Customers at the San Jose Public Library cafe

User experience in action: customers line up at the cafe in the San Jose Public Library. Photo courtesy of SJPL's photostream on Flickr.

Focusing 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.

To find out more about what some of those library leaders have to say, read the summary article Focusing on the Customer.

Question of the Month

If you were a secret shopper at your own library, how would it rate on customer experience?

Take the poll »


WebJunction is on the move

We are in the final stages of transferring our content, state library partner sites, courses, and user community to a brand-new web platform. In preparation for the upcoming re-launch of, new member registration and affiliation has been closed. Members with existing accounts are welcome to continue to sign into the website and access courses without disruption. Visitors may continue to browse all the free resources and register for upcoming webinars. During these final weeks, we will be doing minimal publishing to the website while we organize and spruce up our new home. We look forward to greeting you on the refreshed very soon!

Library moving day
Photo courtesy of Klara Kim on Flickr

A Fast Track to the Web for Small Libraries

OCLC’s Website for Small Libraries project makes it easy for small libraries with collections of fewer than 20,000 items to set up cloud-based, mobile-ready sites for a low cost. The sites will offer some basic features of an integrated library system (ILS), such as checkouts, returns, holds, and renewals, among other functions. The site layout has library staff and location information, news and events, a calendar, and catalog search.

Read the Library Journal announcement or Barbara Quint’s Information Today review to see if this is the right solution for your small library.

fictional Loremville Library

Beta test site for the fictional Loremville Public Library.


Geek the (Proactive) Library

The Lawrenceburg Public Library District (LPLD) in Indiana embarked on a Geek the Library campaign as a proactive move to increase the library’s value and goodwill in the community before they had any urgent need. Director Sally Stegner believes that “when we do need help, community members will know that the library is here for them in so many ways.”

Learn more about their strategies and outcomes.

Teen Advisory Group in parade


February Readers' Poll Results

The growing pains of implementing e-reader lending programs are shared by many, as our February poll results indicate. But we also know you’re resourceful at finding solutions. Here are the highlights of what you told us:

  • Selected one source--Nooks and just started to jump in
  • We held a Silent Auction to raise money to join the E-books program in our state
  • Reviewed examples of other libraries' policies before building our own
  • Training, training, training!!
  • Created "how to" brochures on usage and basic training
  • Offered "hands-on" petting-zoo workshops to patrons
Poll results in graph form

Project News

Find the Edge at PLA

The Edge collation will host an update session at PLA on the public access technology “beta” benchmarks, which have been developed to help libraries improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of computer and Internet services. Everyone is welcome to show up, ask questions and provide input.

More details >>

Edge logo

Project Compass National Convening

After three years of concentrated efforts to bolster library partnerships, services and programs to assist the workforce, we are wrapping up the IMLS grant-funded Project Compass with a gathering of library leaders from across the country. On April 25-26, WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina will host a Project Compass National Convening in Arlington, Virginia.

This 1 ½ day event will bring together 250 selected state and public library staff to build on the success of Project Compass workshops and examine ways to sustain the momentum of our workforce recovery efforts. Attendees will hear from keynote speakers futurist Garry Golden and author Marilyn Johnson, and work with representatives from other agencies providing workforce development services in partnership with libraries. Questions? Contact Zola Maddison at

compass graphic

Digital Inclusion: It Takes a Community

The digital inclusion grant opportunity announced last fall is moving forward in coordination with the IMLS role in implementing the FCC’s objectives to increase digital inclusion across the nation. As WebJunction works with partners ICMA (International City/County Management Association), and TechSoup Global, a few pieces are falling into place:

  • It Takes a Community to Bridge the Digital Divide, the project’s first webinar, introduced the topic, focused on community collaboration, and fostered some good discussion. Read more about the webinar >>
  • The project has distributed a Digital Inclusion Community Needs Assessment to get input from a variety of perspectives on the status and challenges of digital initiatives. The assessment was sent only to directors of state and public libraries, community-based organizations, and to city/county managers. If you are a director or manager who did not receive the invitation and you are interested in filling out the assessment, please contact the program manager at gutscheb(at)
  • IMLS will soon release the revised Framework for Building Digital Communities. Look for it at this URL when it is posted online later this month: (Note: the link is not live yet.)

Register for Free Webinars


Adult Programs on a $0 Budget

March 27, 2012

In just a few short years, Laurens County Library in rural South Carolina has created an impressive and well-attended series of adult programs on a shoestring budget. Find out from Joey P. Holmes, library assistant, how the library selects topics, recruits presenters, raises funds, and promotes programs through effective public relations practices. Holmes shares what works, what doesn't work, and how your adult programming can make your library a valued community hub by building awareness and increasing use of all your services.

More information and registration »


Skills for the Everyday Leader

April 4, 2012

You might regard a move into management as “going to the dark side,” but leadership is not only reserved for those with manager in their title. Learning effective supervisory skills can benefit many levels of work in the library, especially if you wear multiple hats in your organization. Edra Waterman, director, Hamilton East Public Library (IN) will share the top 10 actions to take and the top 10 mistakes to avoid as an everyday leader. By the end of this webinar, you'll have some simple and effective tools to help you work more powerfully with your colleagues or become the supervisor you always wanted to work for.

More information and registration »


Virtual Connections

April 11, 2012

Get connected with your library patrons! Connecting with patrons in the online world is vital for libraries. Learn how to build and maintain virtual, internet-based connections with your patrons with the tools they are increasingly using themselves, including Google Plus, QR Codes, and Pinterest. Presenters Melanie Hedgespeth, technology manager, and Randy Merrell, tech trainer, from Salina Public Library (KS) will focus on how to get started with these platforms and how to immediately put them to use for your library. Get ideas to expand your use of these great connection-oriented tools. Learn how libraries are growing virtual community connections and engaging with their patrons.

Here’s an advance peek at libraries joining the Pinterest craze.

More information and registration »


New Webinar Archives

If you missed these recent live programs, you can view and listen to the recording at any time on WebJunction.

Feb 9: Cloud Computing 101

Feb 23: Twitter for Job Seekers: Tips for Helping Your Library’s Job-seeking Patrons

Mar 6: It Takes a Community to Bridge the Digital Divide

Browse all archives »


Thanks to our Partners

Through the generous support of the following state library agencies, WebJunction offers webinar programs for free to all who wish to attend:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington


Spotlight on WebJunction Partners

WebJunction Partners are moving too

WebJunction's state library partners have been busy preparing for's content and platform migration. They are taking advantage of the upcoming move to weed outdated content, remove features and tools that are no longer useful, and refocus on topics that are most relevant to the 21st-century library professional.

As part of this update, state partner web content will join the central WebJunction website, becoming a part of a larger whole and making it easier for members to navigate a wealth of content. When you visit you will soon find—in addition to nationally (and internationally) relevant resources—a special section for content developed by each state partner. With this change, access to self-paced courses will take place in dedicated space designed especially for WebJunction members to build and manage a learning plan.


Join the Discussion

WJ members are sharing library news and resources in our satellite communities on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Join in!

Online Courses from WebJunction

Unlimited access to WebJunction online courses is offered exclusively through our partners in state library agencies. Find out how your state can become a program partner at WebJunction.