Photo of a library user using self-checkout at a desk titled

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The Central District Public Library (CDPL) announced today that it will continue the library tradition of sharing resources by giving patrons a new loan service: money.

Any patron with a valid library card will be eligible for an interest-free loan, obtained by visiting a library branch during open hours.

CDPL Assistant Director April Pardilla said of the new service, “The library is committed to improving the lives of our community users. We’re leading the way to move libraries into the next generation of loaning by providing our users with much needed capital.”

Local officials expressed concern that these new library services overlapped with existing businesses, but Central District Bank senior executive Dan Norcev commented, “We don’t consider this new library service competitive with our business. The library is offering services similar to those of a credit union, but at much reduced rates. We can all compete in a fair market.”

Loans not returned to the library by the due date will be subject to overdue fines at the same rate as DVDs.


Library Staff Day

hhibner —  March 26, 2015 — Leave a comment

My library held a staff in-service recently. It was very successful, so I thought I would share a few do’s and don’ts of planning an in-service.

The Committee

Our in-service planning committee consisted of one person from each department. I led the committee, plus there was a Page, a Clerk, a Librarian, a Reference Assistant, and the Public Relations and Marketing person. I highly recommend having people from various departments on the committee. It creates a more holistic, “bigger picture” program that is relevant to everyone. What I don’t recommend is long meetings. We put our program together in four one-hour meetings. Have an agenda and then send a follow-up email after every meeting that reminds everyone of what was decided.

The Activities

We were asked by the Director to include one team building exercise. After talking it over, the committee members all agreed that we didn’t want to make anyone do anything silly or embarrassing that would single them out or require them to touch anyone (I’ll admit, that one is my hang-up). We decided to play trivia. We created teams that included people from various departments. Our library is a three-story building, so there are a lot of people we rarely see and never get to work with. Trivia teams were encouraged to come up with a team name. Some of them even dressed alike. We got to have fun in a non-threatening, team environment with people we didn’t necessarily know well ahead of time. The questions came from a trivia question-a-day calendar from a few years ago that one committee member had, so they covered pop culture categories.

My next suggestion is to give everyone on staff an opportunity to weigh in on what learning opportunities are offered on in-service day. We asked for suggestions, and the most-requested topic was emergency procedures. They wanted to do a fire drill and talk about all kinds of emergency situations like tornadoes, medical emergencies, active shooter scenarios, etc. We had a city police officer, an EMT, and a fire chief come to give a quick talk. Then they watched us go through our fire drill procedure and do a mock evacuation as if we were open for business. After the all-clear from them, we came back together as a group and the fire department critiqued how we did. It was very valuable, since we learned a few things about our PA system, our new security panels, and our signage.

The rest of the day was filled with department-specific meetings and project-specific updates. That’s not as exciting, but very relevant to everyone and a good opportunity for departments to train or share information with everyone in their department at once. Even our regular monthly meetings don’t catch as many staff members as this staff in-service day did, so take advantage!

The Food

I can’t leave out the most important tip of the day: have food and make it good. That sounds really easy and obvious, but as it turns out there are a lot of ways of doing this and you will never make everyone happy. We provided a nice breakfast spread with a variety of bakery items and fruit and beverages. Then we provided boxed lunches with three sandwich options or two salad options. My advice is to acknowledge dietary restrictions, of course, but limit the number of choices. Make it clear what is included, and what substitutions can and cannot be made. The reality is that you’re providing lunch (you’re welcome), you’re giving enough options to satisfy diverse lifestyles and restrictions, and if anyone just can’t make it work they are welcome to provide their own lunch. If they just can’t remove the cheese or abide the white bread the sandwich comes on, that’s not necessarily on you. Do the best you can to accommodate health risk, but don’t get too caught up in personal taste. At some point, it is what it is and you have to move on to bigger problems.


Ultimately, a staff in-service is a paid-time work day that is meant to be interesting and informative. If you can build in some fun, that’s great too!


Photo cc-by Calvert Cafe & Catering.

If you haven’t yet watched Tina Fey’s new sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt then I suggest you turn on Netflix, quick! It’s like a Lisa Frank binder that became real (literally, there’s a dolphin in one episode) and subversively started feeding you lessons on how to make your life better. If a former kidnapped cult member can do it, you can do it too! Leadership, Kimmy Schmidt style:

Be comfortable with yourself. One of the first things a newly freed Kimmy buys is a pair of light-up sneakers. While this mightkimmy be a strange move for a 29 year old, Kimmy isn’t worried about things like this. She wears bright colors and things that make her feel good, and she projects that image out into the world. But your clothes don’t have to do all the talking – just be true to yourself, and be authentic in your interactions with others. When the real you shines through, you gain people’s trust.

“Hashbrown no filter!” Poor Kimmy doesn’t know what a hashtag is, or an Instagram. She’s pretty blown away by “Macintosh phones!” But that’s ok. She tries to understand and apply what she’s learned about the world to help improve it. She takes chances, jumps in, and repeats her core message: it’s all gonna be ok. And you don’t have to fake it with a filter… again, being yourself is the key to success.

You can stand anything for ten seconds at a time. Kimmy had to put up with an awful lot of strange and awful stuff in the bunker where she was trapped in Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’s doomsday cult. She figured out a secret: just try to get through the next ten seconds. When the heat is on, a real leader takes a deep breath and stays with the problem… even if you have to deal with it in ten second increments. Kimmy reminds us: nothing is forever, and you can get through anything if you just concentrate on being present.

“Smile until you feel better. I call it Kimmying.” It’s true: you can fake it until you make it! And sometimes you have to, because it’s hard to stay positive. Great leaders stay positive and upbeat despite setbacks, to encourage and inspire their teammates. Every day, practice “Kimmying” until it becomes second nature to look on the bright side! Pretty soon, you won’t be faking it – you can summon up the strength to deal with whatever the day throws at you.

“Life beats you up, Titus. [. . .] You can either curl up in a ball and die… or you can stand up and say we’re different. We’re the strong ones, and you can’t break us.” Kimmy encourages her new roomie, Titus, not to give up on his dreams of Broadway. Kimmy’s certainly not giving up on her dreams for a “normal” life after the bunker! And you shouldn’t give up, either. Sometimes leading by example means becoming unbreakable – being resilient in the face of challenges large and small. Being strong doesn’t mean being perfect, but it does mean committing to never giving up. And that can mean stepping back, regrouping, and trying again the next day. It can mean continuing to advocate for your patrons, your co-workers, your friends, and yourself. To me, leadership means building the strength to become unbreakable, and inspiring others to do the same.

So while you might think that a sitcom about an escaped “Mole Woman” and the zany, imperfect people she meets on her journey to rejoin the world ISN’T about leadership, it actually is. Kimmy might just be the leader we’ve been waiting for. So embrace and project the authentic you, take chances and learn everything you can from the people around you, take life ten seconds at a time, keep smiling, and never let life break you down. You’re an unbreakable leader who has the power to make a positive difference!

Happy Anniversary LL&F!

Kevin King —  March 21, 2015 — 2 Comments

Number_2_birthday_candle_by_fotofrenzy9Today we celebrate our 2nd Anniversary dropping leadership knowledge for librarians all over the world to pick up and use. It has been a most excellent ride. Over 60,000 views later, I can confidently say that we are making a difference.

I know many of you want to rush right out and get us a gift, but the best present you can give is to tell at least one friend about what we are trying to do at LL&F. Share our URL, encourage them to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Our goal in year three is to find more lost leaders. Help us in that search.

If you would like to contribute to LL&F please send an email to

2015 is going to be way better than last year, you have all these goals in mind, tasks you want to accomplish, changes you want to make…but you’ve tried a few things, asked a few questions and not too far in you are already feeing discouraged. What to do? Take a deep breath and know that everything is going to be alright. It’s not the last time things won’t go your way, so decide how you will handle it and try again!

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
-John Quincy Adams

Like stones rolling down hills, fair ideas reach their objectives despite all obstacles and barriers. It may be possible to speed or hinder them, but impossible to stop them.
– Jose Marti