Facebook, Libraries, and the Fear of Losing Fans

Facebook, Libraries, and the Fear of Losing Fans

What will Facebook’s new changes do to the outreach of library marketing in 2015? How can we improve our library’s reach to the community?

I’ve noticed a lack of interest from fans on our library’s Facebook page, which has sparked an interest in Library Facebook page best practices. On top of that, Facebook has recently announced that changes are coming in January 2015. Facebook pages will be penalized for too many promotional posts, and businesses that market on Facebook will have to buy ads instead of using Facebook to advertise for free. This has spurred many questions, including: How will it affect libraries? The truth is, we won’t know until after a few months of analyzing the difference between past and future statistics.

Therefore, the only solution as of now is to create posts with interesting and valuable information.

Ideas for your Facebook posts…

  • Memes
  • Pictures of your library patrons at programs (get permission)
  • Videos of programs and your library’s mission and messages
  • News
  • Tips on how patrons can find information easier
  • Staff member introductions
  • Ask your fans and patrons questions about what they like to read, watch, listen to, do

If you’re like me and are still looking for information on how to improve your library’s Facebook page, here are some resources and reads that I’ve found so far.

Do you have any comments, tips and tricks, or resources that you would like to share? Please do! Or you can start a conversation with me on Twitter (@sarahderinger88), and find me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/sbd1988). I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Happy Book Lover’s Day!

Book Lover's Day

Today is Book Lover’s Day. I love books, and I love reading. Of course, that’s no surprise to anyone, especially those connected to me on GoodReads.com or who visit the library on Fridays when we get our ILL shipment.

So what is it that has captured so many people, including myself, in a book? Well, take a look at these quotes from BrainyQuote.com to find an answer…

I love books; my suitcases are always full of them. Books and shoes. I read when I am sad, when I am happy, when I am nervous. My favourite British author is Jane Austen, and my favourite American one is John O’Hara.

Carolina Herrera

I love books where you feel you’re having a romance with the writer.

Joseph O’Neill

I love my job, and I love books. I read anything, including cereal boxes. I care deeply about what people think of my books, and I memorize my reviews. I love to hear from my readers.

Lisa Scottoline

I don’t own a Kindle, no. I love books, they are beautiful objects.

John Banville

I love old books. They tell you stories about their use. You can see where the fingerprints touched the pages as they held the book open. You can see how long they lingered on each page by the finger stains.

Jack Bowman

A love of books, of holding a book, turning its pages, looking at its pictures, and living its fascinating stories goes hand-in-hand with a love of learning.

Laura Bush

So why do you love books? Which books do you love? Celebrate Book Lover’s Day today by reading a good book, and comment below or tweet me (@sarahderinger88) to share your favorite books.

The Librarian’s Desk: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 edition

I thought I’d give you a quick look at my reading list by sharing with you what books are on my desk right now. I haven’t finished these books as of yet and therefore can and am not telling you that these are great books. They might be great books, and most of what I read has been reviewed by other people. Therefore, I say to you approach these books with the intent of reading them, but with caution.

For more on what I’ve been reading, check out my GoodReads profile!

Teen Advisory Programs – The Other Friends Group to Your Library

Teen Advisory Board

Teen Advisory Board

In July, I wrote about the Friends group, the library’s secret weapon. Today, I’d like to cover a group that helps you connect with young adults at your library and in your community. The Teen Advisory Board (TAB), also known as Teens of the Library, can help advise you of what books teens are reading, what’s new in the teen world, and how to connect with more and more teens in the community. While the young adult crowd typically gets pushed aside or shushed often in libraries, your TAB is a group that should not be shushed.

In my experience, TAB groups are extremely helpful. But the teens that consist of the group are usually extremely busy with school work and after-school activities. Therefore, TAB meetings may be the last thing on their minds. Or they may spend much of the TAB meeting socializing with other members rather than staying on topic during discussion.

Therefore, here are some ideas to use with your teen groups:

- Have a snack ready for them. It encourages them to actually come to the meeting.
– Email information to them after the meeting, especially if they haven’t taken notes during the meeting.
– Ask them what they would like to do with their group. How would they like to raise money for the library? What events or programs would make them more likely to use the library?
– Share fliers and event information with your teens to share with their friends.

Here is a look at our teen page at the Paoli Public Library: http://paoli.lib.in.us/teens/

What are your ideas for a Teen Advisory Group? Add to the conversation here in the comments or on Twitter by using #TeenAdvisoryBoard.

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.