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Best Learning Styles

Throughout school and work, you’ve been told what your best learning style is to retain information. Now research has shown that you have learning preferences, which we all can benefit from. Here are ways to spot what works for you and what needs a little more practice.

What is “VARK”

Many learning models break down the way people organize and store information into four main categories. Those are categorized by your four senses: Seeing, Hearing, Reading, and Doing or Touching.

You learn differently depending upon the subjects being taught too. The learning style may vary depending upon the complexity of a topic also. Remember how math was easier for you than reading in school?

New research has shown that students or workers learning more complex topics, need more than one method to learn. And retaining and repeating the processes learned is beneficial when multiple senses are used in the teaching process.

What’s Best for You?

Assessing your best method of learning can be easy with a simple test.  Or, as we have seen during the pandemic, human beings adapt to their surroundings. Students, workers, and institutions modified learning, meetings, and processes to assist with the new normal.

Many of those organizations never looked back either. But we also saw a decline in test scores in our younger students during the lack of in-person instruction.

So, we go back to what is the best learning style? The answer is “it depends.” It depends on the student, their resources, the sustainability of the teaching, etc.…

Being adaptable to your environment and having the ability to learn multiple ways is best for most people. Resilience and a growth mindset are traits that are important is any type of learning and in most situations.

Variations of Learning

Now we’re learning from our past experiences, there can be anywhere from 3-170 variations to these basic four styles above. Understanding how and when you learn best is really an efficient method for students or new workers learning a job.

As we continue to embrace remote work and school, understanding your best learning style is the path to success. Wishing you all the best on your learning path!


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Selling Skills

Selling Skills

Let’s face it, we don’t like being sold anything, ever.  But we all sell something, every day whether we realize it or not.  Do you know how those selling skills will help you in everyday life? Here are ways to influence to create solutions and harmony in your life.


Even if you are not a parent, you have parents, siblings, or family. In life we enjoy getting our way. Whether it’s family gatherings, vacations, or just getting the kids up in the morning. The key to selling your “idea” is to understand, that people “buy” or listen to likable people.

That’s why the old saying, “you get more with honey than vinegar” applies here. Build your case in a positive manner. Remember, the mantra, “What’s in it for me…” You need to “sell” your idea as a benefit to the other person. The kids will get pancakes if they get up right now for school. The vacation to Hawaii, rather than Colorado, will enable you a warm, sunny getaway during the winter. Remember “WIIFM,” and think what the other person really wants or how they benefit.

Buyers and Their Emotions

As a buyer, or the receiving end of a transactions, did you know you “buy” based on your emotions? We all buy based on feelings and justify the transaction based on logical information afterwards. Here me out and think about your last purchase. Did you really “need” that new outfit? Does your kid “need” or “want” those new shoes, and why? The type of clothing and shoes purchased will be based on trends or what all the other kids are wearing.

Understanding your emotions before you buy something is important, because the salesperson will want to know your feelings. Asking questions to understand what you are looking for or why you need something is Selling 101. Sharing stories to gather information will also help understand your motivation as a buyer. Think about how many times you’ve said, “I’m just looking.” I say it all the time. But when I’m ready to decide, I need that person’s expertise and knowledge to make my purchase.

Trust is Crucial

Finally, having the support after the sale is just as important as the transaction itself. Going back to the kids in the morning and pancakes for breakfast. If the kids get up when you ask them, brush their teeth, then you’d better follow through with pancakes! Trust is the number one reason someone will “buy.”

This trust factor transcends not only accountability but doing what you say you’ll do. But trusting in the follow up conversation if you really have something that solves a problem. Trust and a solid relationship with family, products, or companies all comes from the outcomes and support after the transaction. The ultimate goal is for you to be happy and satisfied with what transpired.

Selling happens every day in our lives and being aware how we “buy” is helpful in everyday life.

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Traveling for Work

With remote work popular these days and the latest airline mishaps in the news, traveling for work is more common. Here are simple tips to make work travel easy, fun, and something to look forward to every trip.

See the Sights

If you have a travel day before your work meetings, plan to see at least one city sight, something you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. A flower garden, city park, new shopping center, or art museum all will make your trip fun when you arrive.

Even planning a restful, calm evening in your hotel room with HBO is relaxing and allows you to destress. Plan to have at least one event on your “agenda” for yourself, and you’ll feel so much better!

Be Prepared

Allowing for extra travel delays is another simple way to make work travel easier. Make sure to always carry on your luggage. You will have to pack accordingly, to make a carry on last all week, but it’s worth it!  The time you save waiting for your bag, or not having your bag when you arrive is priceless.

Tip number two is always give yourself a day before your important work meeting, in case of flight delays. Airlines have become less reliable lately, so give yourself that extra time, just in case.

Save The Miles

If your company allows it, save those airline miles and hotel points. Using your frequent traveler programs for fun vacations throughout the year, makes traveling for work fun and more enjoyable.  Saving for a trip for Europe or Hawaii?

Using your banked miles will help not only the cost, but in some cases upgrade you. Enjoying a better seat on the plane or upgraded hotel room always makes vacation more enjoyable. Some credit cards also have travel insurance and other perks associated with their card for extra travel protection.

Finally, always have your passport, snacks, and your device chargers in case you are delayed in the airport. Be prepared for work and traveling takes confidence and the curiosity to enjoy your trips have fun too!  Safe travels!

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Cover Letters

Once you have a solid resume, you will need a cover letter to compliment your skills. A good cover letter highlights your value as a potential employee and paints a picture for the reader. Here are tips for an effective cover letter to get that next interview.

Introduce Yourself

A good cover letter will provide the reader a clear idea of who you are and what you can do. The cover letter is important to fill in the gaps that might be left from your two-page resume.

Give the reader a clear idea of WHY you want to work for their company and HOW you can provide that value.

Highlighting why you’re making a job change (spouse relocation or career switch) is another important aspect to include. If you can include metrics or tangible improvements from your previous employment, include them.  But keep your cover letter to no more than one page. People are busy and one page is enough to sell yourself and your skill set.

Match Keywords

Just like writing a resume, a solid cover letter should align with the job description and your skills. Match keywords from the job posting and use that vocabulary in your letter. Better yet, highlight an achievement or “win” from a previous role which illustrates that specific skill or certification. Remember, readers like stories so make your cover letter tell your story.

Spelling and Grammar

This goes without saying but using correct spelling and grammar is vital for your cover letter. You need to show off your writing skills and a huge part of that is a readable introduction. Check spelling and tenses of verbs to ensure they match.  Read through with fresh eyes to make sure not to leave out any important details. Finally, have a friend or colleague read through your cover again letter for clarity and punctuation.

Ask for the Interview

Without sounding cheesy, have a great closing statement in the letter to specify “action.” In other words, ask for the interview!  Or you could ask to follow up in a few days if the reader had any further questions. Bottom line, you want the reader to act and contact you for an interview, to continue the conversation.  A salutation of “Thank you” or “Sincerely” is also best when signing off.

Practice makes permanent, so the more you write, the easier a solid cover letter will be for you. Good Luck!

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Library Jobs

Career Development

Organizations will have you train or take self-paced learning courses when starting a new job. When you are a tenured worker or better yet a knowledgeable librarian, what professional development should you focus on? What are the next steps in your career development of librarianship?  Read on for advice to broaden your skillsets. Professional development allows you to excel to the next level in your library career.

Volunteer to Lead

When you are offered an opportunity to lead or be a part of a committee, take it!  For example, leading the annual staff training day or planning for the summer reading program should be on your radar. Plan to participate and provide your valuable input  and leadership.

If you work in an academic library, consider volunteering to work on a grant application to benefit your institution and library. Taking the initiative to lead will show others you have the leadership qualities to move forward.

Develop a Plan

As a professional your own development is up to you. Come up with other methods to excel and stand out in your organization in the specialty you’re pursuing. For example, if you are a youth services librarian, then branch out into another areas. Gain a mentor in a technical area to broaden your skills. However, be of  value to the organization in any area and find your niche.

Looking for opportunities and asking to help in other areas is always appreciated by leadership. You will get you noticed for other openings as they become available. Have a plan or goal in mind and ask the appropriate manager if you can shadow to learn new tasks. Furthermore, take on extra responsibilities to learn a brand new skill. You will thank yourself down the road for taking the leap.

Be Flexible

Keep in mind opportunities will present themselves when you least except them. So, be flexible and take them when they’re offered. Be ready to jump at a chance if a position aligns with your goals and career options.

Finally, timelines and career focus are great, but life is unpredictable. You need to remain open to unique opportunities.  If you’ve worked hard and provide value to an organization, they will snap you up. You both win.  Good Luck and Happy Learning!

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Career Mentoring for Success

Being a mentor or getting mentoring advice will help your career success in many ways you might not realize. Here are a few reasons  why putting yourself out there to provide advice to a colleague helps you and your mentee. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a mentee is “one who is being mentored a protégé.”

Job Satisfaction

Studies have shown that sharing your job knowledge and leadership experiences gives you a more satisfied feeling in your  role. Furthermore, we feel good when we have mastered a skill. We feel even better when we can share that with others. Mentors show commitment to their profession and their teams. Sharing  a bit of ourselves and our experience broadens our relationships. A trusting mentor/mentee relationship is invaluable for job satisfaction.

Succession Planning

When you receive mentoring from a leader or another colleague you are learning valuable lessons from a seasoned employee. Someone who has already been through an experience or solved a particular issue. This creates a great learning opportunity to gain knowledge and have exposure to real-world examples. These topics you might never even know existed, if not for your mentor. Like the old saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Hearing and learning firsthand from a mentor are valuable ways to expand your toolkit for heading up the career ladder and in turn assisting your organization’s leadership.

Additional Exposure

For men and women mentoring gives an opportunity to show your company what you’ve got to offer and can open additional opportunities for your career growth.  Professional conferences, industry memberships and networking events can all be a form of mentoring or passing on valuable experience to help others in your industry. With travel opening more, considering a more formal platform to share your skills and experience with others.

Not able to travel? How about a more organic platform to mentor colleagues and share your experiences openly. I remember a roundtable of community stakeholders that would assemble once a quarter to discuss current business trends. This group discussed challenges and upcoming concerns others might not be aware of. This was a group method of passing on important information while keeping our networks active. While not as personal as one on one mentoring, connections were made and relationships were forged during our gatherings four times each year and continue today.

If you have an idea on a mentoring strategy let me know. We all should be sharing and learning!

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Digital Marketing in Libraries

The internet and digital marketing have advantages for libraries. Read on for a couple of tricks to increase your library’s exposure and customer base. Libraries are here to stay, and social media will help bring customers back into the building.

Social Media

It’s a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram driven world. This means that marketing your library on these social media platforms is essential. That’s true for any business. Post pictures of programs, customers, and be sure to use hashtags every post. Post photos of the building, bookstore, and community events at your library. Keep up with various literary events such as Banned Books Week or National Library Week.

Email Marketing

Set up a mailing list and then blast out newsletters and other information to teachers, legislators, and other local officials. Customers need to be reminded the library is in the community.  Furthermore, reach out to new customers interested in various events at your library. Grow those customers and sign them up for a library card!

Use Videos

A picture is worth a thousand words, and photos sell. We live in a video-saturated world.  Make short videos about the programs at your library.  Storytimes and children’s programs have the biggest audiences at libraries, so publicize the most popular.

When doing this or taking pictures, it is important to use a proper high-quality HD-capable camera. With all the images we encounter in our daily lives now, we are quite good at telling HD from non-HD photos. The latter are now judged as inferior by default. Go for the quality and make an impression.

Event Marketing

What’s the next big event that you’re hosting at your library? Whatever it is, you want to use that to market your library big time. What’s more, you need to make sure that as many people know about it as possible. Use the tools above, employ flyers and banners, advertise to schools, and use other traditional event planning measures to get as much exposure as possible.

All this and more can help you get your library the publicity it needs and deserves


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Productive Meetings

During this time of hybrid and remote work, meetings whether virtual or in person, are vital for healthy team morale. Productive communication from you and senior leadership is so important to share information and gather employee feedback. Keep the following tips in mind when holding your next staff meeting.


 Host meetings if there is important information to be distributed that cannot be shared via email or phone. To hold a meeting just because, really is not a sufficient reason. So, be sure employees are aware of the agenda, and send it out 24 hours ahead of your meeting. 

Furthermore, if you’re hosting a guest speaker also include their contact on the email reminder and an agenda. If the meeting is a brainstorming session, be specific of the intended outcomes. Before the meeting begins, provide employees context. Enable the team to prepare their thoughts beforehand. No one likes to waste time. Set the stage for expectations with a meeting agenda for the best results.

Online meetings

While easy to attend, virtual meetings lack the social interaction and networking that in person gatherings provide. If your organization’s meetings are mostly virtual, establish parameters for video and audio use.

For example, will all attendees be expected to have cameras ON but muted audio unless speaking? Be sure staff are aware of the expectations. How should attendees dress? Should audio be muted? It’s difficult to gauge an audience virtually, so ask your questions multiple times for various responses. Be sure to monitor the chat function to ensure no question is unanswered. Also check throughout the meeting for raised hands. 

Note Taking

A short review of what was shared via email is important after the meeting. Some employees might not have attended, or contacts and links were shared that staff need to complete a task. Having information written down is important for effective communication and accuracy. Rotating the note taking responsibility among your team or designating one person each quarter is a solid strategy. It’s also an excellent professional development tool for your team.

Virtual meetings have the option to be recorded, which makes note taking even easier. Whatever method used, be consistent and your communications and meetings will run smoothly every time.

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Libraries and Entrepreneurs


Many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs. They look forward to being in control of their own destiny and love building a career. Entrepreneurs are motivated and driven, and they aren’t afraid of hard work. The question is, where can you find resources to help get started? The answer is your local library!

Libraries Provide Access 

There are many research and reference tools for entrepreneurs at public libraries. Online tools that would cost a fortune if you had to purchase them yourself are free. Libraries have resources such as Reference USA, Regional Business News, and Business Source Premier for free.  These databases normally would cost thousands of dollars to access. Public libraries allow free access anytime with a library card and computer. Check to see if your city has multiple library systems, to access different subscriptions from each library. 

Free Patent Information

Checking out a patent or idea before moving forward is an entrepreneur’s first step. It is important to make sure that someone else doesn’t hold a trademark or patent on your idea. Libraries provide patent check resources and trademark information for free. This way, an idea is vetted before investing heavily.  Avoid legal problems down the road by checking out your idea. 

Check Out the Competition

Researching your competition before you start your business is also important. Entrepreneurs want know everything about potential competitors.  Furthermore, the library offers free information on marketing, demographics, and sales volume for the competition. Information that is invaluable for your idea to be successful.  The Reference USA database is the best source to help you gain an edge with your own company.

Raising Capital

Finally, raising capital in any business is essential. You will need to find investors or angel funders.  Libraries have all the information you need to begin the search. You will find resources and people to help you create a pitch, a logo, and more. You can find ideas on how to name your product, and you can learn how to speak in public. Finally, you can learn how to approach investors and sell them on your idea. The public library should be the first stop for any start up, and all the information is free!  Best of luck on your new venture.

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Tips for Getting a Job at a Library

When you apply for a job, it is a good idea to know what to expect. Working in a library is a great job. Preparing for your interview so that you can stand out from other applicants is very important. Continue reading for tips on what hiring managers look for and how to get your first job at a library.

Library Organizations Provide Experience

Think about the skills you need as a librarian and get some experience from other organizations. There are many different groups to provide volunteer service. You want to gain experience that you can relate and tell a story in your interview. For example, the American Library Association is a great resource to learn more about library careers and jobs. The site provides information on training and links for more in-depth local volunteer opportunities.

Research the Job

It is important to learn as much as you can about the job you apply for in the library. Positions vary due to the amount of public service or contact you may need such as cash handling experience.  Visit the library’s website and research past programs, the online calendar, and any meeting minutes. Learn as much as you can about the goals for the library and how your future job would support initiatives.  In addition, researching the library’s website will help you understand the partners and programs offered. This research provides even more conversation starters for your future interview. You could also visit the library beforehand to get a feel for the work culture and fit for your needs. Observing library staff in action will give you valuable insights into what to expect from a possible job there.

Complete Application

Your application should be thorough and cover all the experience you have accumulated. Any work or volunteer time that relates to libraries should be listed, such as customer service and cash handling. In addition, make sure that you include a cover letter and your resume addressed to the hiring manager. This detail could make you stand out from other applicants who do not include these personalized touches. Also, make sure to have a friend or family member proofread your application to ensure there are no mistakes. Proper grammar is also very important to make a good first impression on the hiring manager.

Finally, run through a practice interview with a friend who understands the job and your skills. You will have more confidence and less nerves if you practice in a conversational style. Good luck!