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?