Monday, April 16, 2007

Texas Library Association Conference - Highlights

I attended the 2007 Texas Library Association Conference last week in San Antonio. Overall, I felt the conference was very good and addressed a wide variety of continuing education needs. I was only able to attend two programs. The first one was "If Libraries Are So Loved, Why Are We So Irrelevant." Kerry McGeath, Director of the Southlake Public Library and Michael Baldwin, Director of the Benbrook Public Library, spoke along with Dan Rooks, University of Houston and Caroline Kienzle, library consultant. Each panel member had some interesting things to say about the relevancy of libraries. Michael Baldwin took us on a trip to the future where libraries are nothing more than "Pop Culture" institutions. The rest of the panel spoke very strongly about addressing community needs and adjusting library services based on these needs. Kerry McGeath spoke about how it was to address the needs an affluent community.

The other program event was "Let's talk about Fundraising for Public Libraries." This program was labeled as a work session where the attendees contributed as much as the facilitators. Kathryn Sturtz, Coordinator of the Alamo Area Library System, facilitated the session. Some of the fundraising ideas shared are listed below.

  • Used Jewelry Sale
  • Food Events - Taste of ...
  • Book Sales
  • Raffles
  • Estate Honorariums (make sure to contact all the lawyers in your community to let them know about the library)
  • Salad Luncheon
  • Breakfast feasts
  • Calendars
  • Tour of Homes
  • Scholastic Book Fairs (Public Libraries can now take advantage)
  • Library Week Events
  • Christmas Angels
  • Letters to Businesses
  • Endowments
  • Galas/Silent Auctions
  • Chocolate Event
  • Stay at Home - Read a Book Ball (People pay to be allowed to stay at home versus going to a Gala Event)
  • Online Sales - Amazon
  • Water Bill Inserts
  • Craft Shows
  • Historical Photos
  • Book and Author presentation
  • Themed dinners
  • Community Theatre Nights
  • Parking
  • Golf
  • Naming Rights

All very good ideas. I do have to point out that NTRLS does expect to have a similar fundraising brainstorm at its Regional meetings in July/August so start thinking about those fundraising ideas.

I also attended meetings. I went to the Texas State and Library Archives Commission (TSLAC) meeting where they approved the publication of the new Loan Star Formulas and System Funding Formula. People will have 30 days to comment on the new formulas before they have a final vote on June 15th.

One interesting side note: It was revealed at the TSLAC meeting that the funds coming from the Institute of Museum and Library Services would be about $250,000 short of what was anticipated. TSLAC expected 10,915,000. They received 10,660,000. As many of your know, these federal monies fund Systems. At the June 15th TSLAC meeting, the commission will discuss what budget modifications should be made.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mark Your Calendar for the first CYC!!

What is CYC? It is the first ever Childen and Youth Conference for Librarians. This event is open to anyone but the focus is for public and school librarians that work with children and teens.

It is August 10, 2007 at the Lockheed Martin Recreation Area in Fort Worth. There will be multiple sessions throughout the day. Our keynote speaker is Lori L. Dixon. She will be speaking about brain research and how it relates to our children.

Plan to browse vendors, choose the sessions that interst you most - and the best part is it is absolutely free!

For more information or to register, click here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

LSAA Board Recommends a System Funding Formula

I attended the LSAA Board meeting yesterday to voice NTRLS support for their chosen System Funding Formula. If you remember, the board selected a formula that would allocate the System Grant according to the following formula: 34% number of member libraries, 33% population, and 33% base. For FY2008, NTRLS will receive $631,143. This amount matches the Plan of Service approved by the NTRLS Board of Directors. For FY2009, the LSAA Board decided that none of the Ten Systems should have a budget of less than $300,000. Because of this stipulation, NTRLS will receive about $11,000 to $12,000 less than we had anticipated for FY2009. Our total amount for FY2009 will be around $531,000.

None of this is final as of yet. TSLAC staff will make this recommendation available for public comment over the next few days. When it becomes available, I encourage everyone to make comments. You will have thirty days. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission will consider the LSAA Board recommendation at their June 15th meeting.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Dealing with Difficult People

Pat Wagner of Pattern Research, Inc. presented a workshop last week on dealing with difficult people. This was a great workshop with practical information. Be sure and check out her sessions at TLA in San Antonio.

One exercise she mentioned that would be eye-opening for any work environment, was to ask each staff member to write down policies and rules they feel are not being followed - either by co-workers or customers. Often when this is done, it is realized that many "rules and policies" are not actually official rules or policies. This exercise helps identify these ad hoc rules which will help in limiting library confusion. Try it at your next staff meeting!