Visual Resources librarian at MAI

Libraries and librarians are successfully juggling traditional services with new technologies. Photo by Minneapolis Institute of the Arts on Flickr.

Question of the Month

What are you doing to accelerate change at your library? Take the poll »

Impacting the Future of Libraries

Americans value 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.

Key resources:

Libraries go mobile in rural Bangladesh

Libraries go mobile in rural Bangladesh; photo courtesy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Flickr

Global Colleagues Plan for Impact

Libraries have an impact on their communities almost by default. Think how much more powerful that impact could be if the library makes deliberate plans for the direction and depth. Our library colleagues in Colombia, Latvia, and Bulgaria, all recipients of country-wide grants funded through the Global Libraries program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, share their planning processes and lessons learned.

What has been unique about our training program is our effort to establish internal and external partnerships to support never-ending training.” (Latvia)

Read more »


A Statewide Public Library Conversation in Delaware

The Geek the Library community awareness campaign went statewide in Delaware with the support of the Delaware Division of Libraries (DDL). More than a year into the effort, it has created a buzz across the state, united all of the libraries in many positive ways and helped motivate library staff to make personal connections with the community.

Read more about the Delaware campaign »

Learn more about the Geek the Library Program »

Delaware Dover Days

Geeked-out bookcarts in the Delaware Dover Days parade. Photo courtesy of the GTL campaign.


Learning is a Continual Exploration at WebJunction

Last month’s focus on learning was certainly not a once-a-year flash. Lifelong learning and continuing education are core pursuits around here. We have plenty more to say on the topic. Check out these new resources:

  • Badging the Library: Part 1
    Digital badges are an updated way to recognize learning and reward achievement. Learn more about how they work and how they might be applied in libraries…and stay tuned for Part 2.
  • Looking for the Game in Learning
    Gamification is the integration of game strategies or game mechanics into other activities, such as education. Explore ideas about game elements in learning.
  • Self-Directed Achievement: if you give library staff an hour…
    If you missed the live webinar, be sure not to miss the archive. This program totally changed the culture of learning at one library and it can change yours too.
Quest to Learn school session

At the Quest to Learn school, the curriculum uses games and game technigues for learning.

Photo: still from the video Games, Learning, and New Media

Egg, Digital DNA sculpture

Egg, Digital DNA, Public art sculpture, City of Palo Alto; photo by Wonderlane on Flickr

OCLC Event: MOOCs and Libraries

MOOC is an acronym for massive, open, online courses. It is also a phenomenon that is disrupting higher education. Join OCLC Research and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries for “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?” —thoughtful and provocative presentations about how libraries are getting involved with MOOCs. You’ll learn from the pioneers how library content and services can be represented in these new learning environments, and about opportunities for new discussions with partners in supporting learning on campus.

The in-person event in Philadelphia is full but the entire event will be streamed live on the web.

Register to view the live webcast »


Big Talk for Small Libraries Online Conference

Over 300 attendees logged in to hear 17 speakers at the day-long online conference Big Talk from Small Libraries, which was organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and co-sponsored by IMLS and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries. From programming to outreach, services to advocacy, these innovative libraries are addressing the health, education, and well being of their rural communities, forging unique partnerships and bringing lasting impact. Seven 50-minute sessions and a bonus lightning round with 5 additional mini presentations filled the day.

Read more »

Tiny Swanton Library, Nebraska

It doesn't get much smaller than the Swanton Library in Nebraska; photo by shannonpatrick17 on Flickr.


Spotlight on WebJunction Partners

Spotlight on Partner Funding and Advocacy Efforts

Most state libraries play an active role in supporting the vitality of public libraries in their states; our WebJunction Partners are no exception. This is a sampling of the many ways in which our partners augment the advocacy efforts and funding needs of libraries and staff.

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Library Development maintains a running list of Funding Resources and Contents to keep public libraries in the state informed about current funding opportunities.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries and the Washington State Library were among the 30 participants in a Train the Trainer session for Turning the Page last November in Chicago. As a result, the two states will collaborate to offer the Turning the Page six-week online course starting in early September and ending in October, 2013. 

In another collaboration, the Washington State Library is working with the Microsoft IT Academy to provide the people of Washington access without charge to a wide range of Microsoft online courses and learning resources through their local public, community college or tribal libraries.

In the “Show Me” state, the Missouri State Library supports library staff through the “Show Me Steps” grants, which provide financial assistance for library staff and trustees to participate in continuing education and training opportunities when local funds cannot finance the entire cost.

Read more about all these efforts »


February Poll Results

Results of February Readers' Poll on Motivation

Last month, we asked our readers what motivates you to learn something new on the job? A whopping 80.5% chose curiosity as the top factor, with relevance to your job (56.9%), having control to direct your own learning (40.2%), and emotional engagement with the topic (35.1%) cascading down from the top. Daniel Pink, who has written about motivation myths, would agree that earning prizes or gift certificates (extrinsic rewards) is the lowest of choices (1.7%). It’s a bit surprising that game-like elements in learning fell into second-to-last place (3.4%).

The additional comments addressed resistance to learning, lack of time, opinions about format, and the need for relevance, context, and intrinsic motivation. See the comments at the end of the River of Lifelong Learning for the full set of responses. This one stands out:

“Change is the best adventure and it happens without our ‘permission’ … The most important thing I know - is that there is something MORE for me to know.”

Poll results in graph form

Revisiting the January Poll Redux

When we received only one response to our attempt to collect your partnership stories in our January “poll,” we issued a January Poll Redux to dig a little deeper into the reasons for the minimal response. The redux poll did elicit your responses and they provide a useful perspective on how to stimulate our library colleagues to tell their stories.

Read more »

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Register for Upcoming WebJunction Webinars


Worth a Thousand Words: Library Snapshot Day

March 13, 2013

By capturing photos of all that happens in a single day at your library, you can tell a powerful story about the importance of your library to the community. Libraries of all types and sizes have used Library Snapshot Day to build community awareness and demonstrate the impact and reach of library services. Panelists Marci Merola, director of ALA Office for Library Advocacy, Marsha McDevitt-Stredney and Jenaye Antonuccio from Ohio Snapshot Day will share their templates and tips for successful planning and implementation, and will explore other ways that images can be used to tell your library’s story. Learn how you can take a vivid snapshot of your library, whether it’s on your own, with others in your state or region, or in conjunction with National Library Week in April.

More information and registration »


Signature Events for Small Libraries

March 19, 2013

From "chocolate in the stacks" tastings to 5K runs to off-site literary dinner parties, small libraries are getting creative in offering signature events that raise funds and create friends. Cassie Guthrie, Executive Director of the Pioneer Library System (NY), will offer a "show and tell" of library fundraisers, with quick tips on how to get started in your community.

This webinar, hosted by WebJunction in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, is an encore presentation of one of the most highly-rated sessions at the ARSL conference.

More information and registration »


So Many Devices, So Little Time

April 3, 2013

Our library patrons want help in learning how to use their mobile devices—e-reader, smartphone, or new tablet. It can feel like an insurmountable task to help them all. Join Jennifer Birnel, BTOP Technology Trainer for the Montana State Library, for some practical guidance on how libraries can help patrons with a variety of gadgets.  Learn tips for how to set up realistic formal training sessions and how to best offer one-on-one assistance. You will also gain examples of practical training outlines, how-to guides, and video tutorials.

More information and registration »


Engaging Stakeholders, the First Step to Creating a Digitally Inclusive Community

April 10, 2013

WebJunction is proud to be hosting a discussion of Rhode Island’s digital inclusion stakeholder engagement process. Learn why Broadband Rhode Island (BBRI) decided it was important to create a process of engaging stakeholders in order to discuss technology access and use. Key collaborators will explain their involvement, how various sectors were engaged, the impact of NTIA funded projects upon the stakeholder engagement process, and how policy recommendations were created and prioritized. If you are a local or state leader (libraries, community-based organizations, government, business) interested in building digitally inclusive 21st century communities, you’ll get insights into laying a solid community foundation for your efforts.

More information and registration »


Extending access to e-books for public libraries: New strategies

April 30, 2013

Access to e-books is one of the most important issues facing public libraries today. A January 2013 convening of public library leaders from across the U.S. resulted in a set of strategies to pursue. The strategies include public policy, data collection, clear definition of the library’s value in the e-book supply chain, and an outline of how libraries can become vital participants in the emerging models for content creation and delivery. Learn how these strategies are progressing, how this work fits with other initiatives to extend e-book access, and how you can get involved.

Presenter Jennifer Pearson, OCLC Community Relations Programs Manager, is managing The Big Shift planning grant, funded by IMLS. OCLC has gathered recent research and data around public library e-book purchasing to aid the discussion and inform public library leaders who are assessing tactics for extending e-book access.

More information and registration »


Listing of All Webinar Archives

If you missed any of our live webinar programs, you can view and listen to the recording at any time on WebJunction. All of WebJunction's webinar archives are now listed on one page. Use the list in the right column to browse by topic.

Recent Webinar Archives

Listen to these most recent programs:

February 7Self-Directed Achievement: if you give library staff an hour…

February 13: How Libraries Can Meet the Evolving Needs of Patrons in the Digital Age

February 27: The Future of Online Learning: a changing landscape


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:

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

Read more about our Partner Program.

Drexel University Online

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