Communications, consulting, Training

2021-2022 Annual Update

It’s been a fun first year of retirement and consulting! What have I learned about establishing an LLC and providing library online training? A lot!

I retired on July 1, 2021, and started my consulting firm, Curtis Rogers Consulting, LLC, on July 2. I created my logo and website, got some business cards I designed using Canva, set up a Facebook page, and started posting more to LinkedIn. I later set up a Twitter account (which I’m still trying to get used to).

I found a wonderful support group of library consultants in the ALA CORE Library Consultant group that meets online every other month. I even served on a panel discussion to talk about what I do and what it’s like being a newbie.

I’ve learned about setting up a Quickbooks account, creating quotes, and sending invoices. It was no surprise that just about everyone I’ve worked with does things differently so my motto has become, “I’m easy to work with”. Whatever they need, I can figure it out. Then again, none of this is rocket surgery…

I finished up a six-year commitment as secretary of the Library Marketing and Communications Conference board and was invited to join the board of the Friends of South Carolina Libraries.

I’m very appreciative to the organizations that have hired me to work with them this past year and also to the ones with whom I have upcoming engagements this fall. Here is a summary of my past and upcoming presentations and webinars:

ALA CORE Interest Group Week
Library Consultants IG Panel presentation – July 2021

Georgia Public Library Services
Series of four webinars in 2022

New England Library Association
Presentation on library signage – October 2021

Friends of South Carolina Libraries
Conference presentation on marketing and
webinar on Friends group resources – March & July 2022

State Library of North Carolina
Series of three webinars in the fall of 2022

Northeast Florida Library Information Network
Series of five webinars – 2021-2022

Southeast Collaborative Conference
Presentation on library signage – March 2022

Tampa Bay Library Consortium
Presentation on communications – November 2022

WebJunction – presentation titled
Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications on January 27, 2022

If your library or non-profit organization is interested in setting up a webinar on any of the sessions I provide or if you’re interested in me working up a specific session on something you need that’s not on my list, please feel free to send me an email at curtisrogersconsulting@gmail.com. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead in year number 2!




Communications, consulting, Friends of the Library, Training

Friends Group Resources

If you’re a member of your Friends of the Library group, this is a session you won’t want to miss!

As a member of the Friends of SC Libraries board and also as a library training consultant, many times I see that a webinar can serve multiple purposes. It can serve as a tool to educate and can also serve as a tool to promote groups or resources. In the case of my upcoming webinar titled, Friends Group Resources You Don’t Want To Miss, I will show attendees how to access many available free resources in South Carolina and also at the national level, that can help them not only be better Friends but also reinvigorate and renew interest in their own groups.

Did you know that if you live in South Carolina and are 18 years old or older, you can get a free library card at the South Carolina State Library? There are a wealth of online resources and databases you can access with your state library card. Did you know there is a national group called United for Libraries that provides online resources to Friends as well as Trustees?

We will be reviewing how to access these websites and the many resources that are available to Friends groups. Get on track and rejuvenate your Friends of the Library group and register for this webinar today.

What: Friends Group Resources You Don’t Want To Miss webinar

Cost: FREE

When: July 20, 2022, at 2:00 PM

Register online at Eventbrite

Communications

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.

Communications, consulting, Training

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.

Training

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

Communications, Training

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.

Uncategorized

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.

Communications

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.

Training

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.

consulting, Training

How does your Library Friends Group succeed?

When you hear the phrase, “Friend of the Library”, do you think of a person or a group of people or both? A library’s Friend group is one that supports the library (academic or public or other). That’s it. It’s that simple. But where it’s not simple, is in all the details.

The Friends of the Library group first needs a mission. Here are some mission samples (from the United for Libraries website):

  • To support and cooperate with the Library in developing, maintaining, and enhancing facilities, resources, and services for the public.
  • To support the freedom to read as expressed in the American Library Association Bill of Rights.
  • To highlight the library’s role in enhancing the University as a top-ranked institution in the state and nation.
  • To seek support for the library through monetary gifts and gifts of materials such as books, manuscripts, and art.
  • To provide additional money for library materials, equipment, and/or services from funds received through payment of dues for various types of memberships.

After finding its mission, the group needs a lot more to succeed. Groups need active members, bylaws, tax-exempt status, membership dues structure, branding/logo design, a communications plan, and a programming committee – just to name a few.

If your library needs guidance, information, and training to start or reinvigorate your Friends group, I can assist. Contact me and we can discuss how to make your Friends group the best it can be.