University of Wisconsin–Madison

Back in Circulation Again Conference

The next Back in Circulation conference will be held Oct 19-20, 2020.

The CFP will circulate and be posted here in Fall 2019.

Please see below for 2018 conference information.

The conference has filled. We are no longer accepting people for the waitlist.

October 15-16, 2018

The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI 53706

Conference Fee: $325
(includes lunch on October 15 and daily refreshments)

Conference is FULL

Conference Schedule

Back in Circulation Program 2018

Monday, October 15

8:00 Registration with refreshments

8:45 Opening Remarks

9:00-10:00 Keynote Presentation

Whole Person Librarianship: Structured Empathy on the Front Lines

Library staff on the front lines of public service provide much more than materials and information. They’re often called on to manage challenging behavior, are the first responders to patrons in crisis, and serve as impromptu counselors when patrons need to talk. The soft skills needed to navigate these interactions are often learned on the fly, but as the demand for them becomes greater, libraries have been partnering with social workers for help. Social workers and library staff members have distinct roles in the library and in the community, but there are things we can each learn from the other to better serve our patrons. Whole Person Librarianship applies concepts from social work, such as cultural humility and reflective practice, to give library staff new tools for patron interaction and for self-care. Participants will gain ideas for their daily work and will leave this session with new lenses for viewing what they learn at the rest of the conference.

Sara Zettervall is the founding consultant and trainer at Whole Person Librarianship. She instructs library staff across the nation on applying social work concepts to improve library service. Sara is also currently employed by Hennepin County Library as a community engagement librarian working with Somali immigrants in Minneapolis, MN. She was a 2014 American Library Association Emerging Leader and winner of the 2017 Bogle Pratt Award for travel to present on Whole Person Librarianship in Zagreb, Croatia. She has published on outreach services in VOYA, American Libraries, and Library Youth Outreach and is currently co-authoring a book on library-social work collaboration with Dr. Mary Nienow. Her past experience includes leading innovative projects in public, academic, and school libraries and archives. She holds an MLIS from St. Catherine University (St. Paul, MN) and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.

Session One

10:15 – 11:15


Circulation in a Large Consortium: A State-wide Library Card in Georgia

Dawn Dale is the PINES Services Specialist for the Georgia Public Library Service.


Changing Spaces and Places: How We Improved the User Experience in Our Library

Elizabeth O’Brien is the Head of Strategic Initiatives; Lola Rudin is the Coordinator of User Services and the Anthropology and Sociology Librarian and Adriana Sgro is the Access Services Team Lead, all at the University of Toronto Scarborough Library.


Inventories in the Library

Edwin J. Schacherer is the Tier and Materials Handling supervisor of the Circulation department in the Central Library located in downtown Milwaukee, WI.

Session Two



Using Retail Customer Service Tools to Improve the Patron Experience at a Public Library Circulation Desk

Sue Gerth is the Customer Experience and Access Services Coordinator at the Marion (IA) Public Library


Course Reserves at Bowling Green State University

Gretchen Avery is in charge of the course reserve program in the Jerome Library, Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH.


Diversity in Hiring

Tasha Saecker is the Assistant Director at the Appleton (WI) Public Library.


12:30-2:00 Lunch at the Pyle Center, 1st Floor

Session Three



Supporting a Temporary Workforce with Diverse Needs and Aspirations

Madde Hoberg is the Library Annex Assistant at the off-site storage facility for the University of Iowa Libraries.


It’s not Personal, it’s Personnel:  Managing to Understand the Difference During workplace Differences

​Brian T. Gallagher is an Associate Professor and Head of Access Services at the University of Rhode Island’s Robert L. Carothers Library and Karen McAninch is a Business Agent at United Service and Allied Workers of Rhode Island (Karen contributed to the presentation, but cannot attend the conference).


Work Smarter, Not Harder

Danotra Brown and Barbara Opal, Champaign (IL) Public Library

Session Four


 “C” the Customer: How to be Calm, Courteous, and Consistent on the Customer Service Front

Shelia Gaines is Head of Circulation for University Libraries, University of Memphis


Keeping Your Staff Safe: Active Shooter Training in Your Library

Michelle Dennis is Head of Circulation and Jill Osmond-Groell is a Reference Librarian at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, WI.

Session Five


Academic Lightning Round: 15 minute mini-presentations on issues in academic libraries

Training Students in Safety

Amy Castro is Assistant Professor and Access Services & Instruction Librarian at Touro University California.

Using Teamup for Scheduling

Sarah Hughes is an Access Services Librarian at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.


Mindfulness in the Library: Bring the “Shhhhhh!” to Your Mind and Patrons Will Follow

Lisa Leuck is the Director at Elgin (IA) Public Library.  


Saint Paul Public Library + Saint Paul Public Schools: Library Cards for All

Cindy LaCount is the Circulation Coordinator and Sarah Bozeman is a Library Customer Service Assistant II for the Saint Paul (MN) Public Library.

Tuesday, October 16

Session Six


Re-visioning Staffing Models: Creating a One Desk Staffing Model in an Academic Unionized Setting

Katherine Watmough is a Librarian at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada.


Technology Campaign: Training Front Line Staff to Use, Promote and Troubleshoot Online Services and In-house Technologies

Jill Fisher is the Head of Circulation at the Grimes (IA) Public Library.


Using LibCal at the University of Minnesota Libraries

Kirsten Clark is the Director for Access and Information Services and Emily Reimer is the Manager for Access and Information Services at the Bio-Medical Library, both at the University of Minnesota Libraries.


Session Seven


You Already Know How To Do That: Best Practices in Customer Service

Michelle Dennis is Head of Circulation at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, WI.


Beyond the “Orientation Checklist:” Documented Training for Improved Results

Carina Mulcrone is the Circulation Services Manager at the Bettendorf (IA) Public Library


Public Library Lightning Round: 15 minute mini-presentations on issues in public libraries

Borrow By Mail Pilot Program 

Gary Christopherson is the Access Services Administrator for the Algonquin (IL) Public Library.

Instagram 101

Ruairi McEnroe is celebrating his 10th year in the Access Services Department at the  Champaign (IL) Public Library. 

What is CollectionHQ?

Montoya Barker is a Public Services Librarian at the Indianapolis Public Library.


11:30-1:00 Lunch on your own

Session Eight


From SirsiDynix to Alma at Ball State University

Laura MacLeod Mulligan is the Head of Access Services and Lisa Jarrell is the Head of Educational Technology and Resources Collection, both at Ball State University Libraries.


Enhancing the Patron Experience

Cody Flood is the Access Services Manager at Hancock County Public Library in Greenfield, IN.

Session Nine


Improve Staff Morale, Productivity, and Teamwork

Janine Slayton is the Head of Circulation Services and Samantha Chiappone is the Assistant Head for Operations Coordination of the Fiction/AV/Teen Department at the Mount Prospect (IL) Public Library.


The Circulation Manager’s Tool Kit:  5 Free, Easy Projects You Can Use to Increase Front-line Employee Confidence and Engagement

Tom McMahon is an Evening/Weekend Supervisor for Northwestern University Library’s Main Circulation Desk in Evanston, IL.

Session Ten


Recruiting the Best Candidate for the Job

Tracy Briseño is the Customer Account Services Manager at the Ames (IA) Public Library. 


Change is Constant, but Chaos Doesn’t Have To Be

Lara Nesselroad is the Manager for the University of Oregon Science Libraries in Eugene, OR.


Pickleballs & Paddles: A Popular Checkout Service at MPHPL

Melissa Renner is the Adult Services Coordinator and Harris Branch Administrator at the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library in northern Indiana.