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Strategies for Responding to Difficult Questions

Strategies for Responding to Difficult Questions

From the innocent “Where do babies come from?” to poking at complex political issues, a difficult question can bring conversations and workplace productivity to a halt. In libraries, they might include the vague request from the library user who doesn’t know or can’t articulate what they want. How about the loaded question meant to stop progress on a new strategic plan? Or the personal question that is more an accusation? Or the complicated problem that requires more than a simple yes or no response?

It’s not just about coming up with the “right” answer. Learn how to stay calm, confident, and competent, even when the person asking is confused, poorly informed, unorganized, or hostile. A few key strategies can keep both of you on track and, in a library workplace, can lead everyone back to work on good terms.

At the conclusion of webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Stay focused on content, not what you think the intent is
  • Stay respectful regardless of the question
  • Make a conversation a dialogue, not a monologue
  • Build trust and respect during difficult conversations
  • Take less time to deal with “hard” questions

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Original broadcst November 8, 2016

Biography ~ Pat Wagner 
Pat Wagner and her husband Leif Smith own Pattern Research, Inc., [sieralearn.com], a 41-year-old training, research, and consulting business. She has worked for libraries and higher education as an educator and consultant since 1978, focusing on behavioral and organizational skills that support institutional and personal success. Her specialties include conflict management, customer service, marketing, supervision, project management, and ethics.

Pat is a frequent speaker at state and national library conferences and has worked with libraries and library-related organizations in 48 states and Canada, from small rural storefronts to the largest urban and academic libraries. She has two published books related to libraries and contributed to Conflict Management for Libraries: Strategies for a Positive, Productive Workplace (https://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=46) as well as numerous articles for library-related books and magazines.

Pat is known for her practical and good-humored programs. She lives in Denver with her husband and two pushy cats

Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project

Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project

The Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project is a collaboration between the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries and the library system at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. It receives funding support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for Florida and Puerto Rico’s involvement in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The NDNP is a long-term effort between the NEH and the Library of Congress to create Chronicling America, a national, text-searchable database of historical newspapers published in the U.S. and its territories between 1836 and 1922. The main purpose of this database is to preserve and increase accessibility to historical newspapers. This webinar will provide a brief overview of our project, the digitization process, and an overview of the content. A demonstration of the contents and functionality of Chronicling America will follow to showcase how this resource is of great value to historians of all ages.

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Original broadcast September 26, 2016 

Biography ~ Melissa Espino
Melissa Espino is the Project Coordinator for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project. Espino is currently responsible for all the day-to-day activities for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project, which includes all technical and administrative activities related to the digitizing of the selected newspapers, maintaining communication with the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, project vendors and the Library of Congress, as well as overseeing and assisting with outreach activities and publicity efforts. Espino received a BA in Criminology as well as an MS in Forensic DNA & Serology at UF. Espino has been employed in the Smathers Libraries at UF for eight years in various departments including Access Support in their Interlibrary Loan and Course Reserves department, as well as for the Circulation Department as acting supervisor for overnight hours.

Biography ~ Sarah “Moxy” Moczygemba
Sarah “Moxy” Moczygemba is the outreach and promotion assistant for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project. In addition to managing the project’s social media and blog, she also provides outreach to educators to help them integrate Chronicling America and associated resources into K-12 and university classrooms. Moxy is also a Religious Studies Doctoral Student at the University of Florida in the field of Religion and the Americas. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Religious Studies from Trinity University in 2009 and received her M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Florida in 2013. Currently, she is in the beginning stages of dissertation research, and is exploring transnational religious tourism and ethnic identity by looking at the Silesian Polish Catholic experience in Texas.

Evidence Based Practices for Librarians

Evidence Based Practices for Librarians

Adapting the standard library orientation to embrace evidence based practices (EBP) requires the librarian to shift their presentation from coverage of library resources and services to the development of research skills. During this online tutorial you’ll examine successful learning theory applied to vital research objectives and come away with research skills for you to develop a distinctive EBP library orientation of your own. Complementary resource materials and ACRL based assessment standards will provide the structure needed for transforming the library orientation to an EBP Research Training. Students will value their new research skillset and appreciate the research proficiency of you and your librarians. You may find your patrons visit the library to meet with adept librarians rather than the collection.

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Original broadcast September 23, 2016

Biography ~ Dr. Karyn Waters-Zelbovitz
Dr. Karyn Waters-Zelbovitz is the library director of Lakeland Keiser University, a non-profit, private university. In response to a Healthcare H1-B grant she developed an evidenced based practice training to provide college students an advantage in their college research assignments and for many medical graduates, a required skillset for their graduate employment. Based on the foundation of applied learning theory, Dr. Z helped students transform their appreciation and use of research to having an evidence based voice as a new professional.

For academic librarians, evidence based practice (EBP) is a new integration of the one-shot library orientation with theory and pragmatic advanced research training exercises. The EBP webinar presentation was created for information literacy savvy librarians wanting to enhance research skill training for their patrons and to explore its qualities for use in their library settings.

Dr. Z holds two graduate degrees and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Her dissertation into why students drop out of college explored many ways students can be re-engaged by colleges. She is a dedicated librarian educator that has explored methods of success that librarians can utilize to help students academically succeed. She firmly believes that the most significant resource in the library is not the books, special collections or databases, but rather the librarian that teaches knowledgeable information access to the various resources. It is her passion for research that has led to the development of the EBP training for students and now a training webinar for research focused librarians.

Library of Congress: Historical and Educational Resources at Your Fingertips

Library of Congress: Historical and Educational Resources at Your Fingertips

Probably the single greatest online resource on the planet for educators and researchers is the Library of Congress Website. It makes numerous historical and instructional materials accessible, including primary resources.

The difficulty arises in how to access this information.

This session will demonstrate how to navigate the Library of Congress Website to access all kinds of resources including historic newspapers, photographs, primary documents, music, interviews, and instructional material for the classroom.

There’s a goldmine of information here.

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Original broadcast September 22, 2016

Biography ~ Alison Leonard
Alison Leonard is the Online Learning and Reference Librarian at Lynn University. She holds a B.A. in History from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in International Transactions from George Mason University (which included study abroad at Oxford University in England), and an M.L.I.S. from San Jose State University. She has visited over 90 U.S. national parks, and has run into bears on the trail but thankfully no mountain lions.

Legal Resources For The Public

Legal Resources For The Public


In 2014 Florida Chief Justice Labarga established the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice as a response to the unmet civil legal needs of low and moderate income Floridians. The FL Access to Justice Commission seeks to further the mission of improving access to civil justice by creating strong collaboration among various groups. As public librarians who serve the public and help connect patrons with resources, we are stakeholders in their mission. Public librarians are often the first point of contact for someone seeking answers to a legal question. This webinar is designed to help public librarians understand the process of basic legal research and effectively develop and use the legal information located within their libraries. Additionally, this webinar will highlight some of Florida’s free and low cost legal resources and services.

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Original broadcast August 25, 2016


Biography ~ Leanna Fitzgerald

Leanna Fitzgerald is a 2010 Master of Library and Information Science graduate who also holds a Juris Doctor degree. Leanna has worked in academic law libraries in Miami, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. Leanna currently works for Brevard County Public Libraries where she is Head of Reference.

Resources for Educators and Homeschoolers

Resources for Educators and Homeschoolers

“Can you direct me to your Science Fair resources?”

If you provide reference services to educators, you may have only one chance to make a great first impression. Educators are time-strapped professionals and they need library assistance that is efficient, comprehensive and right on point. Get it right the first time, and you’ll have an opportunity to build a lasting and meaningful school/library partnership. Understanding an educator’s perspective will give you the skills to shorten your reference interview and get right to the resource he or she needs – fast!

In this webinar, we’ll step into the educator’s shoes and discuss:

  • an overview of standards and lesson planning resources
  • online resources teachers really use
  • tech tools that promote excitement and engagement

We’ll also spend some time on innovative ways libraries have reached out, connected with and served homeschooling parents.

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Original broadcast August 18, 2016

Biography – Lisa Calvert

Lisa Calvert is the Virtual Services Librarian for the St. Johns County Public Library System. She has many years of experience as a reference and youth services librarian, and is a currently certified Educational Media Specialist. One of the highlights of her Media Specialist years was a chance to serve on FAME’s Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Committee.

Engaging Sports Fans at Your Library

Engaging Sports Fans at Your Library


Who are sports fans, what would they like from their library, and what can libraries do for them? Your circulation stats will likely tell you that it’s more than providing sports books. The psychology of the sports fan is somewhat unique and can give us glimpses into the ways libraries can appeal to them, grab their attention, and ultimately serve them.

Participants will:

  • Understand the basics of what makes a sports fan tick
  • Be able to put on a program targeting sports fans
  • Know how to create a visual sports display that appeals to sports fans
  • Learn how to engage with local schools and their sports teams
  • See how libraries and sports are a perfect fit for one another

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Orignal broadcast August  2, 2016 

Nathan Hohl ~ Biography
Nathan is a Senior Services Outreach Librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, KS, who works to bring lifelong support services to the Topeka and Shawnee County area through outreach and programming. He is also a sports enthusiast, works closely with the library’s sports collection, and provides programming to engage the community’s sports fans.

How Do I? The New Reference Question

How Do I? The New Reference Question

With the Internet-age maturing, and the DIY culture expanding, we are seeing a change in the traditional reference question. Patrons are no longer asking, “Where do I find a book on Word?” Instead, they are asking, “How do I make columns in my document?”  The new patron treats the librarian as a primary source of information. How do we adapt?

In this webinar, we will:

  • Evaluate the new reference question for the patron’s information needs,
  • Understand the importance of the “how do I” questions on the relevance of the library,
  • Learn how to recognize patterns in technology to offer assistance across devices,
  • Discover techniques for providing “hands-off” hands-on training,
  • Master our anxiety when we are confronted with technology or practical topics with which we are unfamiliar.

This webinar is open to all levels of users.

Original broadcast July 28, 2016 

Crystal Feyerchak – Biography
Crystal is the Continuing Education Librarian at the Twinsburg Public Library. She develops, teaches, and manages the technology training program at the library. In addition, she also coordinates the continuing education classes (in-person and virtual). She is currently the assistant manager in the Digital and Learning Services Department.

Author Events: Keeping the Author and the Audience Happy

Author Events: Keeping the Author and the Audience Happy

Authors love to visit libraries, and libraries love having them, but it’s not that simple. To put on an exceptional author event, staff coordinating the program must have everything in order, from first contact to thank you note. In this webinar, we will explore what it takes to create and maintain successful author programs.

Participants will:
• Learn about the range of programs libraries can put on with authors and how to make them happen
• Discuss the pitfalls that can come up along the way and learn how to prevent them
• Take home a checklist for successful author events

Original broadcast July 21, 2016

Cari Dubiel ~ Biography
Cari Dubiel is the co-host of the ABC Book Reviews Podcast, a popular online program that was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as a best book podcast. Cari has worked in public libraries for over 15 years, doing everything from student page to her most current role as computer services manager at the Twinsburg Public Library.

Best Online Reference Sites

Best Online Reference Sites

The web is constantly changing so it is hard to keep up with all the new and useful websites out there. This webinar will revisit some oldies but goodies and introduce you to some new sites to help you know where to send your patrons for free, authoritative information on subjects including health, politics, travel, statistics, entertainment and more.

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Original broadcast July 13, 2016

Biography ~ Kira Smith
Kira Smith is a virtual reference provider for Florida’s Ask A Librarian Service. She has Master’s Degrees in Library Science and Education. Kira is a former elementary school teacher and childbirth educator. She has lived in New York, Louisiana, Texas and Florida. She enjoys teaching, technology and travel.