WebJunction 2014

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Ahniwa Ferrari /

As we turn the page on another year (plus a month), we at WebJunction would like to take an opportunity to share some of our successes in 2013 and some of the things we're looking forward to in 2014.

Webinars and Online Learning in 2013

More than 11,300 library staff attended WebJunction's interactive webinars in 2013, and another 22,000 viewed the archived recordings. WebJunction webinar pages were visited nearly 100,000 times during the year. While all of our archived webinars are worth checking out, here are 10 of the most popular from 2013:

Libraries and Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1 - This July 26 webinar provides information about plans to provide library staff with online resources to respond to increased patron information needs related to the Affordable Care Act.

So many Devices, So Little Time - This webinar shared practical guidance on how libraries can help patrons with a variety of mobile devices whether through formal training or one-on-one assistance.

Library Social Media Use - This webinar covered how to create, administer, moderate, and leverage your library’s online presence using popular social media tools.

Extreme Customer Service, Every Time - In this webinar, learn how to commit to library customer service that will create an experience beyond all patron expectations.

Signature Events for Small Libraries - A webinar exploring signature fundraising events that help libraries raise funds and create friends.

Serving Readers: Beyond the Basics - This webinar expanded on basic premises and practices of reader's advisory, exploring new ways to address the needs of your library's core constituency of readers.

Leaving Fort Ref: Frontiers of Embedded Librarianship - This webinar explored new approaches to reference that embed the librarian in the community, answering questions at the point of need, and growing community connections.

Support Patron Learning in Small Spaces with Small Budgets - This webinar showcased how small and rural libraries can provide effective training to patrons even with limited staff, resources, or space.

The Future of Online Learning: A Changing Landscape - This webinar explored what education innovators are doing to increase engagement through learner-centered discovery, flipped classrooms, and enhanced online learning.

Amp Up Your Technology Training - A webinar on technology training for communities. Learn how OASIS Connections classes are helping communities build skills and confidence using computers, the Internet and today's technology.

Making the News in 2013

While WebJunction's premium content has been and will continue to be learning resources (seriously, go watch some of those webinars), in 2013 we made a strong effort to increase the amount of library news stories we were sharing. Our news stories were viewed 68,000 times in 2013. Here are some of the most popular stories:

The Internet is Important to Everyone - Angela Siefer's excellent Digital Inclusion infographic was the most popular news item on WebJunction in 2013, and deservedly so. It's available in a number of versions to be remixed and re-used by all.

A Happy Hour for Library Staff Learning - Inspired by our webinar on Self-Directed Achievement, Susan Green of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library applied the model to her staff with excellent results.

Libraries and the Health Insurance Marketplace - This news story (and accompanying eHealth section of the site) was the beginning of our Health Happens in Libraries program, which has been of tremendous use to library staff in preparing for and navigating ACA issues in their libraries.

Programming to the Core: 10 Innovative Library Programs - Betha covered 10 interesting programming ideas taking place in libraries in our August feature story.

ACA and State-Specific Information - 2013 was the year ACA came to libraries (and everywhere else, I suppose). No surprise that a lot of our most popular content was built around helping library staff prepare for these new types of patrons with new types of questions.

Badging the Library, Part 1 and Part 2 - Badges didn't take off in 2013 like I might have hoped, but their presence is still creeping into the mainstream and there remain many good uses for libraries. This pair of articles highlights what badges are, why they could be used by libraries, and how to get started.

Reader's Advisory to the Rescue: Become an RA Superhero - Our featured article in October focused on Reader's Advisory services and was a big hit with our readers.

Tablets and Apps: A World of Possibility - In our featured article for April, Betha talked about innovative uses for mobile devices in libraries, including free-range reference, content creation, and breathing new life into literature.

The Big Shift: E-Book Availability in Public Library - This story, which highlights a full research report from OCLC, talks about some of the issues that come from growing demand for ebooks when access can't keep pace.

2014: More Learning, More Sharing

Just like the libraries it serves, WebJunction strives to grow and change to meet the ongoing needs of its users. We celebrated our 10th anniversary of serving libraries last year, and we hope that we can continue to do so for another 10 years, 20 years, or even longer. To that end, while we continue to provide excellent webinars that are free to all, and continue to curate news that is important to libraries, we will also continue to grow and offer new content to libraries.

WebJunction Programs

Health Happens in Libraries continues to be the premier resource for library staff and ACA resources, providing support to and bolstering what is available at the state level for many libraries. Liz Morris has been an awesome addition to the WebJunction team and we look forward to her continued work in 2014 to help improve public library eHealth services.

Strengthening Continuing Education Content for Libraries is our newest program and offers an opportunity for seasoned trainers in public libraries to participate in a four-month training program focusing on designing and developing online learning that: takes less time and resources than traditional self-paced training; makes use of existing and emerging best practices for effective learning, and; focuses on teamwork, sharing, and mutual support. While the work done in this program will benefit everyone, there is time to apply if you'd like to participate directly. Apply by February 14; participants will be selected and notified by February 28.

Share Your Story

One of our goals at WebJunction is to build library community. Check out our mission and vision statements on our About Us page; it's right there in big, bold letters. In a world of ubiquitous social networks and niche email lists, it can be challenging to build a single library community where everyone can discuss, share, and learn. WebJunction will continue to build towards this goal, focusing particularly on two areas in 2014: making it easier to discuss content on our website, and; emphasizing library stories shared by libraries around the world.

We began work on the latter point by highlighting a number of excellent stories in 2013. Yan Xu wrote about Nook Lending in Naperville. Susan Green wrote the incredibly popular news story inspired by our Self-Directed Achievement webinar. The Health Happens in Libraries program curated a number of excellent stories shared by libraries in Waukegan, Atlantic City, San Antonio, and elsewhere. Justin Hoenke wrote about the awesome DEV DEV program in Chattanooga. Sara Gillis responded to our Extreme Customer Service webinar with her story about bending rules in Halifax Public Libraries. Last but not least, John Pappas has been sharing his expertise around board games in libraries, having already written two in a six-part series of articles on the subject.

We have an excellent precedent for sharing stories from library staff around the world, but now we're ready to really get cooking.

To that end, we've revamped the Share Your Story section of the website to make it as easy as possible to share what's happening in your library. We would love to publish your articles about programs, events, or the day to day work that makes your library an important place in its community. If you're not up to writing a full article, that's great too! We're happy to share your thoughts, no matter how brief, to help promote the fantastic work that library staff perform every day.

Libraries are full of great stories. Share yours.

Onward and Upward

Thank you for helping to make 2013 one of the best years for library learning ever.

Now, let's make 2014 even better.