What hours should the library be open?

The San Francisco Public Library is primarily funded through a voter-initiated proposition called the Library Preservation Fund, which requires a comprehensive assessment of library location open hours every five years. How does SFPL assess the best hours to for each of their locations to be open? By using data! Read more about their Open Hours Assessment in a Case Study created as part of the California Data Informed Public Library initiative.


opensignEarlier this summer, Lawrence (KS) Public Library contributed to a case study describing their community needs assessment: Assessing the Hopes and Needs of the Community We Serve.

Has your library used data to make plans, decisions, and changes? We’re seeking additional Case Studies to share! Contact brenda (at) infopeople.org if interested in sharing your library’s data story.


Gaining Data Skills

Are you looking to further your learning about data and evaluation? There are lots of online learning opportunities that can help! Next week, join us for free one-hour webinar, Demonstrating Library Impact with Data. Presenter Amanda Standerfer will help you learn to develop and implement an outcomes-based evaluation framework that is easy to manage and that makes sense for your library. You’ll get the tools to design a logic model to guide your data collection and set targets to show your success and inform learning. This webinar is part of the Data Informed Public Libraries (DIPL) initiative that is being sponsored by the California State Library and implemented by Infopeople. The project is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

demo lib impact data webinar

Interested in even more data learning? Our friends at RIPL recently shared several archived webinars to check out:

From Infopeople:

From PLA Project Outcome:

From TechSoup:

From WebJunction:

Resilience, Mindfulness, and Laughter, too


Check out these upcoming learning opportunities!

  • Reducing Workplace Stress with Mindfulness
    A one-hour webinar, May 24th at Pacific – 12 Noon, Mountain – 1 PM, Central – 2 PM, Eastern – 3 PM
    Presenter: Katie Scherrer
    Do you sometimes feel distracted at work? Do you feel pulled in too many directions simultaneously? Do you feel stress from your work life creeping into your personal time? Mindfulness is a simple practice that can help all of us reduce stress by connecting to the present moment. It requires no special equipment or prior experience and can be practiced anywhere at any time. This webinar will introduce participants to the practice of mindfulness by presenting basic science about the practice and its benefits, connecting the experience of mindfulness to library work, and by guiding participants through several beginning practices in real time.
  • Workplace Burnout: Bouncing Back with Resilience 
    An online course, starts June 5th and ends July 2nd
    Instructor: Debra Westwood
    Staff who work in public service positions, like libraries, face mental and emotional challenges in their daily work. Budget struggles, trying to make a difference in high need communities, changes in the library’s role, concerns at home, local and national politics – it adds up! When that kind of pressure is coming at you from all directions, it can contribute to a gradual grinding down, loss of joy, a fading enthusiasm that we call burn-out. In this 4-week course, look at the physiology & psychology of burnout, as well as how it manifests itself physically, emotionally and behaviorally. Know the difference between stress and burnout. Learn restorative practices to help restore resiliency and job satisfaction.
  • “I could really use a good laugh!” How to Give a Laughter-as-Therapy Program in Your Library
    A one-hour webinar, June 14th at Pacific – 12 Noon, Mountain – 1 PM, Central – 2 PM, Eastern – 3 PM
    Presenter: William Mongelli
    Stress – good AND bad – is a fact of human existence. As it turns out, laughter IS one of the best medicines! The physiological and psychological benefits of laughter and humor continue to be documented in the scientific study of laughter (gelatology). Even the simple act of smiling has been shown to improve mood and nurture a positive mental outlook. This webinar will give you the skill-sets necessary to teach both your library users and library staff a fun & effective way of managing the stresses of their day. Laughter-as-therapy in the library environment can be offered to library users of all ages.

Staff Learning in Libraries: Conversations at ALA Annual 2016

The ALA Annual Conference in Orlando was a great opportunity to learn and connect. While there, I had the chance to be part of two special activities for Infopeople. Both provided opportunities to engage with others who are interested in continuing education and professional development in libraries.

The Training Showcase

lisa brenda training showcase
(I’m the short one.)

Lisa Barnhart and I hosted an Infopeople table at the Learning Round Table’s Training Showcase. It was a small but mighty group, including individuals and organizations focused on training and professional development in libraries. At our table we shared the Infopeople planned training calendar.and talked to people about the deposit accounts that are now available.

Each table host at the Training Showcase was asked to share a training tip with attendees. Here’s our tip: “Create opportunities for staff to share new skills and knowledge gained at conferences and training workshops. By using meaningful methods to share what has been learned, we facilitate deeper learning and knowledge transfer in the individual, while increasing the knowledge base across the organization.”  We shared a Training Tips handout with  more ideas, too. It was a perfect opportunity to talk to people about upcoming training we’ll be doing, focused on Building an Effective Learning Culture.

Conversation Starter

crystal brenda stephanie conversation
(I’m the tall one.)

Crystal Schimpf, Stephanie Gerding and I facilitated a Conversation Starter focused on building an effective learning culture, too. It was a highly interactive session focused on three questions:

  1. What does a supportive learning environment look like?
    We took on different roles and looked at this question from various perspectives including director and front line staff.. and also introvert versus extrovert.
  2. How does meaningful professional learning happen?
    Participants in the session wrote down a professional learning challenge on an index card and then we passed the cards along, each adding suggestions for tackling the challenge.
  3. What is the role of leadership in staff learning?
    Participants were asked to pair up and to have one person focus on the things you do as a leader to support a learning culture. The other person in the pair focused on what you want from a leader (related to a culture of learning in an organization).

Youth ages 0-14: Developmentally Appropriate Programming

dapA child’s brain begins developing in the
uterus and it will develop continually into adulthood. How can library programming support development? Developmentally Appropriate Programming (DAP) is designed to bolster children’s development and learning success.

All children are unique in their needs, abilities, and interests. When you take children’s developmental milestones into account when structuring your programs, you can create programs that support the well-being and development of children in the community. DAP provides a framework for combining youth services library staff members’ knowledge of the communities they serve with brain development research to provide the most supportive, successful library programs possible.

Want to learn more?

  • Useful resources for learning about developmental milestones include the Bright Futures Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Milestone Moments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Amy and Amy
  • Want to learn more about developmentally appropriate library programming? The upcoming Infopeople course Developmentally Appropriate Programming for Youth will teach participants to use a rubric that includes the program spaces, formats, content, and staffing models that equip libraries to offer high-impact programs designed precisely for the developmental levels of their intended audiences. Registration for the course is open now.