Tag: libraries

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.

Library Learning and Collaboration

Library Learning and Collaboration

Register today for the FREE online SE Collaborative Conference – March 15-17, 2022

I am happy to announce I will be presenting a session titled, Library Signage: The good, the bad, and the ugly, at the third annual SECC online regional conference. My session helps library staff members think critically about their current and future library signage. In this session, I show many examples of library signage and attendees discuss what makes a good sign great and what to consider changing about library signage.

The 2022 Southeast Collaborative Online Conference is a collective effort by the Georgia Public Library Service, State Library of North Carolina, South Carolina State Library, Tennessee State Library & Archives, and the Library of Virginia to offer innovative and useful online learning experiences for library staff at all levels through a convenient online conference.

This year’s conference will utilize the Whova event app to provide more convenient access to sessions and resources for attendees. Webinar recordings and presentation slides for the 2020 and 2021 conferences are available on the About page.

Special thanks to IMLS! This conference is made possible in part by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the State Library of North Carolina and South Carolina State Library. #SEcollaborativeconference

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.

Hard Questions

Hard Questions

On November 30, 2021, at 7:00 pm, I spoke to Dr. Clayton Copeland’s Public Library Systems (SLIS 728) class for over an hour about library marketing, promotion, and communications as they relate to public libraries. They really had some wonderful questions!

What I found most interesting was the change in the student dynamics from thirty years ago when I was in library school. Back in the old days, I think there were many more full time students than there are now; however, by looking out into the gallery of zoom video streams, one thing seemed to remain the same: we still have a very white/female dominated profession.

There were many questions revolving around EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) in libraries and how we market to current and potential customers. Through graphic design and changing the view to represent inclusivity, we can do a better job of reaching out to all. While libraries have always been open to all, in the past we have not done that great a job of making sure our promotional pieces give a true depiction of the community segments we are trying to reach and we need to make a conscious effort to continue to change that.

A few takeaway resources I mentioned during the class session are as follows:

Here is a compilation of many of the questions along with my responses:

What are the benefits of outsourcing training for your library staff?

What are the benefits of outsourcing training for your library staff?

Online training is easy and convenient! If you only need a training session that lasts 60-90 minutes, I’ve got a wide variety of topics I can provide.

Some of the benefits are:

  • You get a recording of the session so staff members who cannot attend can view the session on their own schedule.
  • There is always time for Q&A.
  • Sessions can be customized to your library’s specific needs.
  • Online training saves you money since there are no travel expenses.

Here is a list of topics I can provide training on:

  • Communication Skills, Personality Types, and Networking
  • Library Signage/Library Image
  • How to be a Successful Library Trustee/Board Member
  • How to be a Successful Library Friend/Friends Group
  • Photography Basics for PR and Marketing
  • Thinking Forward-Revitalizing Your Keeping Up Habits
  • Meeting Facilitation and Meeting Facilitation Skills Training

Feel free to email me so we can set up a zoom session to discuss training opportunities for your library or library system.

Photography Basics for Library PR and Marketing

Photography Basics for Library PR and Marketing

Nowadays, just about everyone has a camera in their pocket. Smartphone photography has come a long way; however, many people don’t even know the basics for making a great photo. Here are a few basic steps to making a great image with your smartphone:

  1. Make sure your smartphone lens is clean. We keep our phones in pockets, backpacks, purses, etc., and repeatedly touch the lenses. It’s a good idea to keep a lens cloth handy to wipe your smartphone lens before you use it. If you ever wonder why your smartphone images are cloudy or look hazy, it’s most likely the lens is dirty.
  2. Take multiple photos and select the best one to edit. Image composition can change greatly just by moving your camera by a foot or more so move around and take lots of photos to see how your composition changes.
  3. Use your smartphone’s editing tools or an image editing app such as Camera+ to crop and adjust the colors or to add a filter.

There are some wonderful tutorials on YouTube as well as some interesting photography magazines and books available at your public library’s website (usually on Overdrive or similar library service). Here are a few you might be interested in:

  1. Photography Basics in 10 Minutes (YouTube) – this is a great overview of photography basics to try shooting your photos in manual mode. Many people with a good digital camera will use the auto feature, but it’s important to experiment with various settings.
  2. 8 IMPORTANT Composition Tips for Better Photos (YouTube) – this video will make you think more about how to frame an image and how light and background play a part in photography. The key is to practice and take time to learn more about your own feelings when it comes to what makes a great image.
  3. Amateur Photographer – this is a British magazine that provides articles on equipment reviews, photographic technique, and also shares profiles of professional photographers. Check your local public library to see if you can access it online for free through Overdrive/Libby.

The image I created for this post was first taken with my Canon EOS RP digital mirrorless camera, then edited in Pixlr Express, then the quote was added in Canva. Once you know how to use some of these tools, you can create great images for your library use on social media to promote your library’s programs and events. If you’re interested in a training session for your library staff on how to take better photos for your library’s marketing and PR, contact me at curtisrogersconsulting@gmail.com.

Is GIS for you?

Is GIS for you?

I’ve always enjoyed maps and understand their importance. As an undergrad, I decided to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of South Carolina. I was a geography nerd for sure! I was president of USC’s chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon (ΓΘΥ), the international honor society in geography, and even completed an internship in computer cartography at Research Planning in Columbia, SC. I also was awarded the Julian J. Petty award for excellence in geography in 1990 from the USC Department of Geography, which still hangs on my wall to this day. 

The love of maps transferred to my library work and I would play around with websites like Zee Maps and Google Maps to map out county library branches when I would visit to provide library signage audits. While working at the SC State Library, I was able to recruit a geography friend to help the library create an interactive map of all South Carolina public library outlets

It’s a lot of fun to explore these library locations but it’s also important to have accurate information. If you’re interested in mapping your library locations, check out Zee Maps and Google Maps and watch some overview videos to get you started making specialized maps for your library system. The options are endless and you can add links to maps from your library’s website and also embed them. And you can always hire someone with GIS experience to build maps for you. Reach out to a college or university near you to see if they have a GIS program and find out how you can hire a GIS expert to help put your library on the map.

Restroom Signage and the Captive Audience

Restroom Signage and the Captive Audience

I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more signage in library restrooms. Libraries can take advantage of captive audiences by regularly updating signage on the back of stall doors and above urinals. Many people don’t really even like to think or talk about this, but it’s a great way to promote your library’s upcoming events, book clubs, and other library-related programs.

Remember these tips when creating restroom signage:

  • Use eye-catching graphics
  • Don’t use too much verbiage
  • For calendars of events, remember to update weekly or monthly
  • Update restroom signage prior to opening or after closing
  • Update the staff restrooms as well as the public restrooms
  • Use acrylic sign holders with suction cups so they can periodically be removed and cleaned
  • Always use your library’s logo and branding
  • Try to stick with your library’s brand color scheme

Share your library’s restroom signage thoughts and ideas with a comment. What works well and what would you do differently given the opportunity?

What is a Public Library Signage Audit – and why is it so important?

What is a Public Library Signage Audit – and why is it so important?

Library signage sets the tone not only of the individual library branch, but also of the whole county library system. All library signage should be positive, brief, and consistent. The following are both positive and negative library signage general rules of thumb:

Positive

  • Polite language
  • Not verbose – get to the point
  • Consistently use library logo/branding
  • No typos
  • Correct grammar
  • Font and font size
  • Image that supports content

Negative

  • Handwritten
  • Too many words
  • Clip art (try to use photography if possible)
  • Comic sans font (use font that is similar to the library’s standard font selection/branding)
  • Passive aggressive
  • Too many colors
  • Too much going on

A library signage audit is not only an audit of the library’s signs, but it may also relate to the library’s internal and external image including printed materials, customer service, grounds, and community perceptions.

During the signage audit, photographs will be taken of most of the library branch’s signs. Later, a visual report will be created with a list of what your branch is doing well and recommendations for what to change. The report may be used to look more closely at each library branch’s signage and make decisions about the type of signage that may be best suited to that community’s needs.

Does your library need a signage audit or signage training? If so, contact me and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you: curtisrogersconsulting@gmail.com.

Library Training Options

Library Training Options

Are you interested in an online training session? I can customize the perfect training session for your library staff, trustees, or friends group. Sessions take place via zoom and can be for up to 100 attendees. While working for the South Carolina State Library, I conducted many different training sessions both online and in-person. Here is a recorded session titled, Library Signage: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And here is another session I developed to help library staff members develop networking skills based on understanding personality types titled, Networking Skills for Library Staff.

I thoroughly enjoy providing training to library staff members and am happy to work with you on creating the perfect training session for you! Feel free to contact me today to discuss your library’s needs.

curtisrogersconsulting@gmail.com