WebJunction News

Here are links to the most recent issues of Crossroads, the monthly e-newsletter from WebJunction. To find older issues, visit WorldCat.

October 2014: Forever Young, Forever Youth Services

This month we are here to celebrate, not youth itself, but Youth Services, those tireless, innovative library staff who live the line, "We don't have the power but we never say never," and get amazing things done in their libraries. Read more ...


September 2014: Tech Tools and Health Rules

This month our focus is on mobile technology, apps, websites, and streaming services. Our second webinar this month will be looking ahead to Open Enrollment in 2015, so if you're fielding health care questions, make sure to sign up now. Read more ...


August 2014: The Learning Place for Libraries

This month our focus is on staff training and development. One might argue that, in a way, this is our focus every month. True as that may be, we have some great resources and two fantastic webinars this month on that very theme, so be sure you don't miss out. Read more ...


July 2014: Transforming Libraries, Transforming Communities

This month our focus is on transformations. Transformations in libraries, transformations in communities, and, as it happens, our own transformations going on here at WebJunction. Read on to learn more about the exciting changes going on and get more information on some of the excellent learning opportunities coming up... Read more


June 2014: Sustaining Communities, Sustaining Ourselves

Aarhus Public Libraries in Aarhus, Denmark, built their new library using a process they call Participatory Democracy in Action. They did so by asking their community the question, "If everything is online, why come to the library at all?" Feedback came from all over, children and adults, and had a huge impact in shaping the plan for the new Aarhus library building, Dokk1, which will open ... Read more


May 2014 - Beyond the Desk: Resources for Innovative Reference Services

Library services often begin with a question. Do you have this book? Can you help me find information for my report? Which country is the largest producer of coffee beans? As we grow up and learn, we are taught to ask questions to help us learn new information, challenge viewpoints, and clarify our understanding of the world around us. Read more...


April 2014 - Resources for Library Training Success

Modern libraries evolve with their customers, and that means keeping pace with new trends, techniques, and technologies. Library staff must keep their skills fresh, and are often called on to take a teaching role, not only in guiding customers to the information they seek, but also by leading patron classes on computing or staff sessions on customer service skills. Read more...


March 2014 - Libraries Building Strong Community Partnerships

As trusted centers of the community, libraries are in a unique position to attract potential partners, and to provide resources and benefits to organizations with common goals. In a time of diminishing funds and increasing demands, partnerships are essential to meeting community needs, and to sustaining an active and engaging environment for customers. This month, we focus on tools and tips for successful partnerships and collaboration. Read more...


February 2014 - Resources to Maximize Community Relations

Libraries belong to the community and are central to it. They are open to all, and provide essential services to help people and neighborhoods thrive. From internet access and homework help, to storytimes and English as a Second Language programs, libraries offer vital resources to address community needs, and they are a place where the community can gather. Read more ...


January 2014 - Create Compelling, Customer-Centered Spaces

Our surroundings have a profound effect on us. Color, light, shapes… seemingly small details can help us tune into our environment deeply, or make us shut down entirely. We know at an intuitive level that well-designed spaces not only make for better business, they inspire and encourage us to engage with our world and achieve our goals. As libraries look to address 21st century customer needs, rethinking and reshaping indoor and outdoor spaces can create welcoming, fun, and comfortable environments that keep customers visiting time and again. Read more...


December 2013 - Delivering Top-notch Customer Service

How is a library like a deli counter? Or like Nordstrom or the Ritz? All of these businesses rely on excellent customer service skills to delight patrons. As many expert resources will say, good customer service is grounded in good common sense: be kind; be thoughtful; do your best to help. Top customer service organizations incorporate these ideas, and make a habit of constant improvement, to create exceptional experiences for those they serve. Read more...


November 2013 - Healthier Work Spaces, Happier Librarians

Librarians are no strangers to stress. As we work to manage difficult conversations, balance priorities in the midst of budget cuts, or look for time to keep up with current trends in the field, there is no shortage of concerns or complex issues facing information workers. As one writer notes, we librarians are great at taking care of patrons, but what about taking care of ourselves? Workplace wellness can involve the physical, mental and emotional aspects of our lives, and it can be overwhelming to think of making major changes in any of these areas. Read more...


October 2013 - Become a Readers’ Advisory Superhero

Readers’ Advisory is a hallmark of library service. Introducing patrons to a new author or title, helping them select works from a particular genre, or even first setting them on the reading path, librarians use their powers to identify and guide customers to the stories they seek. Whether you are new to the library profession, or you’ve answered the question, “What do I read next?” countless times, this month’s resources can kick start (or reboot) RA activities, and assist in providing a super service to patrons.  Read more...


September 2013 - Community Transformation through Library Leadership

Libraries are in the business of information and inspiration. They deal in possibilities: What if I got a new job? What if I learned a new language? What if I earned my high school diploma? What if I recorded a song? These personal journeys often begin at the library, where people find the space and the resources to follow their dreams. This month, we focus on library leaders and organizations setting the stage for their communities to succeed, and transforming how the public thinks about libraries. Read more...


August 2013 - Teens, Digital Media, Programming, eHealth: full throttle ahead

The programs that libraries offer to the public are vital to their connections with the communities they serve. The range of programming ideas is impressive, with some very tech-focused, some traditional book-focused, and everything in between. This month we offer a taste of that variety and hope it engenders new ideas for your library. Read more...


July 2013 - Reinventing Ebooks and Maximizing Library Social Media

Summer is for slowing down, soaking up sun and generally relaxing with a good book. Or should we say “a good device”? Technology has changed the way we enjoy some of the most basic pleasures like reading and communicating with friends. Take stock of the people around you and you’ll likely see a majority of them looking at and interacting with a tablet or a smartphone. This month, we look at some of the ways that libraries fit in that picture, lending ebooks and connecting with their communities through social media. Read more...


June 2013 - Makerspaces, Connected Learning, Teaching Patrons

More Americans than ever are looking to their libraries for learning. No matter what size, libraries are increasingly important as centers of informal and lifelong learning. In this month’s focus on teaching patrons, we look at resources for up-to-date curriculum and strategies for improving the effectiveness of training, especially for small libraries. We also look at current educational trends that seek to facilitate real learning and foster a full spectrum of 21st century skills for our community members. Read more...


May 2013 - WebJunction Celebrates Ten Years

It’s WebJunction’s 10th anniversary! We’re excited to be celebrating 10 orbits around the online universe. That’s Ten Years of Continuous Learning and sharing knowledge, tools and support that librarians and library staff need to power vibrant libraries. The “we” is inclusive because the truth is that YOU are WebJunction. You are all part of the vital community that we have been building together. We hope you will celebrate with us. Read more...


April 2013 - E-readers, tablets, and smartphones in the library

As e-readers, tablets, and smartphones become increasingly ubiquitous, traditions of library service and resource management are disrupted. Libraries and their staff are meeting the transformation with characteristic energy and imagination. They are getting everyone up to speed on the fast-changing crop of devices. They are envisioning new ways to use tablets and apps in library programming. Read more...


March 2013 - Focus on funding, fundraising and using data for impact

Americans love their libraries, at least according to the results of a recent report from the PEW Research Center. At the same time, libraries are stressed and seeking ever more effective ways to demonstrate their essential impact on the community. Whether communicating to funders or devising creative fundraising strategies, find your local story in the positive data and tell your community how your library fulfills their values and meets their needs in this digital age. Read more...


February 2013 - Motivating Staff for Lifelong Learning

As libraries transform themselves to meet evolving needs, it is the people who work in libraries who must act as the actual instruments of change. Ideas about training and learning are also evolving. Increasingly, old notions and traditions are challenged in the light of new understanding about how the brain works and experiments in new educational strategies. Beyond defining competencies and training needs, it is crucial to ignite the motivation to learn, to get all library staff to embrace their own sustained plunge into lifelong learning. Read more ...


January 2013 - Innovation through Partnerships

Although partnerships are an ancient tradition and certainly nothing new to libraries, there is a sense of increased urgency to find and form innovative collaborations. Some pressure comes externally from funding agencies that tend to reward strong partner coalitions over solo efforts. More insistent is a deepening awareness that partnership is embedded in the notion of community; no institution can remain an island if it seeks effective reach into its community. Read more...


December 2012 - Reaching Out for All Seasons

This season of giving is a good time to reflect on inclusion, particularly how libraries reach out to underserved communities with their services. In the midst of celebrating the awesome services and programs libraries have delivered to their communities, we know there are opportunities yet untapped to connect with people who don’t realize how much the library could improve their lives. Read more...


November 2012 - Get Ready for 3D Printing

3D printing conjures notions of the Star Trek replicator—a computerized machine that can turn a verbal command into 3-dimensional objects, including food items. The evolution of 3D printers is advancing rapidly toward and even beyond that sci-fi vision. This month, we take a look at this transformational technology and how libraries are positioned to be a hub of the transformation. Read more...


October 2012 - Making Change Happen for Libraries

In a world of constant change, there are those who resist and those who are leaping forward to make things happen. Fortunately, the library field has a healthy contingent of “leapers”—library professionals who are full of ideas for how to renew and reinvent libraries and are looking for opportunities to make change happen. Whether you’re making it happen independent of bureaucracy (“on the fringes”) or working within existing organizational structure, there are some key steps to making it work. Read more...


September 2012 - Tools for Telling the Library Story

With all of the library advocacy tools and efforts in play, one might hope to never again read an op-ed piece that claims the library is a dying institution in this age of Google and smartphones. However, the message has not reached everyone in spite of the number of library directors, trustees and staff who have participated in advocacy training and used advocacy resources. Read more...


August 2012 - The Engaged Library

In this age of library transformation, many libraries are stepping out and engaging with community stakeholders and leaders to improve community life. As trusted centers of the community, they are in a strong position to take bold leadership in helping their communities address challenging issues. As more libraries move out of the comfort zone, WebJunction offers some tools and success stories to encourage them as they translate talk into action. Read more...


July 2012 - Bringing the Digital Age to All

The National Broadband Plan has focused attention on the digital inequalities in this county and spurred a burst of activity to increase digital inclusion and close the adoption gap. Broadband infrastructure is expanding and libraries are boosting their offerings of digital skills training. However, providing access is only part of the solution. This month, WebJunction continues to probe the critical and complex issues around becoming a 21st-century digital nation. Read more...


June 2012 - Regaining Compassion in a Stressed World
Compassion is a quality found in abundance in libraries. Patrons turn and return to their local libraries for the empathetic help they receive from the dedicated people who work there. But those who work in support professions can struggle to maintain balance between helping others and taking care of their own emotional health. Read more...


May 2012 - Finding the Future of Libraries and Learning
The rapid pace of change in the last two decades is no longer news; it’s just our 21st century way of life. Whether employed or not, white collar or blue collar, patron or library staff, we are faced almost daily with the need to acquire new knowledge. This month, we take a look at how libraries and learners are meeting the challenges of constant change. Read more...


April 2012 - Focus on Everyday Leadership
We tend to think of leadership as something reserved for those at the top of a hierarchy, the people who have the title of director or president. In fact, opportunities to exercise leadership occur at every level in an organization. If leadership is the ability to influence and inspire others and to catalyze change, you may already be an everyday leader. Read more...


March 2012 - Focus on the Customer Experience

Customer service is a core value for libraries. It is embedded in the nature of a public institution that strives to serve the needs of its community. Technological and social change are driving an evolution of the way libraries meet those needs. Many people who work in libraries are taking a fresh look at what customer service means in today’s networked and consumer-oriented world. Read more...


February 2012 - Focus on Cloud Computing

Definitions of “cloud computing” are often as vaporous as physical clouds. The actual practice has been around longer than the catchy moniker. For many years already, individuals have been storing and organizing files “in the cloud” (think Flickr); libraries have been accessing and sharing Web-based databases (think WorldCat). In the last few years, the cloud buzz has intensified. Read more...


January 2012 - Focus on Visualizing Data for Advocacy
When you think of data, you might imagine a dull spreadsheet filled with rows and columns of numbers. Lots of useful information can be held in those cells, but unless you present the data in a clear, concise and interesting way, it's not likely to effectively inform or convince anyone. Read more...


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