What’s Up Wednesday Finding and Serving Hidden Patrons 2 26 2020


I am now happy to return the
presentation over to Angela Angela take it away good morning everyone my name is
Angie Bates and this webinar is on finding and serving hidden patrons if
any of you went to ARSL this past fall I gave the presentation there as
well so hopefully you will enjoy it I am the assistant librarian at Perry
Memorial Library having trouble advancing my slide let’s see I don’t
have the control box to advance the slide so get to see the first slide I am
the assistant director of Perry Memorial Library which is in Henderson North
Carolina Henderson is in Vance County Thank You which is in the far north part
of the state close to the Virginia state line if any of you are familiar the …let
me think of where I might describe it… actually 15 minutes from Virginia the
South Hill area if anybody knows where that is we are the only library branch
in our County which serves about 44,000 people we’re located in almost the
center of the county the majority of the county is rural except for three small
cities Henderson which is probably the size of maybe Terre Haute I would guess
would be a good in Indiana good size I’m originally from Indiana so that’s
how I kind of know that we serve patrons that are for the most part lower
educated basically high school education is the majority of our patrons we do
have some that have gone to college but most once they go to college leave Vance
County there are not very many opportunities here except for
blue-collar workers a lot of farming a few warehouses there’s a Revlon plant
here and a John Deere plant that sort of thing
so the way this all got started if someone could…hey Kara do you
know how I can get back to the screen where I can advance myself I have a full
screen adaption of my presentation if you can help me with that that’d be
great how this whole thing started is we were beginning to work on our strategic
plan in 2014 thank you the red state they’re in the red county is us and it
advanced again the other dots there there’s Raleigh Charlotte and Asheville
if you’re familiar with our state there is our library right there at the lower
center all of the area that has the slash marks through it that is all rural
area the part that’s not marked it all is completely undeveloped it’s mostly not
develop-able its sloped it’s… there are no people in that area we started our
strategic plan in 2014 then we decided we would kind of like to include
community outreach because we really haven’t been doing much of that and it
seemed like there was definitely a need but we weren’t really sure who to target
and once we did figure out who to target we weren’t really sure what anyone would
need and then the big question was with the staff that we have how would we even
begin an outreach program there’s here at the library we have a full-time staff
of five and a part-time staff of nine so we weren’t really sure how we would
manage an outreach program so we looked at the demographics of our area next
slide we decided that even though this was a great idea figuring out how to do
it would be the most important way to figure that out …which is good Neil
Gaiman quotation…he’s one of my favorite authors so that’s how I found
him next we looked at the demographics of our
area and like I said we do have 44,000 approximately little over that patrons
in our area of course all do not have a library card we have about
three-quarters of the county with library cards… can you go to the next
slide please…Angie if you go to the right-hand side of your screen there are
like a little square of arrows if you click on that you should go to a
smaller screen where you can see the advanced arrows I do not have that the
only thing I have is a help at the top…(tech talk) thank you so through research we found
that 27 percent of our population that we serve in this county is under the age
of 18 and 12 percent of that is under the age of 5 and 38 percent of our
population was over 60 so we took that into consideration as well as looking at
our mission statement which was to serve lifelong learning which would take care
of that over 60 population leisure activity for all of them and early
literacy so we decided that our primary outreach focus should probably be
preschool children and seniors with a secondary focus on the 18 and 2/5 or
even up to 20 range because that was the young adult in early elementary
ages next slide please okay with the preschool outreach we
decided that we needed to find some partners to let us know how many
preschools were in Vance County and to see how we could talk with them to see
how we could serve them best next we decided to check with Smart Start I’m
not sure if you have smart start in the states that you’re involved in but here
in smart start here at North Carolina smart start is in charge of all of the
early education venues any place that has a home
daycare certified daycare that would be a separate facility or a preschool
facility all needs to register with smart start and smart start gives them
their directives on the things that they need to include in their curriculum and
they give them a star rating one through five as to how they’re doing in the in
the ratings we already have an established relationship with them we
helped them with their Dolly Parton Imagination Library we also did some
funding drives with them also our director was on their board of directors
so we thought they would help us with this they have the information that we
would need about how many daycares there were and what kind of daycares
what the daycares might need… next slide please
they have 12 priorities and they picked three of them that would fall under
things we could help them with one was access to better classroom or Center
libraries field trips either into the community or for community to go and
visit them so that the students would get a better idea of some of the things
that were out there in the community and also they wanted to see more centers in
their schools more Center education that would allow kids to be able to go from
very basic to a little bit more advanced all learning about the same topics and
so they sent those to us and we developed some programs that we thought
would fall into these categories…next slide the first priority we came up with
next is book baskets which is not a new
idea lots of libraries use them but what we decided is we would have book
baskets available teachers could call us let us know what they needed in them
what grade levels then we would put them together so that would advance their
libraries next that we thought we could maybe take our monthly storytimes
to the daycare centers that could not come in to us we originally when I first
started here in 2012 I was the youth services librarian and we had a number
of daycare centers coming to us as their budgets were cut we have very
few coming back into the library so we thought me we could do this for them
and a third priority was books and Beyond bags and my previous career
before becoming a librarian was as an elementary and preschool teacher so I
thought we can put together some hip bags based around a theme with books in
them and a lot of extra activities that could help them with their centers…next book baskets we started right away like
I said there’s a month checkout period for them they can have up to 30 books
they could choose five different topics they could tell us whether they wanted
picture books or easy readers or maybe they wanted nonfiction we weren’t
charging any late fees they can renew if they wanted to and basically they would
just let us know during the month what they wanted for the next month we would
refill another basket and then trade out with them at the end but the teachers
had to come in and pick them up we didn’t have any way to deliver them the
books and beyond bag we needed money in order to have a specialized collection
of books as well as materials and our friends of the library was able to give
us a grant and Kappa Delta Pi which is an education service sorority also met
here at the library and one of the board of trustees members
suggested that I come and present the idea to them and between the two groups
we were able to get a $5,000 grant from them to assemble these bags and the
Kappa Delta Pi members most of which were retired teachers and media
specialists we’re excited to come help us put them together
I had teen volunteers at the time and my young daughter was also you know free to
help so I used her quite a bit the books and beyond bags are have one theme per
bag like snow or dogs or cats that sort of thing we would put six to ten books
in them some nonfiction some picture books and then we put in three to five
different Center folders that would have lots of activities about snow or dogs or
cats puzzles and games those sorts of things most of the things that we picked
came from teachers pay teachers because they’re mostly free and very inexpensive
we also put that information in the bag where everything came from so if the
teachers wanted to duplicate something they would know where they could go and there’s there’s a picture of the
snow bag the list of materials was a little bit
daunting for checkout people to keep looking in to see if everything was in
there that needed to be in there so we asked the teachers we put a checklist in
to see which things did you use and then we could just check those specific
things when they were checked in because some of the bags had a lot of things in
them next we had a huge turnover in 2018 we had I we had at that time we had ten
full time people five of them retired three part-time people found full-time
jobs so we were happy but for them but we realized that we needed to
restructure how we were doing things and at that time the director decided we
could actually plan for outreach positions so people didn’t have to come
in the library to get the book baskets or the books and beyond bags and we might
now be able to go out and serve people where they work so we plan two outreach
positions and made them full-time positions they were half-time
circulation and half-time adult outreach and we had a half-time person in the
library for youth services and her other half of her time was going to be used
for youth outreach and so that’s how we restructured our programming and we were
able to now start storytime visits each month we have a go to the different
daycare centers the same time each week or excuse me each month so they would
know when we were coming the library would choose a theme appropriate to the
time of year and it would be between 30 and 45 minutes depending upon what age
group we were serving two to three story songs movement all the kinds of things
we would do in the library we were just going to take it on the road when we
went back to smart start with this idea they told us that there were 49 daycare
centers in Vance County the yellow dot is where the library is and all those red
dots are all the different schools and we thought wow that’s kind of daunting
so what do we do how do you you know eat a bear one bite at a time so that’s what
we did… next please we I’m sorry I got ahead of myself
next we developed program folders and in the folders we put what the program
would be about we divided our time into a three hour time window travel each day
and we just started cold calling all of the daycare centers we would take them
myself and the Youth Services outreach person we go to each of the day care
centers give them our spiel about what we were planning to do leave the
information hopefully get an appointment right away with them and have
them fill out a card a library card application for their institution out of
the 49 we had 34 centers that said they wanted us to come and do story time for
them we had 28 centers that said they would like to have book baskets and we
had 23 centers I said they’d like to have book and beyond bags but not until
school had started back up some of these had overlaps and some we’re on their own
and we were thrilled so we started actually going and visiting the day care
centers in May most of the books and beyond bags weren’t started delivering until
August next… the program set up so that we would drop off the book
baskets to the centers when we wait for story time that would give us a month
for them to look at them before we would come back
we also chatted with all the pre-k teachers once they came back here in
August we’ve seen them at the end of the year in May but we went back to see them
in August and they were very excited to see us again oh yeah we forgot all about
that tell us again how it works please the second thing is was our senior
shut-in outreach and we were hoping to have as much success with this one as we
did with their other one but first we had to figure out who to talk to to find
out how many shut-incenters there were and then once we found out where they
were what would they even want from us probably not a story time but maybe
something like that and then how would we reach them how we find out where they
are we talked to the the centers that do a lot with
delivering to home delivery the Vance County Senior Center delivers just into
the community closest to where the Senior Center was with about 20 not
quite 20-mile radius around and they developed they did the Meals on Wheels
program right in the Henderson area the acts house was a church sponsored group
three different ministries sponsored it and they actually worked in the county
and they all delivered meals approximately between the two of them
approximately 75 meals a day and so we thought these people could help us get
our message out to all the shut-ins step 1 we developed out a survey to
give out to the patrons that said you know have you been to the library in a
while do you have a library card would you even like to have this service and
we asked the delivery staff to deliver it along with their meals and we had
given them an overview the program in case that people had any questions then
the next step was to wait a week and go back and pick up the surveys and we had
left a calling card both mine and the adult services person who’d be doing the
delivery with our pictures on them so they would kind of be familiar of who
the people were okay then after we picked up the surveys and left our card
we went through the surveys to see how many people would really want the
service and what kinds of things they thought they might want and then finally
we started calling the people who had said yes they would be interested in the
program so we were very hopeful seventy-five went out we want to see how
many would come back but it didn’t turn out quite as well as it did with the
youth services program three people who had of the 75 number
survey said yes come to my house which was not what we were expecting we
thought there would be a lot of shut-ins that would want us to come and so we
started working with those three people and suddenly we had an epiphany well
actually I didn’t but the person that was doing her outreach service she said
hey what about all those facilities that people are in
could we do something at a …yes go ahead could we do something at an
assisted living center or nursing home or that sort of thing so we started
going to those places and asking if you know they would like something so much
or a story time just come in and share a bunch of of adult books on a topic that
we could leave that people could look at maybe start book clubs or book baskets
and but then we thought you know that’s kind of big we we need to just start
talking to people and see then we remember down in the basement we have
these things called bifocal kits and a grant that we got back in 1995 were for
multi-sensory kits that would spur remembering and discussion it was used
originally for Alzheimer’s type centers but the more we looked at it it could be
used for anything and they actually had a writing program that went along with
it that people could write memoirs if they wanted to so I thought this would
be the perfect place to start we didn’t have to develop a program we had a
program in hand that we could take to the different facilities and say hey
we have this program we would love to come and do this program for your people
or let you do it for them whichever you would prefer and so we did that just
that we did our cold calling and we presented it the Senior Center and
resources services and the Chamber of Commerce gave us a number of day
centers for seniors assisted living centers nursing homes and memory care
units that covered Henderson and the county and we started our cold call
process again one facility said that they wanted to use our bifocal kits
which was pretty hard before us we thought yeah we got this going on so
we started delivering monthly to those four facilities and then our outreach
person had another epiphany aren’t there a bunch of shut-ins inside those
facilities facilities have shut-ins why can’t we maybe take our books to
those people which I don’t know why we didn’t think of to begin with because it
seems like such an easy concept but we hadn’t and so we did we began taking
surveys to the shut-ins in the in the home the nursing homes the
assistive facilities those places and started the same process we gave a
presentation at each one of the centers that would allow us and said you this is
a possibility we could bring books to you and we went to the Senior Center we
talked to those people said hey if you would like to have services because I
know a lot of you can’t come without help to the Senior Center maybe you
would like to have the services and so after looking at the program from that
direction we got more success that was all the things we did
we started the procedure procedure all over and in those four facilities we got
13 people that wanted it and eight more people in private residences from the
the talk at the Senior Center we also were able to sign up 13 people for the
North Carolina blind and assisted line and reading disabled assisted reading
program where they would send audio books with special materials to people’s
homes because our audio books weren’t exactly helping so we were able to sign
up a lot of people for that program which really excited us as well so phase 3 was student access which is
something that North Carolina has available through our NC Cardinal
consortium I know in Indiana everyone in all of the state is part of the
consortium here in North Carolina about I think it’s 43 of the 100 counties and
a few other multiple County regional libraries are part of the program and
they have something a program that allows students to use their government
numbers that they use for free reduced lunch or just regular lunch their number
that they are assigned to be a library card and check out books that way… so we looked into being part of that program
oops I’m sorry and we looked in to be part of that
program they handled all of the technology for us all we had to do was
talk to the school district send letters out to parents and saying hey you know
this is something that we’re going to be doing you are can opt out if you’d like
to but otherwise all of your children’s card numbers will be part of the
library system they can place holds on anything that’s in our library but they
can’t get books from other libraries through this program they can get up to
ten things there’s no fines unless they damage the
book or lose it and they can get access to all of the databases through NC live
which for the high school students is a wonderful thing that elementary students
have something called ncwiseowl which lets them get to some databases that are
there at their level but ones that the high school students would need to get
they have to have a library card to have access to it so they were able to have
access to that through their card as well we thought all of that would be
great to give them access but it doesn’t really help some people that can’t get
to the library anyway especially the ones in the outer parts of the county
which of the thirteen elementary schools of junior high and high school that are
in Vance County the high school and junior high school are about 15 to 25
miles from the library and only three of the elementary schools are within
walking distance three of them are even farther away than the junior high in
middle school so once the regular program started in October we also
looked into a secondary program here through our library next slide which
will allow the three farthest elementary schools to get books delivered to them
and our friends of the library the Chamber of Commerce and one of the who
who got us in touch with someone at one of the mills here in town that supplies
fleets of vehicles they worked with us to negotiate with one of our locals
dealerships and got us a car that we were so excited about that we could
start delivering books and materials out to the schools because it ended up being
a lot we were trying to do it in people’s cars
we had it fitted with some permanent attachments to put milk crates in so
they wouldn’t move and slide all over the place and so every Thursday we have
deliveries to three of the outer elementary schools and the middle school
in the high school and their parents and teachers can also the teachers have
identification numbers already the parents can use student’s identification
numbers and have the materials delivered to the schools so that the students can
check out the books and then they return them to the library there
in the media center and we pick them up the next week when we’re there and
deliver new ones so it’s been an absolutely fantastic way to not only get
to the elementary schools but now we can use this to go to all of the story times
and deliver things to the centers as well we got the car in October it was so
exciting it now has us has a sticker on it which I forgot to take a picture but
we have a big sticker on the side of the car that says Perry Memorial Library on
wheels we bring books to you so we were pretty excited about that
it’s just a small SUV we’re looking at possibly getting a larger bookmobile but
that’s a few years down the road and we can find some funding but that’s the
meat of our program the biggest part was finding partners that the partners that
we were able to find to begin with we’re just ones that we had associations with
already and then those partners helped us find other partners and those
partners helped us find other partners so I can’t stress enough how you need to
look for partnerships within the community that can actually give you
assistance in your programming if you can match your programming up with their
programs already you can really go a lot farther than you can on your own we do
not have a very large budget we are 501 3c we do receive funding from the
state library and some funding from the county in the city but most of ours is
through fundraising and partnerships so that has really helped us a great deal
if anyone is interested I can give you a link to all of the materials that we’ve
used how we can use Google Maps exclusively to plan out our
traveling programs to figure out the maps there’s also a free app out there
that’ll help you pull up maps to show you directions who’s closest who’s farthest
I can link you to that as well if you would appreciate that any of the surveys
that we used we’d be happy to share as well as any of the materials that we
used the book and beyond bags have turned out to be even a greater success
than we thought we had started out with 23 centers using them when I talked with
our outreach person she said the first of this year we have gone to 37 of the
school of those different schools that are using them the bad part is is we
only have 30 bags so some of them don’t get their bag as quickly as
they might want and sometimes we’ve been able to work deals with different
daycare centers like if you get done with this early you will come pick it up
in the mean time and take it to the next one but those were a lot of fun to make
and I have a resource list for those of you are interested in that but that is
my program so I would love to hear from you do you have questions or input or
even ideas how we can make our program better was it difficult to set up your
ILS to accept student IDs as their access to library materials I don’t know
because luckily Cardinal did all of that for us we didn’t have to do anything we
could we got them the list and they were able to put it in and it was up and
running and we didn’t even know anything about it so if your
Indiana you might be able to talk to your Cardinal people or they might be
able to talk to our Cardinal people Georgia I think also Georgia Pines area
has evergreen as well so they might be able to you know spread the information
how they did that around but I honestly don’t know how they did it we would not
have been able to do it on our own.. I see someone asked about …that when you say …
mean you don’t have a cardinal you guys have Evergreen and we call it
Cardinal but you all call it Evergreen I believe I’m sorry I misspoke about
that yes it’s the Evergreen system in in in North Carolina we just call it
Cardinal I think they call it pines in Georgia do they call it something
different in Indiana or do they just call it evergreen…We just call it Evergreen… okay apparently
there’s some kind of module that allows it to happen …can you share the program that allows you to collect memoirs… so the bifocal program
which is it’s actually bifocal dot net or com I can’t remember is out there
that you can purchase materials from the the kits that come with it have CDs with
music they have pictures and photographs they have stories and skits that you can
share among to get the people the people in your audience involved they can be
partners in this little skits that are there also they have excerpts of stories
that you can read and share to get discussion going about you know I
remember when you know I got my first dog when I was five and what it looked
like and I’ve had dogs ever since that sort of thing there’s another component
to the program that’s called my memoirs and they have for lack of a better way
to describe it what elementary school teachers would
use is kind of like an outline it gives questions and ideas to get them thinking
about things that they could write down and they can just start recording their
memoirs through that program and then we used a service online that allows you to
get your books bound it’s called my book binding dot org and you send them your
books and they put your your papers in typed form with whatever it is you want
on them so that it’s in a PDF type format you can send it to them you can
also send loose pages to them and they combine them for you which is pretty
neat it it is a little expensive it’s is about five to seven dollars a book but
usually the people once they have put so much time and effort into it they want
to get it bound for their families also we have a comb machine where you can put
plastic combs around things we’ve done that for a lot of people who didn’t want
to pay the cost to have it actually bound but it it’s fantastic program it’s
very simple it the people that come to the bifocal program once we’re talking
and getting information and ideas swirling it’s amazing how people will
talk among themselves and different people’s ideas will spark different
things and usually at the end of the program will say you know we’re going to
stay for another hour when this is over to do some writing if any of you would
like to stay and you know try to to write some memoirs you might be
able to share with your children or your grandchildren and that’s kind of how
that program was born okay another question from Emily we are struggling to
figure out how to reach patrons that speak other languages is this something
your library system is looking at serving non-english speaking patrons as
well actually it is we’ve been trying to figure out how we can make it happen one
of our Adult Services library assistants that we just recently hired part-time is
a Spanish speaker native Spanish speaker and we’ve been talking with her to
figure out there is a Spanish Center here in town that’s not just a Senior
Center it’s it’s a Family Center about possibly taking a story time program as
well as a bifocal program and working it in a schedule so that she
might be able to go with us and get other kinds of desk coverage we haven’t
started it yet but it’s something we’re very interested in okay Emily said
that’s great does anyone else have any questions for
me okay if you do you can just I’ll go ahead and put up the screen with the LEU
certificate as well and and

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