A few weeks back, I mentioned a coworker and I presented at our local library conference and I shared some tips that came from that presentation and were expanded upon in a blog post. Usually, I would be quicker to summarize the key things I learned and share them, but our library has been busy with various programs and outreach since the conference ended. Thus, I am just now getting to it–a month late.
The very first presentation I attended was on starting a local history collection at a public library. As always, it is important to see what other institutions in the area collect and to not overlap with those. On top of this, the presenters point to items that would be good to collect: yearbooks, locally-produced cookbooks, and family collections. They did suggest digitizing items if possible to protect the originals and increase access. They also pointed out issues with copyright that pertain to these collection, such as are loans allowed and can these be scanned. They stressed the need for a clear collection development policy and to have a deed of gift for each donation. While these are often basics taught in archival coursework, none of my library coursework mentioned it (I took coursework in both), so I thought a reminder prudent. And it was a well-done presentation!
Later that day, there were several good points worth being reminded about in a session on helping non-digital natives with technology. First, age matters not. There can be tech savvy seniors and youth who have never touched a computer. Forget the common stereotype. Also, patience is key with working with these individuals and step-by-step breakdowns help in the learning process. As I can attest, these are important to keep in mind.
The second day of the conference featured a session on creating book club kits for patron use. Both my coworker and I attended this as we are hoping to roll out similar kits in 2018. Since we are a talking book and braille library, we cannot follow the presenter’s guidelines exactly but we still benefited. We could always create book club kits on demand, if needed, like the presenter’s library. Like they do, we hope to include the DVD if the book has been turned into a movie. We would like to include other tactile and interactive elements if they can be found. We can also take a page from their book and schedule the kits in advance to ensure the different groups have the desired one when needed.
And these were just a few of the dozen sessions I attended over three days. Others covered 3-D printing, genealogy, personal digital archiving, single service desks, information literacy, and engaging the local community.