I attended my first ARSL (Association of Rural & Small Libraries) Conference this past week in Little Rock. This conference has been on my wish list of out-of-state conferences for a while and I'm glad I had the opportunity to attend this year.
The first two sessions I attended were on PLA's Project Outcome. I've read about this project and know that Shawn has been talking about using outcomes in her planning process. As I was listening to this program, I kept thinking about how our libraries could use these surveys to help share your story with your boards, municipalities, and community. I've contacted Project Outcome about signing up as a system and will pass along information when I get it.
There was also time to walk around Little Rock and I saw this Book Exchange phone booth and had to share with you. Love the new use for an old phone booth!
Next up was a customer service program. As this is a topic that we always need refreshers on, I'm always looking for new speakers. Key takeaway was STACKS = Service Excellence. Serve with a smile, Take the extra step, Accept ownership, Create the experience, Know the library, Say thank you.
One of my favorite sessions was with librarians from the Lincoln Parish Library in Ruston Louisiana. Their program was called the Readers' Advisory Socialite and they talked about several of the ways they highlight their collection using Pinterest and Goodreads. You may be hearing more from them next year!
Another excellent session was Too Much Information!! Managing Digital Overload with Crystal Schimpf. You may remember that name as Crystal presented Digital Literacy for Everyone last April as part of our TechDay workshop. Managing digital overload is something I always need help with and there were several new tools she shared (I'll write about those in my next TechBits post).
Last, but not least, was a presentation called "No, We Really Do Want You To Check These out!!!" by Heather Hays from the Bentonville Public Library. Not only did Heather talk about displays, cross promotions, and revamping their reference department, she talked about the success of the board game programming in their library. Another speaker and program to watch for in 2016!
Thanks to Jamie Matczak for this picture from our walks around Little Rock - and yes, we did walk across the bridge!