Back In Circulation 2022 Conference Sessions

Conference sessions have been divided into three categories: management, collections, and service. Sessions will take place on October 3, 8:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. and Oct 4, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Conference sessions are also available here.

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Management Sessions

Management: Building a Culture of Appreciation and Inclusion at Work

Appreciation and inclusion go a long way toward producing highly innovative, collaborative and productive teams. The most effective teams and leaders know the value that comes from recognizing the successes of those with whom they work. In many ways, how well your team handles difference depends on the example and standards you set. The way forward begins with you and the degree to which you are open and active about working to foster healthy, diverse, and inclusive environments and teams. In this session, we will share strategies to communicate authentic appreciation and demonstrate inclusion in meaningful ways to coworkers. You’ll leave with strategies that will help you increase organizational productivity, job satisfaction, engagement, loyalty, and physical and mental health in your library.

Deborah Biddle, Consultant, The People Company

Management: Managing Chaos: What a Cyber-Attack, Leadership Change, and a Pandemic Taught Me About Interlibrary Loan

The 2019/2020 academic year for Regis University was challenging to say the least. A year that started with the opening of a promising new Student Success Center and reorganization of leadership was swiftly undermined by a cyber-attack that left the University without its electronic resources or digital systems, and brought on severe budget constraints. This created chaos throughout the campus. As if that was not enough for the small, liberal arts university to weather, the pandemic arrived. This forced Regis University into hyperdrive trying to convert to strictly online learning. Along the way, the Dayton Memorial library lost its Dean, the Access Services Supervisor, and a full-time Interlibrary Loan staff member. This is a cautionary tale about how a part-time interlibrary loan worker sifted through the chaos to recreate a functioning interlibrary loan department.

Ali Gomez, Access Services Librarian and Maggie Kidnay-Rouse, Interlibrary Loan Assistant, Regis University, Denver, CO

Management: A Manager’s Perspective: Cultivating a Successful Team Using Lean Principles

Join this session to learn more from a manager’s perspective about how lean principles can be used to cultivate a successful team. In 2016, our library worked to create a set of service standards focused on communication, appreciation, respect, and empowerment. Our Circulation team took an internal look at these standards and applied lean tools to create an environment for our team that engages everyone to problem-solve, supports creative thinking and new ideas, and fosters self-confidence and mutual respect. This session will include lots of examples and hands-on activities that will help you and your team successfully collaborate, build harmonious relationships, and create a positive and respectful work environment.

Laurie Stark, Manager of Circulation Services, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

Management: Finding Collaboration Opportunities in (and outside of) Your Library

Academic Access Services staff are frequently self-sufficient, finding ways to get the information they need while simultaneously covering all the tasks required for their library (and sometimes by their library). At times, though, reaching out to others both inside and outside an institution can provide an opportunity to reduce the department’s workload and grow their own supportive community of practice. Two presenters from George Mason University Libraries, one the Head of Access Services, the other the Head of Database Integrity and Analysis, will talk about this collaboration, how to build your community of practice, and some examples of projects that were made easier by, or accomplished only with, the assistance of someone outside their immediate department. You will get the opportunity to brainstorm in small groups to find viable solutions or collaborative opportunities for your own current pressure points or bottlenecks. You will also be encouraged to bring additional questions and concerns to the experts – the audience.

Melanie Bopp, Head of Access Services, and Kimberley Edwards, Head of Database Integrity and Analysis, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Management: Harnessing High Impact Practices and Assessment to Improve Work-Study in Libraries

In 2020, I presented on Phase I of my library’s efforts to redesign its usage of the Work-Study Program (FWS) to increase career readiness after graduation. This presentation is designed to explore Phase II, which has had three primary focus areas: 1. Increasing student retention, persistence, and completion; 2. Integrating High Impact Practices (HIPs); and 3. Creating a comprehensive assessment plan to foster continuous improvement. After conducting a research study that attempted to survey all students who worked in the library between 2015-2021, I discovered that our students had a much higher graduation rate (77.0%) than the campus’ 6-year graduation rate (35%). With these and other data in mind, I set to work developing strategies that would strengthen retention, persistence, and completion for our students, and this led to redesigning not only the training program but also the daily workflow of students to incorporate HIPs. Then, to ensure continuous improvement, a thorough assessment plan was developed, which meant developing program-level goals, student learning outcomes, and both direct and indirect measures of student learning. This presentation will highlight how each of these various components naturally align, the results thus far, and resources you can use when enhancing your own work-study program.

Christopher Proctor, Coordinator of Access Services, and Rachel Getz, Access Services Assistant, Service Desk Supervisor, and Interlibrary Loan Specialist, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN

Management: A New Chapter: Improving the Library Student Assistant Experience

SUNY Oswego’s student body is slowly becoming more diverse; 33.7% in 2016, up 64% from 5 years ago, yet the composition of faculty and staff remains fairly homogenous, with only 11% identifying as culturally diverse. Ongoing efforts to support students from various racial, socioeconomic, or other diverse backgrounds have been made through educational opportunities for employees to increase awareness and improve hiring and retention of student assistants, but changes were desperately needed to our hiring and evaluation procedures, which hadn’t been updated in many years. This presentation will describe changes to Penfield Library’s Student Employment Program, including: improved training and shared communication among library units, updated hiring practices to create opportunities for students with diverse and/or underprivileged backgrounds, and a revamped evaluation process to help better prepare students for future employment opportunities. You’ll learn how we utilize Handshake and Google Drive to collaborate and unify our efforts to ensure that every student assistant receives the same high quality experience working in the library, and leaves better prepared to face the challenges of their future workplaces or graduate programs. Finally, you’ll hear personal reflections on going through this process and thinking about future goals for improving the student work experience.

Erin Kovalsky, Access Services Librarian; Morgan Bond, Resource Sharing Librarian ; Zachary Vickery, College Archivist Librarian, and Deborah Bauder, Research, Instruction, & Outreach Librarian, SUNY Oswego

Management: Putting the Team in Teams: Using Microsoft Teams to Improve Communication and So Much More

Have you felt overwhelmed by the abundant ways to communicate with team members? Two academic libraries found Microsoft Teams to be the best tool to support their work, improve communication, and facilitate projects. Go beyond using Teams as a messaging tool and find out how Augusta University’s Reese Library overcame staffing shortages by using Teams to schedule shifts, track statistics, and improve overall efficiency. Staff at Thompson Rivers University utilized Teams’ capability to share and edit documents, assign work using task cards, archive all library documents, and facilitate team projects (all while managing a major move!). This session will include demonstrations of Teams and a chance to share your ideas.

Emma Kate Morgan, Access Services Librarian, Augusta University, Augusta, GA

Katherine Watmough,  Access Services and Resource Sharing Librarian and Laura Davies, Library Service Coordinator, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia

Management: What Do YOU Think?: Empowering Your Team To Think and To Act

Lots of management training resources say we need to “empower our staff.” But what does that really mean? How do you really do it? From hiring the right people for the right job, to teaching, coaching, supporting and correcting, Michelle will share experiences from her more than 40 years of leading people and building teams, to help you discover your own “power” in management.

Michelle Dennis, Head of Public Service, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI

Management: Staffing and Service Expectations for Late Night and Weekend Hours

Georgia State University Library, Atlanta is under renovation to expand not only the building footprint but also operating hours. The additional square footage expected to open in fall 2023 will provide late night study space and the ability to close off access to other areas of public space including the stacks. The 14 full-time, 1 part-time, and 12 student employees in the User Services & Technology Support department is responsible for providing service 7 days a week, 107 hours. This future change prompts discussion on staffing models for late night study and user expectations for service. How do we efficiently manage the extra space without adding more full-time staff or compromising service? This session will summarize staffing models from peer institutions, share evening and weekend library staff observations of usage, preview changes in circulation services, and discuss how headcount and entry data is informing decisions. Attendees are invited to share their own staffing models for late night hours during the discussion.

Kara Mullen, Department Head, User Services & Technology Support, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Collections Sessions

Collections: Loaning Experiences: a Community Pass Lending Program at an Academic Library

The McGoogan Health Sciences Library at the University of Nebraska Medical Center took on the challenge of growing the collection outside of traditional print and electronic resources. In an effort to promote wellness, equity, and cultural exploration among the student body, inspiration was taken from public library cousins to start a pass lending program to parks and cultural attractions in the Omaha metro area. This expansion had the benefit of fostering community connections for the health science students as well as encouraging pauses for mental and physical health. This presentation will explain the initial motivation, how the program was started, and why community passes are a beneficial addition to any academic library collection.

Kelly Gonzalez, Education and Resource Associate, McGoogan Health Sciences Library, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE

Collections: Getting in the Subscription Game: how we created a book subscription for kids that circulates over 1,000 books a month 

Learn how to create your own book subscription service for any age using library books and increase your circulation exponentially. Highlight books that normally get passed over, expose patrons to genres outside their comfort zones, create an easy way to handout librarian recommended books, and get a snack to go with it!

Katrina Wulff, Youth Services Manager, and Jodi Leslie, Youth Services Librarian, Neenah (WI) Public Library

Collections: Making Informed Stacks Decisions: Interdepartmental Project Planning with Google Sheets

In this session, you will learn how two leaders in the Texas Woman’s University Libraries Access Services department contributed to a major academic library stacks project, which required careful space planning and collaboration with various units. You will see how they turned challenges into opportunities while relocating and shifting items, measuring space in their library, and taking inventory of the library’s physical collections. The presenters will share how they utilized apps in Google Suite, specifically Google Sheets, in order to accurately map areas in order to measure and calculate shelf space, as well as delegate and supervise the tasks of Access Services and Collection Management staff and student employees. You will receive copies of the Google Sheets they created, complete with suggested formulas. The presenters will explain how to use the sheets and you are welcome to save and keep the copies for your own purposes. The presenters would also like to make time to hear from you – what are your experiences with large weeding and shifting projects? With this presentation this team aims to facilitate a useful discussion and encourage other professionals to react creatively and capitalize on the opportunity to strengthen interdepartmental communication when faced with challenging projects.

Chance Maggard, Access Services Manager and Ginger Bartush, Data Assessment & Organizational Management Librarian, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX

Collections: New Methods To Shelf Organize Your Graphic Novel Collection

Dewey and Library of Congress don’t have the best schemes for organizing a collection of graphic novels short of just lumping them all together. Because most mainstream comics are infinite fictions, continuously growing as new material is published but always building on what has gone before, helping patrons figure out where to start or where to go next in the graphic novel collection can be a challenge. Success of comic-based movies is certainly driving traffic to the graphic novel collections, so having an organizational system beyond the author can be a great help. I have developed a system that organizes graphic novels by intended read order for my personal collection, and have slowly been implementing it into my library’s collection. This is not so much a “do it this way” sort of conversation, but more showing that there are alternatives out there if your willing to try, and most of the pieces are modular, so you can use some of the ideas while bypassing others.

Andrew Frisbie, Collection Development Librarian, North Liberty (IA) Library

Collections: Consortium Cooperation: Ways to improve overall collection development through ordering collaboration

Our Library is part of two consortiums. Both consortiums have the same titles, while lesser known, niche, fringe, or first time authors, are harder to locate within these systems. This session aims to provide fresh ways to think about ordering for libraries who participate in consortiums and offer solutions for collaboration within the communities for better overall collection development and more diversity in title availability, ultimately increasing the impact consortium libraries have within their communities and throughout their consortiums.

Betty Adams, Library Director, West Fargo Public Library, West Fargo, ND

Collections: Physical Inventory: Using Excel to Produce Shelf Reports

Using Microsoft Excel, this session will go through the process of sorting Library of Congress (or DDS) call numbers to be put in their correct list order for a given collection/location. I will demonstrate how to set up a shared spreadsheet that lists the items in their correct order (with relevant details shown or hidden as deemed necessary by supervisory staff), allowing student employees to scan barcodes directly into the file, while a supervisor can monitor and fix any issues remotely. The Inventory Spreadsheet is set up in such a way that the cell to which barcodes are scanned into will turn red if it is out of order, and green if it is in order, ensuring shelf-reading accuracy as student employees work their way through a collection. Each day, the results are uploaded into Alma’s Shelf Report, which tells a supervisor what items need attention. Finally, we update the “inventory date” for every item we scanned without issue.

Brady Cramer, User Services Specialist, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI

Collections: Librarians and Pages Unite! The power of partnerships in collection management

Great results can be achieved when you bring people with different points of view together to tackle a problem. At Mead Public Library, we’ve partnered our subject selectors with library page liaisons to solve some of our ongoing collection management problems: staying on top of weeding, and keeping our collections orderly and inviting. Come hear how these partnerships have allowed selectors to focus on more patron-centered tasks, provided library pages with a feeling of ownership, and opened the door for additional collaborations.

Cheryl Nessman, Support Services Manager; Alison Loewen, Children’s Librarian; Carol Munroe, Adult Services Librarian; and Trish Federer, Library Page, Mead Public Library, Sheboygan, WI

Collections: Coping without Consortial Delivery: (Trying to) Meet Patron Needs during a Time of Transition

Unmediated consortial lending programs dramatically extend the reach of individual libraries, and for those with a courier service, it increases the speed with which materials can be obtained for patrons. This session will be grounded on the experiences of a library whose state-wide consortium transitioned from one delivery service to another to better meet patron demands in 2022. Using the situation experienced by a library in these systems, this session will discuss: initial concerns; planned response to the situation; changes to circulation patterns during the transition; reaction from library clientele; and the gradual transition back to normal service. At each step of the way, the presenter will solicit audience feedback. Although primarily targeted towards those who have experience in working with a consortial borrowing environment, this session will also address the benefits and challenges for individual libraries operating within this system.

Rob O’Brien Withers, Access Services Librarian. Miami University, Oxford, OH

Cooking the Books: killing bedbugs while preserving access

Bedbugs are nearly impossible to see during many of their life stages, which means that visual inspection of materials is fairly useless when trying to prevent their spread and suspending a patron’s borrowing privileges based on those inspections will only serve to disenfranchise members of your community.  At this session you’ll learn how applying  heat treatment to nearly all returned items will kill bedbugs, as well as their eggs & larvae, and will eliminate the need to suspend borrower privileges.

Cheryl Nessman, Support Services Manager. Mead Public Library, Sheboygan, WI

Service Sessions

Service: Place-Based Librarianship

What is “place-based education” and how can it help libraries serve their communities?  Laurie Lane-Zucke of The Orion Society describes place-based education “as the pedagogy of community…and the restoration of the essential links between a person and her place.”  It is an interdisciplinary approach to ecology, community, and local resources.  This session will discuss ways to integrate place-based practices into librarianship.

The presenters will:

  • Define “place-based education” and place-based practices
  • Consider libraries as “places”
  • Examine the role place-based librarianship can play in equity and justice work
  • Describe how they’ve taken “place” into account to build programs, collections, and services

Rachel Button, Children’s and Teen Librarian and Tricia Cray, Circulation Manager, Decorah (IA) Public Library

Service: Customer Service in Underserved Populations

This session will be a guided conversation about what an “underserved population” looks like and how to best deal with the recurring issues that are experienced at circulation desks. Participants will discuss how views of your environment affect how you interact with patrons, learn how to identify your own biases, examine your verbal and non-verbal language, and manage challenging behaviors. We will also cover how our library systems have changed during Covid: looking at how our interactions have changed during the pandemic and how to communicate and enforce ever-changing policies. Participants will gain a different perspective of their specific locations and new ways to work with the communities they serve.

Tamara Jones, Office Supervisor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

Service: Library Security: Improving Service and Safety

Working with the public can be a mixed blessing. Some days are fun and invigorating and some not so much. What do you do when things feel challenging? Is the situation in front of you one you can resolve with your customer service skills? How do you get help? Do you have a system in place to communicate with your team about behavior or security issues? What consequences are there for poor behavior? Based on their combined 40-plus years of library experience, Michelle and Jill will talk you through a variety of concerns and practices. Starting with the basic ‘penny in the cup’ concept, we will step through a four-part Incident Flow, suggest a consequence plan, and offer ideas about internal communication. You will leave with increased confidence in your ability to respond well in any situation.

Michelle Dennis, Head of Public Services, and Jill Osmond-Groell, Reference Librarian, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI

Service: Do Course Reserves Save our Students Money?: Feedback from a Student Survey 

Touro University California (TUC) Library has a policy to purchase all required textbooks, whenever possible, either in print, electronically, or both. The Library advertises course reserves to students, faculty, and administrators as a way to support student learning and save students money they would spend on purchasing required textbooks. For some subjects, purchasing all required texts could be hundreds or thousands of dollars per year; this is a huge financial burden. For this reason, the librarians view course reserves as an important service. Yet up until now, the Library has not investigated the impact course reserves have for our students. This presentation will report the findings of a student survey asking about their awareness and use of course reserves. Questions will include their preferred format (print or electronic), whether they would purchase if not available at the Library, and if course reserves saves them money. This survey will help the TUC Library understand how to best deliver course reserves. This session will also include small group discussions on equity measures and course reserves policies at your library. You will discuss and share ideas on how our libraries can reduce barriers and support our communities with course reserves.

Amy Castro, Access Services and Instruction Librarian, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA

Service: Raising the floor: explaining the library so users understand and succeed

In addition to library work, I teach group exercise in many formats (boot camp, rebel yoga, chair fitness…) to all kinds of populations. In order to make the class welcoming, interesting, and safe for everyone, I must present many options for every single activity I offer. I have constant opportunities to see very immediately what is or isn’t working about how I present the content and how the users engage with it in the bodies they have; therefore, I also have constant opportunities to improve right away.  This presentation is a reflection on the inclusion concepts that come from this, which have made me better at speaking, explaining, setting expectations, and understanding the variety of ways in which users might need help. You can expect to hear about and engage with examples of noticing when library users aren’t understanding the library, and of making adjustments to help them succeed.

Lara Nesselroad, Interim Assistant Director of Access Services, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Service: Going Fine Free, Not Consequence Free

The idea of going fine free developed into a movement with a passionate following, However, some key components that affect the Circulation department and overall patron service were overlooked. While it is important to ensure the availability of materials to everyone, it is also important to treat all patrons equally. At CIDL, the Director and Head of Circulation agreed that simply ordering more items when a patron hasn’t returned something that has hold requests from other patrons was not a true solution. Instead, a process needed to be designed and implemented to remind those patrons with in-demand overdue items that they will be held accountable. This presentation would take the audience through a brief history of the Fine Free movement as well as the processes that were discussed to augment the removal of late fines and the final results of the CIDL plan to not simply go fine free without consequences.

Christopher Nadeau, Head of Circulation, Clarkston (MI) Independence District Library