Friday, November 18, 2016

Session: Turning web traffic into foot traffic

Visitor A  -----Customer B
Measure foot traffic

Click through rates from newsletter
Customer Journey map
Know the journey

What steps user needs to take
Where are they getting hung-up?

Work backwards

Web site what are they clicking on, then what, then at what point should they come to the library and what’s stopping them?

Foot traffic = why motivate them to come in

Place a hold – pick up a hold

Visit                                                       Holds picked up
Holds                                                     Holds placed
Authenticate                                     Sign on click thru
Select                                                    place hold click thru
Search                                                  keyword results
Homepage                                          bounce rate
Direct                    Google                 refer google analytic

You can’t manage what you can’t measure

Advanced Class:
Dash,     Echo,     Fresh
                Hold – no funnel
Price does not equal Cost

Friction is costly

What would success look like?

2 strategies
1.       Reduce steps (shorten the funnel)
2.       Expand the top of funnel (reasons to visit library)

Reno NV (?)

Amazon -> shows library results???

Session: Auditing & Replacing Library Signage

Signs are living documents

Promotes                            (promotional)
Provides direction            (directional)
Describes policies             (informational)

Bad signage
Too many
Poor placement
Inconsistent design (= confusing)
Too much text

Must have a controlled thesaurus for signage

1.       In house (DIY)
2.       Permanent (institutional)
3.       Temporary (i.e. out of order)
4.       External (for the public)

Get buy-in from Dean to remove
                Text heavy
                Hand written

People are not going up to a sign to read the fine print

Literature says san serif for readability

Assessment = survey the employees for prefereed font, size, language

Buy in can be challenging

“24x36” no more than 5 words with real photos

Students feel offended by passive aggressive signage

Create design templates
Track location of signs
Be mindful of placement
Remove ½ the signs
Avoid glare (laminating)
No all caps
Co-brand & depart name

Bump points or touch points for signs
                Where decision points such as elevator or top of stairs

Used a red border onpolicy signs

Signs… the library is not a parking lot

Silent study (that’s all the sign says)

ADA: avoid glare, embrace contrast

Respect sign/campaign, not code of contact that looked like constitution

Signs on easels or holders not on walls, furniture
No fancy fonts
No posting on doors & walls
No visible tape

Signage Policy (LMAO) ACRL

1-2 people designated signage team. Get buy in if possible, at least from Dean

Data for buy-in/focus groups
Enforce policies or don’t have them.

Weekly signage stroll

Session: Assessing Transformative Programming

Forget gate count

Facebook to geolocate people around the building

Loyola programs:
·         Haunted library – theater arts do it – storytelling
·         Story time for ELC equivalent
·         Therapy dogs
·         Art workshops
·         Speaker series (banned books)
·         Opening receptions for exhibitions
·         Faculty Pub Night
o   Call for proposals
o   9 faculty present
o   With pub food
o   7 years so far

Collaborate with many partners
Plan 5-8 months ahead
Think about assessment
Used to collect paper forms – still do

Word of mouth is best marketing
Reaching out to individual faculty members instead of flyers

1.       Be specific (will learn, change behavior)
2.       Measureable (no more than 2 indicators)
3.       Focus on what participants will do

Blooms taxonomy
        How do we measure this?

Human library event
·         Learning outcome: participants will recognize and/or demonstrate importance of conversation as a means to addres issues of discrimination, prejudice and stigma
·         Survey to measure outcome
o   Did you learn anything about discrimination, prejudice or stima? If so or if not, what did you learn?

This survey question is a shows a demonstrable change to perception

Long Night Against Procrastination event
8 pm – am

Quiet, structured, comfy
8:00 registration
Chair yoga
Goody bags
Bubble wrap 5 minutes
·         Goal/Learning outcome – feel they made significant progress
·         Assessment
o   Rate elements of programs
o   What did you accomplish
o   What was the best part?

Programming Rubric
1.       Why did you decide to attend?
2.       What did you learn?
3.       Was there anything that surprised you?
4.       Demographic questions
5.       Thank you. To be entered into our drawing for $100 amazon year end card
6.       Join the mailing list

Make a big deal about end of year winner.

Feedback form on chairs at event

Session: Canva 101

Letterspacing (consistent fonts across all channels, cushion size)
Does physical signage too
How it’s done (color coded signage types)
Rules a different color i.e. 15 minute scanner limit


Print vinyl stickers
White font on color photo
Transparent color block (blur filter in advanced)

Guided pathways model

Contrast (font & color)

Design school on Canva – tutorials
‘color picker’ browser extension

High res photos for all uses
·         Whatthefont

Identify font from photo

Session: A Marketing Approach

Digital is one channel not the only one

“Your brand is not your logo. It is all of the associations & projections your customers put on you either with your input or without it” – David Ogilvy

How do people experience you?

Worldes  organized space vs our spaces

Consumer oriented
                “bad library signage”

Clean & Clear

No one thinks a hoarder is a cutting edge thinker

Consistent signage
End cap displays = more sales


a-c system wide
d branch
e community
f staff communication

help staff feel smart
help customers

Bags given to customers

Marketing is strategic (first

Vinyl signage

Get rid of little flyers
Handout one piece (calendar)

Black = chic

Wordmark = chic?

Geek chic
One click away campaign
Feature content no vendor

Hurting us from reputation perspective – need use style guide

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Session: Positioning your Library Marketing for Success

Positioning your Library Marketing for Success

Cake not just icing

5 keys to library marketing success

1. Make marketing part of the strategy
  - not just 'can you make a flyer'
2. Set clear goals from the beginning
  - metrics and how will you define success of campaign
3. Support from the top is critical
  - seat at the table of leadership group, autonomy able to say no or yes to projects
4. Understand your audience
 - where does audience live, where do they get their information, opt in listserv
5. Understand the tools
 - start with a press release, define scope of the project in the press release

Examples of successful campaigns

A. Open House
Objectives: increase attendance, reduce library anxiety, show resources
$3000 happy video, happy tshirt give away

B. Blue Crew
Objective: increase reference statistics
To begin gather front line staff.
Customer service training, how we might portray them as a group to engage students, branded themselves as blue crew, library purchase shirts (a variety of styles and type) improved visibility and service point
Branded all services, chat, reference etc with blue crew
1 year campaign but they are still using the brand

Set metric from the beginning. Their goal was a 40% increase in statistics.  They achieved a 48% increase.

C. UndeadTech
Campaign for 2 weeks to find cables to get info off dead devices
Prepared staff to answer questions
Facebook ad

D. GRRM comes to Texas A&M
George R.R.Martin
Deeper than swords
Press release, invitation, dinner for 80 people at $400 each which raised money for campaign
Dinner included reception
Standard free lecture
Book signing
HBO actually helped and pre-screened an episode

E. Virtual Exhibit: Gebhardt Company Archive in Special Collections
Who is this for?
What are we hoping to get out of this campaign
How do we engage them

For foodies, donors

virtual exhibit, both in spanish and english, visually engaging, light on reading, bordering on edutainment, little metadata, guestbook, pinterest board.

What didn't work:
A. Embedded Peer Coaches
Office hours in library for peer tutoring
A case of 'make us a flyer'
needed to do more research prior to launching service


1. Advocate for seat at the table
2. Take the time to gather baseline data (set clear goals)
3. Make case with data & proven success
4. Do your audience research (10 people minimum)
5. Find tools audience use the most

Session: Libraries Learn from Ad Agencies

Libraries Learn from Ad Agencies
Spenser Thompson

Marketing - Sales - Fundraising ... connect the messages

"We are going to be campus/community focused and have spectacular marketing meetings"!

"Marketing makes money for a company by turning more strangers into champions"
i.e. Apple users or Trekkies

* Marketing helps get people to the next step of their journey
* Great marketing is community focused no services focused. Fall in love with the User

Create and use personas to better understand your audience.  Social Sarah or Techie Tom
What kind of car does your audience drive?  Office park dad, soccer mom, millennial max. 

Marketing is Drama Driven not just data driven

A brand is ONE idea, no 'me too'

Examples:  Life  or Success or Trust. Showed the Life marketing campaign image for a public library.

Always be closing

Ask in meeting
What is the problem and how can marketing solve it?
What is it trying to achieve?
Narrowed focus enough?
What is library route?
What does person in charge of audience think?
What community?
We're tired of campaign but are users?  (don't rotate to a new one too quickly)
Do not compose slogans

Push back at meetings

Who are the ten people who need to be aware.  Don't do awareness campaigns

Don't crowd the message

Who are we talking to?  Why do they care?


Business goal would be funding librarians
Value the librarians

Yelp (quiet place to study)

We are not a book warehouse

5 things monkeys do
See themselves
Contact us
Like & Follow
Subscribe (create listserv notices for activities/events/information

Follow users to see what they are interested in

To vendors.  How are you going to help librarians succeed with your product?

Be old fashioned. Get out and hustle

Create bonds early in the relationship (high school? or at least freshmen)

Service strategy
Focus on community
Harmonize marketing sales fundraising
Passionate leaders
Marketing - good business
Marketing is also ears
Love the audience

Session: Market Research: Make it Better

Market Research: Make it Better

Good surveys can be very helpful

1. Who is gong to be surveyed?
2. How will the survey be conducted. There are pros and cons for each methodology:
  a. telephone
  b. mail
  c. online
  d. in person
3. Recruit respondents, lawn signs, postcards

Some questions reworded for better results:

1. About how many times have you visited the library in the past 12 months?  If you aren't sure, give us your best guess.
____ times

2. How often do you use the following service, select all that apply

Include null options such as no answer, or no opinion

Keynote by John Hayden

Library Marketing and Communication Conference
Keynote by John Hayden
From interruption to invitation

What is the product we're offering?

Marketing job description:
Not just to get the word out but to distribute information, get other people to get the word out.

"Would *I* really share this?"

Listen first before marketing
Demographic information is just not that helpful.
Instead create personas.

Who are your people?
What do they care about?
What do they want to do?

Use verbs!
Learn, connect, share

Book: "Facebook marketing for dummies"

Be Useful
* to each audience
* connect people to resources
* connect people to each other
* solve problems
* point the way

Be a conversation starter
Not just update Facebook and walk away, but start conversations.
* conversation - connection
* ask questions
* ask for stories
* ask for opinions
* ask for help
* seek to understand
* use regular themes

Example of doing it right: Cornell birds
* what's your favorite bird? Identify bird? Submit photos.

* use multiple choice questions

Example: waht's your favorite flavor of ice cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry

* use true false
* use caption contests

Be a storyteller
* what's the hook
* what's the payoff
* patron is the hero

Example: picture of cute dog with leaf on head (hook) emotional reaction. Patron wants to be part of the story. Ask, connect, grow, shinel. Story of person impacted by library

DO NOT post pictures of:
1. people standing next to each other
2. pictures with no descriptions
3. irrelevant

DO post pictures
1. people in action
2. show relationship
3. show results
4. show problems

Be a Conductor
* all channels playing together (marketing, sales , fundraising)
* editorial calendar is the sheet music (themes, what's the message, how all channels participate in message)
* patrons hate noise but love music

Be a Human Being First
* reply quickly & cheerfully
* listen & have empathy
* have a sense of humor

Welcoming Patrons
#1 Thank them sincerely (Say it better with a video on the thank you page)
#2 Reinforce impact they made (Remove the organization from the thank you)
#3 Ask what they thinK (Follow up with patron surveys, For instance what subjects? Gives some sense of control)


Bring library to patrons

Live Facebook video
1. don't freak out
2. pick a topic people want to discuss
3. make an outline for your broadcast
4. respond to comments thoughout
5. recycle recording, slice it up and repurpose
 use to add to blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What Bird Are You?

I asked my library colleagues to take the "What bird are you most like?" Facebook test from Cornell Lab. I then had them fill out a brief survey stating which bird they were, on which side of the the classic division of public or technical services personnel, and whether they were faculty or paraprofessional staff.

The results were all I could hope for.  Of the 35 people working at the library 27 responded to the survey 19 staff and 8 faculty, 16 in public services and 10 technical services with one abstention on the division question.

5 ravens, 4 kestrels, 3 mallards, 2 crows, and 2 magpies.   So what happens when we add the two divisions of Public/Technical services and Faculty/Staff?

Overlap only occurred with three birds

  • Three staff Ravens in Public Services
  • Three staff Mallards in Public Services 
  • Two faculty Crows in Public Services

So why did I do this?  Diversity.  Diversity is more than what you can see when you look at someone. We are all different even when we seem mostly the same.  I'm hoping this opening gambit can lead to a larger and more far-reaching conversation of differences, respect, encouragement, inclusion and yes, diversity.

-- Jenny

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Domes for Libraries

Full disclosure: My father is David South, originator of Monolithic Domes.

I love these dome libraries!!!

The most recent Domed library is the Kasson Public Library in MN. More photos and information about this dome can be found at:

Another adorable dome library part of an elementary school in the Philippines.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Clever Collection Concept

One of my friends took this picture of the Lowell Observatory 'vote with your wallet' idea.

I wonder how we could adapt this to the world of libraries...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ready or Not, You're Now a Health Sciences Librarian!

Change,  you never know when it will happen to you.  Change, it's the new normal.  Right?  In the summer of 2015 for a variety of reasons someone needed to step up and help out our Idaho Health Sciences Library. It now consisted of one faculty and one staff person.  Someone needed to help out.  I was just finishing up a year as Faculty Senate co-chair, and two building projects (new carpet on two floors & earthquake bracing for all stacks) so of course, I had time to help out.  The department was moved into my domain and *poof* I was now going to be a health science librarian.  Well, not exactly.

I am not a health science librarian.  However, I can teach. I know how to use the databases to which the library subscribes (though I hadn't ever counted on knowing in any detail those belonging to the health sciences).  And I like learning new things.  What could possibly go wrong?   Innocence and bravado can take you places you never expected to go and I began the year armed with a little knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm.  It worked, at least to a degree.  I was able to teach orientations where faculty wanted me to show the scope of resources available to students.  I was able to teach searching using keywords and subject terms.  I watched a lot of online webinars on the various primary databases such as PubMed, CINAHL, Clinical Key etc.

As the semester wore on the 'intro' workshops finished and new more in-depth ones came on.  These in-depth sessions wanted me to teach topics such as research for Evidence Based Practice and Spanish for the Health Sciences. At this point I turned to the real Health Sciences librarian left at ISU.  Molly.  Molly is an amazing, knowledgeable, energetic librarian who has created a large number of online tutorials to help students learn the very things I needed to teach.  I watched her tutorials. And I rewatched them. I even included some in the various workshops.  I cannot thank Molly enough for her rescue.  Molly's YouTube

I'm still not a health sciences librarian.  I just don't have the depth of subject knowledge required. But I'd like to think that I'm effective of at least getting students started in the right direction with their research.  Interestingly enough I think this work has improved my own research abilities. (How could it not?)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Promotion and Tenure: Carnegie Reclassification Triggers a Revision

Image from Mike's Blog:
Last year my colleagues Sandra Shropshire, Karen Kearns (deceased) and I published an article on promotion and tenure and how it changed when Idaho State University was reclassified as a research institution.

When I began work here (1995) at the Oboler library  all you had to do was your job.  Do it well and you would be moved up the promotion chain. With a change in deans the emphasis became one of teaching.  'All faculty teach' therefore library faculty must teach.  Teaching became the most important factor for tenure and acquiring another advanced degree became the measurement for the rank of Professor. Then there was a change of University Presidents and with this change the emphasis became one of research.  No longer did the maxim 'all faculty teach' apply.  Instead it was one of 'all faculty research.'  All of this change occurred over a period of approximately 12 years.

The change of emphasis to research was turbulent across campus as faculty re-tooled for research. I must acknowledge that many departments, and faculty were already strong researchers and did not have any difficulty. A stop the clock policy was implemented by administration to assist in the retooling.This policy allowed faculty 1-2 years off the tenure clock to get researching.  One of the provosts during this time came to the library and gave us the minimum of two peer-reviewed publications for each promotion/review (approx 5 years).  It was recognized that library faculty are different than regular departmental teaching faculty and therefore the workload and output would also be different. Concurrently the university instituted new workload policies, new promotion and tenure policies and new post tenure review policies.  There was a lot of change going on.  It was as this turbulence was settling that we wrote our paper.

Shropshire, Sandra, Jenny Lynne Semenza, and Karen Kearns. "Promotion and Tenure: Carnegie Reclassification Triggers a Revision." Library Management 36, no. 4/5 (2015): 340-50. doi:10.1108/lm-09-2014-0113.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive assessment of promotion and tenure for librarians in light of increased scrutiny and expectations by the administration of Idaho State University (ISU). This increased rigour was prompted by a move up in the Carnegie Classification System. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review was performed using library databases, as well as assessing peer institution promotion and tenure documents. Additionally ongoing feedback from University administrators was solicited. The process took for the creation of a new promotion and tenure document for ISU library took two years from the beginning of the project to the final approved document. Findings – The study found a dearth of performance benchmarks in both literature and peer institution policies and required the authors, along with other library faculty, to create evidence based benchmarks for ISU aligned with traditional standards of teaching, research and service. Originality/value – This paper is an inclusive assessment of the literature on faculty promotion and tenure, the policies of ISU’s peer institutions, and the change of Carnegie Classification’s impact on the ISU policies
We rewrote our library workload policy, our promotion and tenure policy and created many guideline documents for ourselves and our colleagues to assist in navigating the paperwork processes. To manage these documents we used Google Sites to create a website where everyone could access the documents. Since the change there has been an increase in the publication record of library faculty here at ISU and several successful promotions and awards of tenure.

Image from:

Friday, August 05, 2016

Disability Awareness Training

Another great session, this one focused on updating our understanding of interactions, communications, services and resources for people with disabilities.

According to the 2006 Canadian Census every seventh person has a disability.  One of the new terms/concepts for me was the idea of aging into disability.

From a survey:
What is helpful
  • Accessing catalogue from home
  • Home delivery
  • Plain language
  • Staff accessing shelves on my behalf
  • Being given extra time
  • Staff open to various communication modes
What are barriers
  • Physical environment
  • Time on computer
  • Standing in line or carrying items
  • Crowded public seating
  • Cognitive demands
  • Asking for help and feeling like I take too much time
  • Confusing signage
  • Patronizing, impatient or insensitive staff
Universal Design
Fix the environment, the issue or barrier in the environment (not the individual)

Principles of Universal Design
  • Equitable Use
  • Flexibility in Use
  • Simple and Intuitive
  • Perceptible Information
  • Tolerance for Error
  • Low Physical Effort
  • Size and Space for Approach and Use
Diversity is normal

Take time to do more research on these topics:
  • Person First Language
  • Cognitive Disabilities

Safety, Security, & Self Defense

The session began with a video from Ohio State "Run Hide Fight"

 There are four sections to the comprehensive training plan as implemented by Eastern Washington University.

1. Safe environment
2. Self defense
3. Workplace safety
4. First aid

1. Safe Environment Training
They hired an outside consultant (Joe Fithian) to run a 7 hour training session.
2. Self Defense Training
Brought in someone from the Police department for ~2 hours
3. Preventative Measures
Situational awareness, plan of action,
3b. Workplace Safety Training
Police came in to analyze service points and workspace to assist in recognizing dangers and opportunities, such as escape routes, hiding places, and self defense options.
4. First Aid
Fire department, but could have brought in training from a variety of sources including hospital, or Red Cross

They distribute detailed building plans with exits marked and icons for the locations of First Aid Kits, Trauma Kits, and Disaster Kits.

In dangerous situations it's useful for everyone to recognize use the same code word or physical action like pulling on an ear a l'a Carol Burnett.

Policy to not verify students work status, schedules or other personal information via the phone.

2-4 times a year employees are invited to attend a safety session.  This is made up of a video and discussion.
Once a year or so for first aid training.

They have also hosted training for emergency and law enforcement personnel. They did it when the library was closed and the librarians were able to volunteer to be the victims.   This included classroom instruction for the personnel, then increasingly difficult scenarios.

This was a fascinating session and I have a lot of information to digest and training to implement.

Energized for Excellence

Health and Productivity Expert Michelle Cederberg:

She is an energetic and energizing speaker combining wit and wisdom. Here are my somewhat disjointed notes.  I'm definitely buying her book.

We all have excellence! Attack today with boldness. The energy within is a renewable resource Referred to her book "Energy Now"

Also referred to the book "First Things First" by Stephen R. Covey (the table below is adapted from this book).  How are you currently spending your time? Reprioritize! You can always find time for what you think is important. Move your growth tasks into obligations.

Urgent and Important
Important not Urgent
Not Important but Urgent
Distraction and Deception
Unimportant not Urgent

When it's hard to say no. Answer the request with a pause and the words "That sounds like a great idea. I'll get back to you in 24 hours."

 Physical, emotional, mental health = high performance

 "Stress does not like salad"

And there's another book by Michelle "If Your Life Sucks It's Your Fault" she describes it as a book that people buy to give away...

MESH: Move, Eat, Sleep, Hydrate
Move: Do more than is normal for you. Incremental improvement. Go big or go home doesn't work. 
Eat: bite sized changes
Sleep: do it
Slow down, pause, rest

There's a difference between Mind Full and Mindful

Prioritize your time
Protect your time
Power-up using MESH (Move, Eat, Sleep, Hydrate)
Pause and Breathe

 Small steps count. Do the work

Design Thinking for Libraries

We begin with the keynote address on Design Thinking.

This was a great, inspiration talk by Dan Buchner of the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute, Banff Centre. Very encouraging for collaborative, user centered, culture of yes thinking and leadership. Here are my disjointed notes.

Keep the change video from Bank of America an example of Design Thinking.

Putting people first is the basis of Design Thinking.

What are people's priorities, problems, interests. Design thinking is biased towards action, human centered, collaborative, iterative, learning. It's the 'try it' mentality.

Check out and get the downloadable .pdf.  Graphic below is from the site.

To start the problem solving process, frame an opportunity statement. This statement must follow this criteria:
  1. 7 to 10 words 
  2. Free of jargon 
  3. Free of criteria 
  4. Affirmative in orientation 
  5. Identify the owner of problem 
  6. Include action verbs 
  7. Include objective or goal 
  8.  Start with the word: How do we ..... Or In what ways might we..... Or How we might .... 
Design thinking is all based on listening. Listening without preconceived ideas or preferred outcomes. Asking open ended questions that do not lead the respondent. Interviewing: Focused, interactive.   Watch expressions of interviewee.   What don't they say?   What do they value?   What gets them energized?   Don't listen for affirmations.   Look for things that are challenges.    Avoid judgements.   Listen for things to help reframe.   Stay curious.  Start broad and go deep.

One person asks the questions, one person observes the interview The observer tracks what is observed and what is discussed

What do you like about where you live
What is important to you about the place where you live, what do you value
How did you find the this place

The question was: Selecting an apartment to rent/house to buy

Though the speaker didn't have time to go into it he did suggest that hand in hand with design thinking is the concept of Empathy Mapping.  There's a fairly good blog post at on the concept.

Wonderful speaker, definitely one that I'd recommend to any conference planner.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Donor signage ideas from the Loveland Aquarium, Salt Lake City

Here's a great tie-in between the receiving institution and the recognition wallIMG_4092