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Public Library Trends

In 2024, public libraries continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of patrons in an increasingly evolving world. From embracing new technologies to expanding services and programs, here are some trends shaping the landscape of libraries in 2024.

Digital Innovation

Libraries are embracing digital innovation and technology integration to enhance access to information and services for patrons. From streaming platforms and eBooks to virtual reality experiences and online learning resources, libraries are leveraging technology. Public libraries are expanding their collections to reach new audiences to remain relevant. Additionally, many libraries have invested in smart technologies and automation to streamline operations and improve efficiency. Systems such as self-checkout stations, automated book sorting systems, and virtual reference services are mainstream.

Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In response to calls for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion, libraries are prioritizing efforts to ensure that their collections, reflect the diverse needs of their communities. This also brings with it the call for book bans, censorship of authors, and “cancelling” leaders at libraries.

Expanding collections to include materials by and about underrepresented groups, hosting inclusive programming and events, and providing resources and support for marginalized communities is what libraries stand for. When one or two vocal opponents to this freedom of access causes disruption, it hurts all libraries.  Libraries are implementing training and professional development initiatives to promote cultural competency and ensure that staff are equipped to serve effectively.

Expanded Community Engagement

Public libraries are expanding their efforts to engage with and serve their communities beyond traditional library spaces to reach non-users. This includes partnering with local organizations, schools, and businesses to host events and programs, providing outreach services to underserved populations. This also includes offering mobile library services to reach people where they are, like a citywide book bike.

Additionally, libraries are embracing social media and digital marketing strategies to connect with patrons and promote library resources and services.  Check out the weekly marketing tips and insights from a professional library advocate and marketer.  I love following Angela and get so many tips to share with other libraries.

Sustainability Initiatives

With growing concerns about environmental sustainability, many libraries are implementing programs to reduce their carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly practices. This includes investing in energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting and solar panels. Other initiatives include implementing recycling and waste reduction programs and promoting sustainable transportation options for patrons and staff.

Libraries are also incorporating environmental education and awareness initiatives into their programming to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage sustainable living practices. My library’s most popular program was a partnership with the water department about creating your own rainwater recycling system.

Flexible Spaces

Libraries are reimagining their physical spaces to create flexible, multifunctional environments that can adapt to changing community needs. This includes designing spaces that can handle a variety of activities, such as coworking spaces, makerspaces, and performance areas.

Public libraries are incorporating comfortable seating, collaborative workspaces, and technology-equipped study rooms to provide patrons with a welcoming environment. Libraries have always been about equal access to learning, exploration, and community engagement.

In 2024 public libraries are embracing innovation, diversity, community engagement, sustainability, and flexible spaces to meet the evolving needs of communities. By staying abreast of these trends and embracing new opportunities, libraries can continue to serve as vibrant hubs of learning. With strong leadership and funding to support libraries’ creativity and freedom to read, our society benefits as a whole.

 

For more about libraries follow me at: KathyHusserTempe.com

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New Managers’ Traits

As librarians’ transition into managerial roles, the dynamics of their responsibilities change, a lot. Effective leadership is not merely about overseeing tasks but fostering an environment of growth, collaboration, and achievement. Here are three essential traits for new managers or leader in libraries and other fields.

Communication is Key

At the heart of effective leadership lies the ability to communicate with clarity, empathy, and purpose. New managers must be adept at conveying their ideas, expectations, and feedback in a manner that resonates with diverse team members. Clear communication sets the foundation for a harmonious work environment, reducing misunderstandings and fostering a culture of transparency.

Moreover, an essential aspect of communication is active listening. New leaders should not only express their thoughts but also be attuned to the concerns and perspectives of their team. This two-way communication builds trust and establishes a sense of inclusivity within the team.

In practical terms, this trait involves mastering various communication channels, adapting the message to different audiences, and being open to feedback. By prioritizing effective communication, new managers create a work culture for collaboration, innovation, and psychological safety.

Emotional Intelligence

As leaders navigate the complexities of managing a team, emotional intelligence emerges as a pivotal trait. The ability to understand and manage your emotions while empathizing with others is a hallmark of successful leadership. New managers who possess emotional intelligence can navigate interpersonal relationships, inspiring their teams to perform at their best.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are not only aware of their own feelings but can also read the emotions of their team members. This awareness enables them to tailor their leadership approach, providing support where needed and celebrating successes together. By fostering a positive emotional climate, new managers can enhance team morale and resilience, key factors in achieving long-term success.

Adaptability

In today’s fast-paced work environment, adaptability is a non-negotiable trait for new managers. To navigate change and make informed decisions in uncertain situations, positions a leader as a dynamic force within their organization.

Adaptable leaders instill confidence in their teams by demonstrating a willingness to evolve strategies based on emerging challenges and opportunities. This trait involves a continuous commitment to learning, staying updated on industry trends, and encouraging a culture of agility.

In essence, adaptability enables new managers to steer their teams through uncharted territories, transforming obstacles into stepping stones for growth. By embodying this trait, leaders inspire resilience and creativity, fostering a culture where challenges are viewed as opportunities for improvement.

Finally, effective leadership goes beyond merely overseeing tasks; it involves cultivating an environment where individuals thrive. By prioritizing communication skills, emotional intelligence, and adaptability, new managers can set the stage for both personal and team success.

Check out more career advice on my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Barbie Taught Me About Work

Did you see the Barbie movie?  I did, mainly because I had the doll growing up. I loved Barbie. And here’s why this movie and its message for us all is so popular now.

Work Hard – Nothing is Perfect

Barbie has always lived in a perfect world. Pink, plastic, and perfect, the marketing machine has families buy her “accessories” for their children constantly. From the dream house, to the car, to her pet dog, Barbie had it all and little girls were supposed to aspire to that life. But, like me many families we couldn’t really afford Barbies or her perfect world.

I had one new Malibu Barbie, the one with the deep tan, gifted to me for my birthday.  I never had a Ken doll, or her sidekick Skippy, so was my imagination stilted?  Nope, never! I was able to earn my college degree (with no loans) and a masters degree after having children to meet my professional goals. I worked hard and reached high.

Improvise and Use your Creativity

Like any good kid with little resources, I improvised. I made Barbie’s furniture from old margarine tub lids and thread spools. She didn’t have a “dream house.” My tanned beauty had a shoe box, covered with a kitchen towel “patio” with a green washcloth lawn.

My doll,and the all the Saturday morning commercials, gave me permission to use my imagination! I improvised to envision my own “apartment” when I grew up.  (I had a few when I was older as well…living the dream in my own way!)

And the career choices I had, from Advertising Executive to Astronaut, I could live through Barbie.  I didn’t need a man to make my dreams come true. I had my drive and work ethic to make things happen for myself.

As a young girl, Barbie really inspired me to succeed to do whatever I dreamed.  And dreamed I did…I moved away from home out of state and started a career that helped me grow other skills that use today to be happy and succeed.

Movie’s Message is Clear 

I see that same message in the movie; Be yourself…whoever you are! No one is perfect or fits a certain mold.  Sometimes we hold ourselves up to unrealistic standards to those around us. Whether it’s in work, school, or even motherhood women have to navigate so many other societal obstacles, that men do not.

When we can truly all be accepted as we are, without limitations or prejudices, then we can all rest easy.  The world has a long way to go to get there.

Even Mattel admittedly has only had one female CEO in the company’s 78-year history. Go figure… but we keep striving, learning, and being better for those that come after us and help them succeed!

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Gardening Is Like Life

Gardening is like life in many ways. What I’ve learned about life, I learned from my gardening experience outdoors and here’s why.

Time Will Tell 

A garden, a really solid variety of flowers (vegetables are a different story) takes about 2 years to establish. Like life, any new relationship, job, or new subject you’re trying to learn takes about 2 years to master. It’s two years before Gerbera Daisies take hold and bloom. The blanket flowers and periwinkles need a few years to take root and really blossom…just like in life.

Having two years of experience in a new job or with a new partner shows you different situations and effects. These “seasons” show you the good, the bad and ugly of that job or person. After about two years, patterns repeat themselves and habits are formed.  Just like your garden where seeds germinate and come back season after season. Time will tell you what you need to know and what direction to take, so listen.

Believe What You See

Flowers especially some bulb varieties are difficult to take root and thrive. Some flowers bloom easily with a little water and care. Others, take so much time to nurture, even “baby along,” until you’ve done very your best and can’t be successful.

Believe what you see, and know that some people, like flowers, will never bloom (like you expect them too.) People’s actions, just like flowers, are who they really are…don’t believe words, believe their actions. Actions tell you someone’s true character, if they’re honest, and trust worthy…just like a hearty garden that grows with care and love.

Can’t Change Mother Nature

In a garden some flowers and plants will only grow in a certain environment, think zone gardening. I live in the desert, zone 9b. The climate is dry and very hot in the summer months. Like some people in your life, some relationships won’t last or thrive. It all comes down to what you want in your life and who you let into your circle. You can’t change someone like you can’t change Mother Nature.

Work especially exposes you to different personalities. Some of these folks will help you grow in your career and support your goals. Others won’t, whether it’s their motivation, the environment, or your personal boundaries. Some people (like plants in your garden) are not meant for you.  Find your peace and people and live like your garden…in abundance.

 

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Effective Feedback for Work

 

Providing feedback to employees is an important aspect of a manager’s role. In order to achieve successful outcomes, managers should be mindful of the following when providing feedback.

Be Timely

Feedback should be given in a timely manner, whether it’s positive or negative. It’s important to address issues or concerns as soon as they arise. Don’t’ wait until a formal evaluation or not at all, always address the issue. This will allow the employee to tackle and improve the issue in a timely mannerThis also helps morale for the other team members.

Be Specific

Feedback should be specific and focus on the employee’s actions or behavior, rather than their personality or character. It should be based on observable facts and should provide clear examples of what the employee did well or what needs improvement. Factual information is so important to keep an objective tone and help improve the employee’s behaviors or skills.

Be Balanced

Feedback should be balanced and provide a mix of positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback helps to build morale and motivation, while negative feedback helps to address areas for improvement. Have current examples on hand to illustrate the points of your feedback. Provide a timeline to help them understand what could have gone better and why.

Be Constructive

Feedback should be given in a constructive manner and focus on providing solutions rather than criticism. Avoid using judgmental or negative language and instead, provide specific suggestions for improvement.

Communicate Face-to-Face 

Feedback should be given in person, rather than via email or other forms of digital communication. This allows for a more open and direct conversation. It’s easier to pick up on nonverbal cues that can help to understand the employee’s perspective. Sometimes you will learn a great deal from eye contact and willingness to accept the feedback from your employee.

Follow-Up With A Plan

Feedback should be followed up with a clear plan of action. The manager should discuss with the employee what steps they will take to improve and what support the manager will provide. Follow-up conversations should be scheduled to assess the progress made and make any necessary adjustments. The employee needs to seriously address the plan for improvement as well, being open to change and suggestions.

Providing feedback to employees is an important aspect of a manager’s role, it’s a way to help them improve and grow in their jobs.  It’s a way to ensure that the company is running smoothly and efficiently.

By providing feedback in a timely manner with an action plan, managers can ensure that their feedback leads to successful outcomes.  Positive outcomes for both the employee and the company’s growth. This also helps to provide a healthy work culture and high morale for your teams across work groups.

KathyHusserTempe.com

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Mentoring At Work

Mentoring at work is a valuable tool for personal and professional development. It is a relationship between an experienced worker (the mentor) and a “rookie” or newer employee.  The mentor provides guidance, advice, and support to the mentee (or new worker) for future job success.  Mentoring at work can have many benefits for both the mentor and mentee, as well as the organization or business.

New Skills

One of the biggest benefits of mentoring at work is that it helps to develop the skills and knowledge of the mentee. The mentor can share their experience and expertise, and provide guidance on how to navigate the organization and its culture. This can help the mentee develop new skills, knowledge, and to become more effective in their role.

Builds Trust

Mentoring at work also helps to build relationships and networks within the organization. The mentor and mentee can build a strong working relationship, which can lead to increased trust, understanding, and collaboration. This can help to create a more positive and productive working environment.

Decreases Turnover

A mentoring program in the company can also help to improve the retention of employees. When employees feel truly valued and supported, they are more likely to be satisfied with their job. Turnover within the organization decreases overall with a trusted mentor to support the employee. A good mentoring program can help to create a sense of belonging among employees, which leads to higher retention.

Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

Another benefit of mentoring is it helps to promote diversity and inclusion. When mentoring relationships are formed between people from different backgrounds, it can help to break down stereotypes and biases. This can lead to a more inclusive and equitable workplace, where everyone feels valued and respected.

In addition, mentoring programs can be beneficial for the mentor as well. It can provide them with an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience.  The mentor gives back to the organization and gains personal confidence in their abilities in their role. It can also help them to develop leadership skills and to take on new responsibilities.

Overall, mentoring at work is an important tool for personal and professional development, and for the organization as a whole. It can help to develop the skills of new employees, build relationships, and promote diversity and inclusion. Therefore, companies should consider starting a mentoring program to support the career development of their employees and improve overall work performance and engagement.

For more career best practices check my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Getting Promoted

Earning a promotion at your current job can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some best practices to help you achieve success in getting promoted at work.

Be A Team Player

Collaborating with your coworkers and being a valuable team member is very important for earning a promotion. Make sure you are always willing to help out, and go above and beyond what is expected of you. This not only shows your dedication to the company, but also demonstrates your ability to work well with others.

Communication

Being able to communicate effectively is essential for any job, but even more so when trying to earn a promotion. Make sure you are always clear and concise when communicating with your supervisor and colleagues.

Additionally, actively listen to feedback and take constructive criticism to heart in order to improve and grow. It can be hard to hear the truth, but effective managers want you to improve and grow. You need to remember that communication styles will vary with different supervisors too.

Take Initiative

Showing initiative and being proactive in your job is a great way to demonstrate your potential for a promotion. Identify areas where the company could improve, and come up with solutions or suggestions.

This not only shows that you care about the company’s success, but also demonstrates your leadership potential. Be sure when you offer feedback (just like your supervisor) you are also offering a valuable solution for the company.

Improve Your Skills

In today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment, it’s important to continuously improve your skills and knowledge. Take advantage of any training opportunities offered by your company, and also consider pursuing additional education or certifications.

This will not only make you a more valuable employee, but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.  Another tie in to taking initiative and showing you are a real team player to your boss.

Overall, earning a promotion takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to go above and beyond. By being a team player, communicating, taking initiative, and continuously improving your skills, you display your potential for a promotion.  You will pave the way for a successful career with your current employer and the sky’s the limit!

For more career best practices check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Getting a Raise

How to Ask for a Raise – and Get It!

Asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking experience. Showing your value is an important part of advancing your career and earning what you’re worth. You need to prepare, whether you’ve been with your company for a few months or several years. Here are steps you can take to increase your chances of getting the raise you deserve.

Research Before the Meeting

First and foremost, it’s important to do your research. Find out what the market rate is for your position and level of experience. The information you find will inform your salary request. Consider factors like cost of living, industry trends, and any additional skills or experience you’ve gained since you started.

Once you have a clear understanding of what you should be earning, schedule a meeting to discuss your compensation. This meeting with your supervisor should be done in-person. With remote working more popular, you might only be able to connect via Zoom or conference call, and that’s okay. You need to remember a remote video call should be handled just like an in-person meeting, respectfully.

Confident Communication

When you approach the topic of a raise in your meeting be confident and direct. Start by expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to work for the company. You then should state your case for why you believe you deserve a raise. Use specific examples of your accomplishments and contributions to the company.

You need to highlight any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on since you started. Paint a picture that’s easy for your boss to see why you’re asking and why you deserve more money.

Be Open to the Solution

It’s also important to be open to feedback from your supervisor. They may have concerns or questions about your request. However, they may just need time to review your performance and gain additional approvals.

Be willing to listen to their perspective and work together to find a solution that works for you both.  Always stay on good, terms with your manager for a healthy working relationship in the future.

If your supervisor is not able to grant you the raise you’re asking for, ask for specific feedback. You need to find out what you can do to earn your raise in the future. This can be an opportunity to set goals for your performance and work towards a higher salary in the future.

Throughout the process, it’s important to remain professional and respectful. Avoid making demands or ultimatums You need to focus on finding a solution that benefits both you and the organization. Remember that asking for a raise is a normal part of the career advancement process.  You have the right to advocate for yourself and your worth.

Finally, you can increase your chances of success with preparation and a little research. Do your due diligence, be confident and direct, and be open to feedback and collaboration with your supervisor. By taking these steps, you can advocate for your worth and take your career to the next level.  Wishing you all the best for the future!

For more career tips and inspiration follow my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Travel for Work Can Be Fun

Traveling for work is fun.  It’s not the same as a vacation you plan, but there are many ways to enjoy and have fun while working hard.

Plan Ahead

Besides planning your work activities, be sure to plan the free time in between. Whether it’s trying a new place for lunch or walking a new park, plan for it. It’s tiring traveling, so planning even one activity that fits your work schedule will allow you to refocus. Exploring a new city is fun, so if work plans allow you, experience something new! Check out Expedia.com and country-specific or city tourism websites for recommendations and “must-see” sites.

Stay on Schedule

Whether it’s keeping to your workout routine or daily walk, be sure to stay on your normal schedule if possible.  This allows you the energy to handle time changes and jet lag, especially for overseas trips. If your job allows, plan a day before or after your work trip to allow your body clock to adjust.

Or you could also schedule more taxing meetings for later in the week, after your body readjusts to time differences. Bottom line, try and listen to your body and get rest when you’re able.

Extend your Stay

If work allows, extend your stay for leisure to explore a new city. On a work conference, leave early over the weekend, to get your bearings beforehand. Having a sense of the city before you need to navigate locations makes it easier when you’re on tight schedules. This is also a good time for your body to acclimate to the new time zone and readjust.

If you’re able to stay in the same accommodations as your work meetings, unpacking once is much simpler. Be sure to ask about hotel and airline points and take advantage of those perks and upgrades as well. It never hurts to ask. If you travel a lot for work, then your status will help you plan a leisure trip later more affordably.

Traveling for work is fun with the right attitude and planning! What trips are for planning this year?

For more travel inspiration check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Social Media in Libraries

Marketing with social media has become a crucial tool for public libraries. Libraries need to connect with their communities and promote their services. However, managing a social media presence for a public library can be challenging. It’s important to follow best practices to ensure that your efforts are effective for your customers. Here are three best practices for social media in a public library.

Develop A Marketing Strategy

The first step in creating a successful social media presence for a public library is to develop a marketing strategy. Identifying your target audience, determining the types of content that will be most relevant, and creating a posting schedule. Consider the type of information and services your library offers. What events do you host currently, and what does the community you serve want when creating engaging content?

Engage with your audience

Social media is not a one-way street, it’s important to engage with your audience. Respond to comments and messages daily. You also need to actively seek out opportunities to connect with your community and add new followers. Encourage your followers to share their thoughts, ask for feedback and listen to what they have to say.

Be Consistent and Authentic

Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Make sure to post regularly and maintain a consistent tone across all platforms. Additionally, be authentic and transparent when communicating with your audience. Share the library’s mission and values, and let them know what makes your library unique. Be aware of trolls and make sure to have a “social media policy” in place to deal with misinformation.

In addition to these best practices, it’s also important to ensure that your library’s social media accounts are properly set up and managed. This means keeping your library’s contact information up to date, monitoring your accounts for inappropriate content, and ensuring account security.

Also, take the time to review your analytics and measure the performance of your social media posts. This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly. Social media coordinator is a good role for professional development in public libraries for your staff.

Social media is an effective tool for public libraries to connect with their communities and promote their services. By developing a marketing strategy, engaging and being consistent with posts, you can create an online presence for your library. Remember, social media is an ongoing effort, so be ready to adapt and evolve as the platforms and audiences change.

Check my personal website for more library-specific articles to develop your career path: KathyHusserTempe.com