Library On-Boarding Plan

There was a post in a library group for advice on what to include in staff on-boarding documentation. Since I got carried away, I thought I’d share it here as well. My five years as a UX librarian influences how I view these topics, so your mileage may vary.

Point of View from a Marketing/Communications POV:

1) How we present ourselves to the community with hospitality (our library’s favorite term)? That is, making eye contact, greeting people, etc.

2) How we talk about the Library and its mission. What do we strive to do? What do we value? How do we do work towards our goals?

3) Never badmouth anything in the building (AKA “Oh, yeah. That computer is always acting up….”)

4) How to communicate in various formats. e.g. do we all sign our emails answered from a desk email? Or is it just “Reference Desk”? (I’m a fan of putting at least your first name)

5) Let’s look at signage. What signs are appropriate, where can you find signs, how do we adhere to our branding?

6) What do you do when you see something that is off? e.g. broken sign holder

7) Here’s all the ways we communicate with our patrons. People can sign up in these ways (or at least, they need to be able to find the information).

8) Let’s go over the website. This is an important portal for how people get to know the library. You need to explore it, use it, and get familiar with how it works. Don’t hide in the ILS since patrons don’t have that same access.

9) Are there any words we don’t use or don’t fit our communications? e.g. we try to avoid saying free since donations paid for everything

10) If you have marketing ideas, send them to the marketing person. We’re always ready to hear a fresh perspective, learn about a new audience, or any cool giveaways you saw somewhere else that really wowed you.

Other things I’d include in a general sense:

The building’s appearance is the responsibility of everyone. If you see some trash on the ground, pick it up. If you see a mess in the bathroom, report it.

We don’t expect you to know everything that’s going on in the building, but you need to know how to look it up.

Try to avoid sending patrons running about the building. This goes with the above. For e.g. if wireless printing is on the second floor, don’t send patrons to the lower level.

Here’s a list of which department is responsible for what. This really isn’t patron-facing, but you should know that the STEM lab is managed by the children’s department, not reference.

In your onboarding book/intranet, it doesn’t hurt to have a list of staff and what they’re responsible for. This can be general (since we’ve all got a million hats on), but it’d be nice for staff to know who runs social media or who to see about email problems. This is especially true if you have more cutesy titles which aren’t obvious as to what they mean.

Details about who to see about getting their email setup, their name badge, their schedule, etc. This should be routine, but there are so many details that they can get lost.

List of jargon used. Include both library specific (ILL, ILS, periodicals) as well as your organization specific (e.g. our reference department is not called that!).

Map or detailed tour of the building.

What are the safety protocols? Can anyone grab a fire extinguisher if needed? Where do you keep the wet floor signs?

Here’s how we usually handle bad weather at this library (be honest if you tend to close or you hold out to the bitter end).

This is how we handle alarming patron interactions.

If you’re hiring non-librarians (or people who’ve never worked in a library before), you should have a plan in place to TRULY educate them on your values. It’s one thing to say, “Oh, we protect patron privacy,” but you need to explain why it matters. Why is this so important to our profession? Why should you deeply care and honor that trust? What do you mean by diversity, inclusion, non-political?

Summer Reading 2015 Website: WIP

Courtesy of Darien Library

Courtesy of Darien Library

The above is a work in progress. This is our third year of using Evanced’s Summer Reading software. What I’ve done so far is clone last year’s site and then made adjustments for this one. You can view last year’s theme below. I was in the process of starting to dismantle its interior when I remembered to take the screenshot. So forgive the out of alignment aspects.

Courtesy of Darien Library

The text here should say Gamer instead of Star — Courtesy of Darien Library

Regarding this year’s theater design, I wanted to have a curtain that could be lifted with a click of a button. Alas, it was not meant to be. I could probably have done it if I had full control over the site. Unfortunately, it’s table-based and all I can do is some CSS manipulation. Below is what I believe is this year’s default theme.

Untitled

I’m having trouble with our design because it’s breaking in Firefox. I’ve tested it in multiple other browsers (including IE) and it looks on fleek. Firefox has been my nemesis for years in this regards. However, I am using Firefox’s 3D model of the divs to help me pinpoint the different parts of the page are on the site. I’ve completely swapped the original two columns so it can get confusing. Also there isn’t a master stylesheet but approximately 50 tiny ones.

Hopefully by this time tomorrow I’ll be able to share the completely redesigned site!

Places to Watch for a Library Job

While searching for a library job, I subscribed to a number of RSS feeds, mailing lists, and followed accounts on Twitter. This list is geared towards academic/digital libraries since that was the job I was looking for. As I receive more email listings, I will update this post with other locations that I forgot to add. The sites are listed in no particular order.

Canada

North Carolina

Digital Libraries

Archives

General

Residencies

Prove your love to literature by branding a cow in the face!

While working at the digitalization internship today, I was describing the contents of an 1893 literary society group at the State Normal and Industrial School (what would later become UNCG). These girls, 117 years ago, had a initiative ritual which involves branding a cow in the face with the letter “C” while chanting in Latin.

I kid you not.

Other highlights from their constitution involved fining girls for speaking or writing out of turn and making them sign the constitution while swearing oaths of loyalty and secrecy. The log of their minutes reveals that they were in a heated fight with the other literary society. First, they tried to suck up to the school’s president by naming their society after him. He thought it was nice at first and then got crept out and made them change it. Second, members were expected to stalk and harass new students and members of the faculty into joining their group and not the other one. In fact, they petitioned the school to implement a strict rule that students couldn’t change from one literary group to another. Once they had made their choice, that was it.

Once the constitution and minutes are posted online I’ll add some links to this post. In the meantime, check out the Beyond Books and Buildings. These are the plain, boring version which I’ve converted to PDFs (some OCRed) and am now writing metadata about them in CONTENTdm. Ah, that reminds me, the other programs I’m using in conjugation with CONTENTdm are Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. Previously, I had only ever heard of Photoshop, so it feels pretty good to be learning some other programs to use with my work this summer.

New Library Related Links

Everything you wanted to know about library blogs and blogging.
This is jam packed with great links, features, and other tips on what you need to know to get involved with social librarianship.
LIS New Professionals Network

LISNPN is a network for New Professionals in the Library and Information sector. This is a place to get help, advice, guidance and information, for people working in the library sector. Most importantly, it’s chance to discuss stuff with other New Professionals.

Info Skills Needed By Digital Librarians

I’ve been holding this article open in my tab browsers for awhile. The author references Tony Hirst’s workshop where I found the following question interesting and not discussed about in my classes so far:

Should the Library be able to help researchers develop their online profiles/reputations within online environments? If so, how? If not, why not?

So far my classes have only been approaching libraries from a traditional approach of spitting out either quick reference answers, making up bibliographies, or pointing people in the direction to find materials. We haven’t began thinking outside the box of how to help researchers become engaged in finding each other. Honestly, this was something I hadn’t even thought about. I’ve been reading several Social Media books (like Social Media 101 and Friends With Benefits) but mostly from the perspective of how can I improve the websites I’m working on presence in the social networking world. I’m taking a library marketing class this fall, but I wonder if my professor even has a good grasp on the importance of making libraries socially engaging online yet.
Continue reading →

Good News For People Who Love News

I got word today that we’ve been given a green light to go ahead and obtain the new web server for work. With the progress I’ve made on the Drupal website, I’m hoping we can go into Beta by this weekend! Yesterday, I put in 8 hours to finish getting the international translations working, sprucing up the forums, and getting some of the kinks out of the ICL Classes Database. I even got personal contact forms working. So, needless to say, I’m feeling very positive about how this project is going now.

Today, I started my digitalization internship. I was fangirling the Espon ridiculously awesome scanner (price tag: $2,866.49) as I scanned in some theater happenings catalogs from 1969, 1977, and 2006 to turn into PDFs. I’m not 100% certain I did it absolutely right, but this isn’t archival quality so it didn’t matter as much if I was 110% or not. Tomorrow I’m bringing in my own mouse and a pillow since their mouse is too big and the chair is hard as a rock.

I also picked up some more library books so I’m excited all the way around. I’ll be getting offline in a few minutes to go read some books since I’m worn out of looking at a computer screen.