Tom, Leah and Gail – No Cost, Low Cost Solutions

Tom:

At SCKLS – when they realized the recession was going to hit soon, the Regional library had some focus groups and from those discussions they provided an online resource – Libraries in Uncertain Economic Times

  • We have to justify and rationalize our existence…as evidence from the Omaha debacle on kanlib-l
  • Libraries are doing more with less – circulation is up everywhere
  • Libraries are talking about adjusting hours and collections to best meet the needs of the community – Saturday and evening hours for the commuters.  One small library can’t buy ‘unproven’ authors, but instead spends on best selling authors that are read by their patrons.
  • Partner with the Workforce Centers who have trained staff to help with the unemployed
  • Use donations to supplement the collection – can you get some copies of Dan Brown donated after its read?
  • No longer making multiple media purchases – just a hardback, instead of hardback, LP, and audiobook…
  • Lease hot titles!
  • Share the cost of materials with patrons on the receipt – show the patron the value of what they’re checking out (done as part of National Library Week)
  • Start a Friends Group NOW!
  • Supplies (doom, doom, doom) – Cut paper copy of letters, reduce
  • Recruit the Board for Activism and volunteer work (work the desk at one person libraries, for example)
  • Coordinate with school libraries for collection development, find overlaps, alternate buying titles
  • Small things like thermostat and lights and other basic utilities
  • Advertise the costs/value of books and services to show Value of service to the patrons
  • Work with the Chamber of Commerce – friend not enemy – Lions clubs, etc.  Find partners that also support literacy – humane society,
  • Participate in city wide garage sales, participate in parades and other civic events
  • Small town newspapers will print verbatum releases that you send (no matter how small or inconsequential) – you can also put notices in the water bills (hours, new books, etc.) and city newsletters (and church bulletins)
  • Partner with a church to buy Inspirational Fiction!

Leah and Library Programming (see attachments on Agenda)

  • Key to bring parents into the library – feature their children…
  • Take advantage of your talented staff members – a puppet show organized by Teen Volunteers, supervised by her Children’s librarian
  • When the local movie theater closed, the library started Friday afternoon meetings and Wizard of Oz sing along family movie night (Rocky horror, only family friendly) – They Let it Go when the theater re-opened.
  • Library trivia on the local radio station – ex. multiple choice, how many people walked into the library in a month?  Took advantage of their trivia-mad city!
  • National Library Week Mystery Prizes – cool idea, for example coupons were hidden, donated prizes were used to reward folks who visited the library, for example – 1st person who offers to pay fines gets their fines forgiven or the 1st person to come in on a certain day to check out an item gets a prize.
  • Computer classes – charge $5 in advance to reserve your spot in class – meant everyone who signed up, showed up.
  • Make sure to post a picture of the director playing guitar hero…at the gaming night you let your Teen Volunteers plan!
  • Does your high school have a Actor’s Guild?  Get them to perform at the library…
  • Darn, missed her talk about Book Relays (who else can share? – add a comment)
  • Arts Alive – have local artists give demonstrations at the library where they can interact with families visiting the library
  • Book Repair Clinic (provided by an 84 year old Aide) – advertise to churches for hymnal and Bible repair!
  • This year is the last Chautauqua…Dust Bowl is the theme
  • Downtown Market in the Library meeting room during the Fall, Winter and Spring – brings in new people to the library
  • Scholastic Book Fair – do the buy one, get one free option to bring people in and organize programming around the event (come have picture taken with Clifford)
  • Brown Bag University
    • During the lunch hour, offer an interesting and entertaining program to hear
      • Attendance from lowest 12 (finance program) to highest 58 (food samples program)
    • Men and women both come – some older, retired folks, but also people in the work force
    • Use local talent as teachers and presenters – free for a Thank You note! – Local community college, county extension and local business who want the promotion opportunity
      • Example, decorative paint techniques taught by lady from the local hardware store!
    • Volunteers, talented staff, talented community members, Friends group for programming budget (no programming line in the library budget)
    • Where do they get ideas?  Steal from the community college adult education program, pay attention to local club news and get ideas from other groups in the community and TALK to patrons
    • Poll program attendees for ideas and speaker suggestions
    • Kansas Humanities Council
    • http://www.rideintohistory.com (Joyce and Anne)
  • No Advertising Budget!
    • Email a press release to the newspaper (all 3 of them)
    • Send a press release to the local radio (free) and local cable channel
    • Library Web site, Facebook page, Email newsletter and flyers/posters all over town/county
  • Meeting Room Policy question – Board made an exception for the Downtown Market in the library
  • Carol – www.tryufm.org (University for Man) – Community Resource Program will provide funding for local classes (example, Junction City’s library)

Gail – Free Technology!  (Ideas from ARSL conference)

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One Response to “Tom, Leah and Gail – No Cost, Low Cost Solutions”

  1. The 2009 Fall Retreat has Ended « lybrarian Says:

    […] need to spend some time looking more closely at all of the online software that Gail shared at the Retreat.  There are so many very good, free options for very expensive proprietary […]


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