Bring on the Carnival Fun: Creating Large-Scale Community Programming

Bring on the Carnival Fun: Creating Large-Scale Community Programming


Libraries are increasingly becoming hubs for community play and engagement. But, do we really have what it takes to create a large scale community program that is both free to the public and a celebration of our library users? In this interactive and informative program, we’ll explore strategies for planning a community carnival, creating a planning team that involves community members, and executing this type of event. Snippets of past carnivals will be revealed, as well. Challenges and future opportunities will be discussed.

As a result of this program, participants will learn:
• How to create a planning team, and the planning process
• Strategies for creating this type of program at no cost to the library user, while being budget friendly for the library
• Strategies for creating community partnerships, including offering community members a seat on the planning team

Why this type of program is important:
The current trend in libraries is to create experiences for library users that often face barriers that prohibit them from the experience. In doing so, libraries are spending money to provide free programs on a smaller scale. But, a community carnival is an opportunity to have a broader impact, and to involve overlooked community partners and resources. This type of program does not have to be budget busting either. It is possible to create a large-scale program for the whole community without charging for any of it.


Original broadcast February 13, 2020

Biography: April Watkins
April has worked with children in some capacity her entire adult life, including six years as a high school journalism teacher, and three years as a Children’s Librarian. She can regularly be seen rocking rainbow knee-high socks, tulle skirts, blue hair, and pigtails as she embodies her childhood heroes, Rainbow Bright and Punky Brewster. She loves scrapbooking, alternative music, dystopian YA novels, and binge-watching. April has a BS in Education from Bowling Green State University and a MA in Library and Information Sciences from the University of South Florida. She currently serves as the Early Childhood Services Senior Librarian for Suffolk Public Library where she has started a city-wide reading initiatives, and transformed the way SPL conducts Early Literacy Outreach. She lives in Smithfield, VA with her husband, two sons, and their very large St. Bernard.

A Dungeon Master in the Library: Women, Libraries, and Role-playing Games

A Dungeon Master in the Library: Women, Libraries, and Role-playing Games


Do you have Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) books in your stacks? The popularity of a fantasy game from the 70’s might not be on your radar, but it definitely should be and I’m here to tell you why.

Live-streaming shows with millions of viewers like Critical Role and Adventure Zone and the prevalence of D&D in fictional shows like Stranger Things have brought role-playing games (RPGs) back into the spotlight. It’s not just guys hiding in their mom’s basement playing all night at a card table with caffeine and sugar to fuel them. More people than ever are playing due to a 2014 revamp, making D&D more inclusive, along with other innovative and creative systems that allow people of all ages an easy entry into a game.

Whether it fits into your library’s budget, or not, role-playing games have a multitude of benefits for the people that play them. In this webinar, I will help you understand what RPGs are and why you should advocate to include them in your library collections and programs. I will also share some great resources that allow easy access to you and your patrons. I’m a champion of RPGs and I want you to be too!

You will learn:

A short history of RPGs, women that are at the forefront of their renaissance, and new and popular publications adding amazing depth to the world of role-play gaming
Some of the many benefits of playing an RPG and how that can be a strength for your library
How to access free and low cost materials for starting your own campaign or library program
Where to find RPG support and how-tos when you need them



Original broadcast February 12, 2020

Biography ~ Erin Stachowiak
Erin has worked in the library field for over 13 years and earned her MLIS from San Jose State University in 2016. She is currently one of the Collection Librarians at Arapahoe Library District in Colorado and oversees the media, graphic novels, and electronic resource collections for their 9 branches. Erin has been on multiple panels discussing some of her favorite things like comics, films, RPGs and more at past Denver Pop Culture Cons. She can be found in her basement every Saturday night, playing a 15th level Tengu cleric that’s fighting to save the world.


Update on the Digital Divide

Your webinar will be held on April 29, 2020,  12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  ET.

Login here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/682782832023766027

Within 7 days, the recording of this session will be available in our On-Demand section.



The digital divide still exists in our communities, especially among the poor, the indigent, New Americans, and others on the margins of society. Although progress has been made, what is the current situation nationally, and how does that compare with Florida communities? What are libraries doing to bridge the gap? What questions should you be asking regarding your community’s situation, and what could be your library’s role in improving access?

During this session, we will explore the politics of bandwidth; who needs help and why; the challenges of multiple hardware and software configurations; not everyone will drive a car or change their own oil, either; what about mobile devices, and is it enough to turn on the wifi?

Inventory your community’s public digital assets.
Update your library’s strategic and technology plans to align with your community’s digital assets or lack thereof.
Explore how to partner with public, private, and nonprofit organizations intent on improving bandwidth and digital resources for everyone.

Biography ~ Pat Wagner
Pat Wagner has been a trainer and consultant for libraries since 1978 using e-mail, platforms, and now social media to serve clients across the United States (and the solar system) who she has never met face-to-face.. She presents at state and national library conferences as well as working with libraries of all types from Alaska to Florida. She has been a frequent visitor to Florida libraries and was a facilitator for the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute for several years. Pat focuses on skills needed to support better productivity and workplace relationships, from personnel issues to strategic planning. She is known for her practical and good-humored programs.

The Human Side of 3D Printing: From Policy to Patron Interaction

The Human Side of 3D Printing: From Policy to Patron Interaction

The maker revolution has come to libraries. But how do you manage it all? This program will cover managing the space from first interaction to patron buy in, managing 3D designs, print jobs and waiting cues, to completion, failures and the policies and forms needed for success.


Original Broadcast February 12, 2020

Biography ~ Chris DeCristofaro
Chris DeCristofaro is the Technology Librarian at the Sachem Public Library in Holbrook, New York. He is the Department head of “The Studio”, Sachem’s makerspace. Chris the creator and co-host of the podcast “The Library Pros”, a podcast that discusses libraries and technology. The podcast has had over 20,000 downloads in since March of 2017 and has been downloaded in all 50 states and 22 countries around the world. You can find the listen wherever you find podcasts. Chris has been a librarian since 2002 working in several libraries across Suffolk County New York. He has been a speaker at various conferences including The New York Library Association Conference, Computers in Libraries, Long Island Library Resources Council Conference on “Libraries and the Future” and other library tech seminars. Chris the past President and current “Member at Large” of the “Computer and Technical Services Division of the Suffolk County Library Association” and hosts a monthly meeting discussing libraries and tech with colleagues from across Long Island.

How to Translate the Data We Collect Into Stories

Your webinar will be held on April 14, 2020, 10:30 am  – 11:30 am  ET.

Login here: http://connectpro85922111.adobeconnect.com/rd09kna2m0xh/

Within 7 days, the recording of this session will be available in our On-Demand section.


Collecting numbers, aka quantitative data, answers many questions regarding your library. How many people in your service area have library cards and how has that changed in the last five years? Are more or less senior citizens coming to events? Which nonfiction books are circulating the most?

But numbers don’t tell about the lonely teen discovering a safe haven to create graphic novels. Or the overwhelmed grandmother, now custodian of her toddler grandkids, finding respite and friendship during programs on Reading Readiness and parenting.

In this program, we’ll discuss:

• What makes a compelling library story
• Where to find the best story tellers of all ages and backgrounds
• How to engage your community’s or institution’s talent to put stories into pictures and videos
• How to keep your collection of stories fresh


Biography ~ Pat Wagner
Pat Wagner has been a library trainer and consultant since 1978. She also has a background in the performing, literary, and visual arts as a performance poet and storyteller, playwright, graphic designer, and writer of fantasy fiction. She grew up in a family of storytellers and is currently recording those stories and accompanying photos to share with family members across the globe.

Facilitating Civic Engagement with Pop Up Programming

Your webinar will be held on April 9, 2020,  2:00 pm – 3:00 pm  ET.

Login here: http://connectpro85922111.adobeconnect.com/rki03fsams8x/

Within 7 days, the recording of this session will be available in our On-Demand section.

In late summer of 2016, Skokie (IL) Public Library created a Civic Lab–a mobile, pop-up initiative to increase public discussion and civic literacy among library patrons of all ages. Hear from Christine Goertz and Amy Holcomb, two members of the Civic Lab team, to learn about why civic engagement is inherent in library services, the background of the Civic Lab, strategies in developing civic literacy opportunities across multiple departments, and the four types of pop-up events that make up the majority of Civic Lab appearances. They’ll also discuss the lessons learned from three years of civic literacy programming.

Learning Objectives:

• Be able to articulate and advocate for the role of the public library as a convener of civic engagement opportunities in the community
• Be able to identify strategies and topics for engaging patrons in thought-provoking ideas and dialogue beyond traditional programming
• Be able to identify and engage library staff at all levels in civic engagement initiatives across the library

Biography ~ Christine Goertz
Christine Goertz is a Collection Development Librarian for the Youth Services Department at the Skokie Public Library selecting fiction for birth to age 12. When she is not busy reading for Skokie’s Hot Summer Reads Committee, Christine is usually prepping for an upcoming Civic Lab. She is currently at work preparing for a pop-up focused on how the disposal of household clutter impacts the environment.

Biography – Amy Holcomb
Amy Holcomb is the Experiential Learning Supervisor at Skokie (IL) Public Library where she manages three hands-on learning spaces for youth, teens, and adults. She entered libraries through a series of fortunate events while an undergraduate studying chemistry. She loves applying her science background in programming opportunities and really loves how learning and sharing knowledge are essential parts of her job. Amy is a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. Her favorite Civic Lab topics are science related, including genetic editing, outer space ownership, and climate change.

How to Get Things Done When You’re Not the Boss

Your webinar will be held on April 7, 2020,  10:30 am  – 11:30 am  ET.

Login here: http://connectpro85922111.adobeconnect.com/rlwxs3xtggsk/

Within 7 days, the recording of this session will be available in our On-Demand section.




Sometimes you’re not in charge. You cannot tell people what to do. Yet you still need their help to do your job. Yes, it’s possible to get results, influence others, and lead projects without being a boss. But how? By establishing a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness, you’ve got a good start–yet you need to master certain skill sets to succeed. To this end, this Webinar explores strategies for helping you to achieve your goals regardless of your job title and standing in an organization.

More specifically, you’ll learn how to:

· Craft a compelling vision of your expectations;
· Rally and engage others;
· Tailor your work style and communications to fit those who you work with;      and
· Create win-win situations for you and colleagues.

Biography ~ Mitchell Friedman
Mitchell Friedman, EdD, APR develops people. Known as an enthusiastic, energetic, and insightful professional, he basks in opportunities to help others to achieve their full potential. Dr. Friedman is a Senior Lecturer in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He concurrently serves as Northern California Director of the Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies, and helps a range of organizations to develop the communications and leadership skills of their employees.

Mental Health and Libraries


Your webinar will be held on April 2, 2020  2:00 pm – 3:00 pm  ET.

Login: http://connectpro85922111.adobeconnect.com/rwqgmkpu45sm/

Within 7 days, the recording of this session will be available in our On-Demand section.


Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While libraries cherish our privilege to serve all, we often struggle in responding to our patrons experiencing mental health disorders. Learn to provide the best response to people having a mental health crisis, including advice on how to improve workplace policies and procedures from a librarian/certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. This webinar will increase your knowledge of mental illness, equip you with techniques for effective communication and de-escalation, and provide concrete examples in developing or enhancing positive workplace policies and procedures surrounding mental health.

Biography ~ Taylor Atkinson
Taylor Atkinson is the Assistant Director of the Union County Carnegie Library in Union, South Carolina.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Success: Powerful Tips To Make the Platform Work for Your Library

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Success: Powerful Tips To Make the Platform Work for Your Library


Instagram has one billion active users, likely including thousands of your cardholders. 71 percent of those users are under the age of 35, the demographic most libraries are desperately trying to reach. So if your library is not on Instagram, it should be. And if your library is on the platform, it’s time to figure out how to make it work for you!

In this session you’ll learn:

* What to post and how often to post.
* Get creative tips for stories, paid ads, and more.
*How to analyze the success of your Instagram posts
*What to do about hashtags
*How to keep up on the changes that can wreck havoc on your social media strategy.


Original broadcast  February 5, 2020

Biography ~ Angela Hursh
Angela Hursh/Content Team Leader, Marketing/Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County/angela.hursh@cincinnatilibrary.org

Angela left TV news six years ago to work a dream job at the library. She is responsible for executing strategic communications and marketing plans. She leads a team that creates the content used in all library campaigns delivered via traditional and digital mediums, including print, web, email, video, and social media.

How to Coordinate Popular Author Events at Your Library

How to Coordinate Popular Author Events at Your Library


Want to learn how to coordinate popular author event by creating a memorable experience for your author and attendees? This webinar is for you! This program will give you tools including Mj’s Author VIP Form to gather unique details about the author before his or her appearance. (Downloadable form will be available.)

Then, you will learn to use Mj Callaway’s easy-to-implement marketing formula, Author Countdown, to generate event interest. Hear how to kick off a pre-event meet & greet with VIPs.

We will also discuss why and how partnering with clubs, organizations, and associations take your event to the next level. In this webinar wrap-up, you’ll discover the Top Ten Event Suggestions from Popular Authors.

<strong>Participants in this webinar will:</strong>
• Get the five must-haves for successful author events
• Eliminate avoidable snafus attendees and authors have experienced
• Add fun to the occasion using creative ideas other authors incorporated




Original broadcast February 4, 2020

Biography ~ Mj Calloway
As a former corporate sales trainer and only award-winning woman sales executive to rank #1 nationally, Mj knows first-hand the disruptions professionals, managers, and executive teams handle daily. Yet, they still need to be positive and productive.
She blends her experiences together, sales, speaking and journalism, to create interactive and impactful workshops. With more than 2,000 articles published in consumer magazines, she’s interviewed hundreds of people from youth entrepreneurs to CEOs to non-profit founders to professional athletes. She has a unique ability to make others feel like they’re talking to a friend.
Mj has earned Professional Member designation from National Speakers Associations (NSA), and she’s the current Co-President of NSA Pittsburgh.