The past few days have been a whirlwind — my apologies for not posting a synopsis for Day 3 of the Rural Libraries Conference sooner.

I won one of the fabulous gift baskets: Dream Big — which contained picnic supplies: decorative paper plates, a pinwheel, a bottle of blueberry wine, dark chocolate, a bubble wand, and a “chillable” gel wrap designed for a wine bottle.

Our morning keynote speaker was the “amazingly informed & therefore properly opinionated” Librarian in Black, Sarah Houghton! *virtual applause* 

  • “Digital content forces us to be ethical people.” 
  • There is a significant difference between the lingo salespeople use when talking to libraries about digital resources — they commonly use terms such as buy, sell, and own. On the flip side, the contract for these services utilizes a whole different lexicon — license, subscription, and lease
  • Houghton referred to the publishers whom are not lending e-books through libraries as the “Naughty Six.” 
    • “If you don’t play nice with libraries, than you’re an evil villain!” 
  • Recently, a new director purchased several Kindles and using a smattering of faux Amazon accounts loaded bestseller content onto the devices which are now being circulated in the library!
    • After 6-9 months, still no word from Amazon.
    • Sarah Houghton, who just became director of San Rafael Public Library, plans on following suit. 
  • Digital resources I want to look into: Open Library, Podio, Gluejar, and LibriVox.
  • Barnes and Noble have remained library-friendly. In fact, they have a loophole in their TOS that allows the purchase of a title and placement onto 6 different devices. Impressive. 
    • If I buy an e-reader, it’s definitely going to be a Nook of some variety. 
  • Patrons using Kindles + OverDrive are unknowingly having their personal data collected and stored by Amazon. Creepy!
  • Houghton cited Doctorow’s First Law (Cory Doctorow): “Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won’t give you a key, they’re not doing it for your benefit.” 

After the morning keynote, we split up into various break-out sessions. I attended Non-Fiction Reader Advisory for Everyone which was presented by Holly Hibner, Plymouth District Library, and Mary Kelly, Lyon Township Public Library.

  • As I stated in my notes from Day 2 (Thingamabobs and Doodads: Tech Support IS Reference), these ladies could easily have their own comedy show. For now, we have their fabulous blog Awful Library Books
  • Hibner and Kelly didn’t focus on all new books for their presentation — as it’s beneficial to have back-ups when the newer materials are all checked out. 
  • “Eye appeal is appeal.” –Mary Kelly
  • “You need to pair David Sedaris with the right reader.” –Holly Hibner, (I think)
    • Note: I am that reader.
  • When working with patrons, librarians need to go with the moment, start a relationship, and share the pain of everyday life. 
  • “There is such stereotypes out there. People feel the need to be serious when talking to us. Lighten up!” –Holly Hibner
  • Think broadly when working with teens — they read all over the place — from children’s to adult materials.
    • Keep cool things/objects on your desk — they’re great conversation starters.
    • Keep creep out things nearby — teen boys love them.
    • Stop using the word ‘read’ and try using ‘look at this’ instead.
  • You don’t necessarily have to read the book to have it on your go-to list — patron recommendations work just fine. The key is knowing where the book is located that way you can keep the conversation with the patron flowing.
  • When constructing your go-to list cover the gamut of the entire Dewey range.
  • There was some discussion of interfiling / inter-shelving of adult, YA, and children’s non-fiction materials. Popular reasons:
    • Size driven — frees up much needed space;
    • Stigma — people with different reading levels are spared browsing in the juvenile area and vice versa.
  • Keep a ‘cool book cover’ pile on your desk — another great conversation starter with patrons. 
  • Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library in Imlay City had a unique idea ‘Blind Date with a Book’ 
    • Books are wrapped in brown paper and a bow adorns the cover
    • Barcodes are placed on the front or back of the brown paper for circulation ease.
    • Encourages patrons to broaden their reading territory. 
    • Has been received very well by the library’s patrons! (Great idea!)