Templates and Social Media

Today I gave a short presentation/talk on how to use new signage templates to Readers’ Advisory. A crushing headache made it difficult to communicate, so I came off and flat and limp. I had trouble getting my point across so I’m sure I did a lot of hand waving about “and then you…how about you guys email me your questions and I’ll write down the specifics later?” The questions I received raised my awareness that I need to revisit ALL the printed signage in the building and make sure the templates are being used or create new ones. I also intercepted a banner which needed some serious design work on it. I made a few changes quickly (the font, alignment, and text size), but I need to spice up the overall piece tomorrow.

In the afternoon I semi-led the social media committee meeting. The headache pushed inwards so I rattled off the increases in our followers across platforms in the past year (average of 151%). I gave an overview of who our target audience is before diving into my suggestions for improvements. As a group, we discussed what we loved (Tumblr) and how we need to harness that energy for our other platforms (namely, we need personality!). I also gave feedback on my analysis of how our social media looks compared to big name libraries. In short, I think we’re doing the best we can on our platforms with our audiences. There is still room to improve of course! Then afterwards I decided to be bold and sign off on a tweet from the main library’s account. I am already signing “tilde Amanda” on certain Facebook posts, but it feels even more raw to do it on Twitter since I know it’s more likely to be seen.

Side note: we hit 900 likes on Facebook on Friday and 16,000 Twitter followers today. My goal is to hit 1,200 Facebook likes and 18,000 Twitter followers before the end of spring.

Review: Skirt-A-Day Sewing

Skirt-A-Day Sewing is a forthcoming book by Nicole Smith. It’ll be published in June 2013.

The book has gorgeous illustrations and clear diagrams. The examples of different sewing techniques is worth the price alone for this book. The skirts themselves are cute, but the choice of fabric is often not flattering. However, I can understand why if the author was working on a small budget. Or maybe I just like plain black skirts better! The skirt names are delightful like the Coney Island Skirt.

Thanks to NetGalley for letting me review this title early.

Patrons Keep You Busy

The snowstorm dubbed Nemo arrived last Friday. My library dismissed early and as such things go, it was difficult for me to do any work in-between all the questions. Today was our second day open post-storm so our regulars reappeared. I was not on desk today, but I spent 2.5 hours assisting patrons. The questions came in the form of numerous phone calls, someone knocking on the door, and via email. I sat down to help someone plan their college assignment. Then I was pulled into answering questions for every other person in the room. It wasn’t bad but it definitely took today’s plans and shoved them off the desk.

What I did accomplish today was editing footage from Richard Ford’s talk and getting it posted online. Then at the end of the day, I filmed and started editing a two minute clip for the Children’s Library. It looks like they’re wanting to get in on this “video recommendation” game like the adult readers’ advisors are doing.

I also did some research on two problems I am trying to fix. With any luck, I’ll have an answer to both very soon.

Taught WordPress.com to Public

I accidentally booked myself to teach two WordPress.com classes this month. One for the Children’s Library and the other for the Tech Classes. The result: lots of confusion as people were unsure which they had signed up for.

Today’s class took up 80 of the 90 allotted minutes. I then spent an additional 20 minutes helping other students. I was surprised at myself since I had written an order of how to discuss things, but after the first notecard, I went off the cuff. The new sign up system which requires that people MUST check their email for the activation email was somewhat of a barrier. However, everyone in this class was able to retrieve their activation emails. This is not always the case when I work with the public.

I was honest that I use WordPress.org so I am not as familiar with WordPress.com. I discussed the differences between platforms, what is a CMS, some basic design principles, and more. It was like cramming weeks of classes into one session. I have a bit of a self-deprecating style of teaching where I try to get people to laugh. It’s a bit dorky, but I get the light-hearted reaction that I want. Students came away interested in WordPress.org and they loved the password feature on posts and pages.

Next up was a two hour meeting for department heads and random folks like myself. I always come away with a short list of items to do. Then I sent to my boss a partial list of items I had accomplished last month for his monthly report.

Finally I closed out the day with lots of emails and an hour meeting with the Readers’ Advisory staff. I am arranging these meetings so I can learn more about how our staff observe patron behavior since of course, they have thousands of hours of observation. I interviewed some reference staff yesterday, so next up is the adults programming librarian!