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Friday, April 14, 2017

RA for All Road Show visits Cedar Rapids [IA] Public Library

Yesterday, I hit the open road to travel to Cedar Rapids Public Library to facilitate their library inservice training day, today. Personally, this marks the first time I have really delved into the state Iowa since moving to Illinois 20 years ago [up to this point I have only been to Dubuque, which is literally on the other side of the Mississippi River from IL].

In case you didn’t know, Cedar Rapids Public Library is currently a Finalist for the 2017 NationalMedal for Museum and Library Service. Why am I telling you this? Well, if a library that is doing this well still takes a break to train their staff, every library should.
I make that statement as a former library worker who craved more training, as the person who runs many of these trainings, AND as a trustee who has final say on a library’s budget.
With tight budgets, staff training is often the first thing to get axed. Please, if you are at a library that does not have staff training days, please show this post to your Directors. Ask them to contact me. As I said above, I am uniquely suited to advocate for staff training dollars since I understand all sides of this complex funding issue. I don’t even care if you hire me as a result, but one of my missions to to make sure library administrators understand what they are losing in service to their communities when they cut staff development dollars.
Again, if Cedar Rapids makes time for staff training, your library has no excuse not to.
Okay, I will get off that soap box now. Let’s look at what we have in store for today’s training.
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  RA for All: Readers Advisory belongs in every library, no matter its budget. The implementation of this vital service is the responsibility of every staff member-- from pages to directors, from those behind the scenes to the ones on the front lines. This program will remove the mystery behind providing great RA service. Using her “Ten Rules of Basic RA Service” as a guide, Becky Spratford will use your own love of your favorite books to show you how to help any patron find their next great read. It's not as hard as you think. But more importantly, you will learn why a staff that can harness the power of sharing a great read will become a stronger team and improve service to all patrons.

10:20-10:30 Break
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Booktalking: Harnessing the Power of Sharing Books with Patrons: Booktalking is at the heart of what we do with patrons each and every day at the public library. Whether we are sharing books informally at the services desk, presenting a prepared list of books, or posting information online, talking about books is something we do each and every day. It is a core service, but it is also hard to teach. Booktalking is more of an art than a skill, but with the right guidance and some practice, it can go a long way toward engaging your patrons and re-energizing your staff. Join experienced Readers’ Advisory Becky Spratford as she shares the secret behind delivering great book talks, giving you tips and tricks you can begin using right away to hone your own skills. Rediscover the power and joy that comes from sharing books with patrons.

Lunch 11:30-12:30
12:30-1:30  RA Rethink: The Displays Edition: Becky Spratford brings the display portion of her popular new “RA Rethink” series to you. In this presentation Becky will show you how to “rethink” your displays to make them more engaging for patrons without increasing your workload; in fact, she will help you to create better displays in half the time. While Becky will provide many examples and suggestions, this training will be highly interactive. Participation is expected with the goal of you leaving the session with a few display ideas all set and ready to be put out immediately.

This talk includes 1:30-1:45  Creating Your Own Reader Profile: Becky will help you take what you have learned to craft your own personal reader profile and start you on your first RA journey-- suggesting a good book to a fellow staff member.

All slides are accessible to anyone.

This schedule is also a great example of the type of interactive training I offer for ALL library staff. You can mix and match any of my programs to fit your librarys needs. I also will create a new program just for you. My past and upcoming programs as well as an updated statement on my availability can be found here.

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