Updated information from IMLS/CDC

Hello Library Directors,

I hope this Monday finds you and yours well. Today I’m just passing along a couple of resources. First, from the CDC/IMLS webinar this morning, please visit this page https://www.imls.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-updates for information from IMLS.  It includes the links that the CDC referred to in the presentation this morning. A recording of the presentation will be posted there when available. There were a couple of takeaways from the session: first, be in close contact with your local public health authority as you are decision-making; second, hand hygiene is critically important; third, the CDC does not consider library materials to be at high risk for transmitting the virus. However, if you are particularly concerned about specific items, use an approved cleaner and disinfectant to the extent that the material allows, and if additional concerns, quarantine materials for up to 24 hours.

 

This next resource is from Gigabit Libraries Network. They are hosting a series of webinars on digital services that you may find of interest. You can access the first one (Internet Access) at this link: Recording from 3/26: Part 1: Internet Access– https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XscwnzAB0-36z7DiM7ct7G2BDl7_d3AF/view

 

Finally, I’ll be sending along a Skype invite for an MDE  meeting with library leaders on Thursday at 1pm.  Please feel free to forward it on to others who may be interested or want to have a conversation.

 

With my warm regards,

Jen

Jennifer R. Nelson

Director, State Library Services and Charter Center

651-582-8791 |  jennifer.r.nelson@state.mn.us

ALA Recommends Libraries Leave Wi-Fi Open During Closures

The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board released the following recommendation on March 23 to libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Our current crisis demands extraordinary measures. As most states and the federal government declare states of emergency, we appreciate that libraries and other public facilities have closed temporarily to support critical social distancing efforts. Our top priority and concern is the health and safety of our library staffs and the diverse communities we serve.

As we stated last week, service and stewardship to our communities are core to the library profession. We continue to see this every day even as library buildings close to the public but often sustain or grow their virtual services and resources freely available to all.

But we also are painfully aware that America’s 16,557 public library locations are essential nodes in our nation’s digital safety net—connecting people with no-fee access to computers and the internet, lending internet hotspots and devices, and providing digital literacy training and expansive learning and enrichment digital collections for all ages. The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting this safety net and spotlighting the persistent digital gaps for more than 20 million people in the United States, including millions of school-age children and college students forced out of classrooms and many more workers also displaced.

Libraries can and should leave their Wi-Fi networks on even when their buildings are closed wherever possible. As we have noted to the Federal Communications Commission, ALA believes a 2010 order from the commission permits this use without jeopardizing E-Rate funding that many public libraries and schools rely on to sustain and build their broadband capacity. In these unprecedented times, we should take whatever steps we can to leverage our resources to maximize benefit to our communities—particularly for those with the fewest resources.

ALA has long been at the forefront of promoting broadband equity for all and continues to work in coalition to expand the capacity of libraries, schools, colleges and universities, and other community anchor institutions to strengthen our digital networks. We will continue to advocate for digital inclusion for all today and in the future.

Scholarship Report: Beth Anderson – Public Library Association Conference

Event: Public Library Association Conference

Attendee: Beth Anderson – Director, Preston Public Library


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

Being a library director at a small library I’m involved in all aspects of the library. I looked for sessions that related to our library. The exhibits helped me find new products.

 

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

It is really hard to pick a favorite session. There were a few session that were really good. The one on dementia gave many ideas for hosting programs at the library and going to senior facilities. The other one I really liked was called Bringing Technology & Arts to Senior Adults. We do have an aging population and I would really like to find ways to engage them in various activities. This session talked about STEAM, Arts and Technology for Seniors. All these activities help to increase socialization. Virtual reality was found to bring memory recall!

 

What was your biggest takeaway from the event as a whole?

The PLA conference this year was all about diversity and inclusion. It was about helping people access the information and resources they need. It emphasized the acknowledgement of experiences different from your own, and showing respect to those different from you. In the various sessions and interactions, there was always an element of openness and acceptance, even down to the books in the publishers’ booths. I have always felt a bit of pride working for the library because aside from the emergency services, it’s a place for everyone, no exceptions. It was nice to be reminded of the privilege we have of being a part of that type of service to our communities. The conference this year was an inspiring reminder of that. It feels good to return home with new energy and excitement for the job.

 

What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

Only one idea!! There is so much I hope to implement, but i know that realistically I need to focus on only a couple right now. For our library I think going to one or both of the assisted living homes may be best but I do plan on talking to them also to see if it would be feasible for them to bring the residents in their van to the library. Whatever we do I would like to partner with those places to provide them with additional activities.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I would definitely recommend this conference. There is so much to learn, so many new ideas.

ALA Executive Board Recommends Closing Libraries to Public

The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board released this statement March 17 in support of libraries and library workers during the COVID-19 pandemic:

The ALA Executive Board unequivocally stands in support of the safety and well-being of library workers and the communities we serve. To protect library workers and their communities from exposure to COVID-19 in these unprecedented times, we strongly recommend that academic, public, and school library leaders and their trustees and governing bodies evaluate closing libraries to the public and only reopening when guidance from public health officials indicates the risk from COVID-19 has significantly subsided.

It is very difficult for us to put forward this recommendation. Libraries pride themselves on being there during critical times for our communities. We are often the only institutions to remain open during times of crisis. Service and stewardship to our communities are core to our profession.

We have weighed the situation of our country and what has happened in other countries around the world. The health of our library workers and the communities we serve is of utmost and equal importance. Libraries are by design unable to practice social distancing to the degree recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities. Keeping libraries open at this time has the potential to harm communities more than help. We underscore the importance and need to come together in this crisis and commit to ensuring our libraries, which provide so many important services to our communities, do not serve as vectors for a fast-moving pandemic.

Libraries are responding creatively and proactively to this crisis. School libraries in many states have closed along with schools and many have plans to provide online classes to students. Public libraries are making virtual resources available and considering other ways they can help during the crisis. Academic libraries are providing online services and access to resources. All libraries are working with their school administrators, governments, boards, and university administrations to determine critical services and closures following local directives.

Additionally, and in alignment with our companion organization, the ALA–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), we encourage libraries to ensure that all library workers receive fully paid leave, including health coverage, while libraries are closed.

Although closing a library is a local decision, we urge library administrators, local boards, and governments to close library facilities until such time as library workers and our communities are no longer at risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The ALA Executive Board is committed to supporting our library workers, ALA members, and the communities we serve during these challenging and uncertain times.

For more information about ALA resources on COVID-19, visit www.ala.org/tools/atoz/pandemic-preparedness.

Scholarship Report: Jean Theobald – Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training

Event: Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training

Attendee: Jean Theobald – Library Media Specialist, Rochester Public Schools


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

As the high school librarian for Rochester Public Schools, I have over 5,000 students. I want to know the signs of depression and be prepared to act. I want my students to have a positive educational experience in my libraries, and feel safe when they come to use the library. My skills in problem solving and being proactive are important in my job to help my students with life situations as well as educational ones. I also attended this event to learn about any new resources and materials that can aid in prevention of suicide at my high schools, and that I can recommend to my students and staff.

 

What was your biggest takeaway from the event as a whole?

Practicing saying “Are you having thoughts of hurting yourself? Do those thoughts include suicide?” out loud. It feels uncomfortable to ask these questions. So we practiced. I am confident now that I have attended this session that it is necessary to ask, as it is the beginning of taking action to help.

 

What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

The acronym ACT. It’s easy to keep in mind. A is for acknowledge and ask. It’s okay to ask if someone is having thoughts of hurting themselves. The C is for care and concern. Be empathetic and understanding, but don’t try to fix anything. The T is talk and treat. Make sure the person has connections to support services, and follow up.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

Yes.

Scholarship Report: Brigette Rol – Public Library Association Conference

Event: Public Library Association Conference

Attendee: Brigette Rol – Children’s Librarian, Lake City Public Library


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

As a Children’s Librarian working in a public library, attending the PLA Conference relates to almost every aspect of my current role. The breakout sessions provide new & updated ideas, information and support that I can apply to the work I do every day. I’m able to meet and talk with other Children’s Librarians from across the US and share ideas, problems and solutions which have benefited my library over the few years I’ve been attending. The conference is also a place where librarians meet new and potential vendors. We can talk face-to-face with representatives who can answer questions or solve problems we’re having with our current products and services, and likewise we learn about new products, services and technology that can enhance our library for our patrons. The conference also offers concise ‘how-to’ presentations throughout the conference that give libraries a chance to share successful programs and give attendees the framework to build similar programs.

 

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session of the PLA Conference was Setting Healthy Boundaries by the Denver Public Library. While setting boundaries is a skill we’ve been learning about all our lives, it’s also a skill that needs a frequent refresher. My first thought when entering this session was that I would acquire some new approaches to dealing with difficult people, and that would be great. What I left with was a new way to think about boundaries: they define functional and effective relationships. The presentation covered simple boundary-setting techniques and statements and discussed the need for consistency and patience. Instead of a method of ‘dealing with’ people, which leans toward the confrontational, boundaries can actually be a method of maintaining a patron-library relationship that allows us to enable our patrons without overextending ourselves in every interaction. In the short time since returning home, I’ve referenced the ideas from this presentation multiple times each day.

 

What was your biggest takeaway from the event as a whole?

The PLA conference this year was all about diversity and inclusion. It was about helping people access the information and resources they need. It emphasized the acknowledgement of experiences different from your own, and showing respect to those different from you. In the various sessions and interactions, there was always an element of openness and acceptance, even down to the books in the publishers’ booths. I have always felt a bit of pride working for the library because aside from the emergency services, it’s a place for everyone, no exceptions. It was nice to be reminded of the privilege we have of being a part of that type of service to our communities. The conference this year was an inspiring reminder of that. It feels good to return home with new energy and excitement for the job.

 

What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

I can’t wait to get the ball rolling on several new ideas and programs for our library from PLA. Out of them all, the one I’m most excited about is creating book talk videos to use on social media. This idea came from one of the smaller ‘how-to’ sessions, and was presented in a way that makes me feel confident we can pull it off, even without a lot of social media knowledge or experience. It’s something we’ve been tip-toeing around for a while now, but not really acting on because it seems like a large project. In reality, we were overthinking things and there are ways to make it quite simple with a bit of forethought. I’m excited to start creating the videos and watching the response from our patrons.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I would recommend this event to others absolutely. I always walk away from this conference excited and rejuvenated about my job. It is a whirlwind of new information coming at you rapidly, but the quality of the information is high and the entire conference is focused on public libraries, so you take away a lot. It’s a great reminder about the purpose of public libraries and the role we play in our communities.

Scholarship Report: Stacie Falvey – Public Library Association Conference

Event: Public Library Association Conference

Attendee: Stacie Falvey – Adult Services Librarian, Lake City Public Library


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

In addition to sessions on how to improve my individual performance, relieve stress, and serve patrons better, there was an abundance of sessions that was geared to specific programming for adults. From reviewing and revising how we market our programs to identifying our demographics and meeting their needs, I feel I gathered important information to improve the programming options we offer our community. I was intrigued by two sessions that were geared toward producing a podcast and making videos to post on our website and Facebook page. Because I also purchase the adult fiction and nonfiction, there were also sessions on genres (sci-fi, short stories, romance, horror) that I’m not as familiar with. Hearing about trends and upcoming publications in these areas was very useful. In addition, I was able to meet with several vendors to discuss new technology, which we will discuss now that we’re back from the conference. Attending the conference gave me the opportunity to learn valuable information to help my colleagues, our patrons, and our community.

 

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

For the last two years, I have been working hard at adding health and wellness programs for adults. I’ve made contacts with a variety of healthcare professionals in the Red Wing-Lake City-Wabasha area and these sessions have been well attended. One of my favorite sessions was How to Add Movement to Library Programming. It gave me a completely new perspective on how to continue adding these types of programs. One of the ideas was that you can take the library outside. We can add walking and biking programs, for example, that begin in a local park. We could post quotes from novels, short poems, facts from nonfiction books on posters and arrange them throughout a park for people to stop and read as they’re out for a walk. We could embrace “play” as a part of movement by inviting people to Wii bowl or dance. We could also extend our collection of “things” (we currently check out bundt pans) to include exercise equipment like kettle bells, jump ropes, weekly passes to a local fitness center. We could also become involved with our local community garden to encourage our community members to be more mobile. Currently we offer a Stepping ‘On class and Tai Chi. We plan to do more research to find other more “movement-focused” programs instead of ones just on nutrition, brain games, integrative therapies.

 

What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

I’ve already started brainstorming ideas after one of my favorite sessions. I attended “Enhancing the Patron Experience through Visual Merchandising.” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I walked away with several new ideas on how to improve how I create displays and market my adult programs and events. We don’t have a large budget, so some of these ideas will need to be scaled back. We also have limited space, so I’ll need to get creative on how to adapt the new displays. Some of their ideas were common sense (simplify your flyers, don’t overwhelm with dozens of flyers). They also recommended cross-merchandising (put the bundt pans next to a cookbook display) or put books on health and wellness near by flyers that advertise upcoming programs on Tai Chi, Integrative Therapies, Myths and Facts about CBD Oil, parenting books by toddler books, etc. One of the other ideas they mentioned was creating displays based on the rule of 3: 3 rows across, 3 rows down. Statistics indicate people gravitate toward these types of displays. I also plan to create new book displays based on subject matter and include some other books on the same topic. Typically we have straightforward displays of new fiction and new nonfiction. I just need to take the time to review what we have and be more creative with our space to entice our patrons to take a closer look.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

Absolutely.

 

Scholarship Report: Meg Curtiss – Public Library Association Conference

Event: Public Library Association Conference

Attendee: Meg Curtiss – Children’s Librarian, Plainview Public Library


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

Most of the sessions I attended at PLA, in some way, addressed equity for library patorns. Things I learned ranged from making library access more equitable by creating consistent hours to ways to help middle schoolers learn about career readiness, so that they can imagine big futures for themselves. Some of the sessions gave me broad stroke ideas that I can bring back to my library for discussions about improving our presence in the community. Others gave me ideas for improving youth and children’s programs. Deepening my understanding of the library profession will improve the level of service I can bring to my community.

 

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

Stacy Abrams was amazing. She keyed in precisely on how libraries can make social justice improvements in their communities. I hadn’t realized that her mother had been a librarian, and I wonder if her ability to identify just how libraries are positioned to be helpful comes from that background. My library has been talking about the 2020 census a great deal, but I didn’t know about Fair Count prior to Abrams talk. Personally, this has been a very disheartening period of time politically and it was inspiring to hear Abrams optimism. Libraries are in a position to promote equity, and it was very gratifying to hear Abrams recognize us!

 

What was your biggest takeaway from the event as a whole?

Libraries are uniquely positioned to advocate for *every* member of our communities. Whether it be helping folks fill out census forms or helping families learn about mindfulness, we are making daily impact on people’s lives. It was inspiring to be surrounded by thousands of individuals who share my passion for creating access points for information literacy and inclusive environments. I learned that my library is doing lots of things really well! It is reassuring that despite our small size we are making consistent gains!

 

What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

The program that has the biggest “right now” takeaways was “Why Middle School and College Career Success Go Hand in Hand.” The presenters for this program had been trained at a YALSA project to improve College and Career Readiness and Awareness with middle schoolers. All of the presenters have implemented CCR programs at their libraries and had terrific examples of programs that will work in a variety of communities. I have been reexamining how Plainview offers programs to teens, so this was very timely. I anticipate being able to implement some of the ideas in the near futures.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I would definitely recommend PLA to others. I learned a great deal at the various sessions and I am grateful for the opportunity. But much of the events impact was in connecting with other librarians. In my everyday work, other than in my coworkers, I seldom encounter individuals who share my professional values. PLA is an opportunity to realize that we our values are shared by thousands of others nationwide. Gatherings at SELCO permit us to connect with our regional colleagues, but those events are typically focused on a particular training or issue. I found great value in being surrounded by folks who were all dedicated to excellent library service with an emphasis on equity. This week, I am looking at my programs and facility and thinking about all the things I learned. What can I improve? What are we already doing well? I appreciate the opportunity to look at everything with fresh perspectives!

 

SELCO Seeks Researcher for History of SELCO Region

SELCO has been awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant from the Minnesota Historical Society for the research phase of a history of the SELCO region to commemorate its fiftieth anniversary in 2021.  The SELCO Board of Directors is accepting proposals from interested and qualified individuals to conduct the research.  The Request for Qualifications and Proposal can be found HERE.  Any questions may be directed to Krista Ross, SELCO Executive Director at kross@selco.info or at 507-288-5513, ext. 3.

Winter 2020 Cooperative Purchase

Please find below the link for the Winter 2020 Cooperative Purchase online order form. The offerings for this purchase are much like those of the previous Cooperative Technology Purchase.

Winter 2020  Cooperative Technology Purchase Order Form

  • We are using an online order form for the Winter 2020 Cooperative Purchase. Please fill it out online, once we receive your order, we will send a confirmation email. Please respond to the confirmation email so that we can ensure your order is correct.
  • We will be offering iPads for purchase in this order. As these devices are very subjective and require user specific iTunes accounts, SELCO cannot provide support for them.
  • We are using Faronics Deep Freeze to lock down the public computers. You will notice this option on the bottom of page one for Deep Freeze, select this if you are planning on getting a public computer or using a Nettop for an iPac computer.
  • The Dell Optiplex Desktops, and Dell Latitude Laptop computers come with Windows 10. New Deep Freeze licenses may be required for public computers, as Windows 7 Deep Freeze License keys DO NOT work on Windows 10 PCs.

Please submit your orders online by Friday, February 7, 2020. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the SELCO Help Desk, thank you.