News

Board in the Library, Part Deux

By WJ | January 27th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

The scope of board games has exploded in the past 10 years. This can be a major hurdle for new gamers as well as for those stalwart librarians attempting to create a gaming environment in their library. In this article, John Pappas provides a list of board game types which will move from the classic, folk games of yesteryear and the mass-market games of your childhood into the wide diversity of modern board games. In each section, John describes the category, introduces traditional ways in which this category is incorporated into the library space, and provides a brief mini-review of a few games of merit.

This article describes and covers four types of games: classic games, party games, gateway games, and filler games.

News

Library CE Institute: Frequently Asked Questions

By WJ | January 24th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Based on many questions received, we have compiled the following FAQ for applicants. We will continue to add to this information as questions arise.

News

Designing and Delivering Online Training: Library CE Institute

By WJ | January 22nd, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Are you passionate about continuing education for libraries? Are you curious about new models and tools for online training development, and also eager to explore methods that reduce the cost and time involved in developing quality online learning experiences?

With the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and in partnership with Infopeople, WebJunction is offering a free, 4-month training program for seasoned trainers in public libraries who want to learn best practices for designing and delivering online learning that: takes less time and resources to produce than traditional self-paced training; makes use of existing and emerging best practices for effective learning; and focuses on teamwork, sharing, and mutual support.

 

If you are interested in joining us for this exciting program, read on to learn more and apply by February 14th.

 

News

Strengthening CE Content for Libraries

By WJ | January 21st, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and driven by WebJunction in partnership with Infopeople, the Strengthening Continuing Education Content for Libraries (SCEC) project stems from a resounding theme in the library field: if libraries are to effectively respond to the rapid changes in technology and society, then library staff must embrace continuous learning, and their institutions must support the learning that will drive organizational success. Library-focused CE providers are challenged to find effective and sustainable models for delivering training opportunities that meet ever-changing demands for new skills and knowledge.

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This project seeks to address current needs by updating library competencies with 21st century skills, identifying high priority topics for libraries, and piloting new, practical models for training content development and delivery. The Training Institute will build the skills and capacity of CE providers to rapidly and collaboratively design and deliver high-quality content on topics essential to the field.

News

Designing and Delivering Online Training: Library CE Institute

By WJ | January 21st, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Are you…

  • passionate about continuing education for libraries?
  • currently in a training or continuing education role at your library?
  • experienced with delivering training to library staff?
  • interested in exploring new models and tools for online training development?
  • eager to work collaboratively with your peers to build effective online continuing education content?
  • looking for methods to reduce the cost and time involved in developing a quality online learning experience?

News

Designing and Delivering Online Training: Library CE Institute

By WJ | January 21st, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and in partnership with Infopeople, WebJunction is offering a free, 4-month training program for seasoned trainers in public libraries who want to learn best practices for designing and delivering online learning that takes less time  and resources than traditional self-paced training; makes use of existing and emerging best practices for effective learning; focuses on teamwork, sharing, and mutual support.

This training will be delivered as a blend of live online workshops, self-paced tutorials, and an in-person session. There will be two online sessions in early April and a two-day in-person session May 6–7; at least two more online sessions will be hosted after the in-person meeting.

Participants will learn together and work in teams to create new learning objects on high priority topics for building library staff skills. The online learning objects that institute participants create together can be used within their own organizations, and will also be shared openly throughout the library field by WebJunction.org. Institute travel is fully funded by IMLS and WebJunction, along with provision of high-quality rapid-development software. All activities will be completed by August 2014.

News

Space is Flexible (and full of light)

By WJ | January 19th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Library space, that is. If there is one word that sums up the re-imagination of library space for community engagement in the digital age, it is flexible.

The tension between physical and virtual space surfaces everywhere as technology increasingly permeates our lives. As this tension plays out in libraries, contradictions arise. Libraries are at a juncture, bursting with potential for a powerful union of physical space with digital technologies. Ensuring flexibility in the physical space is instrumental to catalyzing the marriage.

The Flexible Spaces – Flexible Futures webinar offers suggestions on how to get started and explore the frontiers of library space reinvented.

News

Space is Flexible (and Full of Light)

By WJ | January 19th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Library space, that is. If there is one word that sums up the re-imagination of library space for community engagement in the digital age, it is flexible.

The tension between physical and virtual space surfaces everywhere as technology increasingly permeates our lives. As this tension plays out in libraries, contradictions arise. Libraries are at a juncture, bursting with potential for a powerful union of physical space with digital technologies. Ensuring flexibility in the physical space is instrumental to catalyzing the marriage.

The Flexible Spaces – Flexible Futures webinar offers suggestions on how to get started and explore the frontiers of library space reinvented.

News

New Resources for the New Year

By WJ | January 9th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

As we enter 2014, individuals continue to learn about new health insurance options available to them as part of the Affordable Care Act. Read on for resources to support libraries as they develop their own priorities for responding to patron inquiries in this area. Please feel free to share these resources with colleagues or community partners who may be interested!

 

News

Library Spaces that Keep Customers Coming Back

By WJ | January 8th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Our surroundings have a profound effect on us. Color, light, shapes ... small details can help us tune into our environment deeply, or make us shut down entirely. We know at an intuitive level that well-designed spaces not only make for better business, they inspire us to engage with our world and achieve our goals. As libraries look to address 21st century customer needs, rethinking indoor and outdoor spaces can create welcoming, fun, and comfortable environments that keep customers visiting time and again.

[Reader Poll: What is your library’s biggest space planning or design challenge? Take the poll.]

News

Library Spaces that Keep Customers Coming Back

By WJ | January 7th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Our surroundings have a profound effect on us. Color, light, shapes… seemingly small details can help us tune into our environment deeply, or make us shut down entirely. We know at an intuitive level that well-designed spaces not only make for better business, they inspire and encourage us to engage with our world and achieve our goals. As a recent article on learning spaces noted: “…environmental psychology literature details the extent to which physical settings, including the height of ceilings, the colour of walls, levels of natural light, views from windows and temperature can have a dramatic impact on everything from motivation to energy levels.” As libraries look to address 21st century customer needs, rethinking and reshaping indoor and outdoor spaces can create welcoming, fun, and comfortable environments that will keep customers visiting time and again.  

News

Library Spaces that Keep Customers Coming Back

By WJ | January 7th, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Our surroundings have a profound effect on us. Color, light, shapes… seemingly small details can help us tune into our environment deeply, or make us shut down entirely. We know at an intuitive level that well-designed spaces not only make for better business, they inspire and encourage us to engage with our world and achieve our goals. As a recent article on learning spaces noted: “…environmental psychology literature details the extent to which physical settings, including the height of ceilings, the colour of walls, levels of natural light, views from windows and temperature can have a dramatic impact on everything from motivation to energy levels.” As libraries look to address 21st century customer needs, rethinking and reshaping indoor and outdoor spaces can create welcoming, fun, and comfortable environments that keep customers visiting time and again.  

News

Health Literacy Happens at Miami Public Library

By WJ | January 2nd, 2014 | Permalink | Comments Off

Miami Public Library (MPL) serves over 13,000 residents in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, and works to enhance the quality of life in the community by promoting the joy of reading, providing lifelong learning, and facilitating digital inclusion. Providing relevant content and services, including health information, is a part of this mission. Through data-driven program development and strategic partnerships, MPL has established strong health information services to support the health literacy skills of staff and patrons alike.

Marcia Johnson, Director of Miami Public Library (MPL), knew from direct patron engagement that there was a community need for reliable access to health information, and sought additional data to further her own understanding of those needs. She accessed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings and Roadmaps site, to learn about where her county stands in comparison to other counties and the state of Oklahoma as a whole on key community health factors. Some of these factors include health behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity), clinical care considerations (percent of community uninsured), social and economic factors (education, violent crime), and physical environment factors (water safety, access to healthy foods, etc.)  MPL has utilized this data, as well as support from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, in the establishment of their health literacy services. Oklahoma Department of Libraries has included health literacy as a focus in their literacy resource office, and MPL’s efforts are some of many health literacy services being provided at libraries throughout the state.

News

Board in the Library, Part One

By WJ | December 30th, 2013 | Permalink | Comments Off

In a world of apps, massively multiplayer online role playing games/MMORPGs, game consoles, and connected mobile devices, the physicality and social aspect of gaming begins to wane. All this despite much online gaming being touted as, well, social. Players become more detached from play and removed from the physical medium as well as from others. Board games are a way out of this by providing a physical, manipulable medium for patrons to interact, grow and explore in a physical space (hopefully within a library). In an attempt to connect with patrons who desire diverse gaming experiences - game experiences which engage their imagination, spur critical thought, and exist in a physical rather than digital realm - the Primos Branch of the Upper Darby Free Public Library piloted three separate gaming groups in the Summer of 2013 - A weekly, intergenerational "Tabletop Gaming at the Library" program, a monthly "Game Designer’s Guild," and a monthly "Golden Gamers" which focused on gamers 65+.

While the idea of video game events in the library has become popular to the point of being innocuous and intergenerational with the advent of the Wii and mobile gaming; the growth of designer board games is not as well known or appreciated by the library world. The designation of these games as "designer," "hobbyist," "modern" or "niche" may be daunting and deter libraries from incorporating these board games into existing gaming programs. Incidentally, the designation of "designer" in designer board games is due to nothing more than the tendency to place the name of the designer directly on the front of the game’s box. Similar to the author of a book, director of a motion picture, or graphic artist, a game designer can go through phases, create duds, be considered a one hit wonder or be prolific and well-known outside their preferred format. So why designer board games? Because, in my experience, designer board games promote creativity, invoke multi-generational interaction, increase social engagement, and have the potential to be thought-provoking, challenging and, of course, fun. But even more than that, designer board games build a culture of positive interaction between sometimes disparate ages and social groups.

News

Delivering Extreme Customer Service from the Inside Out

By WJ | December 18th, 2013 | Permalink | Comments Off

Fostering a culture of extreme customer service is one of the most important long-term investments a library can make, and costs almost nothing. The returns, meanwhile, are valuable beyond measure. Gretchen Caserotti, the Library Director from Meridian Library District in Idaho, provided fantastic guidance for library staff looking to enhance the customer service orientation of their libraries in a recent WebJunction webinar on Extreme Customer Service, Every Time. Sharing insights from her own work in library service, as well as knowledge gleaned from best practices in the private sector, Gretchen’s presentation emphasized that library staff hold the key to turning excellent customer service from more than a talking point, and into a reality of library practice.

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