Wet in Wichita

There are baskets, hats, baskets and more hats!  I think the tickets for both of these fundraisers are being sold fast!  Might I recommend the PLS Romantic Picnic basket featuring a two bottles of wine, glasses, chocolate, a book of poetry and some yummy brownie mix?  Ruth Rodden from Topeka & Shawnee County Library was kind enough to put it together for us.

Events – I managed to make it to the Oswego Library Makeover Project presentation with Roger, Iris, Liz and Sandy.  They have a blog.  I will go find it and post it.  The tree growing out of the wall in the children’s room is worth seeing.  It’s amazing the creative things you can do when you need to rearrange space.

Cindy Bailey and Jaime Prothro from Wichita Public Library did a wonderful presentation on “Balance: Quality Customer Service in Challenging Situations” – it was a mix of positive customer service philosophy, common sense prevention and the best of the Blackbelt Librarian training.  Consistency, calling parents, creating a stern unattented children policy (that addresses older kids left on site after the library has closed – they call the police), and having a two-tiered method of dealing with difficult patrons.  Serious offenders – they can be banned, ‘unacceptable behavior’ offenders have ‘progressive measures’.  Document, document, document.  They also referenced a case in Minneapolis where a banning at the library for harrassment was overturned because harrassment (staring, lewd notes, etc.) wasn’t addressed in the Code of Conduct and policies!  Very good. I too wish that Jaime’s music would have worked – I like the White Stripes and Johnny Cash!

Diagnosing Space Headaches – Paint? Remodel? New Building? with my favorite architectural consultant, Hans Fischer, along with Kim Priest and Lynn Hartter, Jr. from Sabetha and Steve Read from McPherson.  Steve started us off with pictures and the question, “are you wasting space on collections/programs that are not used or wanted by the community?”  Will ebooks impact shelving needs?  Will media downloads, including movies, make DVDs obsolete?  He also suggests doing a seating census when looking at space needs to see how the seating you have is used and what kind of seating (tables or comfy chairs) is preferred.  Look at the library interior as valuable real estate.  Hans had a handout – I’ll scan it and post it when I get home.  He’s awesome and his Needs Assessment spreadsheet is the best thing since sliced bread.  Kim and Lynn talked about how the Community fits into any building plans a library makes – the role public opinion plays, the importance of constant communication with stake holders, and making a good faith effort in the eyes of the community by having a Capital Improvement Fund.  Two points I thought were interesting – spend some money on the library’s exterior to make a good first impact with people.  Also, in McPherson, a sales tax passed for a water park was extended for the Library, as some in the community felt that it was the library’s turn.

Stay tuned for more fun and excitement (just kidding…though I do hope to get some other bloggers)
-Sharon Moreland


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