Monday, May 24, 2010

Library of Michigan's Beginning Workshop

Hello from the beautiful Otsego Club, Resort, and Conference Center in Gaylord, MI! I am here to give two talks tomorrow to library staff seeking certification from the Library of Michigan. This is the "Beginning Workshop," which is attended mostly by staff of smaller libraries who have, in some cases, no formal library science training. I've met some really talented, dedicated, and smart people here, and am really impressed with the conversations we've had today.

The topics I will be presenting tomorrow are my library passions: collection management and weeding. You can get copies of my Power Points here.

Today I heard two presentations given by Tracy Logan of the Cadillac-Wexford Public Library (which, incidentally, is my "library alma mater." I grew up in Cadillac and was a Page at that library from 1990 to 1996.) One was about teen behavior and the other was a combination of teen programming ideas and reader's advisory for teens.

In the teen behavior session, I liked Tracy's suggestion to a) state the behavior you want to see and b) state the consequence for not complying. For example, you could say "Cindy, I need you to sit in your own chair. These chairs were meant for one person at a time. If you do not move to a different chair, you will have to leave the building." Then you wait. Just stand there and wait for Cindy to move. You give her 30 seconds or so. When she complies, you say thank you. If she does not comply, you escort her out (or whatever you deem the consequence to be. That's maybe a little harsh for this offense...the consequence should fit the offense.) You should not call it punishment, you should not give choices, and you should not state what you DON'T want them to do...state what you DO want them to do. You should not apologize for having to correct their behavior, either. Tracy suggested introducing yourself and asking their name before going into the problem, but I have to say that just seems awkward to me. I could try it, though. I'm also planning to read a book that Tracy suggested: "Outnumbered, not Outsmarted: A to Z Guide for Working with Kids and Teens in Groups" by Cathi Cohen.

Tracy's second session was filled with book lists and book talks on various teen genres. I have several books added to my own reading list! She even inspired me to read some Manga and graphic novels, which I have to admit never sounded appealing before. My favorite programming suggestion from her list was to hold a "Mrs. Weasley's Ugly Sweater Party." What a great idea!

So far I'm really enjoying myself up here. What a great conference! I'm headed home tomorrow afternoon, but not before I hear "Positive Service in a Challenging Environment" presented by Laura Mancini. More on that tomorrow!

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