CLA CONFERENCE A MEMORABLE FEAST by Kathy Leeds
T he 118th CLA Annual Conference has concluded and, although the evaluation sheets have yet to be reviewed and compiled at the time of this writing, my admittedly biased take on it was – WOW, what a resounding success! Even in difficult economic times, we drew 915 attendees over the three full days (298 on Wednesday, 366 on Thursday, and 251 on Friday). Our 17 conference sponsors generally paid somewhat less for their sponsorships, but were pleased with the enthusiastic response to sessions they helped underwrite. Many have already expressed interest in participating CLA President Kathy Leeds (right), director of the Wilton Library, gives her successor, Randi Ashton Pritting, again next year. Although we lost a hug. Randi is CLA president-elect and director of the Mortensen Library, University of Hartford. some vendors from the crew that showed up last year, new folks took their place and we had 68 in the exhibit hall just as we did at the be following up on things they discovered in New Haven, so the thrill goes Mystic Marriott in 2008. New Haven was a terrific venue. Conference attendees were on. I have several “notes to self” that able to dine in nearby restaurants that offered cultural diversity of will lead to more author visits, nifty the most delectable sort. (My personal favorite was Barcelona— new technology, revised staff evaluajust steps from the Omni’s front door.) And although a couple of tion forms, and programs for both systems issues threatened to put a damper on the conference teens and children for our library and facilities, the Omni staff was unfailingly pleasant and helpful, fix- am sure that others were similarly ing clogged plumbing and repairing heating/cooling equipment inspired. One image after another lingers, as soon as they were able. Technology performed without a hitch, so far as I am aware, but the most powerful might have and last minute adjustments in catering were accomplished with been my peek at the Speed Mentoring a minimum of fuss. How about the celebratory refreshments in session. What energy! The view of seasoned librarians sharing their knowlthe awards ceremony sessions Thursday and Friday? We had 55 programs this year, and the track system seemed to edge and experience in bursts of make selection easier. Keynote speakers on all three days got speech and gestures with younger colgood crowds; even the final program at the end of the day on leagues was positively amazing, particularly because about 30 of these oneFriday drew more than 60 attendees. Fifty of our number toured Yale’s magnificent Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, far on-one sessions were going on at the same time in a fairly small space. more than we—or they—expected. Open times twice a day to visit exhibits were popular with ven- Perhaps they had a role in overheating dors and shoppers, as were the refreshments served there (partic- that part of the building for the next ularly the chocolate fountain!). Receptions in the Presidential couple of days? Seriously—watching the baton Suite to honor the 10th anniversary of the Black Caucus of ALA— Connecticut Chapter and the annual meeting of the Fairfield being passed was wonderful. We must County Library Administrators Group made good use of that continue to feed the future this way (to return to the “Menu for Success” beautiful space. I’m truly exhausted, but strangely sad that it’s over. Still, I know theme). In nurturing those new to the that other attendees shared my interest and excitement and will profession, we revitalize ourselves.
Coverage of CLA’s 118th Annual Conference begins on page 2
Connecticut Library Association 118th Annual Conference
A Menu for Success April 29-May 1, 2009, Omni Hotel, New Haven
elcome to the annual conference wrap-up issue of Connecticut Libraries. With 55 conference sessions scheduled over three days this year, we needed more program reporters than ever. Thank you to the dozens of people who sent in reports for this edition—virtually all on deadline and within the word limit. Thanks also to Vince Juliano, who edited some of the reports under Books & Authors, and to Tom Newman, who did the same for some program summaries under Administration & Management. Reports are assigned—sometimes a little arbitrarily—to a general topic: Books & Authors, Administration & Management, Professional Development, Children’s and Young Adult Books & Services, Public & Technical Services. They have also been posted to the CLA website along with many pictures from the conference. Enjoy! David Kapp, Editor early life in rural China. He discussed not only the poverty but the political oppression. While these topics sound a bit heavy for a lunchtime speaker, Da Chen expertly interwove poignant stories from his home life, (including the moment his father purchased a flute for him), with humorous anecdotes about his book tours, job interviews, and his delightful wife. Sponsor Baker & Taylor Reporter Alice Knapp, New Canaan Library
Books & Authors Robert Pinsky The 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky, created his Favorite Poem Project 1997, and he came to CLA’s Annual Conference to launch Connecticut’s Favorite Poem Project, which is being presented this spring by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and the CT Library Consortium. Pinsky outlined the two key ideas behind his project for an overflow audience: 1) The medium for a poem is not words, not images…the medium for the poem is one human body. It is anyone. It’s in us. The medium is the reader’s breath. “I don’t write for my breath,” he said. “I write for your breath. I write so that someone speaks these words.” Poetry needs to be read, shared and enjoyed aloud. 2) Americans are not cultureless. We are not the dolts that some make us out to be. As a people, we do love poetry, and it resonates within us. Pinsky believes that Favorite Poem Project readings build communities. The readers are not scholars. They represent America. They are us. He described how people in the audience root for one another. They connect. You hear a gratifying ripple of “What did you choose? What did you choose?” It’s a great communal feeling. “I remember the feeling art gave me—that thrill. ‘I want to be reading that!’ And now, I want to give you that feeling,” he said. Pinsky offered his advice about hosting a community reading—the most important ingredient? Have as much variety as possible—in age, education, profession, heritage, etc. Pinsky finished his presentation with video clips of a young Asian girl reading Emily Dickinson, and a young Marine of Cuban heritage reading Yeats. Both illustrated Pinsky’s original concept of FPP being dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives People across Connecticut will be invited to submit their favorite published poems to the Festival. From these, the Festival will select readers from across the state to share their poems in a Favorite Poem Community Reading hosted by Robert Pinsky on June 13, 2009. Submissions may also be used to create an anthology and video documentaries. Libraries, bookstores, schools, and community groups are encouraged to host their own Favorite Poem events, collect submissions, and create Favorite Poem videos to be posted on the Festival’s website. So what’s your favorite poem? Visit www.ctlibrarians.org or www.artidea.org to learn more about CT’s Favorite Poem Project, submit your favorite poem, upload a video, obtain resources to help you host an FPP community reading, and more. Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to join the Favorite Poem Project. Sponsor CLC & International Festival of Arts & Ideas Reporter Deb Zulick
Stephen L. Carter Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University. Following his graduation from law school, Carter served as law clerk to Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the U. S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. and, the next year, as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. After practicing law for a year, he joined the Yale faculty in 1982. Carter’s controversial nonfiction works on race and religion in contemporary America have brought him recognition as “one of our nation’s most intriguing and noteworthy public intellectuals,” according to Commonweal contributor Don Wycliff. He is the author of seven very serious non-fiction titles including, Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion and God’s Name in Vain: How Religion Should and Should Not Be Involved in Politics. Carter is better known for his best-selling novels, The Emperor of Ocean Park, New England White, and Palace Council. His newest novel, Jericho’s Fall, will be published this summer. Carter congratulated CLA for keeping books important in the lives of Connecticut citizens and spoke eloquently about the value of libraries and the importance of being a reader. Describing libraries as “shrines,” he stressed that literacy is crucial to democracy and that being surrounded by books makes a statement about ideas. “Young people should not only read books, but books that are hard,” Carter declared, explaining that the struggle to read equates with the struggle to succeed, and he added, “A book is a symbol of permanence, a symbol that democracy needs.” Carter noted that, in the world of the book, serious arguments can be made for and against any idea, and that this is what democracy really is. Stephen Carter’s talk was concluded with a standing ovation. His audience left knowing they had heard something very important and very inspiring. Sponsor Gale, Inc Reporter Cynde Bloom Lahey, New Canaan Library David Pogue, New York Times personal technology columnist is also a best-selling author, a correspondent for CBS News and an avid Westport Library user. Library Director Maxine Bleweis’s introduction, describing Pogue’s hijinks at the library, set the stage for his entertaining talk, complete with live music. Pogue opened by announcing that his mother wanted him to marry a librarian because they are “studious and educated, they live to help others, and they have no expectation of being rich or famous!”
Da Chen Lunch with best-selling author Da Chen was a real surprise. Known for his memoirs and novels set in China, most of us didn’t realize that he is also a musician and calligrapher. But after listening to him, we couldn’t wait to get home to start reading. Da Chen outlined his brutal Connecticut Libraries
Starting with print, he pointed out that “No one in his right mind would buy a classified ad in a newspaper,” and observed that the New York Times and Wall Street Journal both shrank by an inch in each direction in the last year. Meanwhile, Microsoft paid $240 million for a mere 1.6% of Facebook and, Pogue noted, Facebook has no revenue and no way to make any money. For Pogue, the interesting part of Web 2.0 is that it’s just getting started. The web connects people who would never cross paths and unifies them by interest. But this is the tip of the iceberg. For the next generation, instant is the standard expectation. Younger kids tell him that “nobody does email anymore” because it’s too slow. Those under 25 don’t care about privacy. We no longer strive for a lifetime allocation of 15 minutes of fame, but look for 15 seconds of fame everyday. Pogue offered a little Web 2.0 math: speed + ego - privacy = Twitter. Pogue is working on a Twitter book. He asks a question every day on Twitter and collects the answers. He uses Twitter to gather advice when traveling. It’s the natural outgrowth of the rise of the Citizen Reviewer. Pogue claims that the collective opinion of Internet Movie Database reviewers (“normal people, not film majors”) is never wrong. Cnet.com gives equal weight to editor and citizen reviews and they often diverge. Pogue emphasized that it’s important to see what normal people think about products. Online, we can’t always tell what’s real. He mentioned that both Apple and Amazon had dealt with malicious reviews. Apple’s iPhone app store now only allows those who have purchased applications to review them, and Amazon requires reviewers to use their real names. Pogue also referenced “The Long Tail” and the splintering of resources that companies and marketers face. He emphasized that we can raise the level of discourse through participation and that people inherently trust Web 2.0 because it feels real and grassroots. Transparency creates trust and Web 2.0 is often seen as more trustworthy than the mainstream media. Pogue’s final words of wisdom (before sitting down at the piano) were “Don’t stress.” Every Web 2.0 site can be a huge time or money drain and the people who are primarily infatuated are geeks and the media. Nobody expects anyone to adopt them all but we should assess and keep our eyes open. David Pogue mentioned many fascinating websites in the course of his talk—too many to mention here, but you can find them listed in the CLA website version of this report. Sponsor Fairfield Library Administrators Group Reporter Kate Sheehan, Darien Library
Breakfast with Roxanne Coady It’s hard to believe that a New York tax accountant could transform herself into a successful independent bookstore owner and garner a bit of fame. But that is exactly what Roxanne Coady, owner of RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT, and author of the Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them has done. Although she never worked in a bookstore and claims “I had no idea of what I was doing,” Coady has been passionate about reading since her early childhood when she devoured books at her local library. Nineteen years after opening R.J. Julia Booksellers, Coady’s passion for words still persists and she continues to be “enthralled with boxes of books and putting the right books in people’s hands.” These days, the hands are not just those of customers who walk into her store, but also newborns in hospitals. As chair of Read to Grow, a nonprofit organization she founded, Coady is doing her part to battle illiteracy in Connecticut. Although one of the wealthiest states in the nation, Coady says, Connecticut has one of the worst literacy rates. “The gift of reading is being denied to a vast part of this country, especially in Connecticut,” she declared. Read to Grow distributes new books to babies in hospitals, makes books available to children and families, and provides support for language development. A costly endeavor, Coady hopes to expand the program to hospitals in the southern part of the state. She encouraged librarians to get involved with Read to Grow and help through proceeds from book sales and other fundraisers. Although running the bookstore and overseeing the literacy foundation keep her plenty busy, Coady still finds time to read. On a recent trip she discovered five new books about the power of connection and kindness. Topping her list was Bernard Beckett’s Genesis. “You must read it! You’ll be shocked by the ending and want to talk to someone about it,” she said. Her other recommendations include Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, which she claims will be a great book club read and The Ballad of West Tenth Street by Marjorie Kernan, an urban fairly tale in which Coady was “so happy spending time with the characters.” She called The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa “magical” and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, an epic tale about bonds that can’t be broken. According to Coady, people read for a number of reasons—to be entertained; learn; live in other people’s shoes and think about things in a different way; or determine how to live their own lives. She feels that people experience a visceral reaction from books that shape their behavior. Coady says, “Life is about words.” Through R.J. Julia Booksellers and Read to Grow, Coady is doing her best to spread the gift of reading. Reporter Susan Lauricella/ Wilton Library Association
Do You Want to Know a Secret? More than 40 librarians spent a mysterious hour listening to Jan Brogan (Teaser), Jane Cleland (Killer Keepsakes), Hallie Ephron (Never Tell a Lie), Roberta Isleib (Asking for Murder) and Rosemary Harris (The Big Dirt Nap) talk about the things they wished that they had known about the publishing business before they had sold their first book. The authors discussed deadlines, editors, writing pitfalls and trade secrets. Hallie Ephron moderated this panel discussion, which included the authors’ comments on choosing the right title and cover, amusing anecdotes, some hand wringing, and good old-fashioned mayhem. Sponsor Conference Co-chairs Reporter Alice Knapp, New Canaan Library
Book Buzz Virginia Stanley (Harper Collins), Jen Childs (Random House), and Talia Sherer (MacMillan) started the conference with a buzz of information on the upcoming book season—complete with free advanced reading copies! Stanley teased us with information on a dozen or so new
Diane Mott Davidson Hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as the “Divine Diva of the Culinary Cozy,” Diane Mott Davidson is no stranger to mystery fans. She not only introduced her newest mystery, Fatally Flaky, published in April, but also shared some of her scrumptious Nutcase CranberryApricot Bread with an appreciative audience. The author of 15 mysteries, all featuring caterer/sleuth Goldy Schulz, she delights fans with the inclusion of her recipes for the food Goldy prepares in her novels. Davidson was a real treat, in more ways than one! She cheerfully described the process she takes in tackling each novel and revealed personal details that she uses in creating the plots of her books, as well as in the development of her characters. Reporter Cynde Bloom Lahey, New Canaan Library
Former Poet Laureate of the U.S. Robert Pinsky inspired his audience with his eloquence. Andria Matthews, International Festival of Arts & Ideas (left), and CLC’s Deb Zulick were instrumental in bringing Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project to Connecticut.
titles, including Michael Chabon’s, Manhood for Amateurs, the very appropriate This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson, a new look at Anne Frank by Francine Prose, and the incredible true story by William Kamkwamba entitled The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Childs also spoke about new releases for summer and fall. Of particular interest was Gaynor Arnold’s Girl in a Blue Dress: A Novel Inspired by the Life and Marriage of Charles Dickens, the newest book by Stieg Larson, (author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), entitled The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream by Patrick Radden Keefe. To wrap things up, Sherer reveled in highlighting mystery books, including Last Child by John Hart, Brutal Telling by Louise Penny and Darling Jim by Christian Moerk. Sponsor Random House Reporter Alice Knapp, New Canaan Library
Joe Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) general science librarian & instruction coordinator at Yale University’s Kline Science Library, envisions SMS (short messaging system, aka text messaging), which he uses at Kline, as the future of reference. He recommends Twitter as the biggest social communication tool and has established a Twitter feed for the CLA Conference as #ctlibs09. Log in to tweet. Murphy’s show was dynamic and versatile, with visuals, mashups, animations, and slideshows available through Twitter. According to him, there were more text messages than phone calls in the U.S. in 2008. Text messages must be less than 140 characters. There are websites dedicated to communicating and exchanging information, especially chacha.com—a service to exchange messages via webpage or iphone text messaging—which is the “gold standard” for quick, free 24/7 communication/information. Google SMS comes in second because you can search the Web with an algorithm. Third is kgb.com, a European website similar to chacha. Smart phones (email, the Web, etc., most easily used on an iphone) are predominantly used at the local level. The Yale SMS reference program relies on mobile technology to email to SMS software, thereby building upon traditional skills. Cost is free or minimal, and service is available in short, concise answers 24/7. Sponsor Business & Economic Development Section Reporter Michelle Foyt, Russell Library, Middletown
Public & Technical Services All Kinds of Minds Doug Lord, Middletown Library Service Center, facilitated this panel discussion of best practices for library services and resources for patrons with learning disabilities, and for the parents of children with learning disabilities. Beryl Kaufman, executive director of the Connecticut Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (CACALD) opened the program by defining “learning disability.” She then reviewed the history of how people with learning disabilities have been served by human services organizations, including libraries, and how they have been taught at educational institutions from kindergarten through college. Throughout her presentation, Kaufman involved the audience in interactive exercises to demonstrate some of what it is like to have a learning disability. She recommended resources, many of which are available at CACALD. Nancy Kuhn-Clark, reference librarian, Westport PL, followed, showing some of the resources that her library offers patrons with all types of disabilities, not just learning disabilities. Westport has a section of recommended electronic resources on their website. In addition, they have kits for parents, grandparents, and teachers, which contain toys and games appropriate for children with different types of learning disabilities or developmental delays. Kuhn-Clark recommended books and videos she found useful to patrons who are either living with learning disabilities or who are raising children with learning disabilities. Barbara Klipper is youth services librarian at the Ferguson Library and a member of ASCLA, the ALA division that advocates for library services for populations with special needs. She focused her presentation on some of the software and screening assessment instruments that patrons can use to help determine whether or not they are living with a learning disability. One of Klipper’s major interests is providing services to children with autism spectrum disorders. All three speakers could have presented their topics as stand-alone sessions. However, it was good to hear professionals from three different backgrounds discuss resources and services for children and adults with disabilities. Tables in the program room were filled with literature, books, videos, and activity kits for attendees to examine. For more information or for copies of handouts that were distributed at this session, please contact Elaine Krikorian at Elaine@fergusonlibrary.org. Sponsor ADA Committee Reporter Sherry Gelbwasser, ACC
Designing Effective Outreach for Older Adults Dana Lucisano, chair of CLA’s Reference & Adult Section introduced Arthur Bakis of the Boston Regional U.S. Census Center, and Kathy Mayo, outreach service manager, Lee County FL Library System. Bakis explained how to access statistics from the census.gov website. As the 2010 census will be a short form with just ten questions, he described the yearly American Community Survey, which will be used to fill in needed social and economic data. A number of households across the country will be selected to fill in a longer questionnaire. Current projections for Connecticut show that there will be a considerable increase in the percent of the 65-years or older population. Bakis provided handouts on searching the website and the data available from the census and the ACS. Mayo stressed that libraries need to know the demographics of their communities to provide services and programs appropriate to the needs of older adults at different stages of life, which she described as: frail elders, active seniors and baby boomers. Frail elders may need home delivery of books or books by mail. If there are local assisted living facilities, a depository collection is also a possibility. Active seniors may be looking for information on leisure time activities or help with new technologies. Baby boomers have their own unique needs. Libraries should cooperate with local organizations in offering services and programs and avail themselves of information offered by the local agency on aging. When building collections for adults, libraries need to include a variety of formats, such as videos/DVD’s that come with descriptions for persons with low vision or blindness.
Cutting Edge Reference Techniques Kate Sheehan, head of knowledge and research services, Darien Library, describes the mental shift that accompanied the staff move to their new building as a new service model, one that focuses on collaboration and connection. Roaming reference librarians equipped with cell phones and minilaptops, perform one-on-one research and ready reference by meeting people at their point of need in the stacks or on-line. Books are shelved by broad subject areas rather than Dewey numbers. Signage consists of large, elevated, flat LCD panels with rolling displays of information. Staff relies on Meebo for ready reference instant messaging chat. According to Sheehan (email@example.com), the courteous, helpful, responsive, self-aware and hardworking staff continuously adapt themselves and their surroundings into a permanent work-in-progress.
Janet Woycik, director of Newtown’s Cyrenius H. Booth Library, and Alice Knapp, director of the New Canaan Library, led the team that planned CLA’s 2009 Annual Conference.
Programs should be scheduled for suitable times of day and accessible locations. Libraries need to have in-house devices for those needing magnification or audio assistance. All posters and signage should be 14 point or larger. Mayo mentioned two websites as particularly useful, seniorsconnect.org and NIHseniorhealth.gov, and provided several interesting handouts. Sponsor Reference & Adult Section Reporter Barbara C. Smith, Prospect PL
Support Staff of the Year:
Dewey or Don’t We? Recent Trends in Public Libraries This program addressed the possibilities of using the best of the Dewey classification system along with the convenience of bookstore categories to display books in public libraries. Presenters included Doreen Milcarek and Susan Reckhow from Onondaga County, NY, and Gretchen Hams-Caserotti and Kate Sheehan from Darien PL. Milcarek reported that the downtown Syracuse central library features a “Browse About Area” catering to walk-in users, with a design based on Charlie Robinson’s “Give them what they want” model. Headings include Careers, Urban Fiction, Crafts, Gardening, People, Young Adult, Fast Flicks and Rapid Reads. This area houses just 10% of the collection but accounts for 50% of total circulation. Some users were confused due to the use of many different spine labels to depict locations, and many users do not use other parts of the collection, which are located on other floors. Reckhow (firstname.lastname@example.org) works in a suburban library where the collection of 65,000 volumes is arranged with a hybrid system of Dewey and bookstore organization—using Dewey’s strength (its specificity) and avoiding its drawbacks (confusing language). After visiting bookstores, amazon.com, researching BISAC, analyzing their collection, and consulting patrons and staff, the library team developed categories specific to their collection. Reckhow noted that such a system would be different for any library that adopts this approach. They decided to handle every volume in the nonfiction collection, which expanded the project to include weeding and collection development. Using shorter runs of shelves, slatwall end panels, oversize signage, and merchandizing ideas resulted in very positive reader reactions and increased circulation. Renkhow recommended regular analysis to ensure uniformity, regular weeding (When does a Current Events title become History?). There is no single solution to issues that arise, she said. Keep your library, your collection usage, and your patrons in mind. Hams-Caserotti (email@example.com), a children’s librarian, explained in “Ditching Dewey…Kind Of,” that mindmapping was used (specifically “Who is coming in? and What are they looking for?) to differentiate between browsers and seekers. She divided the children’s collection into one area for readers and another for parents and caregivers, used color coding, and calls each section a “glade.” Examples include: Growing Up, Celebrations, Favorites, Popular Series (Babar, Eloise, Spot, Arthur), Parenting, Transportation, and Rhymes and Songs. This laborintensive transition has been very popular, with circulation rising and positive comments from people of all ages, who appreciate being able to be more independent in the library. Sheehan (firstname.lastname@example.org), adult services librarian, extended the “glade” idea into adult nonfiction areas, integrating low shelving units with chairs nearby to encourage browsing, and developing general categories to help patrons search. Glade examples: Body & Soul, Nature, Work (including finance and testing) Places (including languages), Play (including sports), Art and Literature, and Home. The staff reviewed the collection to decide the location for each book and discovered which areas needed weeding and updating. Darien PL is in a new building with a new service model, so they are tweaking the system and getting feedback from the public, which so far seems to appreciate “their walks in the glades.” Sponsor Public Library Section Reporter Siobhan Grogan, Cragin ML, Colchester
arilyn Hollebone, a Simsbury resident and 22-year veteran of the Simsbury Library, 13 of those years in the Children’s Department, is knowledgeable, friendly and unflappable. She has excellent reference skills, which include a thorough knowledge of the collection and the persistence to work a question until it is solved to the patron’s and her own satisfaction. Karilyn uses her creative and artistic talents to enhance the young people’s library experience. She is popular with children and their parents for her innovative, fun, and varied storytime sessions. It is not unusual to find children waiting in her checkout line to say hello to her when they enter the library. They leave the storytime room, filled with excitement to tell their caregiver/parent about the stories Karilyn read and the crafts they did. Karilyn is often the first person to greet new Simsbury residents when they come to the library for the first time. Patrons leave feeling that they have made a new friend. Upon their return they are greeted like old friends. Karilyn dispenses advice, friendship, and books with equal expertise, and goes the extra mile for patrons. She has driven families home when their cars have broken down, delivered books to homebound families, and consoled patrons who are worried about their families for whatever reasons. Patrons of all ages respect and love Karilyn for her humor, her kindness, her discretion, her professionalism and her talent. In a department serving many young families who have recently relocated to town, these are essential elements of our interaction with customers. Many times, young Moms just need to talk. Karilyn has the capacity to listen and to care about each person who comes to her. She knows everyone by name and makes each patron feel very welcome. Lisa Edwards, a library board member recalls, “When my daughter Nina was three, she refused to go anywhere without me, felt ill-at-ease with other adults and was nervous about separating from her parents. All of that changed when she met Karilyn Hollebone. ‘Mrs. H,’ as all the children call her, immediately helped Nina feel at ease. Her love and acceptance of each of the hundreds of children she sees every day embodies what I have seen Karilyn impart to my own children. She helps each child to feel included, special and loved.” Karilyn is a vibrant, energetic, motivated staff member. She is a valuable asset to our library team, shouldering a multitude of responsibilities and accomplishing an incredible volume of work during her day. Her enthusiasm for library services is apparent in all she does. Karilyn is a pleasure to know and an exceptional staff member. Excerpted from letters of nomination sent by members of the Simsbury Library staff
The Silver Screen in the Public Library: Movie Programs That Work Danbury Library Director Mark Hasskarl presented a program based on the information and experience he’s gained during more than 20 years of showing movies in public libraries. He emphasized that any series can
Supporter of Support Staff: Lan Liu
ow can limitations of space or word count be placed on an explanation of why Lan Liu deserves the Supporter of Support Staff Award when, in her case, it should be called the “Supporter of All” Award! Joining the Middlesex Community College Library in 1992 and appointed director in 2003, Lan has transformed the library’s culture, productivity, and reputation on the college campus, across the community college system, and beyond. Lan leads by example, never asking or expecting more from her staff than she herself is prepared to give. Teamwork is extremely important to Lan; however, she effectively recognizes each and every staff member’s strengths, and responds to his or her individual needs. For example, she worked hard to upgrade a support position from secretary II to library assistant, acknowledging that the individual was working out-of-class and deserved to be compensated for her responsibilities. Lan also heralded another support staff member’s unsung dedication by nominating her for a merit award. One of Lan’s favorite questions when interviewing for an open position is, “How do you feel about watering plants?” This is a task she herself does, as well as making coffee for professional meetings, taking her turn at the circulation desk, and just about everything else that needs doing. This question alone illustrates Lan’s belief that each and every job is important to the successful operation of a library. Lan encourages all staff to pursue professional development activities, whether it is representation on committees or, as budget permits, attendance at workshops, classes, and professional conferences. Even if the budget does not permit, Lan will try to find a way, as was the case when Lan used part of her Educational Excellence Award to send two staff members to the 2007 ALA conference. Such tangible rewards are important, but Lan also motivates support staff by entrusting them with increasing responsibilities, such as supervising student workers or appointing them as project directors on important initiatives like the recently awarded Soul of a People grant. Lan’s influence extends beyond the walls of the MxCC Library. She supports the Connecticut Library Association’s Support Staff Section (CLASS), having agreed to co-sponsor full-day conferences at the college. She is currently serving as co-chair of the Council of Librarians, and her peers look to her for sage advice and discretion. As a result of MxCC’s partnership program with Weihai Technical College in China, she worked alongside the MxCC English faculty and was responsible for translating 51 student essays into Chinese for a book entitled, The American Community College Student Experience. While these activities aren’t directly related to her success as “supporter of support staff,” they certainly attest to her success as “supporter of all.” Since Lan puts her staff’s needs well before her own, this award will most likely be dedicated to her team. However, there is no denying that Lan is the heart of the MxCC Library, having elevated its place on campus and maintaining its mission to serve students, faculty, and staff, while reaching out to the greater community. Staff of the Middlesex Community College Library
bring return audiences if a common theme or subject ties the movies together; e.g., movies by a single director or featuring one star, a film genre or even movies from a single year. Tying them together allows the audience, with or without a discussion leader, to make connections and comparisons among the movies. Having someone lead a discussion after the showing adds to the appreciation of the film, and leading a film discussion is not very different from leading a book discussion. Hasskarl noted that libraries require legal public performance rights to show movies, whether or not they charge admission. Movie Licensing USA and Motion Picture Licensing Corp. cover virtually all studios. He ended his program with a demonstration of his technique, introducing and then leading a discussion of a classic 1921 Buster Keaton silent comedy, The Playhouse. Reporter Mark Hasskarl, Danbury PL How We Serve: CT Judicial Branch Law Libraries Services Astoria Ridley, law librarian, New Haven Superior Courthouse, moderated this overview of services provided by the CT Judicial Branch Law Libraries, including their website and information pertaining to statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, case law, and ordinances. The marketing committee for the law libraries offered this conference program to remind librarians that the libraries exist to provide services for the public as well as for those who work within the judicial system. Louise Tucker, law librarian, Litchfield Superior Courthouse, coordinated the program. Claudia Jalowka, law librarian, Administrative Office, Hartford, described CT’s law library system and presided over a discussion on library services to the public and to librarians. Chris Roy, law librarian, New Britain Superior Courthouse, presented a tour of the CT Judicial Branch Law Libraries website, demonstrating how to maneuver through the “quick links” of Advance Release Opinions, Court Rules, State Agencies, Statutes, Court Forms, Family Magistrate Decisions, Pathfinders and Publications. Roy also noted the various “buttons” that appear on the website, such as Law by Subject, Ask a Librarian, Search Our Catalog, and the NewsLog. He introduced the newest web pages, designed specifically to acquaint public libraries with our facilities, services and website. The final part of the program dealt with the training and skills required of law librarians and the differences between public and legal reference work. The program included much legal information that is potentially helpful to public librarians and their patrons. Attendees appreciated the explanation of our services and learning how we can assist them; several suggested that they would like to see a repeat of the program with more subject specific information. They would also like programming that will show them how to search statutes in Connecticut and provide assistance with legal research. Sponsor CT Judicial Branch Law Libraries Reporter Astoria Ridley, New Haven Superior Courthouse LibGuides: A New Generation of Research Guides An audience of more than 50 people gathered to hear Ed Donnald and Phara Bayonne introduce and demonstrate LibGuides. This easy to use online tool, used by more than 600 libraries worldwide, provides a powerful, customizable Web 2.0 alternative to print library handouts. Donnald, health sciences librarian at Quinnipiac University’s Arnold Bernhard Library, and Bayonne, director of the Jeremy Richard Library, UConn/Stamford, discussed the successful implementation of this online tool at each of their institutions. Donnald opened the session by describing what LibGuides are and explaining how they can be customized. He demonstrated the administrator module and shared use sta-
The other major trend in cataloging is the ongoing development of the new cataloging standard, RDA (Resource, Description, and Access). In 2004, work began on a third edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR3). The following year, AACR3 was renamed RDA to reflect a new, more global mission. Under the auspices of the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC), RDA has evolved to incorporate the FRBR and FRAD conceptual models. RDA is designed for the digital environment and was developed, for both libraries and other metadata communities, to describe and provide access to all digital and non-digital resources. In May, over 20 institutions (including small libraries, vendors, and non-MARC users, as well as LC) will participate in RDA testing and evaluation. The intended release date for RDA is late 2009. The cataloging community can prepare for RDA by monitoring lists and blogs such as AUTOCAT and RDA-L, learning FRBR and FRAD concepts and terminology, visiting rdaonline.org and attending workshops and webinars. Other significant cataloging activities, such as the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (dublincore.org/dcmirdataskgroup), R2 Consulting for the Library of Congress (bibrecords.ning.com), OCLC’s Expert Community Experiment and Next Generation Cataloging Project, and new MARC activities were also addressed. What is the future of cataloging? This question generated even more questions: What is the future of the ILS? What will cataloging look like? What will RDA look like and will we use it? Possible future cataloging scenarios may involve working with a variety of non-MARC metadata, customizing metadata for user needs, or collaborating on discovery tools. Whatever the future holds for cataloging, you can be certain that there will always be something new in development. Sponsor Technical Services Section Reporter Dana Tonkonow, Elihu Burritt Library, CCSU
The Exhibits Committee: Bernadette Baldino, Sandy Ruoff, Rob Simon, Eileen Pearce and Stephen Simon tistics from Quinnipiac University. In addition to supporting the use of images, embedded links, and RSS feeds, they also provide a way to store reusable content. UConn’s use of LibGuides began with a regional license and grew to become a system-wide resource. Bayonne described the LibGuides content boxes and how they can be populated, before sharing examples from UConn’s over 275 guides. Many University of Connecticut librarians have created their own library guides for a class, for a subject, or as a part of their unique series of Heritage Guides. Both Donnald and Bayonne mentioned the extraordinary support that their institutions had received from SpringShare, the creators of LibGuides, and look forward to additional enhancements to the product. Go to www.springshare.com/libguides for more information. Sponsor College and University Libraries Section Reporter Linda Hawkes, Arnold Bernhard Library, Quinnipiac University
Children’s and Young Adult Books & Services
Meet John Adams The second President of the United States, John Adams (aka George Baker), arrived at the Omni Hotel in New Haven for “a witty and revolutionary conversation” with the librarians of Connecticut. He spoke fondly of his dear wife, Abigail, his beloved son John Quincy, and his predecessor in serving our country, George Washington. President Adams is regarded as one of the most influential of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served two terms as VicePresident, and played a leading role in Congress prior to his presidency. He shared stories of his experience in the Continental Congress, spoke with passion about the legacy of leadership and also entertained and inspired his audience with a song delivered with great patriotic fervor for his country. President Adams left his calling card and is available for presentations in libraries. Reporter Cynde Bloom Lahey, New Canaan Library
Art Lit for Kids Enhancing a child’s summer reading program using both art literature and art appreciation techniques is a great way to “Get Creative” this year. Westport librarians Deborah White and Candace Herbst have created an extensive list of books, project ideas and images for both parents and librarians to access through the Westport Library’s ArtSmart program. This program encourages children to develop their creative talents while simultaneously exposing them to a wide range of artists and artistic forms. It’s easy to find ArtSmart by logging onto the Westport Library’s website at www.westportlibrary.org/children/parents. From there, users can find a broad list of picture books, educational art books, and non-fiction books that will support any number of projects librarians may have in mind. These listings also provide an excellent list to draw from when building or enhancing any library’s collection of art books. Included in the website is an impressive listing of project ideas. These projects are multi-layered and are appropriate for children in grades kindergarten through five. Within the projects section, users can search by grade, artist, or project idea. In addition, users will be provided with a detailed information sheet containing project information, related resources (including other websites to refer to), as well as an artist biography. Finally, links to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Web Art Gallery, Art History resources on the web, and the Yale University Library’s collection of digital images, supplies users with an endless collection of images. Art History Resources on the Web gives users the opportunity to search artworks both geographically or via a specific time period. Collaborating with local museums and other art organizations within one’s own community is yet another way to bring art appreciation programs to your library’s youngest patrons. Jessica Sack, the Jan and Frederick Mayer Associate Curator of Public Education at Yale University Art Gallery, spoke at length about tying together education with art. Sack hosts groups at Yale University Art Gallery and will gladly visit libraries to present her program to interested students.
Trends in Cataloging Always evolving to incorporate new technologies, to better serve our communities, and to find cost effective workflows, the cataloging profession is never at a standstill. Diane Baden, head of monographic services for O’Neill Library, Boston College, presented the major current trends and activities in cataloging to an audience of approximately 40 people. To better understand current trends, Baden discussed such influential reports as Karen Calhoun’s The Changing Nature of the Catalog and Its Integration with Other Discovery Tools (March 2006), among others, as background leading to the seminal Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (January 2008). The latter report introduced key recommendations and desired outcomes that redefined the role of the Library of Congress, which would send resounding repercussions throughout the cataloging universe by: increasing the efficiency of bibliographic production and maintenance, improving access to unique and other special hidden materials, positioning LC’s technology for multiple user communities and for the future, and strengthening the library and information science profession. As a result of these reports, the Library of Congress has developed a more businesslike approach to cataloging, which will increase the focus on technology and collaboration.
Sack introduces art by engaging children in close observation of artwork. Her observational questions make students look closely and think about the following: What do you see? What makes you say that? What do you notice? What is going on in this piece? Each question helps build a better understanding of the artwork itself, the artist, and the bias children bring to the exploration. This method allows the participant to interpret, view and discuss art thoughtfully. Users can download activities that support this technique through the website: artgallery.yale.edu. Click on “information” and “academic resources.” Everyone is capable of discussing art and presenting visual materials to children. The above ideas and resources help to highlight and enhance the wonder of art for children of all ages. In particular, these suggestions also help to foster a better understanding of art and cultivate further inquiries. Let these art programs inspire all librarians to enhance and expand children’s programs this summer. Sponsor Children’s Section Reporter Barbara Loewengart, New Canaan Library
Lin is a member of the Foundation of Children’s Books, a non-profit that is making a difference in the lives of young readers by bringing children’s book authors and illustrators into underserved schools in Boston for visits and residencies. Every month this year, a small (roughly 5” x 5”), unpublished, original painting by Lin will be auctioned off through eBay, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the foundation. For details, visit www.smallgraces.org. Grace Lin lives in Somerville, MA. You can find information on her books and activities for children including crafts, Chinese lessons, coloring sheets and recipes at www.gracelin.com. Sponsor Children’s Section Reporter Rose Marie Zaharek, New Canaan Library Kids, Science and Libraries? With PBS’s FETCH! - YES! Susan Buckey, outreach project director for the television show FETCH! out of Boston, presented a dynamic 90-minute workshop on kid-approved science in libraries. Ruff Ruffman, a “slightly neurotic but irresistible” dog, is the host of the program, leading six contestants through exciting science challenges. A mix of animation and live action, the show airs nationally on PBS stations. Every PBS program for kids has an educational mission. FETCH!’s mission is science based. As the producer, WGBH not only films the shows but also develops complementary tools to enhance libraries’ science offerings. All the activities have been field tested with children in a library setting. Buckey’s work is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and has been proven to increase children’s knowledge of science concepts. In her introduction, Buckey highlighted the benefits of science programs for libraries and children: they promote the circulation of science books, they encourage problem solving and team work skills, and they spark interest and confidence in science. While the activities are based on the television show, Buckey emphasized that children need not have watched the show to enjoy the related activities, which focus on the scientific method, allowing children to develop hypotheses and test their veracity in a hands-on setting. The fun really began when Buckey led librarians through two of the science activities. In “Canine House of Cards,” librarians were tasked with building a structure strong enough to bear the weight of a dog biscuit, using only index cards and tape. Soon, the room was silent but for the sound of tape dispensers clicking! Buckey encouraged librarians to ask themselves follow up questions: How well did the structures work? If you could do it over, would you pick a different structure? Did you make any adjustments to your design? The second activity explored careers in science. Each person was given a challenge; for example, to explore Hawaiian volcanoes. Then, participants were encouraged to select a scientist and equipment to help with the challenge. Librarians loved both activities because they were inexpensive and kid friendly. Buckey’s presentation was useful, fast-paced and universally approved by her audience. Each participant received an activity guide and other helpful materials. Copies of the materials may be accessed at pbskidsgo.org/fetch. Sponsor Children’s Section Reporter Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library
Grace Lin The author of over 12 picture books and three novels, including The Year of the Dog, an Intermediate Nutmeg Nominee for 2010, Grace Lin told the story of how she found her niche in life as a multicultural author and illustrator of children’s books. Lin grew up in upstate New York, the only Chinese-American student in her class. She enjoyed drawing and this talent quickly became the focus of her career. In seventh grade she won $1,000 for writing a children’s book. Her PowerPoint presentation showed photographs of her family and images of her paintings. Later, as a student studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, she received a scholarship to study in Italy. During that year she realized the things that were important to her—love, family and her heritage. After graduation, supporting herself by working at a giftware company, she sent samples of her artwork to many publishers. After being laid off, she finally went to New York to visit them in person. Charlesbridge published her first book, The Ugly Vegetables (1999), a story about the Chinese vegetables she and her mother grew when she was a child. It was quickly heralded as an American Booksellers Association’s Pick of the List and a Bank’s Street College Best Books of the Year. It was also nominated for the California Young Reader Children’s Choice Award and named a Growing Good Kids Book Award Classic. The book was seen as representative of the underserved Asian-American experience. That success led to the publication of more picture books in this genre, including: Dim Sum for Everyone (2001), Kite Flying (2002), Fortune Cookie Fortunes (2004), Lissy’s Friends (2007), The Red Thread (2007), and Bringing in the New Year (2008). Lin has also illustrated several books for other authors. Her latest book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, is a fantasy novel crossed with Chinese folklore and fairytales with color illustrations throughout. It will be available in June.
Lauren Tarshis The author of Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree shared engaging stories of her life and of becoming a writer. She told us that she had only two dreams as a child: 1) to become an author, and 2) to marry Donny Osmond. At the time, she felt she had a better chance of achieving the latter. The daughter of an author, Tarshis loved going into her father’s office and running her hands over the keys of his Hermes 3000 manual typewriter. However, she had a safely guarded secret throughout most of her childhood—she found reading extremely difficult! Her parents bought her all kinds of wonderful books to read, but she was embarrassed to let anyone know that she had difficulty reading them. So, she faked it for many years. That all changed with A Tale of Two Cities and a conversation she overheard during her freshman year in high school. After that she taught herself how to read more efficiently. And, after a lot of hard work, she even-
Library directors Jay Johnston (left), Farmington PL, and Carl Antonucci, CCC, offered their experience and advice to others in the Speed Mentoring session.
Outstanding Librarian: Luis Ayala
About 50 attendees toured Yale’s Bienecke Rare Books & Manuscripts Library, where they admired the university’s Gutenberg Bible (1455), the earliest book printed on paper with moveable metal type in Europe. The Chinese accomplished the same feat (with a different title) 100 years earlier—and they invented paper! tually found reading to be a joy. As an adult, she read and enjoyed all the books she had missed as a child. Her three favorite middle grade books are: The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, and Walk Two Moons. She grew up and got a job at Scholastic doing editorial work and moved up to become the editor of Storyworks, a fun literary magazine for children. Tarshis also began working on one of her childhood dreams— becoming an author. She wrote her first novel, which, of course, she felt was really not that good. Through Scholastic she met J.K. Rowling, who gave her wonderful advice on writing a good novel: “You have to write two awful books before you can write one good book.” Rowling had also written a couple of bad novels before coming up with the Harry Potter series! After several years, and writing a second novel that she was not happy with, Tarshis eventually wrote her award-winning novel, Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (2007, Dial Books for Young Readers). Her next novel, Emma Jean Lazarus Fell In Love, will be published in May. Tarshis is now working on a historical fiction series for Scholastic. Sponsor Children’s Section Reporter Judie McCann, Essex Library Association Magical Musical Storytimes Vida Lashgari, children’s librarian, Farmington PL, and Heather Baker, head of children’s services, Canton PL, presented a useful and engaging session on using music in storytimes, energizing their audience with new ideas and songs to incorporate into their own efforts. Baker has a background in music and a lovely singing voice. Lashgari is a self-proclaimed “frog” and relies on recorded music. Together they provided practical ideas for even the most music-phobic to put into practice immediately. Both women do a combination of drop-in programs and registered ones, all of which incorporate a significant musical element. They provided handouts containing a step-by-step description of their routines, favorite CDs and songs. They also distributed shaker eggs and fabric “dickey birds,” preparing their audience for participation later in the program. The presentation opened with the showing of a video of one of Lashgari’s large drop-in storytimes, then segued into an explanation of their programs and playing a variety of songs, quickly getting the audience singing and dancing along. Some of the top songs they played and demonstrated included “Driving in My Car” from the CD Ralph’s World; a version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from a CD called Party Like a Preschooler by Go Fish; “Rock-a-Bye Your Bear” from Let’s Wiggle by the Wiggles; and “I Know a Chicken” from Whaddaya Think of That by Laurie Berkner. They emphasized the importance of using music with children, even for people who aren’t great singers, and talked about repeating songs and rhymes multiple times so that children can learn them.
uis Ayala is a reference librarian in Norwalk Public Library’s Information Services Department. For the past nine years, he has fielded hundreds of thousands of reference questions, mended computers, soothed agitated patrons and inspired a sense of purpose and excellence among staff. He has developed quite a public following, especially among the Latino community, in part because of his native fluency in Spanish, but mostly for the same reason everyone treasures him—his genuine love of people. Luis is one of those rare people with numerous areas of expertise. In addition to his fluency in both English and Spanish, which makes him indispensable at all of our public service desks, his technical literacy is wonderful. His pinch-hitting for our systems manager helps us survive many “glitches.” Luis designed the curriculum for our public computer classes and coordinates all the activities involved in conducting them. He designed and maintains our Spanish web page, an excellent port of entry to the library and the wider world of knowledge for our Spanish speaking public. Luis teaches PC skills, Internet, e-mail, word processing and more in English and Spanish. Luis’s genuine affection for people makes him especially good at outreach to the underserved. He has spoken at senior centers, represented us at Career Day at the high schools and in other venues. He has just the right touch with our teen patrons, and is sought out by people who have been told by their friends, “Ask for Luis.” Luis excels in programming. Over the years, he has been responsible for numerous successful programs, from concerts to book discussions to film festivals for Hispanic Heritage Month and other events. He is always looking for new opportunities to attract users and make the library an integral part of the community. Luis has his finger on the pulse of society, be it the latest fad, gadget, or socio-political movement. Combine that with his keen analytical skills, natural curiosity, love of a good problem, and you’ve got a phenomenal librarian. He is an avid reader in all genres, which is invaluable for readers’ advisory. He strives to stay current, to gain new knowledge and to share it with the rest of the staff. Before coming to Norwalk, Luis worked for ten years in various capacities in the New York Public Library system. He holds an MSILS from Pratt Institute and a BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, and is a long time member of CLA and REFORMA, the national association to promote library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish speaking. Best of all, Luis is modest, kind, generous with his time and infinitely patient. I cannot remember ever hearing him complain about any assignment, any chore or any person. His gentle sense of humor keeps us upbeat and in the “now.” He is an outstanding librarian whom we do not take for granted, and who is extremely deserving of CLA’s 2009 Outstanding Librarian Award. Judith Rivas, director of library information services, Norwalk PL
Baker showed a variety of ways she incorporates technologies into her programs. She has a document camera (Epson DC-10) that allows her to project books onto a large screen. Sometimes she projects musical video clips from sites like youtube, and has made photographic slideshows from flickr to present while playing music. She emphasized that none of this violates copyright if done for a limited number of children, as long as the photos utilized are copyright free. Lashgari talked about a few sure-fire things she does with very young children, including using a slide whistle to call the children together, and using a “pie” (a pie-plate with a felt top stuffed with scarves) to distribute scarves, which are then swung to the music. She also uses a parachute that parents move to the music while children dance under it or ride on it. She distributes beanbags to shake to the song “Bean Bag Rock” from Bean Bag Activities and Coordination Skills by Georgiana Stewart. Both women promoted a welcoming song, and props, such as scarves, musical items and stick puppets. Baker suggested having volunteers prepare stick puppets with foam and tongue depressors. They ended the program with audience participation using props and encouragment to go forth and use music! The audience left motivated and well-prepared to immediately enhance their existing storytimes with additional music. Sponsor Children’s Section Reporter Amy Lilien-Harper, Ferguson Library, Harry Bennett Branch Susan Beth Pfeffer Exposure to the dynamic mind of Susan Beth Pfeffer was a bit like the impact her book had on me after I had read it—”Life As We Knew It” changed! Pfeffer knew she wanted to write since she was in first grade and, at the age of 20, she became a professional writer. With no marketable skills other than the ability to create characters, move a plot along, and evoke a setting, she survived nicely for many years by writing and publishing 75 children’s and teen’s books. However, the “inspirational story of her life” began 12 years ago when she moved out of her mortgage-free house to buy another that, while gorgeous, was much more expensive than the house she had sold. Then, publishers stopped buying her books. Pfeffer had to choose either to keep the new house and give up all luxuries, or to sell it. Luckily for us, she sold it and was able to keep her cable subscription. While searching for something to watch on TV, Pfeffer discovered Meteor, an old movie starring Sean Connery and Natalie Woods as brilliant astrophysicists who meet and fall in love while saving Earth from a meteor strike. “Ideas are like birds chirping; you cannot hear them when your brain is too busy, only when your mind is relaxed,” Pfeffer said. After watching this “snoozer,” she asked herself, “What would happen if a teenager lived through a worldwide disaster?” Then, “Who is the teen?” Followed by “Who does the teen live with and where?” and “What is the disaster?” These are the questions she answered so successfully in creating her new series. The first book, (aka the “doing the laundry” book based upon how frequently laundry became an issue in the book due to lack of water and electricity), stars a teenage girl in middle America suburbia and led to a second, The Dead and the Gone, told from the perspective of a teenage boy in New York City. The third book, This World We Live In, will be released in Spring 2010 and will intertwine the lives of the two sets of characters we have already met. Pfeffer ended her talk with an observation that Cinderella is the most important fairy tale in the world. When the fairy godmother shows up and changes Cinderella’s appearance so she can go to the ball to meet the prince, Cinderella doesn’t sit back and say, “I have worked all day and I’m too tired to go to the ball.” Instead, she takes charge of the moment and creates her own destiny—an example we all should try to emulate. Sponsor YA Section Reporter Dawn Higginson, Oxford PL Nutmeg Wars: Successful Outreach Programs With five different groups presenting their ideas, this session offered an embarrassment of riches. Jane Ash (children’s librarian, Scranton ML, Madison) described “Nutmeg Bowl,” based on TV’s Jeopardy and open to all students in Madison. The first 20 registrants are contestants, while the rest watch. Students must have read all ten books to compete. She invested in a buzzer system called “eggspert” and sets up the clues with a Jeopardy-style program downloaded from a website. Categories: settings, type of literature, author please, characters, and plot or storyline, with one question per category per book. She and a colleague work together, one working the mouse while the other plays “Alex.” She offers the program when new titles are announced. The winner receives one of the new Nutmegs as a prize. Media specialists Karen Chapman (Mystic Middle School) and Bevin Winner (Pawcatuck Middle School) described “Nutmeg Games.” They begin booktalking Nutmeg titles to 5th graders in the spring, with homeroom teachers and the media specialist each reading one aloud. Students are encouraged to read the books over the summer and must complete at least five of the ten books to qualify, handing in summaries as they complete the books. On January 31, all who qualify gather for a day of games at one of the two schools. Activities include Nutmeg Jeopardy, computer games, creating bookmarks, matching locations on maps, a movie, and snacks. Julie Scanlon (children’s program coordinator, Sherman Library) and Anne Krieg (media specialist, Sherman School) collaborate on “Nutmeg Night,” a Friday night sleepover at the school. Sherman’s small size, with a single school and library, helps make this program possible. It is open to students in grades four through eight, who must read at least five of the ten books to qualify. Librarians begin booktalking to 3rd graders in the spring. As they read them, students check off titles in a notebook. The PTO provides gift certificates for students who read ten Nutmegs, and a bigger one for those who read all ten
HIGH Connecticut Library Association 118th Annual Meeting May 1, 2009 Omni Hotel, New Haven Conference attendees gathered for the annual business meeting and for the special awards ceremony to honor colleagues who represent Connecticut’s best in the library profession. Call to Order/Welcome CLA President Kathy Leeds called the meeting to order and thanked the Conference Committee, conference planners, and Exhibits Committee for their work in creating “A Menu for Success.” Minutes The minutes of the Annual Meeting of April 29, 2008 were approved. Treasurer Alison Wang distributed the treasurer’s report for 2008/09, noting that the CLA Board had approved the transfer of $20,940 from the Charles Schwab investment account to the operational account. Candidates for CLA Offices Carl Antonucci, past president and Nominating Committee chair presented the following slate of candidates: • VP/President Elect-–Debbie Herman CCSU • ALA Chapter Councilor—Jay Johnston, Farmington Library • NELA Rep—Marry Etter, South Windsor PL • Region 1 Rep.—Tracy Ralston, Traurig Library, Post University • Region 4 Rep—Carolyn Benjamin, Wilton Library • Region 5 Rep—Maribeth Breen, Henry Carter Hull Library, Clinton Election of Officers The proposed slate of candidates was approved for terms to begin July 1, 2009. Proposals to Amend CLA By-Laws Sandy Brooks, Procedures chair, presented the following changes in CLA ByLaws, as approved by the CLA Board:
LIGHTS 1) Delete the Personnel Committee and the Mentorship Committee; in their place, create a new Career Development Committee. 2) Make the current ad hoc Grant Committee permanent. 3) Allow the membership to vote on issues electronically as well as by mail. These proposed changes were approved. A further proposal to change the renewal date of the membership year from July 1 to an anniversary date (12 months from joining or previous renewal) received general endorsement but not formal approval. Instead, a task force was appointed to examine the financial and operational implications of adopting this approach. Presentation of Awards Carl Antonucci hosted CLA’s recognition ceremony, and awards were presented as follows: • Faith Hektoen Award for Lifetime Achievement Presented posthumously to Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich • Outstanding Librarian Award Luis Ayala, Norwalk PL • Support Staff of the Year Award Karilyn Hollebone, Simsbury PL • Supporter of Support Staff Award Lan Liu, Smith Library, Middlesex CC • Special Achievement Award Jane Breen and Carol Waxman, Faxon Branch, West Hartford PL • CLA Scholarship Awards Judy Sparzo, student, SCSU; Jennifer Olson, student, Simmons College; Joann Massad, student, Three Rivers CC • Fairfield Library Administrator’s Group Scholarship Awards Marissa Antosh, student, SCSU; Luis Rodriguez, student, SCSU Adjournment The annual meeting was adjoured at 3:35 pm. Submitted by Alison Wang, Secretary/Treasurer
from both lists. On the night of the sleepover, students play musical chairs and a variety of Nutmeg related games, make and solve puzzles, or go on a scavenger hunt. After pizza, they settle into sleeping bags for stories and a movie—and then sleep. Parents pick them up at 7:00 Saturday morning. Noreen Quinn (media specialist, Manson Youth Institution) and Kelley Gile (teen librarian, Cheshire PL) offer a most unusual program—a book discussion for inmates of Manson, a level four, high security detention center for boys 14 to 19. Librarians choose three of the teen Nutmegs for each participant to keep. Quinn ensures that the boys are reading and know when to meet; Gile comes to Manson to lead the discussions, which occur one-two times each month. Recruitment is primarily by word-ofmouth. The discussions give the boys a voice, broaden their horizons, and introduce them to books they would otherwise not read. Quinn believes this program could be replicated in mental institutions, group homes, residential treatment centers and elsewhere, but emphasizes that an internal partner is essential to make it work. Rachel Wall (language arts teacher) and Nicole Kuca (media specialist) from Martin Kellogg Middle School; Elizabeth Mihalakos and Kathryn Carle (language arts teachers, John Wallace Middle School); and Patricia Pierce (librarian, Lucy Robbins Welles Library), collaborate on an in-depth “Battle of the Books” program in Newington. The adults select 15 books—all Intermediate Nutmegs, three from the 7-8 grade list, and two easier books from past Intermediate lists. Starting in February, each teacher divides his or her class into small groups that divide up the list with the goal that every book will have been read by at least one student in the group, and many will have been read by more. Students complete story maps for each book read and create trivia questions and answers for each book. The group’s progress is displayed in the classroom. Students receive raffle tickets for every book read; those who complete all 15 get a prize. June brings trivia “battles,” first in the classroom, and then school-wide, finally school winners compete in the town battle. Winners at each phase receive prizes. The public library stocks multiple copies of the books and limits circulation, allowing the maximum number of students access. The session concluded with a chance for attendees to visit with presenters in small groups. Sponsor Children’s Section Reporter Amy Lilien-Harper, Ferguson Library, Stamford
Administration & Management Beyond the Wish List: How to Maintain a Good Relationship Between a Friends Group and the Staff of a Library About 40 people attended this discussion by a panel responding to questions put to them by Carl Nawrocki, president of the Friends of Connecticut Libraries. The questions were intended to reveal how Friends and library directors work together to best satisfy the library’s needs, as defined by the director’s “Wish List,” as well as by the Friends goals and budgetary constraints. The first panelists to respond were Kathy Rieger, director, and Polly Fitz, Friends president, of Branford’s Blackstone Library. They were followed by Susan Bullock, director, and Sarah Hart, Friends president, from the Simsbury PL. The panel received the following questions in advance of the session. For the Directors: 1) Do you have a well-defined understanding about the separation of Friends tasks and staff tasks, and how is that communicated? 2) Does each group help the other with events and chores? Can a staff member be an active Friend? 3) How do you help keep the Friends viable as an organization? For the Friends: 1) Who makes the decisions regarding how the money raised by Friends will be spent? How is it done? 2) Do you spend any time and money that is more community based rather than direct library support? To what purpose? 3) Who makes decisions regarding programs sponsored by the Friends? Responses to these questions were fascinating in their diversity. The Branford and Simsbury libraries have excellent working relationships between Friends and staff. Both have carried out very successful programs, but there are no formal rules as to who does what. One key commonality is the fact that the directors stay in close touch with their Friends group, often by attending Friends board meetings, and ditto for Friends presidents attending library board meetings. Directors submit their Wish Lists to the Friends and define priorities. Friends do what they can to support the director and staff. There are frequent collaborations between Friends and staff. In Branford, both collaborate on the newsletter, which is an important, widely circulated publication in town. Friends produce a section of the newsletter and take care of the mailing. The staff collaborates with Friends on chores like setting up book sales and selecting and pricing children’s books. Friends provide books for the library’s “Read to Grow” program and community outreach programs, such as those at the Girl’s and Boy’s Club, In Simsbury, Friends and staff work together like a “well-oiled-machine,” and Friends are often invited to contribute to the director’s decision-making process. Staff and Friends collaborate on the library’s major annual holiday program, “The Festival of Lights,” but the “Books for the Homebound” program is run entirely by the Friends. This panel discussion produced many good ideas on how to work together. Sponsor Friends of Connecticut Libraries Reporter Gil Alwang Branding the Queens Library Way James Keller, chief marketing officer, Queens (NY) Library System, talked about six effective ways to get the word out about your library and all it has to offer: • Identify your stakeholders. Engage your elected officials all year; invite them into your library. Make connections with community organizations as well as the schools. • Understand your target audience. Tailor your marketing efforts to your ability to serve these people with the resources you have. • Create a strategic positioning statement. Make sure everyone understands what the library does with its extensive collections, high-speed Internet access, and quality programming for all. 11
• Have a marketing plan. Know where you have been; give statistics. Outline 3-5 objectives for the coming year; be specific and use start and end dates. Figure costs. End with an executive summary. • Utilize available resources. Use your local college or high school business classes to present a marketing plan to your board. Use newspaper, radio and buses to advertise. You can negotiate good deals in this economic environment. • Evaluate your efforts. Were you able to sign up 20% more students for library cards this year? Ways to advertise cheaply: Use postcards not flyers to promote programs. Sell high quality T-shirts, umbrellas and caps. You can find Keller’s feature article “Branding and Marketing Your Library” in the September/October 2008 issue of Public Libraries. Sponsor President Reporter Lauren McLaughlin, Wilton Library
Special Achievement Award: Dual Language Kits A Cooperative Project of West Hartford Public Library & West Hartford Early Childhood Partnership
ane Breen, a library specialist in West Hartford Public Library’s children’s services department, had an inspiration when she learned about a Canadian library’s project to address the needs of dual language families. Reading English language books to their children is a struggle for parents who are themselves learning English. Books written in the family’s native language as well as in English make reading easier and more enjoyable. Parents are able to read the book in their first language comfortably, and as their children learn to read, they can read the book in English to the parents. This idea sparked the development of dual language kits designed to meet the needs of local immigrant families. With the support of Carol Waxman, head of children’s services, the project received an initial gift of $3,000 from the West Hartford Early Childhood Partnership, funded by the Graustein Memorial Foundation, and additional funding from the library, for 21 dual language kits in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, and Russian. The kits contain books, puppets, DVDs, flash cards, audio CDs, and picture dictionaries. A sturdy backpack holds the materials, which can be borrowed. Following best practices established by Marcia Lewis at the Faxon Branch Library’s Welcome Center, Jane and Carol sought input from some of the town’s English language learners, the population that would eventually benefit from the dual language approach. In concert with a committee at the Family Resource at the Charter Oak Academy, they researched what to put in the kits and how to distribute them. The kits are available at the Noah Webster Library as well as at the Faxon and Bishops Corner branch libraries. This is a huge first step in making the transition to English easier and exciting in a town where over 60 languages are spoken in the public schools, and 17.6 % of K-12 students in the 2006-2007 school year lived in homes where English was not the primary language. Families that have used these kits have enjoyed the materials and have spread the word throughout their communities. Pat Holloway, director, West Hartford Public Library Connecticut Libraries
Open Forum on Adult Programming Meeting at the New Haven Free PL, Cynde Bloom Lahey and Karen Ronald, cochairs of the CLC Adult Programming Roundtable, led a discussion among 29 experienced library programmers from libraries across Connecticut, from Canton to Old Greenwich. A round robin led to sharing of ideas, including possible sharing of authors on tour, green programs, job series programs, and health/lifestyle programs. Everyone is feeling the pinch of the economic downturn while responding to the influx of more people using the library and attending programs. All agreed that programming is labor intensive and that each library has to find its niche in its local community. CLC Executive Director Chris Bradley is looking into ways for this group to share ideas on a regular basis—perhaps via a blog or google group as a suitable vehicle. All suggestions are welcome. The Roundtable intends to reconvene in September at the Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton. Date to be announced. Sponsor CLC Adult Programming Roundtable Reporter Karen Ronald, Fairfield PL Can Christmas Trees Get you in Trouble? Religious Issues and Libraries This discussion of religious issues and libraries informed and entertained a large audience of conference attendees. Moderated by Peter Chase, director of the Plainville Library and chair of CLA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, Peter Blackburn, director of the Hartford Seminary Library, and Michael Harrington, an attorney with Murtha Cullina, LLP, shared their views on accommodating the First Amendment and religious expression at public libraries. Blackburn pointed out how multifaceted the issues can be by recalling his experience with PL 480, the Food for Peace Program, under which grain was sent to Egypt. To make the program an exchange rather than an acceptance of charity, Egypt gave the United States a copy of every book published in Egypt. The State Department ended up giving the books to the Hartford Seminary. However, since most were religious texts, the acceptance of the books by the government and the donation of them to a seminary caused a lot of people a lot of unease. Harrington gave a PowerPoint presentation on the First Amendment and recent court interpretations of its applicability in situations of concern to libraries. He focused on the two major concerns of libraries: Christmas displays and use of community meeting rooms. To the surprise of many in the audience, Harrington noted that the courts have declared most Christmas displays to be secular and not covered by the religious establishment clause in the First Amendment. The courts have ruled Christmas trees, wreaths, and similar decorations to be entirely secular. Because of the secular nature of allowable Christmas displays, libraries that have displays for this holiday are not required to have displays for traditional religious holidays of any faith. The line around Nativity scenes is fuzzier. In general, the more characters included in a Nativity display, the more secular it is. Harrington said that displays with a selection of characters broad enough to include a Santa figure are secular; displays limited to the Christ child and his parents are probably not. Community rooms are limited public forums that can be reserved for certain groups or for the discussion of certain topics. That said, the restrictions cannot discriminate on the basis of viewpoint. If someone wants to speak or hold a meeting on a topic, they cannot barge into a board meeting or yoga class, but they must have an opportunity to reserve the room for their purpose. The courts have held that religious meetings can take place in community rooms as long the meetings are open to the public, and do not give the general public the impression that the library or town government endorses that particular religion or its activity.
Reporter’s caveat: This article is my interpretation of what I heard. As is always the case with legal issues, consult a professional before acting. Sponsor Intellectual Freedom Committee Reporter George Christian, Library Connection, Inc. Creating Sustainable Funding With over 20 years of experience in fundraising and in board/organizational development, Rebecca Bryan of R. Bryan Associates, LLC, presented a broad overview of the essential elements of developing a successful culture of fundraising in any size library. Bryan asked each attendee what his or her particular need was, and by answering specific questions, she gave the audience a basic understanding of the need for strong governance and a commitment to fundraising on the part of the whole organization, which is essential before fundraising can begin. Successful fundraising is intimately connected to relationships and consistency. The Donor Cycle she shared as a handout is a valuable tool that can be used in the beginning phases of fundraising, and for guidance at all levels of the effort: annual giving, planned giving, special gifts campaign, endowment campaign, or capital campaign. Bryan reviewed the changes in the revised 990 tax form that will now be used and explained how that form, distributed as a handout, can enhance an organization’s credibility. With donors being more sophisticated than ever, it is critical that organizations be transparent and have proper procedures in place for acknowledging gifts in compliance with IRS regulations. Ethical stewardship involves the initial thank you, using donations in accordance with the donor’s wishes, proper recognition and follow up. Board members of a non-profit should know their top 50 donors and make efforts to have faceto-face contact with them. It is often helpful for board members to break the ice in contacting donors by making the first contact a thank you. Let the donor know if he or she is among your larger, more significant donors. Listen to the donor’s reasons as to why they support your institution. Make it easy to donate online. Utilizing incremental giving circles (President’s Circle for gifts over $1,000, Chairman’s Circle for gifts over $5,000) inspires others to make larger gifts. Publicize opportunities to give outside of the annual giving campaign in newsletters, during program introductions and in publicity. Bryan has worked with several Connecticut libraries as well as many other non-profits. She spoke to the newly formed Development Roundtable at their first meeting last October. Audience members were encouraged to network with others who are engaged in fundraising, whether with the new roundtable or with other non-profit agencies in their area. This was an outstanding, practical, inspirational program on principles of fundraising. Reporter Christina Nolan, Ridgefield Library Association Dealing with Difficult People Dr. Michael Crystal, managing principal of Myriad Development, a consultancy dedicated to helping people and their organizations perform better, began by providing the audience with a context: All of us have had to deal with difficult people, some of us have been difficult people on occasion, and there are ways and means to effectively minimize the probability that either or both of these occurs. Crystal provided an array of labels that might be used to describe difficult people: Energy Thief, Sherman Tank, Know-It-All, Negative Whiner, Back-Stabbing Sniper, Instigator, Entrapper, Bully, FaultFinder, Rude Screamer, Excuse Machine, Blabber Mouth. He cautioned the audience that these negative perceptions can consciously or unconsciously lead to negative attitudes, negative self-talk and negative behavior, thereby diminishing our ability and willingness to be effective when dealing with difficult people. Crystal provided a list of the “Top 10 Reasons Why People Are Difficult,” ranging from their perception that “You’re behaving like you’re the only game in town” to “You’re not listening to what they have to say.” He then provided five key skills that would undoubtedly make dealing with difficult people easier: Listen, Question, Empathize, Sympathize and Problem Solve. Active listening is more than hearing; great listeners capture the entire message (words, tone and the nonverbals). Real listening requires the use of three skills: attending (really being there for the person), processing (really working to understand what’s been conveyed), and providing a meaningful response (showing that you really have listened). Questioning calls for you to “invite the other party to engage” by attempting to learn as much as you can regarding his/her “needs, wants, opportunities, challenges, thoughts, feelings and expectations” before attempting to provide whatever form of assistance may be necessary. Empathizing calls for us to understand ‘it’ from their perspective, thinking/feeling like they do, remaining neutral, not judging nor evaluating, demonstrating that you really care and behaving like the other person is your best friend. Sympathizing, done when you cannot otherwise empathize, calls for making the other person comfortable by being trustworthy and respectful. We should communicate by “engaging with others as they would prefer, using a style that allows them to remain comfortable,”(The Platinum Rule by Tony Allesandra & Michael O’Connor), and focus on helping them get what they need/want (which generally enables you to get what you need and want). When problem solving, never say “no” (say “yes, if…”), offer options, negotiate to create value, know your “BATNA” (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, Getting to Yes by Ury & Fisher) and always strive to achieve a win/win outcome. Connecticut Libraries
www.ctlibraryassociation.org President Kathy Leeds VP/President-Elect Randi Ashton-Pritting Past President Carl Antonucci Secretary/Treasurer Alison Wang Region 1 Representative Tracy Ralston Region 2 Representative Hal Bright Region 3 Representative Siobhan Grogan Region 4 Representative Cynde Bloom Lahey Region 5 Representative Maribeth Breen Region 6 Representative Theresa Conley ALA Chapter Councilor Jay Johnston NELA Representative Mary Etter Connecticut Libraries is published 11 times each year. Subscriptions: $45 in North America; $50 elsewhere. ISSN 0010-616X Editorial Team Carol Abatelli, Julian Aiken, Maxine Bleiweis, Sharon Clapp, Steve Cauffman, Bruce Johnston, Vince Juliano, David Kapp, Kirsten Kilbourn, Kathy Leeds, Douglas Lord, Pam Najarian, Tom Newman (Chair), Kate Sheehan, William Uricchio Webmaster Kirsten Kilbourn email@example.com CLA Office Pam Najarian, Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 860-346-2444 (v) 860-344-9199 (f) PO Box 75, Middletown, CT 06457 Jobline www.ctlibrarians.org/ctlibs/jobs.html Send articles, news items, opinions and photographs relating to the Connecticut library community to: David Kapp, Editor email@example.com 860-647-0697 4 Llynwood Drive Bolton, CT 06043
In summary, Crystal reiterated how all too often the opportunity to defuse the potentially difficult person is missed, and the basic skills to minimize the resultant effects are underutilized. “Be aware, be prepared, be at your best, and difficult people will rarely bother you.” Sponsor President’s Program Reporter Janet Crystal, Wilton Library FOI 101 Thomas Hennick, public education officer at the CT Freedom of Information Commission, explained the FOI Act for his audience. A former journalist, he was clear and entertaining. Connecticut’s 34-year-old FOI law is Governor Ella Grasso’s creation. Watergate had appalled her, and she agreed with James Madison, who wrote in 1822, “A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy, or perhaps both...a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” Grasso felt very strongly that the FOI law should be passed unanimously, and much horse-trading occurred to achieve this. Hennick joked that the law might also be called the Lawyers’ Full Employment Act, because it contains many possibilities for misinterpretation. “Read the statutes,” he said as he handed out cards with a great deal of basic information. The main import of the law is clear. All meetings of governmental bodies are open to the public, and all records—minutes, e-mails and telephone conversations—are in the public domain. Agendas must be published before meetings take place, and minutes must be available afterwards. There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as executive sessions and meetings to discuss personnel, security or property issues. Library trustees and board members should inform themselves of the rules and be aware that all libraries, whether public or association, whether staffed by volunteers or paid employees, are subject to this law since they serve a public purpose and receive public monies. Freedom of Information Commission staff are available at 866-374-3617 to answer questions. Sponsor Association of Connecticut Library Boards Reporter Lynn K. Norton, ACLB Generation 4.0 Erin Logsdon, digital solutions consultant for NELINET, is “30-something”; hails from the Midwest but has Master’s degrees from schools on both coasts (Educational Media from Portland State and LIS from Simmons); counts usability, project management, and metadata among her interests; and has already had several jobs ranging from elementary school librarian to taxonomist for a professional services firm. Gen X personified? Pretty much! During a lively presentation that skillfully inserted pertinent statistics from national surveys while inviting enthusiastic audience participation, Logsdon led an audience of 35 to consider the characteristics of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and Generations X and Y and how those characteristics influence our daily work experiences. Describing each generation in terms of its defining influences (societal movements, major new events, etc.) led to consideration of that group’s expectations for work styles, longevity with an employer, communication patterns, and risk-taking. Program attendees left with practical suggestions for blending generations into cohesive, effective library staffs…and with more than a few “Oh, brother—-does that ever explain so-and-so!” moments. Sponsor New England Library Association Reporter Mary Etter, South Windsor PL Helping Your Benefits Benefit You Susan Schaefer, Planned Benefits, Inc., prepared several excellent handouts for the participants, which explained in detail the different health care plans your library could offer to its employees. Switching plans could provide significant savings for your institution. She compared savings for a fictional library, employing 18 staff, if it provided a Point of Service Plan vs. a Hospital Deductible Option vs. a High Deductible Health Savings Account. It’s worth looking into each to save money. Schaefer outlined the differences between HSAs offered by Anthem vs. Aetna vs. Oxford. She also discussed potential savings in dental coverage. She concluded that Connecticut has very good health care insurance providers. Connecticut Libraries
The conference registration team (left to right): Patty Noren, Karen Zoller, Pam Najarian, and Jaime Hammond.
John DeSalva, Georgetown Financial Group, Inc., talked about retirement plans as related to libraries, highlighting the differences between 403(b), 401(k) and 457 plans. He covered the new IRS laws concerning 403(b) plans that employers need to know about, including preparing planned documents by December. The result: more oversight by library management. DeSalva explained how Non-Erisa 403(b), Erisa 403(b) and 401(k) plans differ. Understanding these differences is critical when choosing a plan that’s right for your employees. Sponsor President Reporter Lauren McLaughlin, Wilton Library How to Discipline and Fire Fairly Toni Anne Nichels, an accomplished employment attorney for the Xerox Corporation and volunteer with the Pro Bono Partnership, presented tips on managing and terminating employees. With discrimination charges increasing every year, it is important for library managers to learn the correct steps for evaluating and disciplining employees in order to avoid problems. Although performance appraisals are not legally required, Nichels recommends an annual meeting to review the core responsibilities of the position and the employee’s accomplishments. If an employee’s performance is lacking, she suggests following the Progressive Discipline/Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) process: identify and communicate expectations, delineate consequences for failure to meet expectations, provide employee with opportunities to improve, provide timely feedback on progress, and define formal warning and probationary periods. Examples of common problems include chronic absenteeism and/or lateness, insubordination, a decline in performance due to age, and other issues. Nichels discussed the importance of documentation and gave tips on how to conduct an investigation. There are important issues to consider when deciding whether to terminate an employee, such as his or her length of service and overall record, confidentiality concerns, whether the employee is a member of a protected category, and other mitigating factors. Toni gave examples of actions that could result in immediate discharge, such as sexual harassment, theft, falsification of property records, threats of violence, and other violations. If the manager concludes that termination is unavoidable, he or she should avoid a hasty, on-the-spot discharge; it is more prudent to suspend the employee with pay pending an investigation. The manager may also want to consult a labor and employment attorney regarding the termination package and supporting documentation. The exit interview allows the employee to vent emotions and may give the manager useful information on a possible lawsuit. Nichels explained that in Connecticut, if an employee voluntarily terminates employment, the organization must pay the last wages in full not later than the next regular pay day. But if the employer discharges the employee, wages must be paid in full not later than the next business day. The library cannot legally hold hostage these wages pending return of company property such as office keys, laptop, credit card, etc., but the employer can avoid this situation by obtaining such authorization at the beginning of the employment relationship. It is usually not recommend-
ed to fight a claim for unemployment benefits; it is difficult to win and can be costly in terms of time and legal fees. In 2003, Nichels was the recipient of the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Outstanding Nonprofit Attorney Award, which recognizes attorneys who make notable contributions and achievement in the nonprofit sector. She was recently awarded the designation “Volunteer of the Decade” by the Pro Bono Partnership. Nichels is an honors graduate of both the State University of New York at Plattsburg and of Notre Dame Law School. Sponsor President Reporter Carolyn Benjamin, Wilton Library ILS Vendor and Product Shakeout: Current Themes in Library Automation For those of us who are now or soon will be in the market for a new ILS, this was definitely a case of saving the best for last: Marshall Breeding, director for innovative technologies and research, Vanderbilt University, presented his keynote address as the final session of the annual conference. His talk was perfectly timed to help us navigate a rapidly changing world where vendors and systems we assumed would be around for at least the foreseeable future could disappear as easily as the investment banks and car manufacturers we once considered part of our lives. For a number of years, Marshall has been tracking the ILS vendors of both proprietary and open source systems; their new customers and total sales; the number of vendor staff devoted to development, support, sales, and administration; and the overall satisfaction of libraries with their current vendors. These figures are a wonderful starting point for libraries (public, school, and academic) to begin their search for a new product or to keep abreast of developments in the field. Breeding’s article in the April 2009 issue of Library Journal, “Investing in the Future: Automation Marketplace 2009,” is particularly helpful if you missed his talk. (www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6645868.html) If you want to know where particular systems are installed, visit his directory of libraries throughout the world at w w w.librar ytechnology.org/lwc -browse.pl? SID=20090505214782714&code=lwc. Change is inevitable, and much work needs to be done to make patron access to information easier via a single access point. Meanwhile, there are some solid products out there. We must seek vendors who are looking at and working toward the future. We must partner with our vendors to give the best possible service to our patrons—particularly quick and easy access to quality information. Reporter Mary Anne Mendola Franco, Wilton Library Publicity Roadshow Most of the 17 winners of the annual CLA Publicity Awards attended the “roadshow” to talk about their work and share some background on their award winning projects. The awards are divided by library size into electronic and print submissions, but some don’t fall neatly into those categories. So the committee designated an “other” category for those creative projects that were outside the box, like Fairfield University’s winning Facebook page, and a beautiful new logo by Simsbury PL. Westport PL shared an innovative service called Grandkits that won one of the awards for Best Thematic Project. Have grandchildren coming to visit? Call the library and they’ll throw together a bag of books and videos tailored to their ages and interests. As always, we were impressed by the creativity and resourcefulness of all the entries. There is a lot of talent out there! Sponsor Publicity Committee Reporter Linda Avellar, Ferguson Library, Stamford
Scholarship Winners CLA LTA Scholarship: JoAnn Massad hopes to put her undergraduate degree in art/photography and her LTA certificate to work in a museum, library, or archive, and she wants to further her education, particularly in the area of preservation. She worked for the U.S. Department of Defense for 25 years, the last 16 of them doing environmental work at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. In her free time, she usually volunteers at Mystic Seaport, working with the cataloger in the Rosenfeld Photograph Collection, and at Groton’s Bill Memorial Library as a circulation assistant. Currently, she is doing supervised field placement study at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Library with reference librarian Sue Cornaccia. CLA MLS Scholarship: Judy Sparzo, a full-time reference associate at Fairfield PL, is just nine credits away from earning her MLS at SCSU. After graduating summa cum laude from UConn’s School of Business, she worked for People’s Bank before taking time off to raise her family. Her entry into librarianship began in 1993 as a school library volunteer, followed by employment in the children’s department of the Fairfield Woods Branch Library. She was promoted to her current position in 2005. “My decision to go back to school for an MLS,” she says, “was driven in part by the incredible support and encouragement from the many talented librarians I have worked with over the past 15 years. I love my job, and look forward to pursuing new challenges and opportunities when I complete my degree.” CLA MLS Scholarship: Jennifer Olson is senior cataloger at the Allen Memorial Library, University of Hartford. She holds degrees in music composition from Minnesota State University and Butler University and was in the DMA program in composition at the Hartt School until she decided to attend library school instead. She is currently enrolled part-time in the Simmons College GSLIS program and plans to complete her degree in 2010, after which she hopes to pursue a career in music librarianship, possibly with a focus on cataloging or metadata. FLAG Scholarship: Marissa Antosh holds a BA in English and fine art from Stonehill College in North Easton, MA and enrolled in the MLS program at SCSU in the fall of 2008. In addition to being an avid reader and her library work, Marissa is a part-time artist, sewing, knitting, and creating hand-bound artist’s books, collages, and anything else that strikes her fancy. Her work has been exhibited both locally and abroad. Marissa lives in Brookfield and hopes to finish her MLS by 2011. FLAG Scholarship: Luis Rodriguez was born in Bogota, Colombia but grew up and attended grammar school and high school in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He first came to the Bridgeport Public Library as a child, for story hour, but joined the library as a page in 1995 and is now a Library Assistant 1. He graduated from Housatonic Community College with an Associate degree in science, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport with a concentration in social science. He is enrolled in the online MLS program at North Carolina Central University and expects to receive his degree in 2012.
Faith Hektoen Award: Kathy Krasniewicz & Kate McClelland
n January, Kathy Krasniewicz, 54, and her friend, mentor and partner in literary high jinks, Kate McClelland, 71, were killed in a hit-and-run crash en route to the airport in Denver where they had attended the ALA midwinter conference. Kevin McCarthy, director of the Perrot Memorial Library, where they were employed, recalled the women as great friends and gleeful co-conspirators, and declared himself a willing enabler of their enthusiasms. “They brought wonderful ideas, from the latest early learning computer stations to kids’ literary criticism and music programs,” he said. “I learned to say yes to them early on.” After 29 years at Perrot, Kate McClelland retired in 2007 as director of youth services, passing the reins to Krasniewicz. But she remained active with many programs there, including the Young Critics Club she founded 25 years ago. In addition to her work at Perrot, she served on the board of ALA’s children’s division and on the selection committees for both the Newbery and Caldecott awards. In 2006, she received a New York Times Librarian of the Year award. Book publishers regularly sent manuscripts and galleys for McClelland’s opinions. She began showing them to young readers, who were thrilled to be part of the process, and publishers were grateful for their feedback. Virginia Duncan, vice president and publisher of Greenwillow Books, said she was a young and anxious new editor when McClelland reached out to her. “She mentored so many of us in the field,” she said. Lauren Mendoza, McClelland’s daughter, said: “My brother Graham and I hope that our mother will be remembered for her deepest passion—the power of storytelling. She realized that the basis of any literature was oral tradition, and she did everything to preserve and promote it.” Kathy Krasniewicz began her library career as a volunteer while raising her three daughters. The Perrot was one of the first places she sought out when the family moved to nearby Riverside. She and the girls all went to McClelland’s story hours. She joined the library staff in 1990, earned a degree in library science in 2002 and was a reviewer of children’s books for the School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews. Gillian Bailey, children’s programmer for Perrot, said of her friend and role model: “She was just a master at [storytelling.] Kathy became all the characters. The main thing was, she was just crazy about the kids. The little ones, well, she just couldn’t pass by without a hug. She made us understand the power of what we can do with the children.” Krasniewicz’s husband, James, said she instilled her love of reading in their daughters by reading aloud to them “from Day 1—as soon as she knew she was pregnant.” Their eldest daughter, Erin, said of her mother, “She never talked down to children. She had great respect for little developing minds.” It is unknown how many times in their combined tenure that Mrs. Mac and Mrs. K, as they were known, replaced Perrot’s loved-to-bits copies of the literary lullaby Goodnight Moon, but its comforting cadences seem just right for bidding them a gentle farewell. Goodnight, ladies who were never afraid to put on their silly hats. Goodnight, bravehearts who never read a book aloud without doing all the voices. Goodnight, strong persuaders, who loosed so many bright curiosities, like fireflies, into the stacks. Goodnight, Mrs. Mac. Goodnight, Mrs. K. Goodnight from children everywhere. Excerpted from an article by Gerri Hirshey, which appeared on February 15, 2009, on page CT1 of the Sunday New York Times.
Selling Yourself: Marketing Online Media Julie Weintraub, director of client services for Tutor.com, opened this panel discussion on creative ways to promote your library’s website, databases, and other online services. She outlined six steps to a successful online project: assign a project manager, engage all library staff, provide easy access for patrons, announce and celebrate your project, do some effective outreach, and sustain your success. She stressed the importance of being creative and innovative and shared stories of some successful library launches. Mary Hogan, director of Rocky Hill’s Cora J. Belden Library, worked previously on an iCONN marketing and outreach project and shared what she had learned from several iCONN studies. Online databases are not “build it and they will come.” Research showed that most people learned about iCONN from their librarian; they needed someone who is an expert to sell it. Maria Miranda, creative director and founder of Miranda Creative, Inc., spoke about social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter. Before libraries jump into these sites, they need to decide who will be the voice, define their goals, determine which options to focus on, set their policy and establish how they will measure success. Useful content is vital. Miranda also shared “16 sweet ways to effectively use Facebook and Twitter to promote your online resources.” Among them: explore the custom gift application; create videos using animoto.com; post flyers, floor plans and other useful documents in your photo album; and run social ads for your library on Facebook. Sponsor Publicity Committee Reporter Betty Anne Reiter, Groton PL Shaping the Future: The Connecticut, American and Global Economic Recovery From the perspectives of a demographer, a marketer, and an economist, this session provided much information concerning the current state of the U.S., Connecticut, and global economies, the direction in which we can expect the economies to move, and how to use this information to maintain the library as a resource to the community. Demographer Ken Gronbach, president of KGC Direct and author of The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm (AMA, 2008), spoke about the impact of population changes on what is consumed in the service sector, as well as the impact in the manufacturing and construction sector, and the natural resources/agricultural sector. His charts and graphs illustrating population changes, labor force changes, and construction fluctuations, made clear the relationships and effects over the last century. Gronbach demonstrated through graphs on population changes that if there is a significant decrease in population, the future becomes bleak. Population increases provide the labor force necessary to maintain agricul-
tural, industrial, and construction industries, and move the economy forward. As is the case in many small businesses, to lure Generation Y in today, libraries need a “green story” based on solid information. William Neagus, principal, Strategic Persuasion Group, spoke about “Public Relations During Economic Downturns,” focusing on library public relations. At a time when libraries are challenged by the Internet, there is a need to develop an inexpensive PR campaign to help get the word out to existing and potential patrons that the library is a valuable resource for “free” materials and services. To attract more patrons, Neagus suggested following the bookstore model with coffee and comfortable seating; creating a fresh look for the library website including blogs, podcasts, and social networking; and creating a TV show that showcases the library and its services on the local public access channel. Economist David Iaia, senior principal, U.S. Regional Service, Global Insight Inc., addressed the “U.S. and Connecticut Economies in Recession.” He has no doubt that the current global recession will be the worst in six decades, but it will be far from the severity of the Great Depression. Although there have been major layoffs and seven straight months of job losses in Connecticut, there is a “good” side. Private education and healthcare sectors have grown slightly in the last six months. The March job losses were not as bad as recent trends. And there have been two straight months of gains in housing starts. Upon review of employment rates and trends, it seems that we can expect unemployment in Connecticut to peak at more than 8.5% by early 2010 before seeing job gains in 2011. Fiscal and monetary policy stimulus will help, but the figures indicate it will take until 2015 to regain all the lost jobs. Sponsor Business and Economic Development Section Reporter Diane Tomasko, SCSU Will a Green Library Be a Successful Library? There’s a new library on the block! On January 10, 2009, Darien Library opened its eagerly awaited 55,000 sq. ft. building to a public ready for a library with plenty of space for materials, programs, and meeting old and new friends. This new library has an added feature—it is a “green” library, projected to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. The LEED green building rating system, developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit coalition of building industry leaders, is designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impact of buildings and improving occupant health and well being. Alan Kirk Gray, assistant director of operations for the Darien Library, explained that their green building was born long before opening day in the extensive planning for their new facility. There are many aspects of going green, including energy efficiency, fresh air, and natural daylight; the library worked with a LEED consultant and completed the LEED registered project checklist to earn certification of their new building. This process produced a “rock solid” structure of bricks, stone, and copper with low maintenance costs. The building was built with local materials—LEED gives credit for using materials produced within 500 miles of the site. Both the new building and its site are sustainable; the new site has less runoff, and 98.4% of rainwater is captured. The building employs standing column wells and a rainstore system, high performance HVAC, a geothermal system (no outdoor equipment or noise), high efficiency lighting, and increased ventilation and individually controlled temperature zones for an improved indoor environment There are always challenges in constructing a new building, and there were unique challenges to address in constructing a LEED building. But they were not insurmountable, and the result is a building that will stand the test of time and be a valuable community resource for many years to come. Reporter Mary Anne Mendola Franco, Wilton Library Association
Professional Development Challenge Your Thinking with David Lankes David Lankes, director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, and an associate professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, returned to the CLA Conference for the second year in a row, providing a passionate presentation in which he was the preacher in what he called a “library revival meeting.” Lankes stated that the mission of all librarians is “to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.” He strongly encouraged the group to change its thinking about the traditional role of librarians and to become “radical change agents.” He encouraged librarians to be out in front with the community and to no longer hide behind our collections. His audience was challenged to participate actively in the improvement of our communities and society at large because we are better than Google. Knowledge is not provided to our patrons via the physical library building or our collections and tools but through passionate librarians, according to Lankes. He encouraged the group to be innovative in the ways we serve our patrons and help them to solve problems. Lankes concluded that librarians have an obligation to be leaders within our localities. He encouraged his listeners to spread his message, innovate from core principals, question tradition and become mentors. He strongly believes that each of us in the profession is the true future of libraries. See quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/2009/Conn.pdf for a slide presentation of this program and an audio version can be found at quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Pod/2009/Conn.mp3. Sponsor Council of Connecticut Academic Library Directors Reporter Carl Antonucci, CCC Cultural Competence: Diversity’s Next Step In an engaging, lively presentation, Dr. Lana W. Jackman, principle, Mélange Information Services, Inc. and co-chair, National Forum on Information Literacy, described cultural competence as a process that begins with individuals who, working together, can gradually effect change in organizations. She covered the various aspects and effective strategies of the process. Striving for diversity involves focusing on its challenges: bias, human rights, stereotyping, sexism, racism, etc. According to Jackman, diversity is organizational “window dressing,” a cosmetic approach to a systemic issue. In contrast, cultural competence is the process of translating and integrating a cultural knowledge of ourselves and others into positive habits of mind and professional practices in any setting. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, yet from its beginnings, its people, organizations and government have failed to embrace the richness of its cultural differences. The 1860 U.S. Census, for example, categorized the population, in part, based on appearance. The importance of working toward cultural competence individually and collectively is emphasized by the U.S. Census Bureau’s projection that 50% of the population will be people of color by 2050.
BCALA-CT Chapter celebrated its 10th anniversary with a reception in the President’s Suite. Pictured left to right: Josephine Fulcher-Anderson (Ferguson Library), Pat Dawson (Albertus Magnus University), Astoria Ridley (CT Law Libraries), Phara Bayonne (UConn/Stamford), Debra Williams, past president, and JaTara Barnes. Photo: Chris Bradley Connecticut Libraries
In our own profession, a report from the ALA’s Office of Research and Statistics, “Diversity Counts,” shows a recent decrease in the percent of credentialed non-white librarians. This trend is of great concern, especially in the field of education where, Jackman says, media specialists are underutilized, yet because of their unique skills have a critical role to play in children’s educational achievement. She underlined the gravity of the situation for children of color: 98% of the more than 4000 charter schools in the U.S., where enrollment is more than 50% children of color, lack media specialists. One’s worldview—how we perceive ourselves as individuals in the context of family, community and global society—is important in developing community collaborative strategies to effect change. Individual learning style preference plays a key role, affecting leadership abilities, training techniques, and how colleagues work together and with their constituencies. To promote cultural competence, micro-inequities—those little slights, thoughtless acts of prejudice, bias or injustice—can be addressed with micro- affirmations and a willingness to come together to discuss and address subtle discrimination. Appreciative inquiry, a research methodology that focuses on what is being done well rather than assessing negative aspects of an environment, is an effective tool in this process. Flexibility of attitudes, awareness of cultural differences, understanding the adverse effects of differences on productivity and recognition of one’s worldview are required. Health care professionals have led the way in cultural competence. Jackman showed a short video of colleagues from the California Endowment, a health care philanthropy organization, discussing Boundary Crossing Leadership. The participants describe this new wave of leadership as bridging gaps, building coalitions that are multicultural, multiethnic and multi-sector, and transforming barriers into collaborative structures for positive change. This provides “Hope in action, where much of society has given up.” In closing, Jackman urged us to develop our own and our constituencies’ skills, and to form networks that capture the talent, such as Boundary Crossing Leaders, required to impact cultural competency. Sponsors BCALA-CT & Mentoring/Career Recruitment Committee Reporter Diane Mather, UConn/Torrington Speed Mentoring What happens when you put a group of seasoned librarians together with a room full of library school students and others just starting their careers and tell them to converse for five minutes at a time? The answer certainly surprised us, and we are happy to report that our speed mentoring experiment exceeded our expectations and left participants enthused about librarianship! Speed mentorship, based on speed dating, is a useful networking activity where you pair librarians from many different backgrounds and experience levels with those new to the profession. Each mentee has five minutes to speak with a mentor, exchange contact information if requested, and discover the variety of library experiences before the bell rings and he or she moves on to the next librarian.
Maura Deedy (Ferguson Library) on the left, and Kate Sheehan (Darien Library) with technology guru David Pogue. Photo: Chris Bradley
Our session attracted about 13 mentors and 12 mentees, which turned out to be a manageable number for the size of the room and time allotted. After a brief introduction by Deborah Herman, digital resources librarian, Elihu Burritt Library, CCSU, and an explanation of speed mentoring logistics by David Boudinot, adult programming librarian, Henry Carter Hull Library, Clinton, the room erupted in noisy conversation. In the room were several library directors, academic and public librarians, technical services librarians, and a few ALA emerging leaders. On the mentee side, it was a mix of people currently working at libraries and looking to get their library degrees, to those already enrolled in a library degree program. One mentee commented on the variety of conversations she had and said that some seemed like job interviews while others were quite candid. Many mentors said it was very valuable to hear mentees’ concerns and questions, and it felt good to impart whatever advice they could. Judging by the laughter, intense discussion, and the fact that some people did not want to stop talking, Speed Mentoring was deemed a success. We are excited to offer it in the future at library schools and library conferences. There is a definite need for networking opportunities in our profession, and borrowing a page from the book of speed dating has paid off. A speed networking spin-off for job seekers is in the works at Stamford’s Ferguson Library as a result of this session, and the New England Library Association has expressed interest in offering a similar program at its next conference. The most challenging aspect of running a speed mentoring event is the recruitment of a good mix of librarians in the room. Once the emailing, calling, and arranging is out of the way, this is a wonderful free program that runs itself and has the reward of connecting veteran librarians with those new to librarianship. For those interested in becoming a mentor or mentee for our next event, please email Deborah Herman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want to host your own speed mentoring event and have questions, email David Boudinot at email@example.com. Sponsor Career Development Committee Reporter David Boudinot, Henry Carter Hull Library, Clinton Technology Sandbox Conferences are the ultimate learning opportunities. We learn about cutting-edge services, new books and authors, who’s innovating, and all while trying not to reinvent the wheel. However, how many attendees write down websites and ideas only to forget about them once they get back to their desks? How many librarians take time out of their day to play and explore new technologies? (And how many directors encourage this?) In the spirit of Learning 2.0 programs and unconferences, the Technology Sandbox was a space where conference attendees could get their fingers and minds around some of the emerging technologies. With energetic library student volunteers, visitors to the sandbox played with Kindles and Sony eReaders, exploring the differences between the two and discussing how libraries might circulate them. Many attendees tweeted for the first time, learning all about how the fast growing Twitter is being used and affecting information exchange. Open source ILS systems also were of great interest; John Rose from PTFS provided a demo on Koha, and there was spirited discussion about access points, tagging and how to catalog manga. With no set agenda, attendees were encouraged to play as well as contribute to the experience. Librarians who stopped by talked about what their library was doing as well as the difficulties of embracing new technologies and change. An unplanned but very welcome outcome was that librarians started to talk to each other, network and share their knowledge and experiences. The sandbox was especially popular between the morning sessions, many librarians starting their day off with a jolt of technology. Over 165 visitors dropped into the sandbox to use the laptops graciously loaned from Cyrenius H. Booth Library, the Kindle2 from Perrot ML, and the Sony eReader from Ferguson Library. This program wouldn’t have been possible without the hardworking volunteers. A special thank you to Ann Binder, Michelle Ludwig, Witt
Meesangnil, and Dale Outhouse for their time and energy! Sponsors New Members Roundtable, Overdrive, PTFS, Tutor.com Reporter Maura Deedy, Ferguson Library, Stamford Using RSS to Keep Current, Manage Overload and Tame Online Infoclutter Remember the old days when you made every effort to organize your files and keep them up-to-date but, given the nature of print, never could quite manage to keep things current? Well, with today’s technology, most of us now are moving our files online where we can update them as soon as we have new information. RSS (“really simple syndication”) makes this possible. Jennifer Koerber, acting branch librarian, Boston Public Library, gave a good introduction to RSS, the reasons for using it, and how to use it. RSS is a data format (also called web feed) used to provide users with frequently updated content, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video. It benefits publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically as well as readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. It helps people to stay informed easily. RSS feeds can be read using an RSS reader, a feed reader, or an aggregator, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. Feed reader or news aggregator software allows users to grab RSS feeds from various sites and display them. A variety of RSS readers is available for different platforms. There are also a number of web-based feed readers—My Yahoo, Bloglines, and Google Reader are popular. Once you have your feed reader, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content and adding their RSS feed to the list of sources your reader checks. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available. Koerber showed us how to use RSS to manage our information and offered tips and tricks to how to avoid “infoclutter.” She demonstrated ways to organize feeds by categories to suit your personal schedule and priorities, and she advised us to keep personal interests separate from work interests. Discipline is necessary since RSS feeds can be addictive; one needs to know when to say “no” to some feeds, and when to unsubscribe from a feed that is no longer useful. Sponsor Business & Economic Development Committee Reporter Xiaomei Gong, WCSU Whispering Why Not? Problem Solving with a Higher Purpose Dr. Barry Nalebuff, co-author of Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small, presented a dynamic session based on his successful book. Nalebuff is an expert on game theory, a frequent contributor to Forbes Magazine, the coauthor of four books, the co-founder of Honest Tea, and is currently the Milton Steinbach Professor of Economics and Management at the Yale School of Management. Using specific examples drawn from the business and library worlds, Nalebuff shared techniques to solve problems and find opportunities. He demonstrated that libraries could benefit from the lessons of the SloanKettering Cancer Center, which built efficiency units adjacent to the hospital for the families of patients, and Walmart, which sells more toys than Toys R Us by offering a full complement of goods and services.
CLA Publicity Awards 2009 Budget Under $750,000 Blog Pine Point School Library/Technology Center • Designer: Carol Ansel, Director: Carol Ansel Bookmark Torrington Library • Designer: Jessica Hodorski, Director: Karen B. Worrall Brochure Torrington Library • Designer: Jessica Hodorski, Director: Karen B. Worrall Newsletter Print Willington Public Library • Designer: Staff and board members, Director: Roberta Passardi Program Flyer/Poster Torrington Library • Designer: Jessica Hodorski, Director: Karen B. Worrall Thematic Project Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library, Stony Creek • Designer: Aldris Design, Director: Susan Donovan Budget Over $750,000 Blog Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich • Designer: Vicky Livoti, Director: Kevin McCarthy Bookmark Willimantic Library Service Center • Designer: Linda Williams Brochure Danbury Public Library • Designer: Darlene Garrison, Director: Mark Hasskarl Ferguson Library, Stamford • Staff: Barbara Aronica-Buck/Linda Avellar, Director: Ernest DiMattia Newsletter Print Greenwich Library • Designer: Kate Petrov/Nancy Natale, Director: Barbara Ormerod-Glynn Nonprint–Other DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Fairfield University • Designer: Jackie Kremer/Brittany Martin, Director: Joan Overfield Print–Other Simsbury Public Library • Designer: Bligh Graphics, Director: Susan Bullock Program Flyer/Poster Barney Library, Farmington • Designer: Kathy Lescoe/Jane W. Maciel, Director: Jay Johnston Windsor Public Library • Designer: Barbara Tolve-Silver/Talis Merrill, Director: Gaye Rizzo Thematic Project Westport Public Library • Designer: Staff, Director: Maxine Bleiweis Website Oliver Wolcott Library, Litchfield • Designer: Gigantic, Inc./OWL Staff; Director: Ann Marie White
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Connecticut Libraries May 2009 — Volume 51, Number 5 CONFERENCE REPORTS Books & Authors, page 2. Public & Technical Services, page 4. Children’s and Young Adult Books & Services, page 7. Administration & Management, page 11. Professional Development, pages 17. AWARDS Support Staff of the Year, page 5. Supporter of Support Staff, page 6 Outstanding Libarian, page 9 Special Achievement, page 12 Scholarship Winners, page 15 Faith Hektoen, page 16 Publicity, page 19
Nalebuff stressed the importance of providing complementary services in order to “change the game” and create lasting value, and urged the audience to consider the complementary services that a library could offer its patrons. Some of the ideas he proposed, along with others suggested by the audience, included operating a café and bookstore, selling office supplies, providing computer support, offering kill-a-watt loaners, and providing free child care at adult-oriented library events, similar to the IKEA model. Nalebuff noted that most libraries occupy prime real estate with central locations that should be put to use to advance library missions. He also offered strategies for growing and capitalizing on already popular and successful programs, such as the One Book program, whose relatively high costs of administration could be reduced if communities were to develop a mechanism to share books. Nalebuff proposed various strategies for innovation, including taking the best, and possibly most expensive, solution and making it cheaper (e.g. “What would Croesus/Trump do?”). Or, take an established design or service model and flip it. For example, most library patrons donate books after they’ve read them. What if we could encourage our clientele to “pre-donate” by creating a “bookstore” of new titles and charging a fee for the opportunity to be the first person to check out a new book? Similarly, most public libraries operate on an opt-in method for obtaining a library card. What if we changed to “opt-out”? The session concluded with a demonstration of the Why Not? companion website (www.whynot.net), which provides a social space for Debbie Herman, CCSU, and David Boudinot, Henry the exchange of new and innovative ideas. Nalebuff Carter Hull Library, Clinton, organized CLA’s first-ever offered to create a section devoted to libraries if Speed Mentoring session. there is interest. Sponsor Career Development Committee Reporter Debbie Herman, CCSU
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Membership in CLA has given me valuable networking opportunities and leadership experience. As chair of the College and University Libraries Section (CULS) for two years, I have worked with the CULS team to plan fall meetings and annual conference programs. I also learned how to budget for and to promote our programs. Discussing issues and ideas with my CULS colleagues has helped me to stay current with the new products and technologies available for improving library services. John Leonetti Reference/Technical Services Librarian, Traurig Library, Naugatuck Valley CC
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