Fall Retreat Evaluation

Thank you for attending the Retreat this year at the Spiritual Life Center.

Please complete this online evaluation to ensure that future PLS events are on target for our Section members.

2009 PLS Fall Retreat Survey


2009 Retreat Wrap up

Thank you to everyone who came, listened and learned today.

Rosanne’s Wrap Up:

The book I want to share with you for the wrap-up is “Turning to One Another,” by Margaret Wheatley. I am a Margaret Wheatley fan, and my favorite book by her is “Leadership and the New Science,” which I learned about in a leadership institute years ago. “Turning to One Another” is another favorite of mine because it has such simple solutions to what we are dealing with in these uneasy times.

M W says she wrote “Turning to One Another” because in all of her studies about organizations, communities, people and cultures, she began to hear and see over and over again people who feel alone in our world. Her observation is that when the world becomes fearsome, as a result of what ever, we feel alone and we are distressed. In spite of technology that has given us social networking, connectedness, information about other cultures in the world, she observed we have also never been more fragmented and isolated from one another. She observed we are seeking consolation in everything except each other. She observed that people were choosing fear instead of peace and hope.

While this book was written in the wake of 9/11, much of what she says is even more graphic in the wake of the economic downturn, and in it she reminds us not to forget the true source of contentment and well-being. She is convinced that source is each other.

When we started planning the specifics for this conference last January, we wondered if there would be travel budgets for people to even attend. We decided that if we didn’t offer something really pertinent, and applicable for what was happening with the economy, what was happening to people in Kansas libraries, people would not feel it would be worth carving out money to come. We tried to anticipate what people would be thinking and feeling, and dealing with 9 months later. We had many conversations and discussions about feelings of fear, stress, aggravation, anger, isolation, loss, loss of hope. Those are the words that characterize the times we are living in right now. We decided on the theme of “We Can Do It!” because we thought people would need to know how to do it during tough economic times, and the committee wanted to inspire.

So what is Margaret Wheatley’s answer and advice to restore hope in the future and to find each other? She believes we need to reclaim simple conversation – to start talking to one another again. Talking – not emailing, not twittering, not texting, not Facebooking – talking. She believes that simple conversation is the route back to each other. She believes we must learn again how to work and live together in ways that bring us back to a life free of the distress and loneliness we are experiencing.

She addresses the difficulty in doing good and lasting work. She addresses the seemingly impossible task of creating healthy change. She addresses the feeling of being overwhelmed. She rekindles the desire to learn, to be free, to find meaning, and to ultimately find each other. She writes about optimism in the middle of daily disturbances.

She tells us where to start:

To acknowledge one another as equals

To try to stay curious about each other

To recognize we need each other’s help

To become listeners

To slow down so we have time to think and reflect

To recognize that conversation is the natural way humans think together

To expect it to be “messy” at times

To be willing to be disturbed – that our beliefs and ideas will be challenged

I believe we experienced during this retreat what “Turning to One Another” is all about.

Cynthia talked to us about remaining positive and told us to view the challenges we face now as “opportunities” we did not ask for. And, she gave us tips on making advocacy a priority, becoming active in the community, being visible, listening, and ways to understand.

Laura talked about the challenges KLA was faced with during her tenure as KLA President last year. Laura talked about how we had to “self-correct” and her role in implementing what was good for the KLA, that it was hard, but it was what was necessary and good for the whole.

Participants in the “No Cost, Low Cost Solutions” panel gave us lots of ideas to take back and use, tried and true ideas that you can take back and implement, starting on Monday. They helped us turn “We Can Do It” into “I Can Do It.” Marvelous ideas to take back and DO!

Jeff, Patti, and Terry talked about services they are providing to people seeking jobs. I listened to them and realized they are working with and helping people who are desperate. What a magnificent service and good they are providing! They are making people feel important.

The tour last night to the Andover library provided us with vision about what can happen in our communities and in our libraries.

Tony said to go back and teach, to be a model, for our families, for our libraries, for our staff, for our communities. She gave us tools and techniques to be a “lifter” instead of a “leaner.” She made us sing “Happy Birthday” to Diana like we mean it and so that Diana would “feel the love!” Tony talked about MMFI – the number one rule “Make Me Feel Important!”

As the world becomes more complex and fearful, for what ever reason – the flu, terrorist attacks, political radicals, the economy – we need each other to find our way through the turmoil and darkness.

I have a friend whose husband is a minister. She has two boys, and when they were around 8 or 9, they asked if they could sit in the back of the church during the worship service – alone. She told them as long as they behave they could do that, but one slip-up, they would be back up front in the front pew with her. One of their favorite things to do, was during the benediction, when their father would say, “…go in peace…” they would turn to each other and trying not to move their mouths, and very quietly they would say, “make me!” and they would dash out of the sanctuary, the first ones out, popping up and down, completely relieved the service was finally over.

My wish for you today is to go in peace, go with hope, go knowing you will be an instigator of hope in what ever you are confronted with and whatever you do.

Thank you all for coming and for being here for each other – speakers, retreat planners, and most of all, participants. Thank you all!

“There is no power greater than a community discovering what is cares about.”

– Margaret Wheatley

Toni Boyles – Human Resource Management in Tough Times

We get to be flexible and non-bobbleheads this morning to learn from Toni.  I’ve been in session with her before, but I always learn something new from her.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey (again)…begin with the end in mind

Now that we’re in our small groups and we’ve chosen a speaker and we been asked, “What questions are there?” (with the underlying assumption that there ARE questions, so ask them).

  1. Concepts that should assist with STRESS and MOTIVATION
    • Can you motivate people?  No – you are in charge of your own behavior and choices.
    • Do you have a responsibility to create an uplifting environment? Absolutely – give a supportive and creative environment.
    • motivational speakers can be like a sugar high – you’re built up to super high levels, but then without support to stay that High, you drop lower than you were when you started!  The emotional/motivational/morale sugar crash.
    • Some people LIFT, but other people LEAN – be a lifter, not a leaner.  When you are in an uplifted environment, everyone feels better.
  2. Learn from our Past
    • Practice and repetition, repetition, repetition to change a habit.  New mantra – “How’s it workin’ for ya?
    • Say this in staff meeting – keep accountability there – ‘how’s this working for us?
    • Leave the poor dead horse alone…
    • Not every problem needs a BIG solution – small changes make a big impact
      • (moving your wallet to the front pocket fixes back pain…washing your hands (while singing the ABC song) properly can stop the spread of disease).
    • Think about what strategies you’ve been using at work to confront a challenging situation that aren’t working?
      • My group is having an interesting side discussion about how (or if) modeling works.  How do you fight complacency?  What do you do if you need to correct behavior, but can’t?
      • Sometimes letting a person go is the very best outcome for everyone involved
      • Good to Great by Tim Collins  (Andover Public has a book club set they’ll ILL)
        • You work really hard to get good people on your Bus
        • Then you get them in the right seats
        • Then everyone needs to understand which direction the Bus is moving
        • Anyone on the Bus not helping, need to eventually be taken off the Bus..
      • You can be more selective with your employing during this time
      • Often you’re enabling by not encouraging Self Correction and Self Direction
  3. Ask all the time, “What is half of 8?”
    • How often are you SURE you know the right answer? Example, why would Toni put VI as an answer to What is half of 8? – Well will you split VIII in half, you’re left with VI!
    • We had a side discussion of the Colors: Blue (emotional/social worker), Green (data driven/engineer), Orange (action oriented/pilot) and Gold (doers/educators)
    • Great teaching exercise – just stand at a board and ask the question – teaches creative thinking
      (Whack on the Side of the Head and Kick in the Seat of the Pants (books))
    • I want a talking trash can that gives me a joke when I put trash in it!  They had that in Scandanavia…
    • Be a creative problem solver – challenges lead to the best creative solutions
    • FREE training Videos on YouTube
    • You Find What you Look For
    • [Insert YouTube – Dancing Bear, Moonwalking Bear, Cyclist Beware]
    • Self fulfilling prophecies – you create your own reality – you create what you think
    • Put your focus on Where You Are Going, not where you have been – focus on the exciting, new possibilities
  4. Do everything with a Ben Zander Attitude!
    • cellist who became a conductor after a strange skin disease stopped his cello playing
    • Get on the Front Row of Life” – mental attitude that rejects mediocrity!
    • Don’t be “Terminally Professional” with stress being the red badge of courage!  Don’t be proud of your ulcers and heart attacks!
    • Diana just got a very memorable Happy Birthday song sung to her with much enthusiasm
    • Do you have any Poop Ducks in your Office? They go around and dump on everybody…
  5. Build relations – Make Connections – Remember MMFI
    • Make Me Feel Important
    • Number one fear of Humans is REJECTION or feeling devalued
    • Find things of Value in people and they will work hard for you – be authentic
    • Don’t want to disappoint people who make you feel Important…
    • We were able to hear the TSCPL Appreciation “Thumbs Up” song!
    • (Missed some stuff here…I’ll go check Twitter for notes) – these next few are from Heather
    • dealing with complaints: say thank you, I appreciate you sharing, and ask for more, looking for specific details – it’s an opportunity
    • Use affirmations in a positive way
    • Butt cards: Building up to teamwork
  6. Calls for Chandelier Thinking
    • Instead of light bulb thinking, have chandelier thinking
    • (stolen from Tom Peters)
    • Create a way to trip over whatever new thought is you want to remember
    • Make it ‘in sight’ to be ‘in mind’ instead of out of sight/out of mind
    • Example, Toni always have amethyst on because it reminds her of the powers of amethyst – enhance intelligent and thwart negativity
  7. Go Do Something
    • Quit making excuses and just go do something.
    • How many don’t do something if they can’t do it perfect? – Ask, How’s that working for you?
      • Simply – try not to get ‘hung up’ on stuff
  8. What are your bigger stressers at the library? PEOPLE
    • Fear and Love are the two biggest motivators of human behavior
    • Network and find partnership
    • Most people live “OOPS” lives – “oops, I married this person” “oops, I had these kids” “oops, I got this job”
      • Make more conscious choices about what we do – may not alwasy be right
      • Be in charge of your decisions
      • Follow your happy accidents
    • Have good, healthy conversations – instead of ignoring or blowing up
      • Have fierce conversations – speak up for yourself, ask for what you need…even when it is a problem at the heart of an issue
      • I had to tell my partner she has bad breath…that was tough!
    • How to have difficult conversations?
      • Deal with the issue
      • Admit awkwardness – empathy, reciprocal (humanize self), get right to the point
      • Gender issues – what always works for men may or may not work for women
      • Depends on the relationship – would humor have worked better?  Different dynamic depending on age and gender differences
      • “Dude, your breath stinks” – done! (hehe)
      • Move to a private, quiet place for difficult discussions (coach privately, praise publicly)
      • Keep it focused on the issue – comfortable work environment, who is impacted, can lead to bad customer service, personal beliefs are irrelevant – create a healthy work environment
      • Don’t make it personal!  Keep it work-related, calm demeanor, unemotional, tone of voice and non-verbal calm and stable
      • Build relationships – find the best person to give the message?  Sometimes, but not always.  usually the supervisor to give the message.
      • Collect data,
      • Look in the mirror (gossip/punctuality/etc. – hold yourself accountable) – ask if YOU gave adequate training?  What have you done to contribute to the problem/issue?
        • Example, employee is tardy, but the employer is also tardy.  “It’s been brought to my attention that you and I both are having a problem with tardiness.”  Own your own, but also hold them accountable – depends on the relationship.
        • What if the supervisor CAN be tardy as supervisor – explain that people in the office have different schedules – don’t apologize if you are NOT abusing your position.  Don’t apologize if you do not need to!
      • Pay attention to the place and time – private and timing…quickly as you can, without rushing
        • Don’t put it off, but think about it and gather data and look at yourself in the mirror first
        • Don’t do it when you are angry
        • Termination – let them go first thing in the morning – keeps them from stirring the pot by calling folks at home – have a follow up staff meeting, so the other employees are given the facts and expectations of no gossip
      • Face to Face
        • Know your Opening Line and Closing Line, without a script in the middle
        • Dehumanizes when you use a script – just know the key points to cover (Have a Plan)
        • Make sure you Follow Up – it’s a partnership
      • Learn from an Ombudsman – smooth talkers – have a plan of action to back up the bad news

Find a good Coach – Facing the Giants (YouTube)

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


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)

Laura Loveless – Leadership in Tough Times

Laura is the Past President of the Kansas Library Association.

The Kansas City, Kansas Public Library invited Cynthia to speak at their Management meeting to give a pep talk when the Library realized that staff would need to be cut as part of their budget cuts.  From 138 to 108 and then had the 3 busiest months on record for the entire system.  Next up, a strategic planning process…also inspired by Cynthia’s visit.

Her new motto from Cynthia’s presentation:  Challenge is an opportunity that we have not asked for, by Stephen Covey

Make your decisions in the best interest of the organizations, no matter how hard they are…

Try not to be on the receiving end of an attorney’s finger – KLA learned that changes were needed to be compliant with IRS tax law!

(Laura still dreams of a Reader’s Advisory section for the KLA Web site…but she focused on paperwork and business.)

KLA sort of started over with the move from Hutchison to Topeka – Caroline and Bonnie set the stage for record keeping!  Sections and Roundtables have been asked to file paperwork and do what the accountant says…

Cynthia Berner Harris – Librarianship in Tough Times

Cynthia’s giving us her wonderful reflections about making the best of a bad situation.

  • Make Advocacy a priority – you’re doing good if your elected officials come asking to make a their own READ poster!
  • Be Active in the community – outreach to trainers, for example
  • Be Visible –
    • ‘earned media’ – Have events that bring people who will write about the event on their own! (court bloggers)
    • Newspapers are struggling, so if you send them pre-written articles in a press release, they’ll often print it word-for-word!
    • Write a press release for EVERYTHING – a lot of what happens in a library is significant, we’re just too close to see it.
  • Listen and Respond
    • Set up Google alert – find out what folks blog about their library experiences
    • Cynthia keeps a thank you letter for a response she gave to his initial letter! – Simple courtesy
  • Understand
    • [Insert the books she plugged]
    • Price of Government – as costs go up, there’s a point where resistance begins.  When gas hit $3, we changed our behavior, for example.
    • As service declines to a certain level, you will hit the unacceptable level where complaints increase and people stop coming (to the library)!
    • In the middle is the sweet spot between the two barriers – costs are lower and service is high enough to maintain satisfaction!  Where is that?
  • Use DATA drive decision making – use numbers and thought behind decisions
    • Not just door counts and circ stats, but quality measures and outcomes that you’re producing
    • The stories come from the Outcomes and those stories lead to Advocacy!
    • Able to tell the stakeholders what specific outcomes will result in an investment
    • LET IT GO – if you say you’re going to have to let a program go (juvenile detention visits), do it. Otherwise you jeopardize your credibility.
  • Budget Wisely – is it better to do many things with mediocrity or fewer things with impact and quality?
    • Depends on situation and community.  If there’s another agency duplicating a service, either develop a partnership or let it go and redirect those resources to a hole in service.
  • Our Unexpected Opportunities
    • Do Just in Time, not Just in Case processing – quit overprocessing materials (change easier to make at this time)
    • Refocus
    • Simplify
    • Eliminate barriers – WPL’s paper processing for library cards was simplified
    • Encourage self-sufficient users – Do it on your own (reserves, renewals, etc.)
      • Shelving back logs – so, implemented self-serve holds and the branch had more time to catch up their shelving problem!
  • Avoid Complacency
    • The library’s greatest challenges aren’t the economy but kindle and twitter and iphone and red box!  Patrons can get what they want quickly.
    • Example – talking books need to be iPhone friendly for the younger generations to use it!
    • They installed an AV-friendly drop box, so patrons can return that DVD at 10:30 pm
    • New library in 2011!  Woot.

Have Fun and Tell our story in a new and exciting way!

The Retreat has Begun!

We’ve checked in, we’ve eaten lunch, we’ve learned the super secret code that lets us back into the building after our late night field trips and we’re hearing Cynthia Berner Harris’ ‘reflections’ on making opportunities out of challenges that we’ve not asked for.

Cover it Live, if you can’t attend in person.  (#klapls09)