Category: Communications

Lack of Communication Can Lead to Low Morale

Lack of Communication Can Lead to Low Morale

Is your library or non-profit suffering from low morale because of some communication issues? Sometimes, managers don’t communicate enough, and sometimes, staff members don’t communicate enough either. Failures in communication can be due to not understanding other types of personalities and how they perceive communication. Learning about your own personality type can also help you become a better communicator.

The more you know about your coworkers’ personality types, the more effectively you can communicate with one another. Effective communication can lead to higher morale and better project completion and outcomes.

I offer a great webinar on effective communication skills but I can also work with your team to assess personality types and help you to build more effective communication skills.

Visit my training and online learning page to learn more about the sessions I can offer and contact me today to schedule a webinar.

2022 FOSCL Conference a Success!

2022 FOSCL Conference a Success!

I had a great time presenting my session, Marketing & PR Skills for Friends at the recent annual Friends of South Carolina Libraries conference held online and in Mt. Pleasant, SC, at the Wando/Mt. Pleasant Branch Library of the Charleston County Public Library System. You can join FOSCL as an individual member or your Friends Group can join! Learn more at our membership information page.

In my presentation, I talk about how you don’t have to be a graphic designer, webmaster, or user experience designer to effectively promote and market your friends of the library group events, but it is a good idea to have a basic marketing plan and to know a few other basics before you get started promoting your next book sale or other membership events. I also reviewed many additional resources to get your Friends group pointed in the right direction.

From email marketing to social media, this presentation has a lot of points that will get your friends group thinking about creating a marketing plan if there already isn’t one. After my session, there were about 20 minutes of comments and questions! It was great hearing about different scenarios and best practices for promoting friends groups within the communities they serve.

If your friends of the library group is interested in having a 1-hour webinar on this topic, feel free to contact me to set it up! Email me at curtisrogersconsulting@gmail.com.

Screenshot courtesy Jonathan Haupt, Executive Director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.

Marketing and PR Skills for Friends Groups

Marketing and PR Skills for Friends Groups

Join me on Saturday, March 26, 2022, for the Annual Friends of South Carolina Libraries (FOSCL) Conference (online or in Mt. Pleasant, SC). Registration is $25 for onsite and $15 for online.

I will be giving a presentation all about marketing and PR silks for Friends groups. You don’t have to be a graphic designer, webmaster, or user experience designer to effectively promote and market your friends of the library group events, but it is a good idea to have a basic marketing plan and to know a few basics before you get started promoting your next book sale or other membership event.

Visit the FOSCL event registration page to see a full agenda and sign up today!

Are you reviewing your library’s signage on a regular basis?

Are you reviewing your library’s signage on a regular basis?

On January 27, 2022, I conducted a free webinar for WebJunction titled, Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications. The most important takeaway is that I wanted attendees to THINK CRITICALLY about each and every sign in their library. Part of this process is to conduct a signage audit.

A great resource on how to do this can be found in Mark Aaron Polger’s recent book, Library Signage and Wayfinding Design.

Learn more about library signage by visiting the WebJunction page for my webinar and please make sure to review your library’s signage on a regular basis.

Want to make sure your library’s signage hasn’t hit a dead end?

Want to make sure your library’s signage hasn’t hit a dead end?

Join me for Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications at 3:00 pm on January 27, 2022 for a WebJunction webinar and learn about how to get your library’s signage back in shape for the new year!

Good signage in the library helps to create clarity and build awareness, while bad signage can lead to frustration and confusion. Has your library had to implement COVID-related signage? Has there been a review of other temporary and permanent signage? This session will look at recommended types of library signs and address aspects of library signage within crisis communications. We will also address how to conduct a signage audit, the importance of library branding and using templates, and internal communications as they relate to signage. Online resources will be shared and there will be opportunities for Q&A and discussion.

I’m looking forward to talking about library signage with you soon!

Register today at WebJunction.org.

#LMCC21 and Professional Rejuvination

#LMCC21 and Professional Rejuvination

Now that I’m a library consultant and retired from the day-to-day library world, this conference was more important than I imagined it would be. Sometimes you need to be immersed in a subject for a few days to think of new ways to address issues and topics. The Library Marketing and Communications two-day virtual conference filled the void. Even though I’m retired and now consulting, I still serve on the board of the LMCG, which helps the conference, but more importantly, helps me stay involved in the profession. I attended some great sessions and moderated two. Here you will find a compilation of posts to my LinkedIn feed about those sessions. #LMCC22 will be held in Indianapolis in November so be sure to sign up for conference emails and find us on social.

  1. Here is a great takeaway from the first session of the #LMCC21 – check out the NLW toolkit the Georgia Public Library Service put together for their state. https://georgialibraries.org/nlw-toolkit/
  2. Attending the #LMCC21 and hearing from Anna Moorehouse at The University of British Columbia Library about Story-Based Communications at her concurrent session. Here is a story they published on their library’s website to effectively communicate with their library patrons. https://about.library.ubc.ca/2020/05/08/how-ubc-library-is-supporting-the-ubc-community-during-the-current-covid-19-outbreak/
  3. Moderating a session at #LMCC21 with Tina Thomas of Edmonton Public Library for her talk about opening up a shiny new library during COVID-19. Amazing how the communications had to be adjusted when the new building was viewed as ugly by the public. Turning it into a “Think Tank” was a great example of how to go with the flow! https://www.epl.ca/milner-library/#look-inside
  4. Attending an interesting session at #LMCC21 on live streaming by Daniel Cuthbert from the Lansing Public Library. “If the pandemic taught us anything, it taught us how precious and challenging it was to have spaces…” other than our physical locations. Can check out their videos on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWJqXZkk0SnPbiBUbolBIFQ
  5. Listening to the Day 2 Keynote at #LMCC21 with Fobazi Ettarh (I’m not a morning person either!) presenting Vocational Awe and the Art of Selling Libraries. Session takeaway: If the library is a safe space for hate groups, then the library is only a safe space for hate groups. If libraries are truly the last bastion of democracy, then we need to truly present that and pay close attention to critiques and think critically about what we do, what we portray we do, and how we can be truly inclusive. Toxic positivity is a real thing and we should practice being more authentic as library marketers and communicators. Learn more about Vocational Awe and related library issues at https://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/vocational-awe/
  6. Moderating a great session today for #LMCC21 – Partnering with Local Organizations to Promote Libraries and Increase Cardholders with Kari Lapp and Jordan Reynolds from the Saline County Library. Learning about the importance of partnerships with local organizations and businesses, using QR codes in monthly magazines and rack cards, etc. I also think this session has been a great example of what libraries can do by hiring NON-LIBRARIAN marketing professionals! Hire marketing staff with marketing degrees and backgrounds. They can learn the library stuff later 🙂 Check out their News page on their library website at https://www.salinecountylibrary.org/news
  7. Attending an interesting session at #LMCC21 titled Creative Approaches to Promoting Libraries Through Non-Traditional Partnerships with Nicholas Alexander Brown from the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. Learning about converting participants to advocates, reaching out to influencers for the long term, creating high visibility moments, and even partnering with local sports teams. Learn more about their library at https://www.pgcmls.info/about-us

How has your library dealt with COVID-19 related signage?

How has your library dealt with COVID-19 related signage?

Your public, academic, or school library has probably had to deal with increased COVID-19 signage. Have you branded it or just printed out what the CDC or local health authority has recommended? Is there any continuity to the signage? Are you using clip art of masks, syringes, and viruses to get your point across? Whatever signage you post in the library, make sure you think critically about the message you are conveying.

The most important aspect of COVID-19 signage at your library is to properly yet briefly convey the message to the reader. People usually don’t take time to read signs. When dealing with health issues, we need to be particularly helpful!

Here are some tips for COVID-19 signs at your library:

  • Use polite language,
  • don’t be verbose (get to the point in as few words as possible),
  • always add your library’s logo/branding,
  • don’t have any typos and use correct grammar,
  • make sure that fonts and font sizes are ADA compliant,
  • and use images that support the content.

Some great online resources to COVID-19 signs as well as additional resources for your library:

The most important tip is to keep your COVID-19 library signs as up-to-date as possible. Make sure your signage is not too time-sensitive so that you don’t have to replace it too often. Also, make sure that it’s part of someone’s job to regularly assess the overall library signage and make adjustments as needed.

The Sign Removal Test

The Sign Removal Test

Years ago, when I conducted library signage audits around South Carolina, I developed a useful tool called the Sign Removal Test. While I was conducting an audit, I had a conversation with a front desk staff member at a public library who asked how to deal with signs she thought were not being read or were not serving any real purpose. I responded with a spontaneous idea and recommended she remove the sign for two weeks and track whether or not anyone noticed. This resulted in the Sign Removal Test.

As you evaluate your library’s signs, if there is a particular sign you’re just not that sure about, remove it for two weeks and see if anyone notices or asks questions that the sign addressed. If you feel the sign needs to be reposted, then repost it; however, I will bet you that 9 out of 10 times, the sign won’t have to be posted again. Give it a try!

If your library system is looking for online training sessions about library signage, feel free to contact me and set up a day and time for my library signage session. Also, check out the other online training sessions I offer on my training page.

How well do your library staff members communicate?

How well do your library staff members communicate?

Part of the key to effective library communication skills is understanding how the receiver receives the information and how the deliverer delivers the information. How well do you know other library staff members’ personality types and how they prefer to receive information? Have you considered how you sound when delivering information or providing directions, reference information, or just having a casual conversation?

According to 16personalities.com, you can “learn what really drives, inspires, and worries different personality types, helping you build more meaningful relationships.” While there are many personality types, there are 16 main types that we discuss during my Communication Skills for Library Staff online training session. This workshop can be 60 minutes long or 90 minutes for more interactive exercises.

By learning some simple skills and techniques, networking with colleagues in person or online doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. In this session, attendees will take a close look at various personality types and communication styles. The more you know about personality types and communication styles can make almost any interaction a pleasant one. Online resources will be provided and there will be opportunities for Q&A and discussion.

If you need this session customized to a particular communication issue at your library, I’ll be happy to discuss it with you! Contact me at curtisrogersconsulting@gmail.com to set up a zoom training session for your library staff today.