Monday, August 11, 2008

PLAN/FLA Unconference report

Well, it was a looooong drive. And I got there late, missing a good bit of the first presentation on Motivating Staff. From what I heard, eh, not so much. But he had enthusiasm.

The second talk, Library Reorganization in the face of changing realities, said basically, we should take advantage of 'opportunities' such as a new director, new building program, budget crisis, etc. to change things in the library that we have wanted to change all along, but feared patron (oh, I'm sorry, we are to call Library users "members" from now on) reaction. Now we have an 'excuse' to make changes and blame it on something/one else. The most revealing point: Directors should spend 85% of their time out of the Library and into the community. The Director is not a Librarian any more. Once accepting the Director position you moved into management and into a whole new classification. I'm not sure I agree with the percentage, but it is good advice.

Lunch was accompanied by a presentation on Accessing Grants from outside the Library Community, I guess the info was good, but everyone was using that time to 'network' or go outside to escape the frigid A/C of the room, myself included.

Improving library process -- with or without technology I actually looked forward to this as the presenter is a 'facebook' friend. IT was a good peresentation, but focused on procedures on how their library checks out laptops; computer games; dvd; uses walkie-talkies for staff communication; PDA's for roving reference; etc. So it was site specific, but the overall gist was:

If we can do it, so can you.

The BEST presentation was the last:
Sources of sustainable Funding from the State Library.
Basically the messsage was: get out of the Library and into the community, don't rely totally on traditional sources of funding, such as State Aid. There are community grants available, and you won't know about them if you don't get out and network/form relationships with the community. She repeated the info that the Director is to spend more time out of the library than in it.

I grabbed some extra copies of the handouts for this presentation to 'recreate' the talk with my staff this week.

So, it was definately worth the time and effort to attend this meeting.

"The Director"

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