Categories Engaging Library Users

183 posts

Posts about strategies to get users involved in the library or thoughts related to serving library user’s needs

Office Hours: Libraries in Balance

This column explores balancing technology with services and people. Services to the vulnerable and technology offerings are not polar opposites. Librarians have to stop seeing it that way. These are all points on a continuum, and without technological skills, some folks will fall right back into the world out of which they’re desperately trying to pull themselves. Technology is not some future we have the option of ignoring—it is the present. It’s the world in which we live. There will always be people who need to be directed to housing resources, but those are not the majority of our users. […]

Office Hours: More on S-Town

My new column is up at Library Journal exploring the impact of podcasts and how libraries can respond. What do I listen to now? More than a few folks shared this sentiment online in the days following the release of “S-Town,” a podcast hosted by Brian Reed and created by the producers of “Serial” and “This American Life.” It topped ten million–plus downloads within four days of release. I binged all seven episodes over spring break and found the series to be a moving, insightful, and well-conceived piece of audio journalism. Podcasting has experienced a renaissance of content, production values, […]

Office Hours: Library Emoji

My new column is up at Library Journal. The true title is the string of characters above. 🙂 Imagine if users could add emoji to the catalog, expressing their feelings about a book or movie with a range of emotion ideograms. Or having people rate their experience at a library program by sending attendees a link to the program after they attended, with emoji to represent their reactions. Talk about making feedback more fun! I saw this live at Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) new library last year. On my way out of the Allendale, MI, building after a talk, a […]

Transparency – A TTW Guest Post by Brittany Garcia

First of all, I should note that I am a newcomer to the idea and notion of transparency. The idea of transparency seems to me to be a common sense practice and therefore, I was surprised to have never heard this term before this spring. I have worked in different businesses and corporation (all customer service based) since my teens and have never had any training or staff development in this area. Thus, when I discovered the idea of transparency, I became enraptured by its possibilities and implications. “The transparent library contains three key elements: open communication, adapting to change, […]

Evolving Libraries and the Tiny House Movement – A TTW Guest Post by Samantha Richardson

In recent years, the tiny house movement has gained momentum as more and more people are making the shift toward smaller spaces with fewer belongings. While purging clutter can be a freeing experience, learning to live without can also pose some challenges. Fortunately, mobile information environments and new models of library service mean that living small no longer has to mean going without. I’ve been a part of the tiny house movement since 2007.  My boyfriend, our 4-pound Chihuahua, and I first downsized from a 600-square foot apartment to a 19-foot camper, then back and forth between a 33-foot sailboat and a […]

Our Human Library Event by TTW Contributor Troy Swanson

This week we held our own Human Library event at my library. The short video below is a quick overview. The Human Library as an idea has been around for a while now, but it is becoming increasingly common in libraries. We utilized it as a way for students from a range of classes to come together with our “books” to explore diversity and understanding within the context of their classes. Faculty members signed up by course section and built assignments that connected to the program. Books Come Alive at Moraine Valley Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching […]

MAKE. PLAY. READ. LEARN by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke

  From the moment that I began working in libraries in around 2007, I was not a fan of Summer Reading programs and the themes they were generally packaged around. They were boring, cookie cutter, and out of date. The themes seemed to be 1-2 years behind what was popular at the moment.  As a teen librarian, my job was to take these themes and put some excitement around them. I found it to be a difficult task that took energy away from what I consider to be the most important part of any public library: the community that uses the […]

Making Libraries Habit-forming! — A TTW Guest Post by Susan Musson

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (2012) has been on my books-to-read list for over a year now so I was quite pleased to see it included in the list of suggestions for this Context Book assignment. My only hesitation was that I was unsure how a book on habits could be applied to the library community. I needn’t have worried. This book is not a ‘self-help’ manual, and Charles Duhigg is not a therapist or neurologist. He’s a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist which is evident in his conversational […]