OLA 2019

Ontario Library Association SuperConference 2019

30 January to 2 February
Wednesday January 30

Libraries – Not just for books anymore. Are we Serious? (Panel) (AE, DM, DBS)
Christina de Castell (Vancouver PL)
Rebecca Raven (Brampton PL)
Asa Kachen (Halifax PL)

How libraries are being used:

Physical collections/space can be considered a more efficient use of public space (compared to digital). They have benefits such as easily quantifiable metrics (such as # of check-outs, people count, books touched etc). The browsing experience of a physical space is also better as patrons are more likely to come across something new.

On the flip side, metrics such as # of check-outs do not include whether the patrons opened the book or not (digital does). People count only shows how many people came into the library, not how many used our services. So this begs to ask what the current metrics really show us about library users. Are these currently used metrics accurately showcasing the level to which we are reaching our library patrons? Would it be better to assess the percentages of people with library cards compared to those actively using them? How many people take what they discover at the library and make something of it?


Libraries have one of the most recognizable brands - when people hear 'library' they think 'books' and many companies strive for that immediate correlation. While being succinct, this brand does not encompass everything libraries have to offer.

Food For thought:

Should libraries be considered social service centers?
Libraries are facing social issues more than ever before – and the positive being that this means we are reaching more populations than we were before (this is equivalent to success). On the downside there is more expectation to deliver. Considering libraries social service centres would unfortunately take away the name 'library' but promoting our role as a service that connects people with what they’re looking for maintains it. It is our role to promote our mission so that people not only think of books but of a place where connections are made.

How do libraries bridge technology and literacy, especially for children?
The pendulum appears to have swung in the opposite direction from where it was headed not long ago with the addition of digital content services and technology augmented storytime. Parents now appear to prefer book focused story time. According to studies, literacy and learning is more likely to take hold when using print materials compared to using digital materials. Memory of what we read is also better when read from print sources. Therefore HOW people learn best must considered in planning literacy programs.
- Some libraries are controlling the access to children’s computers/tablets before, while, and after story times are in session to limit distraction and encourage parents/caregivers to read with children. i.e. the computer do not get turned on until 30 minutes after story time

How do libraries approach the public’s negative opinion about downsizing physical collections?
If changes take place without notice to the public we risk putting more distance us and them. We must come up with a new message that explains why our physical collections are shrinking and why we discard.

(DBS) In addition to Alex and Deb's notes above, a few things that resonated:

  • reader's services are a public good in high demand, yet we are distancing ourselves-Why?
  • There are more ways of thinking of "books" alternate ways of learning, and accessing "story" games, human library, audio, we have a mandate to serve everyone, not just those who LOVE books, and should embrace and welcome popularity of titles
  • Consider the the difference between Google as getting the thing I searched for and the Library as discovering the thing I didn't know I needed/wanted
  • Firefighters use their response time as the easy to understand, and powerful metric that defines their success. What is ours?
  • Consider the value that comes from deep reading, v. skimming.

Empowering Libraries with Arts and Culture Programming (AE),
Gregory McCormick (Toronto PL)

What is considered arts and culture programming?
Arts, performing arts, workshops, literature ex. Author visits.

What is NOT considered arts and culture programming?
Science, technology, nature, exhibitions (unless they include an interview with an artist/author)

Most important things when considering arts and culture programming (process):

  • Audience: WHO is your audience, or intended audience? Even if it ends up being incorrect by the time the program runs, you have an audience in mind for planning. This helps shape the message the program is sending
  • How is it different from other opportunities in the community? Other centers programs? Is it novel in that it cannot be found anywhere else?
  • Promotion tactics (deliberate, intended for specific audience)
  • What is being ‘sold’?
  • What relationships/partnerships are being cultivated?
  • The answers to the above questions inform the program and future versions

Benefits of including arts and culture programming

  • Puts library on the list for various grants that normally overlook libraries
  • Identifies what is lacking in terms of programming and what the community wants
    • The key is to figure out what the community is lacking, or what isn’t found somewhere else
  • Informs future programs

- find presentation, resources, and handouts at: bit.ly/SC2019EmPowering
- many students experience challenges as they transition to kindergarten due to little previous school experience and anxiety
- this program's aim was to help students become more comfortable and practice simple school routines

What Did the Program Look Like?
- families were invited for a series of storytime sessions (30-40 minutes long)
- There was a theme for each session (i.e. colours/numbers/shapes) and school routines were also incorporated
- Program ran in May/June for the kids who were enrolled in kindergarten in September
- Similar structure for each session (arrival routine: name tag for each child, selection of books to read while waiting for program to start)

1) Welcome Song (same each week)
2) Story with Discussion
3) Activity
4) Songs/Poems
5) Public Service Announcement (i.e. car seats, hearing/eye tests, process of getting a police check to volunteer with the school, speech/language - if concerns, should talk to family doctor because there can be a long wait to see specialist)
6) Talk about skill children should know related to that week's theme
7) Song to close (same each week)
- provide handout for caregivers so they can continue to learn at home, including song lyrics in various languages

- Child care can be an obstacle
- Set up activities for older children away from session so they do not dominate the session (i.e. another teacher/volunteer has play do for older siblings)
- Younger siblings are allowed to attend

Hidden Advantages of Session
- Can answer parents' concerns and questions
- Can meet the children and watch them in a learning environment
- Caregivers enjoyed the PSAs
- Allows participants to meet neighbours and create friendships
- Helps children become regular library users
- Raises profile of the library

- Could invite trustees/superintendents to one session to advocate for it
- Families don't have to come to all 6 sesssions - they can come to 1, a few, or all
- Bring ipads with surveys so that families can provide feedback after session

- Session slides are at: http://bit.ly/JCTVR
- Presenter is passionate about kids using social media to make the world a better place

- amplying students' learning (i.e. swimming with sharks when they are learning about the ocean, exploring solar system, swimming in coral reef)
- in her experience, the kids are always amazed by VR

VR & Global Day of Design
- students get to experience a day in life of a refugee camp
- Clouds over Sidra - free VR film that is 9 minutes long, which is a 9 year old taking the audience through a refugee camp
- After watching, students are tasked with designing a solution to make Sidra's life better using make-do (i.e. some of them designed a back pack)
- empathy building activity

- VR allows the curriculum to come alive and transports students to places they may never visit (ideal to connect activity to students' curriculum)
- Google Expeditions document - can type CTRL-F to find exhibitions relevant to your topic
- Within app allows students to create documentaries
- For French class, students were tasked with finding a city where French is spoken (outside of France) and describing it to their peers in French after having a VR tour
- A class could have students begin with a descriptive writing assignment - experience VR - descriptive writing
- Google Arts & Culture website - 360 videos
- VR is not recommended for kids under 12 and video should be 9 minutes tops - can cause motion sickness and nausea
- Google tour creator - students can create their own tours/videos
- There are YouTube tutorials

- Unfortunately Deborah Ellis couldn't make it due to bad driving conditions
- IBBY is the International Board of Books for Young People - fosters understanding and friendship, the power of literature to bring about positive change
- IBBY Canada has created a digital catalogue of indigenous picture books
- Readers & Refugees program - volunteers read with refugee kids
- encourages compassion - seeing the world through others' eyes
- examples of courage gives them courage

- works with children in their own countries
- example of Jorge who started his own library in El Salvador
- the schools there had no books, so he bused them to his library and had volunteers reading to the kids in the local market
- Aschiana Project in Kabul Afghanistan - often kids are the sole supporters for their families and are street sellers
- created biblio buses in Kabul

- provides services to immigrants and refugees
- educational, employment, social services, English language, temporary residence
- many new arrivals have medical and mental health needs
- Costi provides many children's programs - storytimes, arts and crafts, camps, movie nights, music programs, art therapy, field trips, etc.
- Allows children to pick up English, feel welcome, and learn about Canada
- Reduces their stress and anxiety

Presented by: Michelle Goodridge (Wilfred Laurier U.), Lee Puddephatt (Halton Hills PL)
Information about session and slides can be found at:https://www.olasuperconference.ca/event/the-power-of-play-how-libraries-can-use-board-game-collections-to-engage-newcomers/

This session examined how Board Games programs can be used in both Academic and Public Libraries as tools for ESL (English-as-a-second- language) instruction.

Academic Context
M. Goodridge reviewed how Wilfred Lauier University has a large non-domestic student population and how the International Student experience when attending a Canadian university was poor. This poor experience was mainly because of a language barrier leading to a lack of social interaction and friendhip. A drop-in, once a week, Board Game night was introduced to help alleviate some of this experience by assisting non-domestic students in learning and increasing language skills. The concept of playing Board Games for learning a second language was researched and determined to help participants make friends and create greater and stronger interactions between people. The research also showed that the results of such a program could increase acedemic performance, decrease stress, decrease shyness, break down cultural barriers, create a greater sense of community and force the use of and learning of a second language in a 'fun' way. All of these aspects would be beneficial to Laurier non-domestic students, and subsequently could be used to promote other library services.
With the intention, purpose and research defined, this program was formed. Partnerships were made between Laurier Library, Laurier International, Conestoga College, and Brantford YMCA (Education and International Services). Domestic students and staff/volunteers acted as game experts and game participants. (Students were given credit for involvement in the program). It was determined that the games selected needed to have a purpose beyond just 'play', such as: learning common english phrases, simple math equations or teamwork. The games needed to be: similar to internationally played ones, create a sense of 'familiarily' and not be childish. The research done, the partnerships made, the positive purposes for board game play investigated and materialized, staff, domestic and international student buy-in, a popular and successful program was made.

Public Library Context
The Halton Hills Public Library (HHPL) Mission statement contained the statemment: "Provide diverse cultural experiences and resources that welcome and connect newcomers and connect community". Halton Hills is a mainly rural orientated section of Halton Region with a small newcomer population and limited transportation. The library wanted to bring newcomers into the library, but also create an experience for the community and staff.
With a lack of resources and staff, the library decided to partner with the local Newcomer Centre called 'The Centre for Skills Development". The library would use the Centre's services and (partial) staff in exchange for library space. - newcomers could obtain the Centre's services as well as participate in library programs. "Talk Circles" were the first programs implimented. They were not well attended and did not last due to a lack of trust. A decision had to be made what to try next. How could they build trust with the Newcomer Community? It was thought that Welcome signs in various languages and placed at the front of the library in prominent places would help. The signs received alot of attention as well as push-back from the community and library staff. Barriers were identified as to why this was. Some of the barriers found were:isolation in rural communities, the hours the services were being conducted, lack of public transportion, embarassment to be in public spaces, language barrier, available experienced staff time and buy-in from stakeholders and library staff.
After some research, it was decided that a Board Game program would be the remedy this problem. Learning english could be done informally and in a fun way. Alot of promotion was done, including inviting M. Goodridge, from Laurier University, to attend the program at the Georgetown branch. Attendence started slowly with basic, children's board games, but quickly progressed to more advanced games. Main languages spoken in the Halton Hills areas were identified and used to translate game instructions for participants. This all helped to gain trust and confidence, and increased attendence. From the success of this program, the library now incorporates 'Games' into all of its ESL programming,and wants to form a Newcomer family Game Night.

Games did or didn't work in both programs was discussed. Session attendees were given time to 'play' and discuss some of the games mentioned in the presentation. (Games were supplied by the presenters).

Privacy Please! Helping Canadians to Protect Personal Information in the Digital Era (MW)

Anne-Marie Cenaiko (Manager of Public Education and Outreach) from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (will be referred to as OPC in notes)

-personal information is anything that identifies you including but not limited to: pictures, videos, anything you post or write online, details on your browsing habits, stats on how long you look at things on the internet.
-92% of Canadians are concerned about privacy
-77% of Canadians use password lockup apps (up from 56% in 2012)
-76% of Canadians adjust their phone settings to limit sharing personal data (up from 40% in 2011
-The OPC has revamped their website to help focus on individual privacy see here
-Will mail pamphlets with tips and knowledge on privacy to us for free!


-Canadians 55+ are more likely to rate their privacy knowledge as very good but are less likely to change their security settings to protect their info on smart devices
-Can be difficult for seniors to identify spam emails
-The OCP has created a section for privacy awareness on their website specifically for seniors
-Recommends not using wifi for any sensitive transactions as it isn’t secure
-Replying to spam emails can confirm your address for the sender and lead to more spam emails
-Make sure to wipe all data from smart devices before you sell them


-65% of youth have never had a privacy policy explained to them before
-68% of youth believe privacy policies mean their info will not be shared with anyone else

-Presentations and lesson plans are available for free
-E-learning can be a threat to personal security
-Always think long term when posting online

Overdose Prevention and Response in Libraries (MW)

-The US has declared a national emergency for the opioid epidemic
-Narcan made naxolone free to all US libraries and TPL is trying to contact them to see what we can do in Canada

Toronto Public Library
-Identified training needs and requested them
-Looked through data, research and expertise on the subject leading to this epidemic
-City wide epidemic – partnered with Toronto health
-We have a duty to our patrons to provide this information, it’s a public service!
-Stigma and discrimination : working towards changing this
-Working towards the preservation of life
-Keep in mind worker safety and well-being. All staff are informed of best practices and have access to training (including staff that aren’t front facing)
-Each branch has “key documents” including an overdose response quick card
-All branches have Naloxone kits
-Training is voluntary

Camrose Public Library
-Researched stats for the region’s opioid use and re-approached their board (originally they said no to Naloxone)
-The objective of having Naloxone in the library is to preserve life, prevent harm, promote recovery
-Harm reduction based

Ottawa Public Library

-Started researching after the Canadian Urban Library Council Meeting in Fall 2017
-Implemented policies for medical distress situations
-4 potential options for their reactions/response to the crisis
-Training with Naloxone is voluntary
-Option 1: Receive permission for staff to administer their own Naloxone kits. This resulted in an increased chance of Naloxone administration. This was implemented.
-Option 2: Mandatory online overdose awareness training for all staff. This was implemented.
-Option 3: Security at the main branch (location with most incidents) provided with Naloxone kits and training. This was implemented.
-Option 4: Provide kits for staff in the branches and provide training to those who volunteer. First this wasn’t approved, then the numbers of incidents rose and it was reconsidered then implemented.

Yukon Public Library
-Central branch specific talk
-Main issue is alcohol consumption & unresponsive patrons due to alcohol
-No sleeping allowed in the library
-Regularly roving the floors
-Getting to know patrons so you know their “normal”
-Base their procedures off Yukon Strategies on Overdose Prevention (harm reduction and overdose awareness based)
-Training is voluntary

Kitchener Public Libraries
-Responded to the crisis with a larger viewpoint on homelessness and patron needs as the focus, not only opioid crisis
-They state it isn’t a library issue, but instead a community issue
-Reached out to the community to get more information about the crisis
-Partnered with the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council
-Had a screening of Dopesick that was followed by Naloxone training (open to the public)
-Prioritized relationship building with patrons
-Master of Social Work student placements created in the library. These students developed a resources list for staff and work on building relationships with patrons. Very customer service oriented.
-2 mornings a week they have a movie showing. This program is targeted for the youth living in local shelters
-Have had compassion fatigue workshops
-De-escalation training for staff
-Staff took Ryan Dowd’s Guide to the Homeless training
-Always looking to make new community connections

Hamilton Public Library
-High rate of opioid related deaths in Hamilton
-78% of the time an ambulance takes 8 minutes to get to the location
-Naloxone is a life extending treatment while they wait for the ambulance
-All their washrooms have locks due to the high amount of incidents
-“If someone is overweight & they have a hamburger would you use the AED or not?” (a thought to combat the stigma of “they did it to themselves)
-Training is offered to public, staff and security
-Bring awareness to how opioids affect the body
-Works towards debunking myths as they create barriers

OLITA technology spotlight(DBS)
The speaker for this session was Safiya Umoja Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, which examines the way search engines return results as the ultimate extension of confirmation bias. She studied representation of black women through google results as a hypersexualized stereotype that builds on the history of using women and girls to reproduce in order to perpetuate slavery. She cautioned the audience to be vigilant about the context of what we find online, and argued that context is what libraries do well, and we must continue to provide diversity of voices in the face of increasingly loud echo chambers.

Coaching Conversations(DBS)
Effective coaching can be a game changer. The conversation should be an inquiry, with the solution coming from the person being coached; they are the ones owning the conversation, it is important to hold back on "advice" and ask permission before offering. A couple of helpful acronymns: GROW-Goal is to Reveal Opportunities and a Way forward and Why Am I Talking? They likened effective coaching to a tennis game, where you lob the question back, and push the server to respond and strategize. Find a way to make the person being coached accountable by setting clear outcomes. What or How is a less judgemental question than is Why?.
OLITA technology spotlight(DBS)
The speaker for this session was Safiya Umoja Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, which examines the way search engines return results as the ultimate extension of confirmation bias. She studied representation of black women through google results as a hypersexualized stereotype that builds on the history of using women and girls to reproduce in order to perpetuate slavery. She cautioned the audience to be vigilant about the context of what we find online, and argued that context is what libraries do well, and we must continue to provide diversity of voices in the face of increasingly loud echo chambers.

Coaching Conversations(DBS)
Effective coaching can be a game changer. The conversation should be an inquiry, with the solution coming from the person being coached; they are the ones owning the conversation, it is important to hold back on "advice" and ask permission before offering. A couple of helpful acronymns: GROW-Goal is to Reveal Opportunities and a Way forward and Why Am I Talking? They likened effective coaching to a tennis game, where you lob the question back, and push the server to respond and strategize. Find a way to make the person being coached accountable by setting clear outcomes. What or How is a less judgemental question than is Why?.

Thursday January 31
Sensory Storytime: Why, What, How? - Andrea AT
The prevalence of autism is going up in society with 1 in 59 people diagnosed on the spectrum.
Because children are not diagnosed until they are between 2 and 4, parents and children don’t always feel comfortable going into social settings because of their children’s behavior. Libraries then can offer a safe space for them and provide an opportunity to socialize in an accepting environment.
Sensory includes tactile, visual, auditory, taste and smell
Some senses are over stimulated and some are under. Overstimulation can be reacting to loud noise and lights or touch. Under is often because spatial and hearing awareness is underdeveloped.
Sensory storytime then can be a gateway to families who stay away from the library because they feel their children won’t fit in as well as a place for children and parents to feel emotionally safe
Key elements: everyone welcome, sitting is not required, open door policy but close the door behind you.
Fidgets stations were used, sensory bins and crafts are part of the program to increase tactile awareness.
A visual schedule of how the program runs is used as well. Sometimes children have difficulty transitioning from activity to activity so a visual board works well. The board, for instance, has a picture of a song note, song note, picture of a book etc.
Repeat songs each week, which is something we already do in (so they become familiar and comfortable with what happens in storytime)
At the London Library the stortytime was held on Saturdays as a drop-in and includes family and siblings as well. Success is measured in how families respond rather than just attendance.
I’m torn about running a session here. I think we don’t want people to feel they can’t come to the library because of their children’s behavior. But I also wonder about our programming being more inclusive. I had a little girl in my program this week who seemed a little off. I remember her sitting before but this week she stood at the back and wandered a bit. I decide to just let her. When she came to the front of the room, still standing, instead of asking her to sit down I said it was ok to stand but stand to the side rather than in front of people. So I wonder if it would be better for us to look at how we approach our existing programs so that more integration happens, which I think would be beneficial for everyone in the storytime.

- Prevalence of autism in society - continually going up, 1 in 59 people
- Speaker's grandson had autism and had difficulty behaving in storytime
- Children are typically not diagnosed until ages 2-4
- Some parents/patrons may fail to return if their little one doesn't behave in storytime and isn't accommodated
- Want children to have a positive experience
- Offer a place for socialization
- Gets kids/caregivers out of the house
- Offers accepting environment

- can be external - tactile, auditory, visual, taste, smell
- can be internal - muscle/joints, movement
- children who suffer from autism can be easily overstimulated and react to loud noises, scratchy clothing, etc.
- name game - roll the ball song (row row row your boat) "Roll, roll, roll the ball, roll the ball to *Julia*, Julia, Julia, Julia, Julia, roll the ball to me" - kids loved this one

Sensory Storytime Format
- it's OK if the kids move around, sitting is not required
- include inclusionary statement at the beginning of session "feel free to leave the room and come back if necessary" - open door policy, there are no wrong behaviours
- include fidget stations around the room
- stations with puppets, puzzles/ sand toys
- slower pace at storytime - transitions can be difficult, so it helps to have a visual schedule (can use apps for this)
- clearly state what will be happening next
- repetitive songs and repeating same songs each week works well

Tactile Awareness
- crafts, stickers
- for crafts, show two examples - one more traditional and one off-the-wall example so that parents/kids don't feel pressure to conform to the standard
- sensory bins - bird seed, "hot chocolate bin"

- You are not there to provide therapy and advice
- Can have temper tantrums (but this can happen in a traditional storytime)

- Saturdays worked best
- measure success in other ways than attendance - ie the children's reactions
- keep calm and slow down your own expectations
- Sensory storytime can be great for older siblings - there is enough variety

- We've come a long way in learning about autism and making accommodations
- Book recommendations - The Reason I Jump, Uniquely Human (about an autistic doctor), Neurotribes, In a Different Key
- Storytime Mellie has a blog on inclusive storytimes
- Usually around 10 kids works best for about 45 minutes

Story Sheroes: Empowering Programming for Girls - Andrea AT
The program, held at the Kitchener Public Library, began as a partnership between them and the YWCA of Kitchener. It’s for girls and gender non-conforming youth, in grades 6 to 8. A maximum of 15 participants meet weekly to create, express, challenge pressures, make friends and just be comfortable with who they are.
It is youth led, feminist, strengths based, safe space, builds belonging - empowering.
Goals: build self-esteem, explore creativity, create friendships, learn self-love, practice self-expression, provide a place to safely introduce hard topics, tackle important issues, share their voice and connect with their community
At the end they produce a zine. Every participant has to contribute at least one page - artwork, poetry, book review focusing on the themes of Sheroes.
Measuring success: they have had 10 sessions and 80 plus participants. Of those numbers, 100 percent said they felt better about themselves, 100 percent felt a stronger sense of belonging and 94 felt more confident and 100 percent felt more connected to their library.
They had one participant who identified as male, Jordon, (which is why they changed it to gender non-conforming) who said being at the group was the only place he felt he belonged. Even his mother didn’t call him by his name. And the rest of the group were totally cool with him being in it. To me, that is a huge measure of it’s success.
It meets a gap in demographics, it speaks to bold leadership and new ideas, and provides programing to LGBTQ + groups in the community.
I think it’s a very empowering, inspiring program and is something worth pursuing in some form.

- Speakers see being a parent as a positive instead of a con as a working person

Customers and Children Similarities
- goal is satisfaction/happiness
- customers/children can be single-minded, impatient, emotionally-driven, demanding, and unreasonable
- limited frame of reference - they may not understand the workings of a library

Parenting Skills that make you Good at your Job
- prioritizing/letting things go - "is this the hill I want to die on?"
- conflict resolution
- confidence to handle situations
- flexibility/getting to yes - compromising and bending the rules sometimes to meet in the middle
- good with babies/kids/parents
- reading between the lines - i.e. ref interview, reflexive listening
- thinking on your feet
- project management
- unflappability - not reacting / stone-faced to all requests

Work Skills to Bring Home
- cool-headedness - you wouldn't shout at a patron slowly packing up the way you might at your child who is slowly getting ready to leave the house in the morning
- being respectful, less yelling (really doesn't accomplish anything)
- knowing when to ask for help

- what should you put on your resume if you've been off work as a stay-at-home parent? - identify soft skills - time/project management, problem solving
- interviewers may ask about gaps in your resume - have an answer prepared
- life experience makes you more understanding as a manager
- listening skills - want people to be able to talk openly/vent
- awareness of surroundings and risk averse
- "just deal with it" attitude - i.e spider in break room
- managing different personality styles - how best to coach and help

Work-Life Balance
- being flexible - give and take
- check workplace policies - some places have policies that endorse flexibility
- map our your plan, do the leg work, if you need an accommodation - come up with a possible solution instead of leaving it to your Manager

Data Skills For 21st Century Library Practice (DN)
This session consisted of a 3-person panel with contributors from the academic, corporate and public library sectors. The academic librarian spoke more from the perspective of a data library instead of library data - their clients would be interested in accessing large datasets like the Census and other StatsCanada data, with its different formats and systems. The corporate/special librarian uses and obtains data for market research and corporate intelligence - more "knowledge management," which provides context and meaning to the data.

The public librarian has an academic background, so she's trying to apply the principles she learned to a different environment. She uses data from various sources. ILS data tends to be proprietary and limited in the sense that the vendors give us what we think we need. If we're looking for something not in their standard reports, we have to ask and possibly pay for it. It may also not be easy to export or use it across different platforms. Again, much of this is in the hands of the ILS provider. Municipal and Census data can help us understand our patrons. All of this can be used to establish metrics and benchmarks, and hopefully, inform us on trends - we just have to figure out what the numbers are telling us.

The actual skills include the ability to work with data and be an Excel power user. Useful Excel skills include filtering, macros, formulas and pivot tables. Visualization tools include Tableau, ArcGIS and Google Data Studio.

Overall, it was kind of a survey of what sort of data to look at, some of the software that can be used and some of the skills needed to use it.

Takeaways / Things To Look At

  • Some municipalities (e.g. Edmonton) have started open data initiatives. This would be a Town initiative, but it would be interesting to see if our municipal leaders have considered this.
  • We're members of CULC (Canadian Urban Libraries Council). CULC collects data, including key performance indicators (KPIs). It would be useful to look at this data to see how we compare.
  • The 2016 Census data has been out for a couple of years now. Our population increase wasn't as large as it has been in the past (121k to 126k), but we continue to grow. How have some of Whitby's other indicators changed during this time? This could include income, ethnic origin, education and age. Whitby is also poised for major growth over the next ten years and these numbers could provide some insight into what that growth will look like.

How Retail Is The Library? (DN, DM)
The session presenter is Mark Asberg, Director of Service Delivery at Calgary Public Library. Mark noted that people shop for lots of different reasons - they need something, they want something to do, they want to get out in an environment where there are other people and they're looking for an experience. All of this applies to libraries. The main feature of retail that doesn't apply to libraries is the fact that we're not trying to sell anyone anything.

Mark discussed how "cult brands" like Apple create evangelists, people who go out an spread the word. Cult brands have several traits. They're "remarkable," meaning they create buzz and grab your attention. They have a purpose besides making money, they're inspirational, they're pervasive, they're involved and they're relatable. Libraries have some of these attributes, but overall he says we're so-so on the cult brand spectrum. To be a cult brand, we have to create amazing moments for patrons. Amazing moments, or peak moments, come about when someone realizes that we offer a service they didn't expect - some sort of pleasant surprise. Apparently people remember peak moments and the ending - a bad ending can spoil everything. And great peak moments can help people forget average or mediocre service. Examples of peak moments CPL has tried include:

  • Randomly offering tea and coffee - walking around with a tray
  • Offering candy at the counter
  • Therapy dogs
  • Randomly having people dressed up in costume

Essentially, even great service doesn't necessarily create a cult brand - you need those peak moments. And staff need to be individually excited about the library's mission and purpose. Great service is the entry point - it's mandatory, but won't be enough.

He also talked a bit about designing library space. One interesting point was that we've traditionally designed libraries around the inventory, not people. This dovetails with our experience that people seem to want space more than they want stuff.

A few other random points:

  • First-time patrons don't necessarily know who works in a library. CPL staff wear vests to identify themselves. He admitted that getting buy-in was a challenge, but says it has worked pretty well.
  • CPL has created a chat bot to handle some routine tasks - so if someone asks about hours or something like that with their chat feature, a bot replies.
  • They also have a central point from which they can manage all patron transactions - holds, checkouts, room bookings, printer balance - this resonated, as we have separate platforms for things like printer transactions.
  • One random point about library space - Mark mentioned that people hate being jostled. I find myself wondering if that's why our display in front of the printer doesn't have a really high checkout rate, as it's in a high traffic area but isn't really a place to stand and linger.

The Next Wave: Diversity in Picture Book Biographies (MW)
Helaine Becker – Speaker

- The books are made according to the common core state standards
- The recent social movements have sparked the conversation that all cultural industries need diversity which changed the way picture book bios were created
- Contemporary picture book biographies vary in subjects within the books themselves + aren’t only highlighting the good the individual has done. They show the weaknesses, flaws and quirks of their individuals.
- The books themselves are more “slice of life” than the entire timeline. They are snapshots of important and grave times in the lives of the individuals.
- Children’s books are thoroughly researched and fact checked by multiple people.
- Art is a major factor in the books now. They’re much more detailed and artistically beautiful than the more simplistic designs of the past.
- At the back of the books the authors may write in notes about their research, fun facts they didn’t incorporate into the story, bibliographies etc
- Authors don’t get to choose their illustrators nor are they incorporated in the design process! This helps the illustrator fully utilize their skills and sometimes even create an extra story within the illustrations to add a new layer to the story.

Great Titles
- Fierce Women Who Shaped Canada by Lisa Dalrymple & Willow Dawson
- Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating and Marta Alvarez Miguens
- Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey and Julia Sarda
- The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca and Daniel Rieley
- Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker by Mara Rockliff and Simona Ciraolo
- Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe and Barbara McClintock

Developing Digital Literacy with Coding Bootcamps(MW)
- Hamtilon Public Library partnered with Mohawk College’s and City School Campus located at the Circuit 4.0 at the Central Library
- completely free, community based learning
- Coding bootcamps targeted towards people 19+ with limited or no post-secondary education
- First camp was Sept 2017-Dec 2017
- high school completion is not required
- a way to assist with the quickly rising number of unfulfilled tech related jobs
- strong focus on digital literacy as it’s intertwined itself with even baseline service jobs (McDonalds has the app and the self-service stands etc)
- very team work oriented, they’ll all learn together and help each other with projects they’re creating
- 3-4 months in length per boot camp
- lower student to teacher ratio than typical classes
- no tests, very non-traditional classroom both physically and learning wise
- the utilize the 4th floor of the Hamilton Public library as teaching space. The entire floor is open and there are no physical collections housed here. They have their media lab and makerspace on this floor as well.
- They teach HTML, CSS, Javascript and Wordpress
- Partnered with the Industry Education Council of Hamilton to get placements for students and find out what the employers need their new hires to know
- Coding boot camps are fairly unregulated so they were able to manipulate the curriculum and teaching style to fit their needs
- Typical boot camps can cost anywhere around 40k per student
- At the end of the program they walk away with a certificate of completion
- cost 25k which covered curriculum development, hiring an instructor, marketing, the “graduation” ceremony and more
- the money was obtained through many grants and working with Hamilton based foundations
- hosted “try to code” 1 hour long workshops to try and gather info about interest levels
- Marketed through their Community Mobilizer employee, social media posts, physical posters placed around Hamilton, presentations hosted throughout Hamilton
- focused on using plain language! “Learn how to make websites and web applications” instead of “learn to code”
- the first run of this bootcamp started with 15 people, ended with 9.
- planning on going open source with the curriculum and will publish it for others to use once they’ve refined it

Please note some of these points may relate to only the city school. The fast conversation and jumping between people made it a tad difficult to stay focused on what correlated

Friday February 1

Quick and Dirty Data: Ten Tips To Make Your Library Data Useful (DN)
Looking at my notes, I don't have tips numbered one through ten, but I did there were some great tips. I have three main points:

  • Start from the end. The presenter suggested that we figure out what we want to measure and what we want the data to look like and work backwards from there. This means that we set measurement goals first, rather than collecting a bunch of data and going from there.
  • Make it pretty and tell a story. Start by determining who your audience is and what they want to know, and present the data in a way that speaks to them. The "story" angle means moving beyond charts full of numbers and drawing / presenting some inferences from them.
  • Think long term. Data collection is a journey, not a goal in and of itself. Once a process is in place, it should be evaluated frequently to eliminate "pain points" - that is, make it better and better for those entering it and those using it. There are other long-term considerations. One important factor is consistency. If the platform changes in some way, will the new data be comparable to the previous data? For instance, if we replace one database with another, are the measurements the same? Also, ensure that the processes are written down or otherwise shared with others. This ensures that things can continue if the person in charge of the data wins the lottery and moves to the Caribbean.

There were lots of other points worth mentioning.

  • Avoid open-ended freeform entries - this means text boxes and categories like "other." This helps ensures that people will use the categories that you're working with rather than creating their own, or putting their own spin on things. Classification can be a difficult exercise and things always need to be adjusted and clarified. However, consistency is very important in data collection and this will help ensure that you're collecting consistent data.
  • Create a master list of reports and try to connect things with each other. It's easy to put data in silos and lose sight of the big picture. For example, e-resource data and outreach data are kept separately and collected by different people, but program and outreach initiatives can have an impact on e-resource use. Connecting those two can help measure the effectiveness of outreach.
  • Excel Pivot Tables were mentioned in two of the sessions that I attended and I'm keen to try them out. If I understand things correctly, they help count and collate data. If you have a list of 50 programs, a pivot table will tell you how many of those programs are in which categories rather than sorting and counting. VLookup is a feature that automatically categorizes entries from a master list.

In addition to the two tools mentioned above, I also had some other takeaways.

  • I need to think of the bigger picture. Most of the data I use and think of relates to the collection (circulation) and e-resource use, and occasionally social media. I think less about program and outreach data. However, in a very timely development, we're looking at ways to streamline the process of collecting program data, so I'm hoping to use some of these principles there.
  • I've been collecting electronic use data in the same way for years. I think much of the process is still valid, but I can think of a couple of really basic things I could change to make things easier.
  • I'd like to give SurveyMonkey a try, or at the very least, Google Forms. Ideally we can set up something that enables all staff to enter data in the same place. The plan is to start with program data and see where that takes us. At the moment, we have a hodgepodge of different systems and methods, and Pat has to use a lot of interpretation for the Ministry reports.

Suggested resources include:

  • Lynda.com
  • depictdatastudio.com
  • storytellingwithdata.com

Tech Talks
I haven't been for a while, but previous year's Tech Talks involved an assortment of panelists discussing trends and new developments. This year's session consisted of various libraries presenting tech initiatives that they had implemented.

  • Toronto PL created a series of online tech learning sessions consisting of peer-to-peer learning with a staff facilitator. Courses include "Linus Unhatched," the Internet of Things and intro to cybersecurity. The library had the support and assistance of George Brown College and an employment services.
  • Brampton discussed their initiative to make the BPL website AODA (Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) compliant. The process involved outside consultants and an audit. Branding was a challenge, as colours and font impact accessibility. In the end, it lead to an cleaner website with improved SEO as a bonus.
  • Oakville PL discussed the Halton Community Database, a partnership between area libraries and community organizations. Much of the material discussed was familiar, as we had a community database of our own. They did mention that they were working to understand how the data is actually used - something geared beyond numbers toward outcomes.
  • East Gwilimbury talked about their Makerspace initiatives. They teach beginner coding and basic video game-making using Scratch 3.0 and Makey-Makeys. It made me wonder if perhaps we could use some of our tech tools with adults.

No Holds Barred: The potential of Library Data in Context with Book Sales
The presenter was from Booknet Canada, a non-profit organization that works with the Canadian book industry. They have access to sales data from publishers, and have started collecting circ data from partner libraries. They also conduct surveys of book buyers.

General stats were promising. 78% of Canadians read a book in the last year, and while I don't have the percentage of the population that used the library, there was a 5% increase last year. The typical library patron is female (58% of library users are women), in their mid-50s, a parent and has an above-average education.

It's a myth that libraries take sales away from booksellers. Typical library users buy more books than non-users - even "super patrons" (3.5% of the population) buy more books. 2.4% of Canadians are "uber patrons" - not sure if this is part of the 3.5% or not. Patrons buy eBooks as well. And one interesting tidbit, 2.2% of people admitted to downloading eBooks illegally.

Another myth - somewhat surprisingly, holds lists don't match bestseller lists or top checkout lists. There's actually fairly little overlap. Libraries continue to be all about the long tail - most circ (75%) comes from the backlist.

Libraries can access the full data, but my understanding is that they have to be a participant in the study. This would mean sharing our circ data to help inform the study.

Future Booknet plans include a study of collection gaps and comparisons by population, region and urban vs. rural.

Get on the Map with Amazing Reads Canada -Sandra Mammone (MBF)
Amy Solecki and Lori Ledingham Meaford P.L.

Had increase in circulation due to programs
New library being built in an old grocery store location

Began in 2017 Canada 150 wide initiative

Introduce more Canadian authors
Engage more reader explore lesser known authors, needs to be fun
Inspired by the TV program

Ran from May to Labour day
Read 13 books (3 territories and 10 provinces) and 3 blocks
Complete the passport as a ballot
10 everyone had to read lesser known, LGBQT, native
Forest of reading evergreen nominees
1/4 page Passport, take them home Name, phone/email start& completion date
Each book has a designated province
Complete honour system, get a stamp and sticker to place on a map in the library(they used Canadian stickers and a map of canada)

Blocks : choose another book by an author from that province
Books marks highlighting authors from the provinces
Provinces that had more authors included a block

Promotions and marketing, in house displays with covers of amazing read books
ILLO titles
Promote e resources overdrive and hoopla
prize more participants
Drew ballots from all completed ballots
Prizes: ie. Tim Horton, Hudson Bay indigo (Canadiana)

Help with circulation
Read more Canadian authors
Promote collection ILLO e resources
Reader advisory opportunity great conversations with customers, discovered new readers, enthusiasm generated, 1-1 conversations
Promotes geography
Support forest of reading program and list
The Map,

Explain program to customers (budget time)
Talking about program simple and clear
Getting books sometimes difficult [consider availability]

Future plans to expand program:

Promote forest of reading (French program)
Across North American
European edition/world wide

Choose books and availability as you choose your books
Starting point any province
How many? 20-participants in Meafords program
If reader had read those books as long as it was in a reason couple months, offer an additional title

The Dewey Divas session on book club picks was great to identify some new titles that are coming out that would work well in a book club. The CANSCAIP Forest of Reading session was also great to identify some new titles for kids and young adults. Many of the authors also said they love coming to schools/libraries to present programs related to their books. (JC)

Presented by: Michelle Goodridge (Wilfred Laurier U.), Lee Puddephatt (Halton Hills PL)
Slides can be found at:https://www.olasuperconference.ca/event/the-power-of-play-how-libraries-can-use-board-game-collections-to-engage-newcomers/

This session examined how Board Games programs can be used in both Acedemic and Public Libraries as tools for ESL (English as a second language) instruction.

Acedemic Context
M. Goodridge reviewed how Wilfred Lauier University has a large non-domestic student population and how the International Student experience when attending a Canadian university was poor. This poor experience was mainly because of a language barrier leading to a lack of social interaction. A drop-in, once a week, Board Game night was introduced to help alleviate some of this experience by assisting non-domestic students in learning and increasing lauguage skills. The concept of playing Board Games for learning a second language was researched and determined to help participants make friends and create greater and stronger interactions between people. The research also showed that the results of such a program could increase acedemic performance, decrease stress, decrease shyness, break down cultural barriers, create a greater sense of community and force the use of and learning of a second language in a 'fun' way. All of these aspects would be beneficial to Laurier non-domestic students as well as could be used to promote other library services concerning ESL skills.
Partnerships were made between Laurier Library, Laurier International, Conestoga College, and Brantford YMCA (Education and International Services). Domestic students and staff/volunteers acted as game experts. The games selected need to have a purpose beyond just 'play', (such as: learning common english phrases, numbers or teamwork. The games needed to be similar internationally, to create a sense of 'familiarily' and not be childish. The research done, the partnerships made, the positive purposes for board game play, all contributed to a popular and successful program.

Public Library Context

- Durham Region website has a map of children's programs in the region

EDI Tool
- Assesses children's school readiness before starting grade 1
- Completed by SK teacher in second half of school year
- Assesses physical health/fine motor skills, emotional maturity, social competence, language/cognitive development, communication skills, general knowledge
- all municipalities have a data analysis coordinator (called DAC)
- DAC calculates % of students that are on track and % that may be vulnerable
- EDI tool is not a reflection of the teacher/school
- EDI scores improve with higher household income, level of parent education, and more involvement with music/art/dance/library programs

The Coalition
- a coalition was created with community members to address EDI vulnerable population
- came up with a three year plan

Year 1 - Physician Engagement
- Revised/updated 18 month baby well visit tool
- created list of assessment tools and local supports to hand out to parents
- highlighted public libraries
- list/descriptions of all agencies on book with contact info
- developed a link on the 18 month pathway - a checklist patrons could take home from their family doctor
- promoted the postcards at public libraries, mail outs, on buses, with community partners
- created tear-off resource
- Nippising Screening Tool is now called "LookSee" - can promote in libraries
- Hosted a Physician's Breakfast event- held at a golf club with a gourmet breakfast for healthy child development workshop - physicians earned credits for professional development for attending
- FAX about - fax is best way to reach doctors

Year 2 - Parent and Caregiver Consultation
- provided incentives for attending - free food and takeaways
- had 8 sessions
- 87 parents/caregivers participated
- report and key findings presented in infographic
- key findings - inclusion and diversity needed (didn't feel that they were represented in public spaces)

Year 3 - Stakeholder Engagement
- sent infographic to childcare centres, OEYCs
- Had contest where students created logos - winner was "Be You: You Belong!"
- Hosted Healthy Me, Healthy Us - family health info day at the library - raised profile of library

- If you do not evaluate/solicit feedback, you risk never knowing the obvious
- Collecting feedback to show you're making a difference in the community

Coaltion - What Works Well?
- strong leadership
- regular communication
- multidisciplinary group so that you learn about each organization
- dedication/accountability
- a plan (i.e. 3 year plan)
- evaluation
- keep sharing, advocating, engaging, keep going!

Game-Based Learning Using Minecraft in the Learning Commons (Erin Wilson)

What it Looks Like:
Technology coach/specialist works with teachers, TA's and educators to create a game based learning journey using the popular game minecraft. Find original presentation here


Educators use the game as another avenue for learning, and tailor their requests, assignments and activities to work in tandem with the current curriculum. ie. Math - measurements/geometry/patters, social studies - societal contributions, geography etc.

Desire to stay up to date and relevant is huge. Educators are constantly looking for new ways to teach and engage with the kids - and this program works really along side already established teaching methods.

Why it works:
Along with working extremely well with the curriculum - the game allows the kids to work together to accomplish goals. Either in pairs, teams or together as a class. The game creators have included an "educator's edition" of the game so teachers/educators can oversee progress and track what the students are doing

Surprising Outcomes:
The game ended up becoming a staple among students with special needs, particularly those that are on the autism spectrum. They can communicate effectively with each other via a chatroom in the game, and teachers are noticing that it encourages socialization and communication outside the game as well - potentially because of the rapport that can be build digitally first.

What this looks like at WPL:
We would look at this a bit differently, considering that Library use would be primarily for programming purposes and not education or curriculum based. I like the idea of adding it into STEAM activities - either for technology or engineering purposes. Giving the kids a few tasks to complete as a group and having them work together to achieve those tasks.

I also think this would be a huge asset for anything sensory friendly that we may want to tackle in the future. Whether that manifests as a sensory hour, a story-time or something else, I think the possibilities are endless.

Sensory Storytime: Why, What, How? (Erin Wilson)

What it Looks Like:
A story time that specifically engineered and designed around children on the autism spectrum with the goal of creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable space for them.

-The facilitator works hard to choose sensory friendly books, or even novels that include children similar to the children who will be attending.
-The facilitator chooses short and to the point stories, fun and interactive songs, finger-plays and nursery rhymes. Repetition is important, and they make a point of singing the same songs each week so that the children get in the routine and enjoy the familiarity - and eventually join in.
-"Fidget Station" are set up around the room for kids to escape to should they become overwhelmed at any time
-The story time doesn't stop or pause if a child is having a hard time - all behavior is essentially glossed over so that the children feel free to be themselves without any judgement on the part of library staff
-Sensory bins are put together for the children to learn with and play with. Soft to the touch usually, never sticky/wet/messy - but still engaging and enjoyable.
"by engaging senses through regular story time activities such as streching, songs, using scarves, pop-up books, felt boards, shakers etc. you are addressing some of their sensory needs"
-Facilitator using a visual schedule - so that the children can see what they've done, what's coming next and in what order.
-Working on getting a small tent for kids who need to escape for a bit

What this looks like a WPL:
The idea of a sensory story time is wonderful and eventually I would love to see it come to fruition. Until then, possibly incorporating some of the ideas into our regular story time could be a jumping off point. A verbal statement of inclusivity so that parents know that their child is free to come and go as they please etc. Incorporating shakers and scarves (I know we do this already - but trying to include it every week) into our routines, and being mindful of loud noises or over stimulation.

Not All Those Who Wander are Lost (MW)
Heather E. Casson

- The focus of this session was small & achievable ways to acknowledge and provide services to patrons with housing insecurities/homeless patrons
- Change your vocabulary a bit! You can use terms like housing insecurities, unsheltered, precarious housing, provisionally challenged, people who sleep rough
- The experience isn’t linear and doesn’t have a certain look

Unsheltered (what most people imagine when they think of the term homeless)
-People living somewhere without consent, not legally allowed to occupy the space
-People living places not intended for permanent human habitation (ex. Under the elevated highways in Toronto)
-“people who sleep rough” is a saying that applies to these situations

Emergency Sheltered
-Something caused their need to be sheltered (violence in the home, extreme cold, fleeing natural disasters, fire damage)

Provisionally Accommodating
-Interim housing
-Temporary living
-Short term crisis beds
-Most people in this type of housing is in some form of crisis

People at Risk of Homelessness
-Precarious employment

Remember that homelessness has 300,000 faces
- almost 1/3 of the homeless population are youth
-Senior citizens are the fastest growing age group
-We can belong to any faith, religion or belief system
-We are all genders
-Couples often need to separate in order to access shelters
-We are anybody at any time, it’s not always obvious

Acknowledge Your Homeless Patrons!
-Incorporate them in displays, programming and reader’s advisory
-Idea : a display on famous people who’ve experienced precarious housing within their lives, center it on voices who have lived through the experience themselves! (Joseph Braithwaite, Maya Angelou, Bev Sellars, Evelyn Lair etc)
-Idea: books with precarious housing in them, look at books written during times of struggle, such as the Great Depression

Get To Know Your Neighbours!
-Know about resources in your community that could help patrons with precarious housing
-Local shelters, respite centres
-Where can someone get low cost meals or access a food bank
-Where are can someone get low cost/free clothing
-Where to get warm or cold? (hint: that’s us! Thank goodness for ac and heat)

Know Your Policies/Principles
-Does your library have a policy that allows those without a permanent address to obtain a library card?

Treat Homeless Patrons like Patrons!
-Smile and say hi!
-Don’t assume they will cause problems
-Apply policies and procedures evenly across all patrons
-Consider they might have info needs

Libraries offer continuity. You can go there and know exactly(ish) where something is.

Change from won’t to can’t
-Instead of why won’t they take a bath, why can’t they take a bath
-Why won’t they stop humming, why can’t they stop humming
-Why won’t they return their books on time, why can’t they return their books on time

Take a Moment for Yourself
-Practice self-care and self-preservation
-Know your limits

Reading Beyond Dementia – Marlena Books (MW)
-Advocates for dignifying, age appropriate books for patrons with Dementia
-Marlena Books are created with a CNIB approved font and a research based layout
-They are short stories that are age appropriate
-Connect with your local Alzheimer’s community for educational sessions
-Have inter-generational programming
-Think about placing book carts in long term care facilities
-Cognitive care kits
-Marlena Books is currently piloting a dementia based book club and building a 50 week curriculum for it
-January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month!
-Alzheimer Society Ontario has dementia friendly training
-Research dementia friendly communities
-Burlington Public Library has cognitive care kits
-Marlena Books will publish 1 new book a month for 2019
-Marlena Books targets early stage dementia

Wed Jan 30
Diversity at Your Library: Effective Strategies, Best Practices and Lessons Learnt (MF)
Panel presentation by Markham PL, TPL and UofT iSchool
MPL has almost 70% diversity in staff composition but most are front line, not professional staff. Removed most of their Public Service Librarians other than Branch Heads in order to increase diversity. In order to increase diversity of community reach, they took a more community based approach, removed barriers as much as possible and focused on outcomes rather than services. They created a Community Development department with 6 areas each headed up by a librarian - Newcomers, Civic Engagement, Culture/Creative Expression, Literacy/Learning, Business/Employment and Health/Wellness. They then added a Community Engagement Specialist role as the 6 librarians are not outreach. They realize that despite the strides, they are only reaching about 5% of the diverse population in their community so still work to be done. Their main focus is on social inclusion, integration, citizenship and civic involvement.
TPL - call it the inclusive environment marathon and figure they are about mid-race, lots of good work done but still lots to do. Verna Myers quote - Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance. TPL feels that's not enough and you should not have to be asked to dance. They have made inclusiveness a Leadership competency. Ran their first D&I survey in 2011 and now running a second one. Worked with union on both. Some questions are open-ended. Have Affinity/Employee Resource Groups - EDGE and Pride Alliance. Get great information from these ERGs.
UofT - It's a long-term commitment which will you make very uncomfortable because you need to look at your own biases and privileges - even those you didn't know you had. Impt to address unconscious bias. You need to build sustainability into the culture - can't have D&I if it's not sustainable. Need means to track the progress. Set up a D&I committee and their first role was to simply gather all the resources, then moved on from there. Information gathered included how to tackle biases and how to overcome resistance.

Main takeaways -from MPL: it's ok to be strategic and work with purpose. You don't have to say yes to every partnership.
from TPL - make D&I part of everything you do. Look at outcomes.
from UofT - Diversity needs to be designed into the system. D&I cannot be left to chance.

Transformative Leadership:Manifesting More in the Workplace (MF)
Although the speaker was extremely engaging and inspiring, there wasn't as much substance to this session as I had hoped. She spoke about how transformative leadership has to be your conviction and you have to desire for things to be different and have a future focused outlook. She talked of the need to engage in conversations to create impact and take advantage of those opportunities. You need to be self-aware but that does not mean you need to be selfless. You also need to be willing to be uncomfortable and put off gratification. Accountability to yourself and others needs to be honoured.
Main Takeaway - Don't do things out of obligation. In today's environment, we need to learn to be still and silent on occasion to recharge ourselves.

How to Implement a Workplace Mental Health Program in Your Library (MF)
Presented by PPL. I had heard part of this presentation before but attended to hear the update on how the implementation was working. PPL was one of the first adapters of the National Standard for Workplace Psychological Health & Safety. Started with a small committee from various levels and departments. They survey staff every 2 years. Although they didn't partner with the city, they do encourage it if possible. Encourage your committee to have mandate and terms of reference. Their committee meets monthly from Sept-June. Very important to have a champion for the program. It needs to be part of everything you do not just one initiative (similar to D&I). They recommended resources they used in their program including rolling out MHFA to supervisors and management. They have run wellness sessions for staff - snacks, light therapy machines, colouring, dog therapy, etc. They also do "appreciative shares" at staff meetings where staff share a personal or work related item that they are grateful for.
Main Takeaway - Lots of resources out there for us to take advantage of. They added a mental health audit as part of their JHSC inspections.

We See You: Inclusion and Empowerment Through Liberating Workflows from Hidden Biases (MF)
Presenters had worked together at Burnaby PL but one of them is now at UofT.
Need to recognize that we have institutional biases where certain groups are advantaged or disadvantaged. These conversations are difficult and awkward and can get emotional. The more privileged you are, the harder it is to see the barriers to others. Realizing your own privileges allows you to take risks. Every day, we make assumptions based on race, gender, etc. They have a great example of how multilingual (in this case Chinese) collections were catalogued vs. English (or regular) collections, and how they worked to remove differences and barriers in the process. You need to question your assumptions and identify barriers. They spoke of how BPL got involved with an LGTBQ group that staff person was interested in - they now have a great relationship with this outsider group and have expanded to change up who attends so that it's not seen as "that librarian" is the one I should see when I'm there and allows them to build a relationship with more than just one staff member.
We need to stop fearing failure. Focus on having a teachable mindset, having the ability to work through your personal, team and institutional biases. They listed ways to address bias: Speak to values, Find allies, Pursue relationships with people different than you (diversity), Lead/Show up (where you can you lead just by showing up?), Be gracious (be kind to yourself and others), Be honest and ever critical with imperfections in your workflow, Practice applying a D&I lens, and lastly, Keep the conversation going.
Main Takeaway - Our intent is often good but has the wrong impact based on our assumptions. We sometimes jump to conclusions rather than figuring out what customers really need and come up with cookie cutter solutions.

Successful ACP run by TPL includes “The Appel Salon” and “On Civil Society”

Careers Spotlight: Melissa Nightingale (JaD)

Author and founder of Raw Signal Group, a company that builds better bosses.

Melissa comes from a tech background, and ended writing/teaching management after becoming a manager and discovering that conventional management advice wasn’t cutting it (just because advice is popular does mean that its true).

Before the talk, Melissa did some research and spoke to a number of librarians and heard a lot of comments that essentially boiled down to a love for the profession and a fear of what happens if we fail (i.e. lose relevance).

Ultimately, managers have a big impact on employee engagement. Managers tend to be unprepared for their new roles since there is very little training provided and those who become managers are often promoted for their good work doing something else.

EmPowering Our Youngest People: Storytime Sessions as a Transitional Tool for Pre-JK Students and Their Families (JaD)

Program in offered in the Halton District School Board.

The program ran May to June at various schools in Halton. The program was for students who had registered for kindergarten, and the goal of this program was to get students ready to start kindergarten. Parents and siblings were also invited, and the storytime always ended with a learning piece for caregivers.

The goal of the program was to help children become comfortable in the school environment, practice simple school routines, educate caregivers about the kindergarten program, and encourage new friendships for children and caregivers.

Key takeaway: some potential applications to pre-school programming at Library. The session also explained a viewpoint on how the schools want to help their students be ready for the start of school, and there are several ways that a public library can support this.

Slides available: bit.ly/SC2019EmPowering

Living Our Values: Inclusive Library Culture (JaD)

To be inclusive, we need to aspire to have the conditions that makes everyone at the table have a meaningful experience. In contrast, diversity would simply be inviting all people to be there, but inclusivity would be striving to create that meaningful experience for all those who are there.

Shared Challenges in the Library Profession:
• In general, we are a homogeneous group (there are barriers to employment in the library profession).
• Fear or hesitancy to offend or spark controversy.
• What are our unconscious bias?

In general, barriers to employment tend to be hidden or grandfathered in (e.g. re-using job descriptions). To aspire to be inclusive in the hiring process, you need to set yourself up for success with the job description.

It’s recommended that you focus on the skill (e.g. working effectively on teams) rather than the personal trait (e.g. collaboration) when designing a job description. Then think about where you want to advertise the job in the community.

Workplace Culture will have an impact on being inclusive as it can hinder or enhance an inclusive workplace.

Key takeaway: Libraries have work to do in becoming inclusive spaces. Libraries need to be open minded and open to changing how we do things. There are barriers and discovering those barriers (esp. the hidden ones) will take work. Making changes based on what is revealed will require taking risks.

While not recommended in this talk, I found What If I Say the Wrong Thing?What If I Say the Wrong Thing? To be really useful as a starting point to think about uncovering unconscious bias.

Ready, Set, Go…Lead Your Learning Organization! (JaD)

In 2015, the Pickering Public Library determined that they needed to change their organizational culture, and transitioning to a learning organization was made a top priority.

Learning Organization: is a workplace that learns continuously and transforms as a result. Staff are continuously learning together.

Characteristics of a learning organization are:
• Continuous training/learning (doesn’t need to formal all of the time)
• Collaborative, team driven
• Leadership at all levels
• Change friendly
• Risk taking – refine as you go (you don’t need to get it right to start)
• Creativity and innovative
• Agility and enthusiasm

There are five principles to the learning organization:
1. Personal mastery
2. Mental models (challenge your assumptions)
3. Shared Vision (i.e. shared purpose)
4. Team Learning
5. Systems Thinking (i.e. identify patterns and relations that affect the system beyond the department/job title).

To implement, PPL did a 9 month case study (2015-2016). PPL wanted to incorporate mental health considerations as part of their change management, and also formed a staff committee (the LEARN Committee) that was made up of staff across departments.

As part of this process, PPL implemented a new of activities (i.e a learn anything professional development day, weekly meetups, incident debriefs etc.).

Main takeaway: Ultimately, this created a workplace culture change, which is still an ongoing process, and it was not without its consequences – PPL experienced higher staff turnover as a result.

Quick and Dirty Data: No Time? No Money? No Programming Skills? No Problem! 10 Tips to Make Your Library Data Useful (JaD)

Allison Clark from the Brampton P.L. provided on overview on how BPL collects their program stats and provided tips on how to make that data useful. All program collection is done through Google Forms.

1. Set up your data to be useful from the start. What do you want to do with this data? Who is going to use this data?
2. Process, not perfection. Adjust for the next iteration of collection.
3. Keep it simple. Collect data once. Brampton has staff enter data into a google form (forms were designed at the beginning of the year based on what they wanted to know).
4. Don’t get your data dirty. If you’re measuring stuff, don’t allow for manual entry if it’s something standard.
5. Learn to love the pivot table.
6. Be consistent. Establish naming conventions for special events (e.g. March Break: Game On!). Decide on program categories when the program is created.
7. Connect with your strategic plan. Create a master list of what you need.
8. V-Look Up! This is a formula that allows you to look up data from the master list table (a sep form) and then pull it up in the live form.
9. Make it Pretty and Tell a Story. Think about your audience: what do they want to know? What do you want them to know? What story do you want to tell?
10. Think Long Term. What’s your next iteration? What were the pain points? What happens if the org changes platforms? What if you move on to a new position?

Main takeaway: Libraries collect a lot of data. Do something with it. Collecting data in a more formal way is not daunting and can have long term benefits, esp. for advocacy efforts.

Lynda.com (Google Sheets Essential Training).

Why Are We All So Tired? Self-Care Strategies for Library Staff (JaD, DM)

Markham P.L. started to see some troubling trends at their library – increased absenteeism, more accommodations. Staff were also seeing and dealing with more complex social issues (i.e. poverty, homelessness). They sought out to look closer at what was causing these trends and what they could do to challenge them.

First, MPL surveyed their staff to get a baseline on stress levels and found that it was above average, and it wasn’t necessarily the work that was stressing staff out when the cause was examined.

Contributing factors to stress included:
• Performance expectations (i.e. doing more with less)
• Personal expectations
• Unexpected priorities (e.g. increased work when someone calls in sick)
• Customer behaviour
• Workload overall

Stress manifested in anxiety, disrupted sleep, physical symptoms and mood disruptions.

The results of the survey showed that there was work to be done and MPL’s response was:
• Host a staff conference (offered over three days in June) and focus on wellness
• Mental Health First Aid Training for staff
• Accommodation training for leadership staff
• Developing a wellness strategy
• Developing an inclusion strategy (can’t have wellness without inclusion)

MPL measures staff engagement every two years and this has a mental health component. The most recent survey indicates that they are moving in the right direction.

Main takeaway: Public library staff are under stress; this is not a problem unique to the Markham Library. Creating a culture of wellness to acknowledge that stress is important; providing tools for staff to manage stress will be important and something that could be considered for future professional development at WPL.

Privacy Please! Helping Canadians to Protect Personal Information in the Digital Era (DM)
- https://www.priv.gc.ca/en
- 92% of Canadians care about privacy and are concerned about protecting themselves
- Vulnerable populations such as seniors (55+) are less likely to adjust privacy settings on phones or tablets because they are not aware of how to set these features. It can be hard for seniors to weed through what is SPAM and what is real in terms of emails; Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Canada has web pages dedicated to the education of seniors regarding things such as identity theft, setting security features, protecting personal information on mobile devices.
- youth (youthprivacy.ca)- graphic novel available to illustrate how posting on social media channels can affect privacy https://www.priv.gc.ca/media/3609/gn_e.pdf
- what you post on the internet is not always private
- How can we as a library help? Become a privacy leader, keep up to date on privacy practices, think twice, keep up to date on privacy policies, properly delete history from devices, know your rights, know your obligations


  • (DN) - Visited the Bibliocommons booth. They're now offering a new design where staff lists are highlighted more prominently. Right now, recently reviewed items are at the top of the page. Seattle has implemented the new model, and staff lists are right at the top.
  • (DN) - Looked at Learning Express. We used to offer this product, which provides patrons with instruction on standardized tests (occupational tests, TOEFL, GED), basic subject refreshers (e.g. math, english) and life skills. It has since been revamped, and with recent economic news, it might be a good tool to offer our patrons. That said, it is available at other libraries in the area.
  • (DN) - The New York Times offers subscription-based access to their website and much of their archives. Surprisingly, it's just a link from the website, no authentication required. It's identical to what actual subscribers see.
  • (DN) - I had a chat with our Overdrive rep. He said that they're working on a Cloud Library-like initiative where libraries could share collections, increasing circ and offering access to a larger collection. It seems to be in the pilot phase. They're also looking at an instant digital card to offer patrons quick access to Overdrive materials as well as an express reads program.

Defending Pussy: How Two Recent Public Art Controversies Challenged us to Change the Way We Think About and Defend Art in Our Spaces *DM*
- Session was presented by Markham Public Library
- Two back-to-back controversial exhibits using their display space that presented challenges. There was no official art space so the art is hung throughout the library
- 1st show was a group of students from the local high school that displayed their artwork. A patron complained about one of the pieces that depicted two male figures embracing as offensive. The art in question was about a young mans’ struggle “coming out”. His fellow students rallied around for support and if the library took down his art work they had to take down the whole exhibit. After much deliberation, the library decided to keep the piece of artwork up and stand by their decision. The exhibit in the end was very successful and it there were no other complaints from patrons
- Immediately following this exhibit was another that was not well received. This exhibit was photographs journaling protests for women
- This time, MPL took it upon themselves to censor the material that patrons may find offensive and vulgar. They chose not to display 3 photos that had the term “pussy” displayed on protest signs and deemed them not child-appropriate. The exhibit “Marching for Gender Equality: Voices Movement and Empowerment” featured 51 photos from the Toronto Women’s March”. Mistake on their part. The Artist was a photojournalist and she took the story to the newspapers. MPL had to issue a public apology for not displaying the artwork.
- What did they learn? All art will always evoke an emotional response. Understand that art will not appeal to all people; a complaint does not mean you’ve done something wrong; expect complaints and be prepared to defend the art as well as your policy; a library’s uncensored collection says “All these stories matter” so too does an uncensored art exhibit” They also learned to ask all exhibitors for photos/images of pieces going into the exhibit giving the library opportunity ahead of time to select pieces they feel may be troublesome.

Going, Almost Gone, Gone: Tips on Managing your Late Career Employees and Helping Them Manage Retirement *DM*
Cons of the aging brain in the workplace:
- Doesn’t see/hear as well as it used to
- Doesn’t process/interpret information as quickly
- Decision making speed/accuracy decreased
- Does not learn as fast
- Contributing factors – less consistent sleep, lower stamina, stress
- Less inclined and not as good at multi-tasking
- Projects requiring too many moving parts, constant multi-tasking are better left for young brains
Benefits of the aging brain in the workplace:
- Longer in the world = higher emotional intelligence
- More interpersonal insight
- Better able to predict outcomes
- Better able to imagine consequences
- Better at long-term planning “Big Picture Thinking”
- Longer attention span, more patience
- More attention to detail
- More practical experience
- Older workers are best candidates to take on long projects that require attention to detail
Why work after retirement?
- Social inclusion
- A sense of contribution, group involvement is critical for people as they age
- Get out of the house
- Keep skills up to task – use their brain cells
- Need money, add to savings
- Stay in touch with colleagues/friends
- Need medical benefits
- Not ready to retire

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost : Homelessness and the Library *DM*
4 types of homelessness
1) Unsheltered – these are people living in public or private spaces without consent, living in places not intended for permanent human habitation, people chosing to “sleep rough” (parks, rooftops, bank vestibules)
2) Emergency Sheltered – result of crisis, weather (fire/floods), violence, not long term
3) Provisionally accommodated – interim housing for people who are homeless, living temporarily with others “couch surfing”, people in institutional care
4) At risk of Homelessness – precarious employment

- Remember that homelessness has over 300,000 faces; all ages; very young (1/3 are youth); seniors(largest growing group- ages 51 or older); largest group men ages 25-44. Can belong to any religion or any belief system; all genders.
Not all people that look homeless are, and not all people that are homeless look it.

What can we do?
- Acknowledge your homeless patrons (greet them); displays; readers advisory; programming; fulfill informational needs on sensitive topics, resume clinics; books clubs; book talks; movie nights.
- Get to know your neighbours (community organizations, hotlines, shelters or respite, where to find free or low cost food, clearing of fines for donated food items)
- Know your policies and principles
- Treat homeless patrons like all patrons; smile and say hello; don’t assume they will be problem patrons; consider they may have information needs; don’t apply policies and rules disproportionately
- Realize that there are no easy choices; most homeless are thinking in terms of 24 hours; where they will sleep; where they will eat; where they will get money
- Take a moment as library workers; self care; know your limits. You can’t help everyone.

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