presentation with the Friends of the Library who generously gave $150 to make the TSRP happen; I am extremely thankful for the Friends providing our whole TSRP budget. It would not have been possible without their kindness. I also plan to share this with my co-workers and the Library Board.

At the end of the presentation, I give my final thoughts and plans for the future. For example, the three things I might change for the next summer reading program and future library programs for teens include:

  • Change of day and time – which would include changing my work schedule
  • More advertising – which would increase / change the budget and include more social media advertising
  • Possibly extending the TSRP for all summer – which would increase the budget

Each of these can be remedied at a cost, but they are worth looking into. What has your TSRP been like this year? What changes are you planning for next year? Tell me on Twitter: @sarahderinger88.

 

Don’t Panic Yet! When Volunteers Bail on Your Summer Reading Program

Don't Panic

In my previous post about creating a teen summer reading program, I never mentioned that there could be crises that pop up. It’s something that’s unexpected. Suddenly, you get a phone call from a volunteer that you had contacted a couple of months prior to the program. The news is bleak, but you really don’t have to panic. You can simply plan.

My first bailout happened about a week ago. My library supervisor and I had talked to a woman about doing a cooking demonstration for the teen summer reading program; our conversation was in April or May, and the date was set for a Friday in June. The phone call came in roughly last week and went something like this:

I just saw _____ (the library board president) in Walmart, and he said he is excited for a cooking demonstration that I’m supposed to do in June. I had never heard of this until now. I’m busy for June, but I can do something in July. So what is this about an event in June?

Your first reaction might be to scream, panic, cry, and have a meltdown. But don’t. Obviously the volunteer can’t help, and by throwing a fit, you might end up turning the forgetful person off of wanting to volunteer for you ever again. So here’s what you CAN do…

  • Breathe. Count to 10. Relax. You’ve got this; you’re not just a good librarian but a GREAT one. So you can figure out how to do this on your own, or you can find an alternative program that won’t disappoint the teens.
  • Apologize for the mix up. Sure, they forgot, but things mess up sometimes. By apologizing, it can help the other person feel better.
  • Think, plan, and cover that spot! What can you do? Can you come up with a cooking demonstration idea and implement it on your own? Do you already have a back-up plan for an event that you could use for that date? Do you have any other volunteers that can cook or fill the role that you need? Make sure the volunteer spot for the event gets covered, whether by yourself or someone else.
  • Send out paper reminders to volunteers next year. Everyone needs a reminder now and again, and it might be a good idea to implement a paper reminder system for next year’s summer reading program.

See?! You CAN work out the problems without panicking. And on another note, here’s what I’m doing for the Cooking Demo for the Teen Summer Reading Program…

Cooking Demo Graphic - Strawberry Lemonade - Pretzel Sparklers - 7-layer Nacho Dip

Cooking Demo Graphic
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Pretzel Sparklers
- 7-layer Nacho Dip

It may end up being even more fun doing it by myself than having a volunteer anyway! You can see more ideas for Teen Cooking Demos on my Pinterest.

 

7 Books for Teen Librarians to Read

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Librarians who serve young adults are truly special at inspiring, motivating, and assisting teens to reach for their dreams and build skills. During the rush of the school year, these librarians may be to busy helping students prepare research projects or homework assignments to read up and practice professional development for themselves. Therefore, I’ve created a quick list of 7 books that could help your professional development To Read list as a young adult librarian. To find a book at a library near you, click on each title to visit the WorldCat database.

Readers’ Advisory, Collection Development, and Book Lists

Library Programming & Summer Reading Programs

For more books to read, see my professional reading list on Goodreads. Thank you to all who serve teens in the library!


Do you have any recommended reads for young adult, teen, and youth librarians? If so, comment below, or tweet me at @sarahderinger88.

 

Book Review: The Villa of Death by Joanna Challis

Joanna Challis has done it again! She’s written a wonderful mystery using the life of Daphne du Maurier, the famed author of Rebecca. I love reading this series because of the time period that the story is set in. In The Villa of Death, Daphne visits her long-time friend and pen-pal Ellen. Ellen is finally getting married to Teddy Grimshaw, an American millionaire; Ellen and Teddy had met and fallen in love during the war but were separated for quite some time. Ellen had a daughter by Teddy named Charlotte, which finally brought the two lovers back together. Daphne is the maid of honor and is in charge of helping the wedding go smoothly.

But all turns solemn when Teddy dies the day of the wedding. Is it his bad heart that failed? Was it poison? Everyone in the family stands to gain from his death, so who would have murdered a groom on his wedding day?

I rated this book five out of five stars, and I truly hope that Joanna Challis will write another book in this series soon!

Tips to Boost Teen Reading and Library Circulation

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Due to the disappointing facts found in a recent study on Teen Reading, I felt it was necessary to discuss some ways to increase teen reading and library circulation. It’s been an underlying issue in libraries for the past few years, but I believe this will be a bigger and bigger problem in the future – that is, if we don’t try to help teens and readers of all ages find the joy and love of reading again (or for the first time). Therefore, here are some tips and ideas for enticing people to read…

Another great resource I’ve found is the Library Success wiki, which provides resources and information about each of the different ways to make a library successful. For more information on Teen Reading, check out the The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action.

A few free upcoming webinars that deal with these topics include:

For more webinars, see: http://sarahderinger.wordpress.com/calendar

Teen Programming: Photo Booth Props and Photography 101

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This Friday, May 9, at 4 pm, I’ll embark on an adventure of teen programming in epic proportions (or at least that’s the way I view it). I have planned a beginning photography class and a photo op for teens. I made a list of basic but well-explained tutorials for beginning photography, included my favorite pictures via Flickr, and listed the basic composition rules. Then, I also made photo booth props, so that the teens will be able to practice a few photography skills before going out on their own. 

How To: Photo Booth Props

—-You’ll need: Card-stock paper; Dow rod(s); scissors or an exact-o knife; black Sharpie marker, if tracing; crayons or markers, if coloring; hot glue gun

  1. Find photo booth prop templates that you would like to use.
  2. Print, trace, or draw your templates. (I traced mine from my computer screen onto card-stock paper.)
  3. Warm up your hot glue gun by plugging it in while you follow the next steps.
  4. Color your props before cutting, unless your templates were already colored while being printed.
  5. Cut the props out.
  6. For interchangeable / reusable photo booth props, cut (1/2 inch wide by 2 inch long) strips of card-stock paper.
  7. For interchangeable / reusable photo props, hot glue the strip of paper around the Dow rod, only gluing on the paper. Make it a round circle of paper – that FITS the Dow rod. (For an example, see the picture below. The hat prop is turned over where you can see the interchangeable piece of paper, where the Dow rod will fit.)
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  8. For non-reusable photo props, just hot glue the prop directly to the Dow rod.
  9. Enjoy your photo props! (I made a top hat, a tiara, lips, heart-shaped glasses, a mustache, a bow tie, and a tie.)

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To find a few good photo booth prop templates, I used:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this DIY program!