OLA 2018

Wednesday January 31

“I Wish It Were Okay to Say No: Resilience, Precarity, and the Culture of Yes in the Academic Library” (Gillian)

• Key terms for the session: Resilience, Precarity, burnout, vocational awe
Resilience: “Process of adapting to, recovering from, and dealing with adversity, trauma, or stress”
Precarity: Employment that is non-standard, insecure, or unprotected (contract positions, on-call positions, positions without benefits)
Burnout: Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, reduced personal accomplishment
Vocational awe: A set of ideas that libraries and librarians have about themselves; vocational awe perpetuates the idea that libraries are beyond critique
• Common themes in the literature: Many library workers experience burnout and a lack of resilience as a result of precarious employment and vocational awe—the feeling that they cannot critique the institution they work for.
• Presenters asked attendees to speak to one another about how resilience, Precarity, burnout, and emotional awe play a role in their work.
• Presenters asked attendees to come up with solutions to how they would combat burnout on an individual level.
My issues with the session: Asking employees who experience burnout to develop individual solutions does not get at the key root of the issue. Employees experience burnout and precarity because of structural problems that can only be fixed at the institutional level. Individuals should certainly develop strategies to protect themselves from burnout in workplaces, but people who have power within libraries, such as those on hiring committees or in executive positions, need to engage in solution development around these topics too. One key way that libraries can reduce precarity amongst their staff is to hire individuals in full-time, permanent positions with benefits.

Preparing for the Journey: Walking the Path towards Truth and Reconciliation (Gillian)

• This was a session with librarians, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, from TPL, York, and U of T who are working on responding to the TRC’s Calls to Action.
• In what follows, I list some of the recommendations and initiatives that were discussed during the session.
Education: See TRC Call to Action #57. Education around truth and reconciliation is crucial for settlers. We as settlers must learn what our responsibilities are as guests in Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee cultures. When learning, we must be self-motivated; we cannot place the burden of educating ourselves upon Indigenous communities we are in contact with.
Relationships: Libraries must engage in meaningful relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities. When libraries learn from or partner with Indigenous communities and with elders, libraries must compensate elders and partners financially. Also, relationship building takes time. Partnerships with Indigenous communities do not always result immediately in “deliverables” and may not conform to the library’s timelines. This is totally okay! Additionally, as part of relationship building, librarians must have frank discussions with Indigenous communities about how colonialism has benefitted libraries. Libraries must examine how their institutions are inaccessible to Indigenous patrons. Libraries must then commit to change as a result of these discussions and examinations.
Hiring: Libraries should hire Indigenous folks at every level of their organization!
Libraries and Settler Colonialism: Libraries are still complicit in upholding settler colonialism. Settler colonialism is a unique form of colonialism that attempts to replace Indigenous populations, cultures, and knowledge systems with an invasive and dominant settler population and culture. We see this erasure at work in many ways in libraries. For example, classification and indexing systems replace meaningful, local Indigenous knowledge systems and terminologies with racist, depersonalized, and deeply limited classes and subject headings (see LOC’s racist subject headings in particular).
TPL’s Indigenous Initiatives: TPL formed a partnership with the Toronto Native Canadian Centre to open the Spadina Road Branch, which contains many materials by and for Indigenous peoples, as well as an Indigenous languages audio and book collection. In April 2017, TPL also developed its Strategies for Indigenous Initiatives Report and hired a librarian to focus on Indigenous community connections and partnerships. Staff at TPL have begun to receive Indigenous cultural competency training. They have also taken a tour of the ROM’s recent Anishinaabe art exhibit and registered for the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada MOOC. Finally, TPL began a “Resist 150” campaign around the time of Canada 150, as Canada 150 is a celebration of Indigenous genocide. As part of this campaign, TPL provided copies of “Unsettling Canada” to patrons for free e-book download. TPL also now hosts Ojibwe language programming for children, which was an initiative developed by an Indigenous library patron.

Safe Space: Supporting LGBTQ+ Students (Gillian)

• LGBTQ+ students: who are they?
• Language for the queer community is always changing; Google is your friend!
• Remember that gender is a person’s internal sense of self; a person’s gender is not determined by their genitalia. Don’t make assumptions about a person’s gender or pronouns based on their appearance. Use gender neutral pronouns (they/them) if you don’t know a person’s pronouns. Listen carefully and use the language that people use to describe themselves.
• A good resources on trans issues in particular is the following short video, which was produced by Australia’s Minus18: https://www.trans101.org.au/
• A good resource on tips for being an ally to LGBTQ+ folks is the following short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dg86g-QlM0
• Some challenges queer and trans kids experience include: Parental, peer, and community rejection; bullying, verbal or physical harassment; homophobia and transphobia; heterosexist and cissexist assumptions; higher rates of suicide, drug use, and homelessness.
• The Trans Pulse Project reported on some additional barriers that trans people face: 2/3 of trans Ontarians reported avoided a public space at some point because of a fear of harassment; 57% have avoided using a public washroom at some point in time;
• Trans youth may face pathologization, treatment that attempts to erase their identity, and bullying.
• 23% of trans students have heard their teachers make transphobic comments; 74% report verbal harassment; 37% report physical harassment.
• How can libraries support LGBTQ+ kids?
Books and Displays: Libraries should FILL the library with good books for different age levels and needs. Books should represent and be authored by diverse LGBTQ+ characters, as many kids aren’t exposed to this at home. Books can reduce a sense of isolation amongst youth; books can also educate and affirm! Such books should be spread throughout the collection and could be pulled out and highlighted in displays too. For example, the library might consider doing a Pride display in June.
• The hashtag #ownvoices identifies queer books in which the author shares the identity of the character they are writing about. This is a great place to look for new acquisitions!
Safe Space Logo: The library can also become a safer space visually. Work on displays of queer books! Also, libraries can develop or utilize a safe space logo such as a rainbow. This could be displayed prominently in doorways and other spaces.
Pronouns: Another key way the library can become a safer space is for staff to be careful around pronouns. Use gender neutral pronouns (they/them) if you are not sure of a person’s pronouns. Be respectful and use a person’s pronouns if they tell you what their pronouns are.
Hiring: Hire queer and trans folks at every level of your organization!
Support local GSAs: Gay Straight Alliances are youth-led organizations in schools. Interestingly enough, schools that have active GSAs report lower levels of suicide for ALL students. If you do engage with GSAs, remember to be respectful of students’ confidentiality. Coming out is not always a safe option for kids. Parents do not need to know that their children are in GSAs.
Create a Gender Neutral Washroom: Create such washrooms (often single stall washrooms) in all branches and make sure staff know where these washrooms are. Create signage campaigns for Men's and Women's washrooms that encourage patrons to be respectful of ALL people in these washrooms. Harassment within washrooms will not be tolerated within the library.
Take risks! Remember, lots of research and policy exists to support your work with LGBTQ+ kids.

It’s Alive: Breathing Life into Local History (Andi)
-Sharon Wigney and Kevin Maranglia from the Sault St. Marie PL
SSMPL had good sized local history and archival collections but not many people knew about them. They wanted to improve usage of these materials. Following are some of the projects they took on to do so.

Column in Local Paper
-SSMPL was approached by a local online publication to write a weekly historical column. They have continued with this for 3 years.
-they generally highlight photos in the archival collection, but will write about other topics as well.
-they admit it can be stressful to meet submission deadlines sometimes, but Reference department staff help write some columns, which turns into a training opportunity to become more familiar with archival/LH holdings.
-each article gets about 14,000 views now that the column is more established.
-they are considering compiling the articles and publishing them into a book that would be sold as a fundraiser for the library.

Oral History Project
-a partnership project with the Oral History Committee of Sault St. Marie.
-originally it was a focus on immigrant stories, but expanded to include others in the community.
-individuals from the community are interviewed by library staff who film the interview and post it to a YouTube channel.
-interviewees have the option to place restrictions on their video (such as for it to only be released after they are deceased).
-the videos aren’t edited or censored in any way.
-YouTube channel has about 5700 views, and there are DVD copies of each video stored in the archives.
-videos are catalogued with a link to the YouTube page.

Then & Now Calendar
-used to promote the historical image collection. Old images show places in SSM, and the archivist takes updated photos of those areas to contrast.
-calendars were sold for $10, and they sold about 350 of them

Colouring Books
-used to promote the historical image collection while jumping on the popularity of adult colouring books.
-fairly labour-intensive project: reference staffer traced and inked historical images using a light table.
-books created for about $4 per book, and books were originally sold for $15 (prices were reduced several times). Sold about 500 books.

Heritage Walking Tours
-a partnership done with the SSM Downtown Association and Heritage Committee. Initially done to help promote the colouring books.
-the SSMPL did the research and created anecdotes while the Downtown Committee actually offered the walking tour to cruise ship passengers who stopped in the SSM harbour. A stop on the tour was the library, for bathroom breaks and to buy the colouring book.
-poor weather caused the cancellation of many tours: 95 people toured in 14 tours.

DIY Digitization of Community Newspapers (Andi)
Art Rhyno, University of Windsor/Our Digital World
-the University of Windsor had a lot of microfilm that they wanted scanned, but found that scanning services offered by companies were both expensive and the quality wasn’t always great.
-Art’s idea was to try rigging up a DIY microfilm scanner using a DSLR camera and a macro lens. His goal was to be able to do this for $1000 (ended up being $2000)
-to create his microfilm scanner he bought a DSLR camera, macro lens, a chicken rotisserie motor (to auto turn the microfilm reel), a USB power supply to plug the motor into, a construction light (to shine underneath the microfilm reel).
-used open source software to stitch the images together (Autostitch), and OCR’d the scans with ABBYY Finereader.

Empathy Burnout: Finding Work-Life Balance in Public Services Role (Andi)
-CEO of Dryden PL
-presenter defined important terms such as emotional labour, burnout, compassion fatigue, emotional contagion and empathetic concern. These are all things that library works experience to greater or lesser degrees.
-Some stressors in library include: workload (too much to do with too few staff), budget constraints/cuts, lack of control (as it pertains to funding and the type of patrons who visit), lack of recognition for work done, the image visitors have that library work is easy.
-Some stressors are caused by the changing nature of libraries: increased use of technology and digital collections, increase in number of vulnerable patrons, pressure to connect more with the community both in person and online, pressure to increase programming, expectations of 24/7 delivery.
-presenter asks: Are we keeping up as a “workplace” as much as we are as a “library”? Often, the answer is no.
-the perception that librarians are “always resilient” and able to do “more with less” does not always serve the librarians: the expectation is that this resiliency and resourcefulness is a necessary trait for all employees.
-although it’s very good to be passionate about your work, it’s OK if librarianship is not your identity: it’s OK for it to just be a job.
-Where is empathy burnout lurking: if you’re a member of the community you work in, it’s hard to detatch; lack of trauma/mental health training; staffing/budget cuts; changing role of the library; out-of-date health and safety training
-burnout affects the library because it can lead to absenteeism/presenteeism; a high turnover rate; lower productivity; increased workplace conflicts
-identifiers of burnout: fatigue, forgetfulness, anxiety/depression, anger/irritability, detachment, pessimism, inability to be around others, cynicism/apathy
-organizational solutions to burnout: policies that support staff, health and safety program, EAP, training in mental health first and de-escalation
-individual solutions to burnout: cultivate the culture you want to grow, establish a mentorship with someone, do things that fill you with joy (and stop doing the things that don’t fill you with joy), learn how and when to say “no”, get a support team, find out what self-care is to you.

Creating and Marketing: Library Programs for Millennials (AP)
Eli McAlpine, Orillia PL, Sarah Babineau, Bracebridge PL, Lindsey Toutant, Orillia PL, Darrin Davis, Orillia PL
Slides Online: http://www.olasuperconference.ca/event/creating-and-marketing-library-programs-for-millennials/

Orillia Public Library

  • 65,000 population
  • Arts, music scene, geeky core
  • Retirement community
  • Post Secondary Schools in the community
  • Programs can help to decrease the feeling of isolation, which millennials often feel after they are out of school
  • Books on tap (after hours book club at a pub)
  • Community, social interaction, place where they belong
  • Licensed open mic (after hours)
  • 1980-2000ish

-Less institutionalized
-Educated – many with post secondary education
-Financially strained
-Strong sense of self
-Digitally literate
-Tech enriched life, not tech focused life
1.Keep it fun
2.Keep it easy
3.Make it social
4.Know your millennial
5.Meet them where they are

What Works:

  • Saturday programming
  • 6:00 p.m. or later during the week
  • When the library is closed
  • Friday nights

Book Clubs: Books on Tap
What They Did:

  • Single book club
  • Met after hours
  • Met off site
  • Variety of books

What They Learned:

  • People come for community
  • Variety is key
  • People don't want to pick a title
  • Patios only sound like a good idea (too noisy)
  • You cannot predict attendance

Nerf Battle for Adults
What They Did:

  • After hours Nerf capture the flag (incorporate a "fandom" theme such as Star Trek vs. Star Wars
  • Encourage costumes

What They Learned:

  • Nostalgia
  • #geeklife
  • Play is not just for kids

Podcast Club *did not do well*
What They Did:

  • Initiated when S-Town was at its peak
  • Following the success of Books on Tap

What They Learned:

  • People didn't feel confident accessing podcasts
  • Market saturation

Tabletop Games Night
What They Did:

  • Partnered with local game shop
  • Monthly
  • Games provided by game shop (library advertised game shop and game shop advertised the tabletop program)
  • 18+

What They Learned:

  • Drew from pool of people interested in game shop
  • Facebook events for marketing tool
  • Geeks abound, that like hanging out together

Songwriters Circle *did not do well*
What They Did:

  • Monthly
  • Group lesson
  • Open to all skill/experience levels
  • Regular hours
  • Met by fireplace

What They Learned:

  • People were worried that they were bothering other patrons
  • Large variance in skill levels which made it hard to prepare lessons
  • A lot of people wanted "liquid courage" to perform

Open Mic Night
What They Did:

  • After hours
  • Beer (can partner with local breweries)

What They Learned:

  • Tapped into an existing community with partner advertising
  • Worked in the library

Paint Night
What They Did:

  • Partnered with local artists
  • All supplies provided
  • Offered hot chocolate and snacks

What They Learned:

  • Craving to create
  • Fun for all skill levels
  • Easy, fun. Social, trendy, cheap
  • All ages works too

How-To Festival (some of the workshops were: kickboxing, how to hem your pants in 10 minutes, taking better photos with your smartphone)
What They Did:

  • One day (44 different workshops)
  • All ages

What They Learned:

  • Saturdays work
  • All ages work and millennials could participate with their kids

Taking Better Photos with Your Smartphone (worked for how to so they tried it as a stand alone program)
What They Did:

  • Professional photographer/staff member
  • Saturday afternoon

What They Learned:

  • Successful, but not in the way they planned (were hoping to have a high millennial attendance, ended up with a high senior attendance – lots of 65+)

Hot Detox with Julie Daniluk
What They Did:

  • Partnered with local health food store
  • Talk by popular tv/author personality

What They Learned:

  • Partnership helped with advertising

Bridge Programming (programming that involves teens and early adults – ages 16-25)

  • This age group enjoys the same type of programs that they did as children
  • This type of programming helps with the transition for youth – adult programming

LGBTQA Youth Connection

  • Drop-in
  • Reader's advisory
  • Partnership with Youth Centre

G.E.T. O.U.T. Program (partnership with Simcoe Community Services)

  • Library tour
  • Hang out in teen space
  • They will now come on their own, with family, with friends, or social worker

Youth Summit

  • Ages 14-29
  • Brought in people who didn't use the library before
  • Youth have a say in the types of services (booths) they wanted to see
  • Gave ideas for future programming

Dungeons and Dragons

  • Purchased all required materials
  • Snacks and pizza
  • 16+ age group
  • Materials, such as the books, can be used outside of programs


  • 16-22 age groups
  • Adult colouring with nice adult colouring books and good markers/pencil crayons
  • 5-10 is the regular attendance
  • Library purchased all required materials

Paint Night

  • Local artist
  • 15-25 age group
  • Participants often choose pictures that they want to paint


  • Program: Adulting 101 (escape room style – example: organize a dinner party for 20 people in 20 minutes) did not do well and had to be cancelled
  • Program: Make it Monday (DIY Crafts) did not do well

Things to Think About

  • Ask users what they want
  • Don’t be afraid to try new programming
  • Community partnerships are great
  • Choosing an age group can be hard – measure supervision necessary
  • Marketing well is sometimes hard
  • Competing against after school commitments, jobs, and peers is difficult
  • Event licenses for liquor
          • Smart Serve Licenses
          • May have to ask people to leave if they have drank too much


  • Create programs with marketing to millennials in mind
  • Find your audience and tailor your material to your platform
  • Don’t be afraid to be creative
  • Don’t underestimate word of mouth
  • Get outside the library
  • Do some outreach (Examples: The Haunting and Feast of Thrones were programs that were done outside of the library)
          • Bring the greenscreen
          • Cost of picture was included with the ticket price of the program
          • Encourage costumes


  • Teens and early twenty year olds are on Snapchat
  • Create snap challenges (example: snap us a book you're reading)
  • Incentives: chocolate and snacks when people do challenges
  • For statistics – track snap responses
  • Can do reader's advisory through Snapchat
  • You must be prepared for potential bad snaps
  • Watch the sticks that you use on Snapchat as many are inappropriate

Creating and Marketing For Millennials (JC)

Successful Initiatives

One of the most successful initiatives for millennials was the "Books on Tap" book club. They met after hours in a local pub and it was an inexpensive program to run, since the library didn't have to provide drinks/snacks. The librarian found it worked best to provide a list of books in different genres (self-help, history, romance, mystery/thriller, etc.), instead of asking them for suggestions. In some instances, people came out just for the social time and hadn't read the book. One of the characteristics of millennials is that they don't like to plan ahead, so it was difficult to get people to register and hard to get an accurate count for the pub reservation.

Open Mic Night

The open mic night was also very successful. It was held after hours in the library and the event was licensed, with craft beers. They had over 80 people attend and over 20 performers.

Paint Night

The paint night program was also successful. The library charged $10/pp and had 50 people registered. There was a wide range of different age groups, but about a third were millennials. Patrons commented they liked having an opportunity to "put down their devices".

Tabletop Games Night

For the Tabletop Games Night, the library partnered with a local mythological games shop called Fanboy, which was a successful partnership. The library was able to advertise their program on Fanboy's Facebook page and put up posters in their store. The patrons that came out to the library event had never been to the library before.


Podcast Club

The podcast club did not work well. The idea was for a group to listen to a podcast ahead of time, then come to the library to discuss. There was an issue with miscommunication - some people thought they were there to make a podcast and some others though they were there to learn about podcasts.

Songwriting Circle

The songwriting circle was also a failure. The patrons were worried about making too much noise and bothering others. There was also a wide range of skill levels, so it was difficult to tailor the program to everyone's needs.

Bridge Programming (for ages 16-25)

One of the librarians at Orillia has successfully run a variety of programs for people ages 16-25. She created partnerships with the Youth Connection and had a drop-in program for LGBTQA Youth. She also created a partnership with Simcoe Community Services to offer a program to special needs youth. In this program, the youth come to the library for a tour and hang out in the library with a family member or support worker. The Dungeons and Dragons program was also successful for this age group.

Overall Tips

The staff at Orillia emphasized the importance of community partnerships. They also recommended coming up with programs for your existing users first and asking patrons what they want. For marketing, consider using Instagram and Snapchat. It's important to be creative and use humour to grab people's attention. Word of mouth can be very effective too, so try to identify important people in the community who can spread the word about library programs! Their 5 Tips for the Millennial age group are: 1) Keep it Fun 2) Keep it Easy 3) Make it Social (this age group loves socializing) 4) Know your millennials and 5) Meet Them Where They Are .

CLIC For Success: Partnering With Your Local Chamber of Commerce (DN)
We've done some work with the Whitby Chamber over the years, so I was curious as to what other libraries have done. The session described a program put together by the Milton PL and Milton Chamber. Called CLIC (Chamber Library Information Cohort), it was a sort of book club for local businesses. This isn't an altogether accurate description, as participants read or watched shorter pieces (articles and/or videos) on business topics. Based on discussions with the Chamber, the library determined that HR issues were very much on the minds of local business owners and tailored the program topics accordingly. Community experts were brought in, with a library staff member facilitating the discussion.
The program is considered a success. The most important take away is that a good facilitator is necessary to make things interesting, as are good experts. Most of their experts have worked out well, but one treated the session more like a lecture. They also suggested keeping expectations reasonable and to let the program evolve naturally.

Improve Your Social Media Engagement: Success Stories To Increase Your Likes (DN)
This session consisted of members of Toronto PL's social media team. They operate several social media channels. In addition to the services we use, they're also involved in Snapchat, Reddit, LinkedIn and Tumblr. Being TPL, things are quite ordered and procedure/policy-driven, but they seem to be able to maintain spontaneity and authenticity. Briefly, some of their practices include:

  • a 4 phase process (testing, focused adoption, operational adoption, operational integration)
  • weekly 30 minute meetings to plan, review and look at opportunities
  • ensuring that social media is an integral part of everything, not just something tacked on

Other important points and possible take aways. One important point to note is that they blog as well, so they can engage in longer form work.

  • they try to tell stories (TPL Stories series)
  • they send DMs to local organizations to ask for their help in retweeting, sharing, etc. (we could do this)
  • They posted a Book Battle of their most popular titles in a year, as well as a cool GIF of a book being processed
  • they use a free version of HootSuite to manage content and are just moving to the paid version (we could do this as well).

One presenter talked about their experience with Reddit. He started commenting under pseudonyms about library services and was caught by mods. However, they offered the library the chance to post under a legit handle and it has worked out very well. Corporate accounts are frowned upon, so mod approval is essential. There doesn't seem to be massive Reddit traffic pertaining to Whitby - the one subreddit I found doesn't have much activity. "Lurk, watch, listen" is his Reddit advice - Reddit attracts the 18-29 demo, so it is a great place to reach out to non-traditional library users. So definitely worth investigating, but it would be a tough one to implement.

They also emphasised measurable outcomes and meeting strategic plan goals and having a plan to deal with harassing / threatening comments. TPL has Terms of Use for patrons, which clearly notes patron responsibilities and the library's right to remove inappropriate content, among many other things. We've kept our social media presence fairly informal, which I think is a good thing, but terms of use may be worth investigating.

Improve Your Social Media Engagement: Process, Teams, and Success Stories from TPL (AP)
Mabel Ho, Toronto PL, Michelle Leung, Toronto PL, Melanie Boatswain-Watson, Toronto PL, Bill Vrantsidis, Toronto PL

A few types of social media that we don't have a presence or following on are:

  • Reddit
  • LinkIn
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat (when creating a Snapchat account it is a good idea to ask teens what would make us follow worthy on Snapchat)

TPL Has:

  • Policy to deal with "trolls" is linked on all of their social media platforms
  • Multiple types of accounts
          • Branch accounts
          • Staff accounts
          • Service accounts (example: TPLteens)
  • Weekly Meetings
          • What works what doesn't
          • Plan Content at these meetings
  • Planned Content
          • Evergreen content (things that come up time and time again)
          • Editorial Calendar to keep track of social media planning (they use Google Calendar)
          • They used a free version of Hootsuite at first and now they use a paid pro-plan
                  • Some other examples of websites like Hootsuite are: buffer and tweetdeck
  • TPL has a couple teams working on their social media sites together:
          • 1. Social Media Team
          • 2. Answer line (answers questions that the Social Media Team can’t answer easily)
  • Storytelling
          • Your organization's story
                  • TPL Stories
                  • Staff and customer stories
                          • 2-3 stories a month
  • April Fools Jokes
  • Have patrons guess 2017 year-end collections
          • Release the real list at the end of the week
  • Instagram
          • People love library branch photos (shelves, isles, anything in the branch, behind the scenes content)
          • Timely throwbacks on Instagram with local history collection
                  • Nostalgia is a trend
  • Reddit 101
          • Very popular with students
          • Reddit followers value cleverness
          • To get an official library account we would have to talk to mods
          • Reddit has different boards with interests
          • Reddit is anonymous
          • People up vote and down vote responses and comments
          • TPL does a AMA (ask me anything and I have to answer)

Things to Think About:

  • Should we initial our responses?
  • Adds a personal touch
  • TPL does not currently initial their responses, but is considering it

Improve your Social Media Engagement: Success Stories to Increase Your Likes (JC)

At TPL, the social media team has regular 30-minute planning meetings, where they go through the content that has already been posted and determine what worked and what didn't work and plan for future posts. To keep track of their social media, TPL uses Hootsuite as well as a Google Calendar, which helps them keep track of key dates. Some of the content they post includes: info related to library services/collection, staff spotlight, TPL initiatives, city of Toronto initiatives, sharing local history, and TPL Stories.

TPL Stories has been a successful series of posts and highlights what the library means to users and staff. In one example, a young boy wrote a letter to one of the branches apologizing that a page in a book he had borrowed was ripped accidentally. This story (with the letter) was posted to social media and this caught the attention of the media, who showed up at the branch and tracked down the author of the letter. The story was later featured in People magazine and the Huffington Post!

Another successful initiative has been the "book spine poetry", where the library uses the spines of books to "trash talk" other rival cities. This has been used during sporting events such as when the Blue Jays were in the play-offs.

At the end of the year, TPL created posts on the Top Ten Reads of 2017 and also featured "Book Battles" where followers had to guess which item was circulated the most that year. They also did a post on the most-read books across Toronto on 2017, with live links to place holds on the item. The posts on social media had a direct impact on the number of holds and circulation of the items. Some of the key takeaways were: create/maintain an editorial calendar, get to know your audience, measure your efforts, and be fearless!

Finding Meaning Mid-Career (DN)
I might be past the mid-point of my career, but this still seemed like it would be an interesting discussion. And that's what it was, a freewheeling semi-informal discussion. It was the kind of session set up for librarians from all sectors, so I learned that academic librarians may be disillusioned by the gap between the culture of librarianship and "late capitalist management culture," which brings constant pressure to demonstrate value, centralization and outsourcing.

A former TPL staffer mentioned that the Ford era forced the system to adopt a defensive culture that remains in place, and that he found the atmosphere unpleasant enough to move elsewhere. A distinction was made generally between people who feel that their institution is at the root of the problem and those who believe that it lies within themselves.

At the end, there were a few suggestions on moving forward:

  • Find where you can add value
  • Connect and talk things through with others
  • Step outside your comfort zone
  • Remember your successes
  • Mentor others

Key to these points is challenging the traditional idea that progress always means moving up the management ladder - for some, progress may mean moving laterally or not at all.

One good random comment I heard was that there is a difference between a taxpayer and a customer. They're seen as one in the same in a public library, but a taxpayer is more concerned with value and a customer with service. A customer is definitely a taxpayer, but a taxpayer isn't necessarily a customer.

You Belong Here, You Really Do: Attracting the Lost Demographic (DN)
This program was presented by Waterloo Public Library and they discussed their initiatives from a number of angles. As a tech hub, Waterloo is home to many educated millennials.

One angle was "luring" (their word) in through their children - i.e. offering children's programming aimed at millennial parents. They also built a specific Explore, Learn, Play picture book collection for young kids, displayed face out and labelled, designed to overcome "library anxiety." Millennials as a whole have higher rates of anxiety. Circ was measured, and this collection did very well compared to regular picture books.

Once they're in, WPL suggested surveying millennials to determine their other interests. The presenter said that some creativity is required in getting people to complete surveys. Suggestions include finding millennial experts to present, converting library space into place (they did programming on their lawn, including a carnival program, magic, etc.) and marketing through social media. Like TPL, Waterloo uses Snapchat.

WPL also has a Meetup account (cost of $120 per year) to highlight programs. Might be an option for us.

Some of the session content was beyond basic - stuff even I know about programming, and I'm a novice - but as usual, there were bits and pieces of interest.

You Belong Here, You Really Do: Attracting the Lost Demographic (CS)
Yes, Waterloo Public Library did "lure" millennials in through their preschool children, in order to meet the perimeters of a $60,000 grant from their community foundation.
40% was to be spent on staffing the project, 30% on children's programs, and 30% on adult programs.
Pre-research told them that millennials make deliberate choices, relationships are important to them, and they do not respect institutions that are not innovative.
Children's program was a success.
The survey asked for program suggestions, which branch would best suit you, what day, one off or consecutive programs, etc. Evening and weekends seemed the popular choice.
Millennials want experts so do not try to present them with staff. Look for talented community members. Waterloo generally did not pay the presenters but allowed them to bring business cards or flyers for their business. Remember that you may get other adults who do not fit in the age range. That's ok.
Some successes:
Paint Night/Floral Arrangement/Screenprinting All Wreaths/Wooden German Craft Creation
Outdoor Programs:
Live Theatre Improv/Ukele Jam Sesson/Street Carnival/Jazz Night/Harry Potter Celebration

You Belong Here You Really Do: Attracting the Lost Demographic (EA)
Waterloo Public library used the tactic of attracting millennials by appealing to their children. They focused on three areas: programs, collections and spaces.

Collections: they have a quick pick JP collection, based on the best of what is available for children. Items were labelled by outcomes/targets, including learning to write, read, play, sing, etc.

Spaces: WPL developed learning spaces for families, with shared reading, conversations, and open play areas. Also has a a webpage(s) that reflect the same things, a summary of the early literacy principles, direct links to resources and other resources for parents to practice this at home.

Programs: the programs they offered were initially for children, with the hope that they could survey the parents to see what would get them in the door for themselves. They then offered some programs geared towards millennials with a focus on make and take style programs: did floral arranging, DIY fall wreaths, paint night, DIY terrariums, a New Years resolution series (i.e. home organization, healthy living, etc). They also found that millennials liked programs on Saturdays.

Takeaways: Capitalize on what makes millennial come to your library—reasons will vary based on location of your system. Know what millennials like and their goals as a generation. How do we find out what they want? Survey them about types of programs, (series or one-offs), times of day and days of the week. Bring the surveys to the children's programs, and at outreach events where you know there will be young families. WPL also subscribes to Meetup to attract young adults. Costs money to join, but is worth it in terms of connecting with this demographic.

Beyond the Maker Space: Implementing and Integrating STEAM Based Youth Programming in the Public Library JC

This session was presented by two librarians from Vaughan Public Library (Richard Anderson and Kasey Keeley) who discussed the various STEAM programs that they run in their library, including STEAM storytime, STEAM club, STEAM PA Days, and outreach initiatives.

STEAM Storytime
STEAM storytime is for ages 2-4 with a caregiver. It starts out with a STEAM story, along with rhymes, songs, and finger plays for about 20 minutes. This is followed by free play time with different stations and activities. There is usually a theme to the storytime/stations, such as sorting, counting, patterns, or shadows.

Virtual Reality in the Library
In their VR program, kids ages 8-12 assemble their own Google glasses, play around in virtual reality, and then they take the glasses home. The cost is $5/pp.

PA Day
VPL has also been running full day STEAM programs on PA Days. One PA Day was devoted to robotics, and they had a storytime about robots, robot costumes, programs with Ozobots and Spheros, an iPad app called Robot Factory, and an activity where the kids built robots out of toothbrushes.

Richard and Kasey have also been doing some outreach initiatives in the local schools, which has been very successful. They connect with local teacher-librarians and host sessions in the school library on 3D Printing, VR, or other technologies. They have also run workshops for kids on robotics, 3D Printing, coding, and keyboarding for kids. In addition, they offer STEAM programs to their homeschooling community.

Ideas for STEAM programs
- Extract DNA from a banana
- Intro to TWINE (open source product for creating a choose your own adventure story)
- Foldify (app to create 3D figures)
- Dice olympics
- Paper airplanes – learning about speed and velocity
- Library camp-out – involved a storytime with hot chocolate, a constellation room, and VR

Beyond the Maker Space: Implementing and Integrating STEAM Based Youth Programming in the Public Library CS

Kasey and Richard from Vaughan PL enthusiastically live, eat, breath, walk, and talk STEAM these days. They would like us all to follow suit. Some great ideas already mentioned above, so I will add what I can.

STEAM Storytime for 2 - 4 year olds - Suggestions:
- Book: Mixed Up Trucks Activity: mixing (different white powder and water-what happens
- Bugs-ladybugs and spider with holes for legs - fit pipe cleaners through holes
- Light and Shadow-flashlights, shadow puppets
- free play-basic skills; counting, sorting, patterning, colours.

Virtual Reality
It was noted that the Goggle program was perfect attendance due to the fact that patrons were asked to pay for the goggles upon registration. A follow up program, demonstrating apps on phones to use the goggles with was less well attended - no cost.

PA Days
Them: Mechanize It - levers, pulleys, gears. Rigamajig(really cool but costly), Quiver 3D Augmented Reality colouring app, catapults, seesaws, Lego and Knex. Richard mentioned saving medicine droppers for a hydraulics project. (Still looking for this on Google)

Outreach at Schools
- many requests from teachers
- Set up a gadget fair in the school library
- Themes/Activities- Juggling, How big is Our Solar System, Velocity/Paper Airplanes

Make Out 2018! Tuesday, April 24, 9:30-3:30 p.m.
Expanding the Maker Movement Beyond Library Walls
Speakers from Vaughan PL, Markham PL, and more. Can't find it on VPL website or Google.

Beyond the Makerspace: Implementing and Integrating STEAM Based Youth Programming in the Public Library (AP)
Richard Anderson, Vaughan PL, Kasey Keeley, Vaughan PL
Slides Online: http://www.olasuperconference.ca/event/beyond-the-maker-space-implementing-and-integrating-steam-based-youth-programming-in-the-public-library/

Steam Stands For:

  • Science (science experiments, peer stuff that can be done in groups, extract DNA from bananas)
  • Technology (3D printer, intro to Twine - twinery.org)
  • Engineering (building, extended grabbers)
  • Arts (drawing one point perspective
  • Mathematics (Dice Olympics)

How STEAM Fits into Their Library

  • STEAM Club and STEAM Storytime
          • STEAM Club
          • Lightly planned
          • Weekly
          • Drop-in, no registration
          • 1 hour program
          • 7-11 year olds
          • Each week focuses on a topic and activities falling under the STEAM umbrella
  • STEAM Storytime
          • 30 minutes – 1 hour
          • Weekly, drop-in
          • 2-4 years old (with caregivers)
  • Short Programs & PA Days
  • Outreach and Homeschool
  • Multiple Day Programs
  • Everything

Virtual Reality

  • They had a program called "VR Library 1"
          • They had people bring in their own phone with preinstalled apps to try out VR (some of the apps that they tried were: Jurassic VR, Roller Coaster VR, and Discover VR)
          • They created Google Cardboard Goggles
          • Charged patrons for this to cover the price of the Google Cardboard Goggles
          • Full attendance
  • They had a program called "VR Library 2" hoping that the attendance of this program would just be as high as "VR Library 1"
          • Planned to look at more apps and have people who made the Google Cardboard Goggles in "VR Library 1" to bring their goggles in
          • No charge
          • Only 4 people showed up

Robot Day

  • About 95 people in attendance
  • 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Showed patrons and allowed them to play with Snap Circuits and other small robotic gadgets

Mechanize IT!


  • Expensive, but worth it

One Two 3D!

  • 150 people showed up for the program
  • They don’t charge children for 3D printing


  • 60 kids
  • Made Tinkercad 3D printed keychains

Quiver App

  • Interactive 3D


  • 3D paper folding


  • list itemWhen doing outreach they set up in a school for 1 or 2 days to do STEAM activities)


  • typingclub.com
  • Learning how to type with a computer/laptop
  • Learning how to type with a touchscreen keyboards
  • Learning how to type with swipe typing on a touchscreen keyboard

Stick Bombs

  • Made mainly with popsicle sticks

Library Camp Out

  • After hours family event
          • They have been focusing on after hours family events this year

Make Out 2018 (April 24th)

  • Make It, Learn It, Create It
  • Expanding the Maker Movement Beyond the Library walls

Beyond The Maker Space: Implementing and Integrating STEAM Based Youth Programming in the Public Library (EA)
Vaughan Public Library uses STEAM concepts in a variety of programs, including a STEAM storytime series and a STEAM club. They also incorporate virtual reality into programming by offering a variety of programs (with varying ages) such as a program to build your own Google glasses and try it out and another program for more advanced young VR users to experiment with the technology and build your own VR (i.e. build your own VR roller coaster).

PA Days: lots of activities, not always STEAM-focused and the day always includes a storytime. VPL recently held a robot PA day that included a robot themed storytime, Ozobot program and a Dash and Dot program. They also had Spheros, and built robots out of toothbrushes and motors. The programs went from 11-4pm, and they had 80 children participate. Another PA Day was themed around engineering, where they used pulleys, levers and ropes to make a large draw bridge (using a kit called Rigamajig). The program was based around a group project so that children could work with others they didn't know.

VPL also uses STEAM for outreach, focusing on one-hour coding workshops in schools. They will be exploring VR for seniors. Also looking to expand maker space beyond the library— they will be launching a partnered program in April called "Make Out".

Beyond The Maker Space: Implementing and Integrating STEAM Based Youth Programming in the Public Library (EW)

The employees at the Vaughan Public Library are obviously enthusiastic about their STEAM programming and this shows in a multitude of ways – but the most interesting one (in my opinion) was their hope of implementing STEAM into everything.

Sure, they have programming that is STEAM related coming from all directions, but they try to include it other places in a more subtle way. Book display? STEAM books. Regular story time? Add in a little STEAM.
They’ve really adopted the mind frame and it’s obvious when listening to them how passionate they are about the cause.

I was really eye opening to see some of the things they’ve done in their program that I would have thought impossible. For example, extracting DNA from a Banana! I was blown away by what they managed to do and I’m excited to implement it into some of my own STEAM programming.

They had some amazing ideas and brought so much to the table, for example:

• Intro to Twine (an open-source tool for creating a choose-your-own adventure storyline in a videogame)
• Building extending grabbers
• Dice Olympics
• Shadow puppets
• Toddler chemistry
o their whole idea was clear liquids and white powders – ie. Vinegar and baking soda or cornstarch and water. I think this idea can be upgraded for older kids and would be a really interesting activity
• VR (Virtual Reality) in the library
o They did VR1 and VR2 – the first one was more popular and had better attendance
• Robot Day
• Mechanize it
• One, Two 3D

One of the most interesting ideas they had was the concept of an all-day event. Usually run on a PA day or something similar where kids would be available. They did a Robot Day where all the activities were robot related and included kids of all ages. I think this is a fantastic idea and I think it would go over really well at our location.

They also gave us a sneak peek into new products and ideas for the attending library staff to put on their wish-list. The most awe-inspiring being the Rigamajig – a massive contraption consisting of levers, pulleys and gears. The kids could move and shape the product as they wanted and in turn would be on the receiving end of invaluable engineering experience.

I was fascinated with this machine, but with a price tag of $3600 it was a bit of a dream. So…I did some research. I looked into some other alternatives or options for us and I cam across these amazing blocks known as Ever Blocks. The operate the same as lego – however they are quite large in size and you can building everything from forts to furniture with them.


It’s not a rigamajig by any means, but it is a way kids can visualize architecture on a scale that is real and possible – and hopefully exciting.

I really thoroughly enjoyed this presentation and I walked away with, not only new and amazing ideas but a drive to put those ideas into action and to find some of my own.

Author Visits: Make Reading Come Alive (EW)

I made the last minute decision to pop into this session, and I am so thankful I did. This session was a panel consisting of Allen Stratton, Eric Walters, Teresa Toten and Kevin Sylvester.

They started by chatting about their experiences with author visits – mostly in schools – and how they go about conducting them, their thoughts, feelings and overall mood when in a school.

It started out very matter of fact, what is expected of them, what they talk about, how staff can help and prepare for their visit etc. All of which was extremely informative and helpful – but oh boy did it turn into so much more.

Right around the 10-15 minute mark something changed. The authors got comfortable, candid, passionate and real. They talked about the author experiences they’ve had that changed them. They talked about the kids they met that made a difference, the teachers they met that didn’t, authors they’ve met who didn’t care and how all of this can affect a child and potentially change their view on books and reading.

There were some teary eyed moments and some very impassioned speeches and I walked out of there with undeniable proof that what we do here every day makes a difference. That we should strive to give children opportunities and experiences that will help shape them as adults.

We already have quite the following when it comes to adult author visits, but after this seminar and chatting with my co-workers we plan on doing what we can to bring in some authors that the kids can learn from and that will add something special to our programming.

Redesign Your Library on a Shoestring (CS)
Perth & district Union PL received $38,000 Capital Funds to redesign. They started months ahead by handing out floor plans to staff, patrons, and shareholders, and asked for the top 5 things they would like to see or change. This worked as a great buy-in strategy for all who were interested. They surveyed staff for their input on specifics like functions at the circ desk/what works/what could be better, etc. closed the last 2 weeks of December for reno/redesign.
Two main objectives were a new circ desk and more power.
- moved the teen area to a more visible area to cut down on problems
-decided on only one circ desk on main floor, roaming on 2nd flooe
- moved children's area upstairs so noise would be less invasive
- adult fiction moved downstairs to the main floor as it requires more attention/staff
- staff area became meeting room/quiet room
- turned easy chairs in reading area back to back so patrons do not have to stare at each
- painted a wall green in the teen area
- huge room upstairs for children's programs, carpet, board games now used a lot and can be booked for events.

- volunteers came forward
- Board Members helped(painting)
- everyone was invested because they were included from the beginning
- pop up library at a local coffee shop 1 hour per day proved very successful, and attracted
non users.
- kept old wooden shelving-did not label- very difficult to reassemble( retired civil engineer
saved the day)
- keeping books in order while packing (BEEN THERE and have nightmares to prove it)
-needed to reduce the non fic by half to accommodate renovations-still did not fit-created local history section
- had extra furniture that didn't fit.

Rough Breakdown:
$10,000 - Circ desk
$26,000 - construction: windows in program room/story corner/repair carpet/ stairwell doors/outdoor signs/outdoor benches/buidling permit/paint, etc.
$2,000 - electrical
(many professionals volunteered their time which kept costs down)
2 weeks staff time
200 volunteer hours

- need more comfy chairs
- common room always booked, not enough study space.

Brockville PL - $60,000 Trillium Grant received end of March. Had to spend by end of December
April - June design and order furniture. Closed first week of August. Desk installed end of September.
A bit rushed, had issues with staff buy-in. Get more responses if you ask staff what they DON"T like. Input form board. Patrons like traditional library feel. Went from 6 to 9 computers.

- old circ desk was part of wall(surprise)
- new desk back ordered until September
-had to work off folding tables for a few weeks.
-desk installed September 23, appreciation ceremony September 24

- closure week worked well
- paint really freshened up - many comments
- did a big week while closed - patrons did not notice. When shelves are 75-80% full, circ increases. Make weeded items disapear.

- tight timeline
- lack of employee buy in

6 Months Later:
-comfy chairs keep getting moved - reassess
- computers constantly in use
- circ stats increased

Things to Remember for Future Move/Reno (AHEM):
- hand out floor plans
- volunteers are so sweet and mean well….BUT *book packing/unpacking
- paint a wall green in teen area
- pop up library at coffee shop while closed
- there will be NO problem with staff buy in
- do major weed while closed. **Make weeded items disappear.

Game Services in Ontario Academic Libraries: Current Issues and Hot Topics (AP)
Emma Cross, Carleton U, Michelle Goodridge, Wilfrid Laurier U, Matthew Rohweder, George Brown C

Carlton University

  • VR (virtual reality) & AR (augmented reality) "crossover" for game services
  • Senate of Canada now has a virtual tour
  • Library Gaming Lab
          • Steam GAmes
          • tethered (corded), onsite
                  • Oculus Rift
                  • Playstation VR PS4
                  • Holo Lens AR
                  • HTC Vine
  • Emerging Tech Collection
          • mobile, for loan
                  • Google Day Dream
                  • Ricoh 360 camera
  • Virtual Reality Architecture
          • DonDimanlig - Glacierport_01


  • Board Games
          • Their game design program recommended the games that they purchased
                  • Ones they had suggested were like the ones that they were creating in class (used already made games for inspiration)
          • Honour system for games (no actual sign out procedure for being used in the school)
                  • The games are catalogued and barcoded, but do not technically circulate at the moment
          • Received request emails for them to be taken out outside of the school (was no procedure for this, it just sort of happened this way)
          • They plan to build a collection - possibly buy multiple copies of popular games
          • They received donations along the way
          • Very successful game collection pilot
  • ESL Programming with Games
          • Games help to create natural flowing conversations
          • Start with simple games then move up
                  • Some game examples are: Bananagrams and Scrabble
          • Discussion occurred about possible copyright issue when translated the rules of the game to another language
  • Student Games
          • Students in the school create games for their programs
                  • These games go beyond just playing a game and often have an overall message and an objective
          • Students in the school created the Red Bull Mind Games challenges for Budapest (they made them in small form for them to be created in Budapest as life size challenges)
          • Game Design students built escape rooms for public libraries and they had amazing attendance

George Brown College

  • Game collection started so that some Game Design students could understand how games work
  • Students decide what games are added to the collection
  • Will be getting an xbox, PS4, and two Nintendo Switches
  • listserve
          • trying to bring together libraries who have games
          • goal is to establish best practices around games in libraries

Keynote: DeEtta Jones (AP)

  • leadership
  • people should work toward not only equality and equity but also work towards trying to break down the boarders that initially made something unequal or unjust
          • breaking down boarders leads to liberation

Careers Spotlight: Taking a “Coach Approach” To Difficult Conversations (EA) (attended same session JaD)
This session was about empowering staff to work through problems. Holding staff capable. Using the coach approach, a supervisor doesn't offer advice or judgement, instead they ask trigger questions to get the staff member to reflect on the situation and which path to take to find the answer. The coach approach is a conversation that can be summed up in the acronym G.R.O.W.:

Goal-establish focus and outcomes
Reveal- identify and detail issues
Opportunity- articulate possibilities and remove barriers
Way forward-prioritize options, next steps and establish ownership

The key takeaways are:

  • Hold back on advice and give up ownership of the conversation.
  • Body language has a large impact on the conversation. Smiling during a difficult conversation can have a positive impact and shift your thinking.
  • Mirroring helps others feel at ease by copying body language. But it’s important to recognize that mirroring does not necessarily transcend cultures and generations.
  • Match tone unless the conversation is getting derailed. At that point bring the tone to where you want it to be again. If it doesn’t work, then repeat back what the person is saying and if that still doesn’t work, ask to take a break from the conversation.
  • Asking powerful questions: Don’t focus on the problem, focus on how they are defining the problem. Use open ended questions for the benefit of the person who came to you. Avoid judgement questions or questions which have advice in them. Ask "What" and "How" questions, avoid "Why" or "So…" questions. 90% listening, 10% talking.

A Leap of Faith: Community-Led Business Services (JaD)

Chantale Boileau, Barrie P.L. Amanda Kelly Georgian College.

This discussed why a community-led approach to serving the business community is important and provided some basic tips for how to get started. The reasoning for why libraries should support their local business community is that they are and employ library members and are often powerful potential advocates in the community.

The main takeaway from the session is that you have to understand the entrepreneur mindset and lifecycle (ie. pre-startup, startup, and growth). While this session provided a great list of resources on a handout, many of the tips were stuff that we are already doing as a library. Considering the upcoming changes to the Whitby community (ie. Innovation Hub, creation of Downtown BIA), there is a lot of potential for us to be more involved in the business community.

Risk Takers Wanted: Makerspaces (JaD)

This session was presented by two teachers who have successfully implemented makerspaces in the classroom. There wasn't a lot of new information here in terms of what a makerspace is and how it can be used (you need a purpose). What I did like was that the teachers emphasized how literacy is a big part of makerspaces and you can often use books as a launch point (eg. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind).

The presenters ended the session by encouraging attendees to go check out some of the tech that they brought with their students who demonstrated. Much of the tech is stuff that we already have at the library - Ozobots, MakeyMakey etc.

The Accidential Art Curator:What You Can Do to manage Art Displays at Your Library More Effectively (DM)

This session was presented by Dorothy Gebert, Public Relations Coordinator, Collingwood Public Library. She visited over 51 libraries in Ontario to gather information on how artwork was displayed, promoted and the unique spaces that many libraries had to exhibit local artists and their collections. Majority of the session was powerpoint presentation showcasing the different display options at all of the libraries that she visited. Some key takeaways that I found helpful were:

- Evaluate the space, are there any other locations throughout you library that would make good exhibit space i.e. meeting rooms, children's area, hallways, empty walls
- ALWAYS have a backup plan for when artists are not able to fulfill their obligations
- temporary exhibits; artwork by local schools (titled the "Magic of Children" or something similar)
- if space is temporarily empty, post a "coming soon sign"
- promote the show - easel in lobby, internally with posters/flyers, newsletter, social media
- host an "Artist at work" program near the circulation desk once or twice a month on a Saturday showcasing a local artist while they paint while displaying a few of their pieces (I particularly like this idea and may investigate options once our art rail receives more interest).

"It Takes a Village….Supporting First Time Managers" (DM)
This session was more on how upper management can support first time managers. There were 3 presenters and they each explained their experiences within their own library systems. A few key points were;

- Do the job and do it well
- Get involved
- Be observant
- Communication (which is reciprocal), active listening
- Know the Goals
- Giving feedback.

Thursday February 1

Keynote: Jesse Wente

[Prior to the keynote, introduction of Voila, by Library Archives Canada's Guy Bertram, replacing Amicus.]

Wente noted 2017 was one of the hardest for indigenous people. As well as the discussion around Canada's 150 celebration, and its relation to the history of indigenous peoples in the space and place that is Canada, he reflected on the cases of Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie, both of which tried the victim, rather than the perpetrators of the crime that ended in their deaths. Wente said the time to "willfully forget" is over. He said resistance to discussions around cultural appropriation are really about fear of change, and that he "knows what the theft of our stories means—we live in the aftermath of it". The "narrative gap" that takes away the telling of indigenous stories by indigenous peoples, has the affect of convincing Canadians that what they're doing is ok. The fresh look at monuments, such as of Cornwallis in Halifax, are really a discussion about storytelling, and a repetition of what we have been conditioned to accept. He called for a change from the structure of storytelling tied to colonialism, in order to build something new. If indigenous voices are not part of the storytelling, indigenous people and their experience can be ignored. Reconciliation means change; it means that Canada as we know it now, no longer exists. [DBS]

Public Libraries Spotlight: Sam Maggs
Geek, feminist author Maggs had a wide ranging conversation about diversifying nerd culture and making spaces for women and other marginalized groups—hiitting similar themes as Wente about inclusive storytelling. She spoke of the need to "interrogate media", not apologize for liking pop culture, but instead critically evaluate what we consume. Among her reading recommendations: the Lumberjanes and Princeless series. WhitCAF guest? [DBS]

Is There Any Place for Censorship in Libraries and Universities? A Panel Discussion (AP)
Vickery Bowles, Toronto PL, Penni Stewart, York U, James Turk, Ryerson U
Slides Online: http://www.olasuperconference.ca/event/is-there-any-place-for-censorship-in-libraries-and-universities-a-panel-discussion/

  • Defending intellectual freedom is not a core value for all libraries even though libraries are often known for being guardians of expression and intellectual freedom
  • It was an overall finding of these speakers that suppressing speech and speakers is often counter productive
  • Room Booking Issue
          • white supremacist group wanted to use a room for a memorial
                  • the public freaked out when they found out that this group was allowed to use the room (public felt as though the library was providing the group with a platform)
                  • the public felt as though the library allowed tax payer supported space to be used inappropriately
                  • TPL responded to each compliant, had a media interview, extra security was needed
          • at this time the Charlottesville riots took place
  • TPL explained that free speech and hate speech are not the same thing and discrimination will not be tolerated

Working Together: Towards a National Coordinated Model for the Preservation of Last Print Copies in Canada (Andi)
-Monica Fujikschot, Library and Archives Director General of Published Heritage
-there was a growing awareness at LAC of the need to preserve last print copies in Canada in the age of digitization and disposal of digital copies.
-from 2011-2015 LAC launched the Last Copy Initiative, a national initiative, in which LAC will hold the last copies; describe in the Union Catalogue; hold items in a preservation environment, lending and transferring last copies if deselected from LAC and LAC holding all Canadiana last copies.
-A National overlaps study in last print copy was launched between LAC, OCUL, UofT, MiGill, Council of Prairie and Pacific libraries was launched, but Amicus could not support the study so it was put on hold.
-from 2015-2017 LAC established a public portal for last print copies, created the Published Heritage Branch, looked at legal deposit legislation, signed a contract with OCLC for an Amicus replacement, established their core responsibilities for being the facility to hold last print copies and established deselection criteria for last print copies.
-in 2018, Voila was revealed as the Amicus replacement. This year (and beyond), they also hope to add 30 million records to the LAC catalogue, continue with the overlap study as it pertains to government documents, review the legal deposit regulations, create a collection development policy for published heritage, expand one of their buildings to create Gatineau 2 which will increase the storage capacity for archival holdings at LAC

Wikimedia Edit-A-Thon: Get Your Library on Wikidata, Wikipedia, and Wikimedia Commons (AP)
Dan SCott, Laurentian U, Stacy Allison-Cassin, York U, Monica Fazekas, Western U, Carolyn Doi, U Saskatchewan

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/olasuperconference
  • When creating anything in the wiki world try to weave your subject into other wiki pages so that you can create notability
          • if a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list
  • There is a wikipedia style guide
  • Be aware that there is conflict of interest when posting about yourself or your organization so there may be a battle with other wiki users
  • When you have an account on wikidata you have a "sandbox" which acts as a place for drafts before they are published - you can send people the link to your "sandbox"
  • When editing there are two modes to edit in

1. visual editor (newer than the second option)

  • created to make editing easier and a more friendly space

2. edit source (more code like)

  • Scan-a-thon - wikimania
  • You can generate maps on wikidata

Open Data, Open Library: How the Library Fits in the Open Data Movement (Andi)
-various presenters from TPL
-below are some digital literacy and open data projects the TPL has launched:
-there are now 6 digital innovation hubs at TPL branches, and 8 more will be added (3D printers, Adobe Creative Suite, new equipment being added regularly)
-coding programs implemented
-Innovator in Residence position created
-Toronto Open Data Book Club: a partnership with Open Toronto Meetup, where each month a group (usually between 20-40 people) will analyze and discuss a dataset.
-Open Data 101 classes: Participants lean about datasets, platforms and digitization tools. Plan to create Open Data 201 class for more advanced learners.
-Hackathon: a 2-day partnership program with Toronto Open Data Institute. Fun, non-competitive focus on learning and making community connections. Each year has a theme and groups are given subjects/data/project to create solutions for and present. A very good civic engagement opportunity that teaches people how to access and become literate in “interrogating” data.

The Burnout Gamble: Achieve More by Beating Burnout and Building Resilience (AP)
Hamza Khan, Splash Effect Co-Founder, part of the Skillscamp (soft skills training company), Manager of Student Life Network (complete student resource)

Occupational Burnout
1. The Compulsion to Prove Oneself - the beginning is often excessive ambition

  • Ask Yourself: Do you have a desire to prove that you are capable of meting expectations set on you - no matter the consequence?

2. Working Harder - you become obsessed with handling everything yourself

  • Ask Yourself: Are you feeling "busy" but not being productive?

3. Neglecting your needs - you tell yourself that these sacrifices are proof of heroic performance

  • Ask Yourself: Are you getting less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep in order to focus on work?

4. Displacement of Conflicts - you are aware that something is not right but cannot see the sources of your problems

  • Ask Yourself: Are you becoming easily irritated?

5. Revision of Your Values - your only standard for evaluation of your self-worth is your work

  • Ask Yourself: Have projects that excited you before appear insignificant now?

6. Denial of Emerging Problems - you develop intolerance, perceiving colleagues as stupid, lazy, demanding or undisciplined

  • Ask Yourself: Do you start to believe that only you can accomplish the goal set out? That everyone else is just a hindrance to the process?

7. Withdrawal - you reduce social contact to a minimum, becoming isolated and walled off

  • Ask Yourself: Do you feel listless and aimless? Do you feel like you've lost sight of the goal or purpose of what you're doing?

8. Odd Behavioural Changes - others in your immediate social circles can no longer overlook your behavioural changes

  • Ask Yourself: Have friends and family started to comment on your changing behaviour?

9. Depersonalization - life becomes a series of mechanical functions

  • Ask Yourself: Does it feel like your actions have become automated? With no particular purpose?

10. Inner Emptiness - your inner emptiness expands relentlessly

  • Ask Yourself: Do you dread waking up and taking on the day?

11. Depression - your life loses meaning

  • Ask Yourself: Has anger become the constant in your life? Is it the way you react to everything that goes wrong?

12. Burnout Syndrome - you now have scary thoughts to escape your situation

  • Ask Yourself: Have you lost the will to go on?

Stress: The result produced when a structure, system or organism is acted upon by forces that disrupt equilibrium or productive strain.

Stress is the health epidemic of the 21st Century

Performance Pressure

  • Stressors: Fear of job redundancy, layoffs due to uncertain economy, increased demands for overtime, etc.
  • 1600 people in China die every day from working too hard
  • The most stressed: Millennials (30%) compared to Gen X (26%) and Boomers (25%)
  • Overachieving students, over achieving interns, overachieving employee, etc.
  • Overachievers practice "The Pheonix Method" they burnout in spectacular fashion and hope to recover stronger than before
          • What creature if any has mastery over fire? The DRAGON

D Deload Priorities
R Reconfigure Focus
A Assemble Boundaries
G Gain Mastery of Stress
O Overcome Overachievement
N Nurture Resilience

To Do:

  • Determine where you fall in the 12 stages of burnout
  • Assess the risk of burnout in your life
  • unlock productive anxiety with the DRAGON Method

D Deload Priorities - drop the priorities that are immediate sources of stress
Embrace JOMO: Increasingly default your answers to "NO". "No I'm not going to go", and when well-intention hosts inevitably point out, "You're going to regret not coming!" I won't say it out loud, but I'll probably think, "No, I really won't."

R Reconfigure Focus - manage your priorities, don't let your priorities manage you
Rediscover Your WHY
1. Create your final job description
2. Plan your death
3. Write your eulogy

A Assemble Boundaries - prevent yourself from relapsing into patterns of exertion that lead to burnout in the first place
Know When to Stop Working

  • Time-based Dash
  • Unit-based Dash
  • Energy-based Dash
  • Results-based Dash
  • Feeling-based Dash

Stress: The result produced when a structure, system or organism is acted upon by forces that disrupt equilibrium or produce strain
Stress: A measurement of how engaged you are with the things that bring love and growth into your life

G Gain Mastery of Stress - know what stresses you out and recognize the difference between good stress and bad stress
(Good Stress) Eustress: Stress that is healthful or gives the feeling of fulfillment
(Bad Stress) Distress: Stress that causes pain, suffering, trouble, danger

O Overcome Overachievement - overachieving is a flawed strategy - it's unsustainable, and ultimately produces diminishing returns
Become a high performer
The Icarus Myth - Find the right altitude

N Nurture Resilience - resilience is the key to reducing the impact of stress - but it's a muscle that needs to be built up

The DRAGON Method is cyclical no matter where you are in the spectrum of burnout, it can be phased for optimal performance

2-Stage Process: RECOVER (reduce frequency of stress) & GROW (reduce impact of stress)

Resilience: the determining factor - your ability to adapt to stress
Hormesis: what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger

You should do one thing everyday that scares you

When it comes to burnout fire isn't the problem. Burnout occurs when you're continuously far beyond your comfort zone, so instead you should always remain just slightly uncomfortable. You should aspire to burn bright, not out.

Try to achieve productive anxiety.

Spotlight Speaker: Desmond Cole (Andi)
-Desmond Cole is a former Oshawa resident (he went to high school in Whitby) who is now a radio journalist and activist working with Black Lives Matter.
-Very inspirational speech about how libraries touched him as a child, how libraries continue to be instrumental to oppressed and underprivileged individuals. Spoke generally about the issues he and other members of the black community have experienced in contemporary Canada, and how librarians can help support the BLM cause and other similar movements.
In addition to Andi's notes, a couple takeaways for me:
1. Library workers have a responsibility to continue to advocate for the importance of access that libraries provide.
2. The difference between Courage and fearlessness. The first is required, the second foolish.
3. We have to "abandon the notion of our objectivity", that all storytelling has a bias and perspective.
4. Ensure that our collections don't just reflect the black experience in February. [dbs]

Games Night Social (AP)
A few suggested games to look into that are doing well at other libraries are:

  • Castle Panic (also the expansion pack - Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower)
  • Hanabi
  • Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Wits & Waggers
  • Dragon Dash

Building R. A. Knowledge one Book at a Time (AAT)

The Markham Public Library has created “bite sized” eLearning modules for their staff training which are designed to be completed in 15- 20 minute sessions. Included within the training is readers’ advisory, which they classed as a core competency for library staff.

I expected the session to delve more into reader’s advisory and how staff skills have improved since they started using this training however, the session focused mainly on how to set up eLearning modules, the problems they encountered and how they overcame them.

They did give us a link to their reader advisory section of their training which, I have decided, has made up for a not very relevant session for me. I’ve read through two of the modules and have been finding them very helpful. I recommend taking a look at it (just don’t do the tests) https://goo.gl/HxVLCK.

Sections covered in this link are: An Introduction to Readers’ Advisory, RA Conversation, Appeal Factors and individual genres of mystery, romance, fantasy and adventure.

I liked the section on the RA conversation and found Tips for providing Better RA as a good refresher. And appeal factor is definitely worth a read.

In addition to Andrea's notes:
1. RA is one of those areas where we have untapped opportunity not only to assist, but to exceed customer expectations, and is a chance to build relationships and truly focus on the customer.
2. LMS (learning management systems are expensive, and can often be met by existing software and tools) [DBS]

Creating a Safe Space in Your Library: The Power of Children’s Literature to Support LGBTQ+ (AAT)

I was really disappointed in this session. I knew going in that it was elementary school based but I had hoped to find some takeaways that worked for public libraries. I didn’t. The session focused on school libraries, how to have conversations with your students, why you have to include LGBTQ+ in your displays and curriculum etc.
The presenter had a display of picture books that were LGBTQ+ inclusive which was good to be aware of but for me, I never read books during story time about mom’s or dad’s because then I have kids crying for mom or dad (honestly, it happens!).

Book Tasting with the Best Bets (AAT)

Clearly I am hard to please because I was disappointed with this session too. I attended because I was looking for YA recommendations. I don’t read YA and I don’t like making recommendations because of that. They also gave picture book and junior fiction best bets but I had already read at least half of the picture book titles so that wasn’t helpful. The YA titles they provided were at least helpful. Some of their YA recommendations:

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline : lots of buzz about this, also a Canada Reads pick. It’s dystopian about a group of Indigenous kids on the run in Canada after global warming where people have lost the ability to dream, except for Indigenous Canadians who then are hunted for their bone marrow.

Another good pick, Short for Chameleon by Vicki Grant: Cam Redden and his dad run the Almost Surrogate Agency and rent themselves out to families, pretending to be their relatives as required and end up embroiled in a mystery.

10 Things I can See from Here by Carrie Mac is an LGBTQIA+, mental health and step family story that isn’t as drama filled as it sounds and follows the protagonist as she adapts to living with her dad and step mom and beginning a new relationship.

Everything Beautiful is not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman. A young woman, who grew up travelling with her famous mother, ends up in a wilderness youth program with a group of misfits who she discovers she has more in common with than she first thought.

The Leadership Landscape in Ontario Public Libraries (EA)
There are 6 core leadership competencies in libraries that are necessary for success: planning, administration, board relations, financial management, communications & public relations, fundraising and sponsorship relations. Also highlighted:

  • the importance of reflective practices: ask why something worked or did not work. What was my contribution?
  • Importance of relationships and collaborative skills.
  • Peer learning is important as well.

Character leadership is increasingly becoming the focus in today's leadership landscape. The theory is organized around values like: kindness, fairness, social intelligence, team work, temperance, prudence, forgiveness, transcendence, humour, courage, drive, justice, judgement, etc. Participants were encouraged to visit www.viacharacter.org to do a free character assessment.

The session presenters, Anne Marie Madziak (Service Development Director, SOLS) and Rebecca Raven (CEO of the Brampton Public Library) discussed various leadership programs that are available, including the APLL program, Northern Exposure to Leadership and LLEAD.

Gendering the Language of Our Interactions (EA)
This session was based on research done by Librarian Phil Gold, who is an Adult Services Librarian at Vaughan Public Library and PhD student. He emphasized that interactions are not just verbal, but also include how we navigate and use our spaces. The library should be focused on being inclusive as much as possible, both in our spaces and our services. We were encouraged to think about things even as basic as a patron survey. Offer alternatives to Mr., Miss, Ms. and Mrs. by including mx or nx for people who do not identify with either male or female genders. The presenter also emphasized that this issue is continuously evolving and libraries should be nimble enough to be able to evolve with it.

Creating a Culture for Success: Using Organizational Values from Your Strategic Plan as an Innovative Approach to Customer Service (EA)
This presentation was hosted by the Richmond Hill Public Library and their consultant from the Centre for Character Leadership. They encouraged libraries to define staff behavior in terms of what people are expected to do at work. Be clear and concise so that staff can easily retain this information and put it into practice each day.

Richmond Hill PL used a cross-sectional staff committee to develop a core values statement which is used to help guide organizational culture. They wanted a strong statement, created by staff from various areas of the library to help make it robust. They stressed the importance of committee buy-in so that they can be champions of this process. RHPL uses this value statement in HR practices and helps to guide performance appraisals, leadership development strategy, one-on-one meetings with staff, training and professional development.

Outcomes: Moving Beyond Immediate to Tangible Outcome Measurement(EA)
This session was a summary of Project Outcome, a free toolkit for public libraries that includes simple surveys and an analysis tool to weigh outcomes. Project outcome is to measure user outcomes, not library outcomes— the purpose is to measure the impact of the library on the community and this online service also gives libraries the ability to compare their impact on their community to that of other libraries. The speaker encouraged participating libraries to also perform a cost analysis per outcome to ensure processes are as efficient as they could be.

The Project Outcome website provides survey frameworks, however surveys may not work well for all audiences—they are only available in English and Spanish. Surveys are also limited to 7 program areas at this time. You can benchmark within each program area, and not in between program areas (the survey frameworks have different questions within each program area, which makes it not comparable). Custom questions are open ended only—no custom closed questions are available.

What libraries do with this data is up to them. They are encouraged to host focus groups, public meetings or other mechanisms to change processes to better engage with their community and impact it. The website offers "next steps" ideas for libraries to use if needed.

It’s (Probably) Not Them! How Workplace Systems Destroy Employee Motivation and What You Can Do About It (JaD)

Robin Sakowski, Manager of Access Services, McLaughlin Library/University of Guelph

This session discussed workplace systems, where are anything that managers create for the dept or those that were in place before we started (ex. unions, procedures etc.). These workplace systems can have a significant impact on employee motivation. Everyone will have something different that motivates them, but we can impact this by looking at workplace systems.

Specific tips from the presenter include:

-Looking at job descriptions. Are they put in the context of the higher meaning behind the job?
-Examine procedures that take away autonomy from staff. What decisions can staff make and how do you make this happen?
-Build expertise, confidence, competence (which will lead to autonomy).
-There is an unofficial higher purpose. This needs to be talked about.
-You need to have and show confidence in staff.

The emphasis on examining systems is something that's very relevant to the WPL and something that I think we are already doing. Learning the reasoning behind workplace systems was useful.

Creating a Culture for Success: Using Organizational Values from Your Strategic Plan as an Innovative Approach to Customer Service (JaD)

Richmond Hill Public Library presented on their process of implementing their strategic plan, which is timely considering that this is something that we will be doing in 2018/2019. What I liked about this session was the emphasis on how Richmond P.L. got their staff invested in embodying their strategic values. Some of this session was irrelevant considering the size of RPL compared to WPL, but I did really like that they had a staff member that was not of their management team presenting the core values training session.

“The Parent Filter”: A Vision of Children’s Library Services that Engages Parents and Caregivers (JaD)

Douglas Davey, Halton Hills P.L.

This session was excellent and discussed the importance in considering the parents of the children that the library serve. While this is obviously something that we already do, I liked that this presented a very intentional approach to how we serve the parents and caregives of the children in our programs. The importance of grandparents as caregivers is also something that is increasingly popular.

Suggestions for consideration:
-Communicate expectations to parents (eg. booklet for parents at beginning of preschool program).
-Spare diapers and wipes on hand.
-Magazines for adults in the children's area.
-After program social times for parents.
-Consider siblings.
-Facilitate family reading.
-Go fine free for children (0-2 years)

I also really liked how Doug emphasized family engagement and the library's role in creating family experiences, which is part programming and also part of the library's design. Some great practical tips to consider.

"Fake It 'Til you Manage It: Tips for New Managers" (DM)
- 20% of your staff take 80% of your time
- be adaptable and change your management strategies if needed
- more meetings perhaps bi-monthly
- follow up and do what you say you are going to do
- support your staff
- don't save all positive or negative feedback for the yearly evaluation, be sure to acknowledge throughout the year
- keep notes on each employee performance so that during the evaluation you have examples to show them that you were paying attention
- communication is key
- be sure to praise good work
- share news as soon as you have it if you are able
- avoid spreading rumors
- remind staff that they are not the only ones going through change when something significant is coming down the line, but try to involve them every step of the way.
- delegate, trust your employees to do the work
- turn conflict into an effective source for change
- try not to take things personally
- don't hold grudges
- go home and get some rest
- keep written records and follow up conversations and meetings with recap emails

"Whose Afraid of AODA"- Creating Accessible Documents and Accessibility Testing on a
Budget (DM)
- Font size 12 or 14
- normal weight font (not bold)
- use standard fonts (arial or verdana)
- text alignment to the left
- use high contrast colours
- insert tables rather than draw them
- avoid large amounts of text in CAPS, bold or italics
- page break when starting a new page
- alt text for images
- describe links rather than saying "click here"
- avoid text boxes

"Work Until You Drop": Finding Meaning in Late Career (DM)
This was an excellent session. The best one I attended. There were 5 presenters all from different library systems, all beyond retirement age and not willing/wanting to stop working. When library systems lose long-standing employees because they retire, they lose the benefit of staff that know the value of face to face interaction.

Challenges for employees of retirement age
- physical and or cognitive limitations
- casting - "Oh well, what are they going to do, fire me?"
- difficulty absorbing new technologies
- jobs getting harder
- short term memory loss
- health energy

How to keep these staff members motivated
- encourage input
- mentoring
- acknowledge job well done
- recognition of experience and emotional maturity
- treat them like everyone else
- number one question asked elderly employees "When are you leaving" often cause anger and feelings of being pushed out the door.
- provide lots of training for new technology
- use them to train and inspire others

There are many reasons why staff choose to stay employed beyond retirement age. Some of them may be;
- access to benefits
- keep working to contribute to retirement program
- fear of retirement itself; being lonely or useless
- Number one reason for most….they just don't feel like they are "done working" yet. They continue working well beyond retirement age simply because they can and want to.

Friday February 2

RA the Social Media Way (AP)
Laura Peacock, Kitchener PL, Charlotte Prong, Kitchener PL

Give readers a forum to express their favourite books from the readers advisory lists they are given and use this information to create a top ten or top 100 list display online

  • Tag (hyperlink) each book to the catalogue
  • Create book displays "See What Your Neighbours Are Reading"

Use social media to create an online presence and an online connection

  • Create an engaging personalized service
  • This will be an extension of in-library service

You can create staff "What I Read", "Favourite Reads", "What I'm Interested In" profiles with pictures of staff and links to books from the catalogue

  • Have unifying theme in photos (same background. possibly same shirts)
  • Have a mix of men and women with different interests
  • Make images of staff clickable for each person that a patron can pick who does their reader's advisory list (patrons tend to pick the people with the same interests as them)

#MayWeSuggest #MayWeSuggestMondays

  • Put on Instagram and other social media
          • Can be suggested by staff

Tailored Totes

  • Created bags for reader's advisory
  • Great for millennials - sort of like a subscription box (ex. Bark Box)
  • "Our Totes are Ready!" post on Instagram
  • Extended loan periods - 6 weeks
  • If people post the bags on their own to social media repost them on your social media

Something to look at: a light box

Leap into Literacy: Providing Literacy Support to Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (AP) (JaD also attended)
Aly Velji, Toronto PL, Melanie Hooker, Community Living Toronto, Sayema Syed, Toronto PL

Program Goals

  • Provide foundational literacy support to adults with intellectual disabilities
          • Assist in developing some basic and practical literacy skills
          • Navigate their world independently and confidently
  • Expose participants to common materials that they may encounter in their daily lives
  • Create a safe and welcoming environment
          • Help to develop social skills through the interactions with other participants and facilitators
  • Share information about your library and community programs and services
          • For both participants and their families

Literacy Facts
In Ontario

  • 42% of adults do not have the literacy skills they need for home, work and life
  • 16% or 1.3 million people struggle with very serious literacy challenges and have trouble reading even the most basic text
  • 26% or 2.1 million people can read but not well enough to meet the demands of today's society

Intellectual Disabilites
Intellectual disabilities can affect a person's ability in the areas of:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Mathematics

Intellectual disabilities affect a person's rate and speed to learn

Why They Started the Program

  • Struggles to "fit" participants into existing literacy programs
  • Lack of formal programs within the literacy field
  • Met a need for related services within the development sector
  • Community Need - families looking for "free" programs

Partnership Development

  • Finding the "right" partner
  • Discussed the need and came up with a solution
  • Conducted research
  • Partnership agreement

Program Project, Pilot and Development

  • Pilot program model:
          • 10-weekly sessions for 2-3 hours/week
  • Focus on literacy topics that could be transferred into each person's life
  • Range of literacy levels
  • Learning generic skills/soft skills
  • Classroom was a shared space
  • Developed weekly lesson plan/agenda
  • Weekly de-briefing with library staff

Measuring Program Impact

  • Quantitative Statistics
          • Number of clients reached
          • Number of sessions held
  • Qualitative Feedback
          • Participant feedback
          • Instructor/Support Staff feedback
          • Anedotal feedback on improvements
          • Interests from participants (did they want to come back)

Evolution of the Program

  • Offering the program more consistently
  • Changing the length of the program
  • Developing content for the program
  • Expanding the program
  • Evaluating success


  • Staff time and commitment
  • Finding participants for the program
  • Finding volunteers for the program
  • Finding space/room booking
  • Breaking communication barriers
  • Learning different methods of teaching

Next Steps

  • Further develop and improve our program model
  • Expand the program
          • Continuously offering the program year round
          • Offering the program in more locations across the city
  • Develop content and weekly lesson plans
  • Develop assessment and evaluation tools to help track progress
  • Explore the use of volunteers with community agencies
  • Develop a stronger support network program for families and agencies

Teaching Privacy: Making It Engaging, Fun, and Empowering (AP)
Jonathon Hodge, Toronto PL, Paula Cardozo, U Lethbridge

Advocating for Digital Privacy

Teaching Privacy

Boldly Go Out Into Your Community: Outreach in Non-Traditional Spaces (AP)
Dani Paschert-Ward, Kitchener PL, Julie Piatek, Kitchener PL, Kristin Johnson-Perlock, Kitchener PL

Local Shelters

  • pop up libraries
  • outreach
          • reduces barriers
          • form of support
          • can go somewhere to accompany support workers and work alongside them, which will create new resources for the library
          • staff growth - empathy and open-mindedness
          • help to educate and bring library services to the community
          • community need
          • partnership
          • unique opportunity
  • St. John's Kitchen - free meal, access to showers, access to nurses provided
          • create library cards
          • bring laptop
          • bring colouring materials
          • bring wifi hotspot
  • One ROOF - youth services
          • bring board games
          • bring iPad
          • bring laptop
          • bring wifi hotspot

Created a Partnership with Grand Rive Regional Cancer Centre and used the space of J. Wesley Graham Resource Centre

  • volunteers mainly
  • 1 KPL staff member a week
  • KPL had to work out staffing, membership policies, and collection development
  • no fines for these cards to this exact space (J. Wesley Graham Resource Centre) and 1 week longer loan periods
  • successes
          • increase in membership
          • providing needed resources - information is empowering
          • increase KPL visibility
          • provides "human touch" in a clinical environment
  • training
          • technology
          • dealing with sensitive situations

Outreach is a unique opportunity

  • pop up library
  • promote online resources
  • become more visible in the community
  • festivals, schools, community centres
  • airport, food truck
          • bring iPad
          • bring bookmarks
  • pop up library blitz
  • World Kindness Day
          • KPL goodie bags (gave them to people that they are in partnerships with)

Waterloo Region Airport

  • pop up library bookmarks
  • bring iPad to show website and other databases that they have
  • make library cards


  • constantly evaluate what works and what doesn't work
  • you need to have clear objectives
  • carefully consider commitment and staffing
  • stay inspired! remember why you're doing what you're doing

Beyond the Interview: Hiring the Best Candidates, Not the Best Interviewers. How Brampton Library Took a Different Approach to Recruitment and Orientation (EA)
This session focused on a mass hiring initiative that the Brampton PL did last year in advance of a new branch opening. While the situation they faced is not a usual one, some takeaways from this session included:

  • Make the interview process an exercise in hospitality. Make ensure that the candidates had a positive experience, regardless of the outcome. This is so that they speak well about the library to their peers, many of whom you may be interested in down the road. BPL sent welcome packages before the interview so that they knew where to go to check in, where to park, etc. The CEO met with each candidate at the time of the interview, explaining the vision of the library and the library’s values. They ensured that there was food and drinks since this mass hiring event lasted a few hours.
  • Have your candidates meet each other and then assign a group activity that they can do together. Observe how they work together, handle stress, compromise, take a leadership role, etc. The speakers gave an example activity, an emergency case study from NASA where you have to re-order the list of supplies you have in order of importance, based on the situation presented. Each group had to agree on the list order.
  • keep your interview questions to a minimum: ask only a handful and use other tools to evaluate your candidates as well, such as a group activity or assignment.
  • Once you've hired your candidates, focus the orientation organizational culture, process (procedures) and onboarding. The orientation at BPL, which lasted 2 weeks, had every manager involved in a hands-on capacity. BPL also arranged a bus tour of each library location and included a tour of the community. BPL made a point of continuously observing and evaluating the candidates during the orientation, to help determine if they were going to be a good fit. They wanted the evaluation to begin right away and not wait until they began working on the job. With the probation period in effect, they could be terminated during the orientation if needed. BPL also developed 30, 60, and 90 day plans to help continuously evaluate the new hires.
  • Survey the trainers/management team and the new hires to see how the process went and what could be tweaked.

What I Love About Being a CEO: A CEO Panel (EA)
This panel presentation was interesting, although not what I was expecting. I was hoping to learn more about library trends, from the viewpoint of CEOs. This panel covered a variety of topics, including answering the questions: What I wish I knew earlier in my career; What makes you get up each morning; What made you decide to become a CEO, etc. Some key takeaways:

  • Library staff, especially managers and CEOs need to be able to change their language for different audiences. For advocacy purposes, speak in terms of accountability and measurable when needed. Don't use library terms that outsiders don't understand. Not everyone gets libraries and we need to understand that and re-frame our conversation in order to reach them.
  • Learn not to take negative feedback personally. Try to look through the feedback to the purpose and so that you can decide what the answer needs to be.
  • Balance the external responsibilities with the internal needs. Be there for your staff when they need you to be there.
  • Embrace failure in a more positive way. Learn from mistakes, and create a culture that embraces failure as a means to innovation.

No Space? No Problem: Building a Community of Making (EA)
This session was presented by the Haliburton County Public Library. They tried a variety of maker events and services, without setting up a large maker space, which they could not afford and did not have room for. They organized a "Try it" fair, which combined technology and non-tech maker learning opportunities. This fair was set up like a How-to in 10 festival, where various community partners hosted booths to demonstrate a maker technology or how to create something without technology (i.e how to knit, how to make a fall wreath, how to paint with watercolours, fly fishing, pottery, etc).

The Haliburton County Public Library also developed a service called the Makerhub: a small space with themed Maker kits that patrons could sign out and use. The makerhub is a self-learning space, funded in part by government grants.

Keynote: Naomi Klein (AP)

Public Libraries Without Librarians: It’s Already Happening (JaD)
With Siobhan Stevenson and Rebecca Jones

This was a great session that talked about the future of public libraries. Siobhan Stevenson did a research study of public libraries across Canada to look at the state of public libraries. The reason for the research was that libraries are transforming and taking on new roles, which begs the question of whether libraries really need a librarian.

Key trends that have been noticed are:
-Reference Desks are being dismantled or being combined. Librarians are being taken away from desks.
-Collections are being downsized for more space. But people are still excited about books.
-Traditional practices (like acquisitions, cataloging) are being outsourced, so what does the librarian do?
-Staff are being re-deployed. Many staff are being upskilled.

Trends that libraries should watch for is artificial intelligence (i.e. data). Libraries need to become more involved in harnessing AI. We have all this data and don't use it.

While this session wasn't full of practical tips, it was interesting to see what the trends are throughout Canada. Community Engagement is becoming an increasing place to re-deploy staff in public libraries. All of these trends are being seen to a certain extent at WPL and learning about the larger pattern helps with understanding these changes on a local level.

Top 10 Rules for New Managers (JaD)

All of these rules were pretty straightforward.

1. Document! Really about organization. Get as many things in writing as possible. Send email with summary of what you've talked about in a meeting. Also great way to remember the good things.
2. Don't start drinking. Have to have a sense of humour.
3. It's not personal (be strong). Staff aren't angry at you but at what you represent.
4. Delegate what you can. Learn strengths and weaknesses of each staff member. Learn natural leaders. Trust in your staff. Be prepared for coaching moments.
5. Know when to keep your head down. You will take on too much. Pace yourself.
6. Think three steps ahead. See the big picture. Impact on customer, staff and the organization. Don't let small consequences damage the big picture.
7. Don't react to hearsay. It will take time to investigate and hear both side.
8. 90% of being a manager is making stuff up on the fly. You're not going to have all the info. You are going to to make mistakes. Be confident in your decisions. Own up to mistakes.
9. No surprises. Communication! Certain degree of transparency. Be open about what you can't tell staff. Make sure you know what you can and cannot share with staff.
10. Separate church and state. Find the work life balance. Work friends need to be kept in mind.
11. Sometimes it's good to be quiet. Your words will have more weight as a manager. Much easier said than done. Also give your staff time to think.

Pop-up Library: A New Approach of Community Outreach (JaD)

The Hamilton Public Library shared their pop-up library approach, which I was hoping would inspire how WPL runs ours. While we already do some of the things that HPL does (i.e. centralizing outreach, attending community events), there were some practical takeaways:

-Having staff checklists with a picture of setup (something that I would like incorporated in the doc for staff).
-Reservation of pop-up kit (instead of reserving single items in EK, this might be a easier approach).
-Support diagrams (this would be really useful to have for the canopy tent here).

Some other resources that we might want to consider for our pop-up include: a prize wheel, playmat for LEGO or an impromptu storytime.

Boomers Managing Millennials Managing Boomers (AE)

Intergenerational workplaces are becoming more common as Generation Y (or millennials) are entering the workforce primarily made up of baby boomers. This can be the cause of friction because everyone comes with their own set of skills and experiences. There are also some traits that are specific to some generations based on generalized experience. Older generations are more likely to take what’s asked of them and complete it. Younger generations are more likely to question the process (challenge thinking) a little more, which is not necessarily a bad thing as it can explore new ideas, but again, causes friction.

Who is a boomer? Anyone born between ~ 1946-1964
Who is a millennial? ~ 1980-1994

Interesting thought: A lot of boomers have a negative opinion of millenials, since they’re still living at home. However, millennials are often out of luck with the job market - because the boomers are still working… because their children are still living with them. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break.

How to reduce some of the friction?
Encourage conversation - and asking questions! Each generation has a lot to offer experience wise
Teamwork - it is more productive to have intergenerational groups on a project because of the variety of perspectives from team members. This also fosters better workplace relationships
Bi-lateral learning - can also be referred to as “two-way mentoring”, by helping and teaching each other different skills (by also including life experience) a lot can be learned, and goals can be achieved

You can always learn from someone, regardless of age.

Who’s afraid of the AODA - creating and checking documents (AE)

Benefits of accessible documents: Universal access

Tips when using Word:

  • Use font size 12-14
  • Normal weight (not bold)
  • Use fonts such as Arial or Verdana (because they do not use serifs)
  • Align to the left margin
  • Use high-contrast colours
  • Insert a table rather than make a custom one
  • Do not use text boxes
  • Use page breaks rather than pressing “enter” for a new page
  • Use alternative text for images (describe the image)
  • Describe links (describe what they lead to)

Tips when using PowerPoint (in addition to all the above)

  • Font size: large enough for the back of the room to read
  • Do not overwhelm with too much text
  • Use the existing slide layout options rather than creating your own
  • Avoid transitions, make the presentation easy to control
  • If there is any audio, include a transcript

Saving PDFs: if the document is accessible, an accessible PDF follows.

To check accessibility

  • Accessibility check (included in MS Word)
  • Sometimes even when it says the doc is accessible, screen readers can have issues
  • The best way is to test it yourself using a screen reader
  • Chrome plug-in: WAVE
  • Mac has “Apple voiceover” (note that this uses command keys)

Free screen reading

  • JAWS
  • NVDA
  • ZoomText
  • Apple voiceover
  • Apple Zoom

Free captioning tools

  • Amara
  • Youtube (for your own videos)
  • MagPie
  • Subtitle Horse
  • Aegisub
  • Camtasia (by subscription)

Saturday February 3

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