Staff Training

ImageTomorrow is our system-wide in service day, which means I get to do staff training on  digital resources. Everyone will be terribly bored, inattentive, and forget it all once they leave the building. NOT THIS TIME, BUDDY! No, sir.

This time, I have activities planned rather than a lecture and demonstration. My coworkers will be split into groups, given a list of tasks for each resource, and the group that completes the task first will get prizes. I want to make this as fun and relaxed as possible. We did a little bit of hands-on stuff at the last in-service for the main branch, but it will be all hands-on this time. Also, it will be the first time that I’m in charge of the training solo. We’re going to cover: OverDrive, Zinio Digital Magazines, NoveList, Freegal Music & Freegal Movies, and our Boopsie app. Everyone is required to bring a device with them (if they have one) and we will have the library’s devices on hand. I’m hoping that once the staff actually uses our services, they will promote them better. (It blows my mind that some of them have never used our services. One person has worked here for at least 5 years and didn’t even have a library card.)

If you would like to, take a look at the activity sheet. Any input or tips are greatly appreciated. I’m always looking to improve my training skills.

Awesome Readers’ Club – The Giver

ARC - The Giver

This month, ARC is reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. If you haven’t read The Giver, you definitely should. It is one of the best dystopian novels ever.


Here are this month’s discussion questions, which I got from the Scholastic website:

• If you were attending the Ceremony of Twelve with Jonas, what Assignment do you think the Elders would select for you?

• How would you feel to be watched all the time, the way people living in Jonas’s community are?

• Jonas’s community has a lot of rules. Do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing? Why?

• All the members of Jonas’s family had to sign a pledge that they would not become attached to the newchild, Gabe. Do you

think it’s possible to keep such a promise?

• What do you think of how families in Jonas’s community are formed?

• Can you imagine giving up such things as snow and hills because they are impractical?

• Imagine a world without color. What color would you miss most?

• What value, if any, is there to Sameness?

• Do you agree with Jonas that people have to be protected from wrong choices?

• Do you agree that painful memories are made easier when they are shared?

• Do you think it’s fair that one person in the community—The Receiver—should have to be burdened and pained by memories

so that no one else is?

• Jonas knows that if his plan to escape and give the community memories fails, he could be killed. But he believes that if he stays, his life is no longer worth living. Do you agree?

• Do you think The Giver should have gone with Jonas? Why?

• Why is the community so desperate to get Jonas back?

• Jonas briefly wonders whether he made the wrong choice when he decided to run away. What do you think?

The trailer for the upcoming film adaptation recently came out, so we will watch and discuss it as well. Just from the promo photos, my first thought was, “No way is that kid 11.” Such is the way of Hollywood, though. Gabrielle Carteris was in her 30s while portraying a teenager on Beverly Hills, 90210. Some things never change.

Blind Date with an eBook Follow-Up


Back in February, I posted about a Facebook promotion I was trying out – Blind Date with an eBook. I created images with three-word ebook description using Picmonkey, then posted the photos with an accompanying shortlink. This meant that our Facebook fans would have to actually click the link to find out what ebook was described, making it a Blind Date. I was inspired by all the Blind Date with a Book displays popping up in brick and mortar libraries. Now that the promotion is over, here are some insights:

  • An average of 30 people saw each post, that’s approximately 33% of our 91 Facebook fans. I think that Facebook’s recent changes had a lot to do with that.
  • 20 out of the 28 ebooks featured were checked out during the time of the promotion (February 1-28). A handful were checked out multiple times. I was pleasantly surprised by this figure considering the low number of people who actually saw the posts.
  • Almost all likes, shares, and comments on the Blind Date posts were by other librarians or library pages. This was disappointing to me. I had hoped to garner more attention from our actual, everyday users. However, I’m very glad that fellow librarians liked the idea. In fact, another West Virginia library adapted it for their own social media accounts.
  • Titles selected were a mix of popular ebooks that our patrons seemed to have missed and ebooks that I thought our patrons would enjoy based on what they were already checking out.

Despite the fact that this promotion didn’t quite meet my expectations, I will try it again next year. I think when we have a larger fan base, it will work better. I may expand it to other social media platforms. This could work really well on Pinterest and Twitter.

Image Credit: “eBook Reader” by goXunuReviews on Flickr.

Book Recommendations Based On Your Favorite TV Shows – HBO Editon

Book Recommendations Based On Your Favorite TV Shows - HBO Editon

I’m obsessed with HBO programming, so this graphic was a lot of fun to make. It’s up on Tumblr now with short explanations about the selections. The last one I posted on my library’s Tumblr now has 1,000+ notes, so that’s pretty exciting.