Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Planning for After High School My Next Steps: An Event for Students Receiving Special Education Services and Their Families May 17, 2018

Planning for After High School: My Next Steps
SPPS/Arc Minnesota /Ramsey County Social Services



June is a time of transition for high school students, planning for the future, for adult life, for school, work, and whatever else comes next. This fair was an event for students receiving special education services and their families. Students receiving Special Education services are given access to rights and services through the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) up through age 21 after which services/protections are offered through laws like the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and Rehabilitation Act. At age 18 students are expected to take on more responsibilities for their life choices unless they are under guardianship or conservatorship. Thus as students prepare to exit high school there are a lot of decisions to be made about where to live, work, how to connect with your community, deciding which roles and responsibilities to take on your own and which you might need support with, deciding  who can help support you as you transition to an adult. 

The fair consisted of a panel of speakers, representatives of various organizations as well as self advocates.

Disability is a characteristic not a label, it describes but does not define a person. The speakers emphasized that youth and those helping them should not limit nor create barriers and that when helping youth in transition we should listen to people and their goals and do person centered planning. You won't always get everything you want, but if it is important to start with the person in mind.  When working with people it is important to understand that behavior is communication, to remember about protecting civil rights and working towards integration and inclusion.

Goals in transition are to connect the individual and his/her family to the community and have services occurring within the community not separate from it, to help solve, work around challenges so they don't become barriers, to use Self Directed, Family Assisted Employment Plans and Community Mapping, to find out what is important to the person going through transition , target work around this, and figure out where resources are.

Some resources for people going through transition for school, work, community, health, financial assistance, etc.:


  1. Disability Hub (includes sections on Disability and Housing benefits)
  2. Focus Beyond  (Saint Paul Public Schools Transition program)
  3. Work Life Alliance
  4. Cow Tipping Press (self expression, writing, community, fun)
  5. Connect 700 (pathway to state employment for people with disabilities who may not be able to demonstrate abilities in interviews and testing)
  6. Dungarvin, an agency that offers supports and services to help adults who have disabilities.
  7. Kaposia " "
  8. Metropolitan Center for Independent Living MCIL is dedicated to the full promotion of the Independent Living (IL) philosophy by supporting individuals with disabilities in their personal efforts to pursue self-directed lives. 
  9. Metropolitan State University
  10. MN APSE (MN Association of People Supporting Employment First)
  11. Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance
  12. MN Department of Education/Project Search, The program model takes place in a business setting where total immersion facilitates the teaching and learning process through continuous feedback and application of new skills. Upon successful completion of the Project SEARCH application and interview process, selected students become Project SEARCH interns. Student interns are provided work opportunities and practical learning experiences to enhance their academic preparation and expose them to the world of work.
  13. MN Disability Legal Aid
  14. NAMI Minnesota
  15. PACER Center
  16. Partners in Community Supports (PICS)
  17. Partners in Policymaking (leadership, advocacy training and resources for people with disabilities and others on their website.)
  18. Ramsey County' Citizens Advisory Council's Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Committee
  19. Ramsey County Children's Mental Health
  20. Ramsey County Consumer Support Grant
  21. Ramsey County Intake, MN Choices Assessment and Disability Services
  22. Ramsey County Foster Care Services and Licensing
  23. Ronald Hubbs Center
  24. Saint Paul Public Schools Special Education
  25. Social Security Administration (Ticket to Work program)
  26. The TAP (community get-togethers, chances for self/creative expression) 
  27. Arc MN
  28. Vocational Rehabilitative Services





Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Assistive Technology Fair

Assistive Technology Fair
RCL/Roseville



There were several tables around the room:

  1. One with handouts from the library on Using Windows magnifier, Free/Low-Cost Assistive Technology options for windows, Mac and mobile devices, Accessible Reading Services, Disability Awareness Resources from the MELSA AT Task Force, Free Technology Training Resources, Accessible IOS Apps, accessibility features of meeting rooms at White Bear Lake and Shoreview libraries (they have an induction loop system) and also have handheld amplifiers (I believe like our Wilson system). They also had a list of the exhibitors with their contact information and a list of the AT on display, and handouts from the partner organizations of community events, some of which were being held at the library.

  1. Other tables included: Star Program, Allina Health Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Vitals Aware Service, MN Brain Injury, Strauss (Adapted Cycles), RCL, Therapy Dogs and a Service Dog with information on the difference, Low Vision Store, Learning Lab, and handouts for MN State Services for the Blind, MN’s Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) program, Twin Cities Adaptive  Cycling nonprofit, PACER-Simon Technology Lending Library, Autism Society of MN

  1. RCL had a table with info on the library and also their Makerspace and a brochure on 3d Printing and Design with information on how to make a UBO (Universal Bottle Opener).


I also walked through the library a bit and I noticed that RCL has a Caregiver Collection for Care Partners of those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or Memory Loss (the collection was purchased by a grant received by the Roseville Alzheimer’s & Dementia Community Action Team) and Memory Minders: a Kit for Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or Memory Loss (the materials in the kits are specifically selected to spark memories, create conversation and provide positive and engaging interactions between people with these conditions and their care partners. The kits contain and interactive activity like bingo, puzzle, games, conversation cards, a book with colorful illustrations designed for people with memory loss, cd with music to soothe and spark memory, the book “A Caregiver’s guide to Dementia, which provides activities and techniques, book lists, tip sheets. The kits have activity levels for early stage, middle stage and late stage of these conditions.

Erin Zolotukhin-Ridgway, GLC

Monday, May 21, 2018

Library Programs for Teens with Disabilities

Presented by Joe Houlihan, SPPL, Renee Grassi, DCL, Gao Yang, SPPL and MELSA/Minitex


Public libraries have a mission to serve and include all members of the community, including teens with disabilities.  Renee Grassi, Joe Houlihan, and Gao Yang will help you learn more about this topic by sharing their own experience serving teens and young adults with disabilities in public libraries.

Our presenters talked about how when we think about the "Libraries are for Everyone" logo we should remember people with disabilities and that equality-making sure everyone has the same is not always equity.


Image result for equality equity


Barriers to Library Visits:


  • Transportation
  • Perception of Service-May have had a bad experience in the past.
  • Language-Communication difficulties, may be nonverbal
  • Attitude of staff and customers
  • Caregivers may be anxious about letting loved one with a disability be out on their own,  can be hard sometimes to allow natural teen-parent separation
  • Different cultural attitudes towards disability, may be anxious/reluctant to go out in public (DCL trying to reach out to Somali community)
  • Families with loved ones with disabilities/people with disabilities, may have busy schedules, can be tricky to reach.




 To define invisible disability in simple terms is a physical, mental or neurological condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities that is invisible to the onlooker. Unfortunately, the very fact that these symptoms are invisible can lead to misunderstandings,  false perceptions, and judgments.

Examples of Programs/Services/Outreach:

Focus Beyond Story Hour Program (Presented by Gao Yang-SPPL)

  • A Sensory-enhanced story hour with Focus Beyond students on a weekly basis.
  • Typically 4-8 students with 2-3 teachers and parprofessionals
  • 45-60 minutes long

Connecting with Teens

  • See the teen, not the disability
  • Speak directly to the teens
  • Be patient when waiting for a response (think about use of visuals and other means if verbal responses are difficult)
  • Maintain an open mind about what a teen can or cannot do.
  • Find interactive ways to engage with teens and make stories come alive in ways they can touch, see, taste, smell, and hear. (books, adapted books and stories (see also Unite for Literacy)-flannels, storigami are examples, movements, songs, sensory activities, also can find lots of ideas on Pinterest, arts and crafts activities
Helpful Tips
  • Form a relationship with the teacher and/or paras, they know their students well
  • Track your story plans, save what you did and rate how it went, can use ideas later with different classes, ideas of places to save: Evernote, GoogleDocs, etc. 


How to Select Read-Alouds
  • Look for high interest books that are shorter and simpler
  • Non-fiction books with great pictures

Image result for spiky slimy smooth  Actual Size

  • Picture books with a great story and short fiction stories

Tiny Hamster Is A Giant Monster The Wrong TrainHow Are You Peeling

  • Can be used to discuss science and other subjects/topics, emotions


Story Hour Example

  • Rhythm and Music
Hiccupotamus Bugtown BoogieGrandma's RecordsBawk & RollThe Duck Who Played the Kazoo

  • Books: Hiccupotamus: very fun with lots of opportunities for students to take part in the story. Fun noise effects. Had one of the assistants, Sharon, play the drum for a beat. Next time get xylophone for crocodile part.
  • Bugtown Boogie: Very fun with lots of opportunities for students to take part in the story. Fun noise effects.
  • Grandma's Records: Lengthier story but I liked it because it was diverse. It seemed that the students enjoyed the story too.
  • Bawk & Roll: Really funny.
  • The Duck Who Played the Kazoo: Very simple story but served as a nice segue to the craft activity. 
Schedule

  • Hello song
  • Read Hiccopatmus
  • Read Bugtown Boogie
  • Activity: Talked about the next book: Grandma's Records. Showed and passed around an actual record (couldn't use the library's record player, but try to see if it would work next time.)
  • Read Grandma's Records (Next time go over the English lyrics of Grandma's song at the end of the book)
  • Activity: Listened to Grandma's song: En Mi Viejo San Juan (In My Old San Juan)
  • Read Bawk & Roll
  • Read The Duck Who Played the Kazoo: Before reading the book, I explained what a kazoo is and that we will be making one. As I read the story. I also used the kazoo to make sound effects. (Next time consider doing the activity first and let students blow the kazoo along with the story.) 
  • If there's still time play a song and kazoo together. 
  • Goodbye song, Kazoo. 

Gao also demonstrated how to make a book interactive. Listen to the Rain can be made interactive by having participants make wind noises with their mouths or by moving objects, rain, can be made by snapping, tapping and then doing this faster, thunder say "Boom Kaboom", do this as call and repeat and make noises throughout book. Good practice starting and stopping. 


Next Chapter Book Club (Presented by Joe Houlihan)

Next Chapter Book Club
  • About NCBC and its history
  • Meeting Overview: NCBC is about people getting together and enjoying each others' company and books. Beginning time is spent checking in, socializing, then read together from book, taking turns, assisting each other as needed/wanted, maybe finish about a chapter each time meet. We usually have between 4-10 members (including volunteers/staff). Have 1-2 (can be more) facilitators (can be combination of trained volunteers and staff).
  • About our members: Most of our current members are in their late teens to early 30's. Some are fluid readers, some may need/want assistance, some are non verbal but enjoy hearing stories and socializing. 
  • Our books: We offer books to choose from for the next session we'll meet. We find books that are either already Book Club in a Bag sets or that the selectors would be interested in creating a BCIB so we can have multiple copies. We look for books that are stories that can be enjoyed by the whole group, not too challenging a reading level, and not too long to get through in a couple of months. Books that we have read and will read can be seen here
  • Ideas for books: Hi-Lo Readers, Publishers, Capstone, Stone Arch Books, Saddleback, HIP Books, High Noon Books, Bellwether, Orca Book Publishers
  • Ways to help readers: Echo Reading-Facilitators read a difficult word and member repeats back or may read whole sentence to read back. Helps with learning words and fluency. Visuals may help members who are more visual thinkers or are non-verbal. You can create or find visuals. We found these for Mouse and the Motorcycle.
  • Partners: We partnered with the Highland Friendship Club, a non-profit, that organizes educational, social events for teens-adults with disabilities. They promoted our book club among their members. 
  • Why offer NCBC? Fun, easy, chance for people not always included in book clubs to have a chance to get together, hang out, and enjoy books together.
createch program banner
Partnering with Community Organizations:
  • Be clear about the time available, space, what your program can offer.
  • Be flexible when you can. If a visiting group needs a space to eat lunch or a snack before/after the program, can you help out? 
  • It can take time to set up partnerships. Celebrate small wins.
  • In the world of Disability Services, caregivers can change (PCA's, support staff) and this can make attendance spotty at times. Try to make sure that on the library's end you have backup for programs so the library can provide consistent service for when people can make it.
  • Partnering organizations' missions may not be exactly the same as the library's but there will likely be some similarities and it is important to have activities that help people connect with the community.
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Visuals (Renee Grassi-DCL)



Visual Timers
Image result for visual timersTime Timer Original 8 inch; 60 Minute Visual Analog Timer; Optional (On/Off) Alert; No Loud Ticking; Time Management Tool
  • Visual timers can help teens know when activities will start, end, when it is time to transition. 
Visual Choice Board
Image result for choice board



  • Choice boards can help teens see what options there are or a schedule for an activity. Como Zoo has created a Visual Schedule that can be used by visitors to their zoo. 
The Noun Project and other sources of visuals


Image result for noun project
  • The Noun Project is a visual database of icons that can be used as visuals. It has a free membership which allows use (have to cite sources) of icons. 

Program Schedules:

Image result for library program visual schedule pizza board game night


Image result for library program visual schedule pizza board game night






  • Some teens may benefit from knowing the schedule of an activity, what will happen, when it will start, end. Visuals and schedules can help decrease anxiety and help plan ahead. 
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Sensory Supports (Library can provide or allow teens/caregivers to bring)

Noise canceling headphones  (Can help teens who are sensitive to background or louder noises)

Image result for noise cancelling headphones
Essential Oils (Can help with calming, energy level)
Image result for essential oils

Fidgets (Can help teen to have something to hold on to and do with their hands to help with concentration, listening, sitting still, anxiety)
Image result for fidgets
 Weighted Blanket: Deep Pressure can help some teens better focus and participate in seated activities.
Image result for weighted lap blanket
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Seating (Different types of seating/supports can help teens better participate in seated activities, help with ability to stay in seat and focus)

Wobble Stools
Image result for wobble stools
Wedge Seat
Image result for wedge seat
Balance Cushions
Image result for balance cushions
Backjack Chair

Image result for backjack chair
Strategies for Program Inclusion: Apps
Book Creator Image result for book creator app
Idea: have teens write stories about their own life experiences.

Strip Designer Image result for strip designer app
Idea: Have teens create their own comic strip using photos they take

Quick CuesImage result for quick cues app
Idea: Offer an Ipad during programs and provide app to teens who need help coping or navigating social situations.

Tico TimerImage result for tico timer app
Idea: Offer a visual timer for teens participating in an activity in library programs.

Go Animate
Image result for goanimate
Idea: Have teens create their own videos about their favorite Banned Books.


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DCL Partnership Program: AUSM Book Club

  • Monthly book club for individuals with autism, other disabilities, and neurotypical individuals 14+
  • Facilitated by ISD 196 Special Ed Reading/Language Arts teacher
  • Participants vote on monthly theme (themes include classic authors, mystery, adventure, fantasy, and sports
  • Librarian assists with book selection (can pick any book, audiobook, etc that fits within theme)
  • All reading levels and formats
  • Dakota County Library was able to start on their own with a grant, hoping to continue on their own and engage with schools.
Partnership Programs: School visits
  • DCL has done a visit with ISD 917  which is a special education setting. Provided an intro to the library via Powerpoint, set up classrooms so they could get library cards, right away, had a behind the scenes tour, were able to make bookmarks on the 3d printer that students could take with them.
  • DCL has partnered with MOFAS (Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). FAS presents similarly to autism in that it is spectrum disorder. MOFAS received a grant that allowed them to bring an afterschool group to the library for visits. DCL set up activities where teens worked on stop motion animation, 3-d printing, recording. DCL learned to be flexible to students' needs and interests and were able to connect with some students who weren't otherwise engaged by looking at their interests and connecting them to what they could do at the library. They were able to send out a visual schedule and other visuals ahead of time about how they were going to learn 3d printing basics and make a 3d printed fidget ring. 
Youth Development


  • What can libraries to do help teens develop life skills. DCL and Dakota County schools are looking at having a career development, strength assessment tool called "Tratify" which Renee recommended because it is very visual, has a lwo reading level, and provides a 90 second assessment about strengths and interests and looks at what teens can do to build strengths.

Inclusive Strategies for Summer Reading Teen Program and in general:
  • Reconsider the name
  • Provide flexibility within the program
  • Promote alterative formats
  • Think beyond reading
  • Offer options for prizes (mix "younger" and "older" books so not a stigma to take a younger book.
  • Plan training to teen volunteers and library staff to let them know the program is inclusive, make sure open to people who are older, so know they are always welcome (students receiving special ed services up to  age 21)
  • Consider offsite sign up
  • Leverage partnerships in promotion
  • Customize reading and learning experiences when can
  • Work with special ed teachers/programs to promote summer reading and other programs
  • Take the opportunity to ask for help, advice from community, schools, parents, organizations when have questions about how to best help. Think about how the library can connect people's needs to resources.
  • Get to know teens. When you know what they are doing in school, life, can help connect them to related resources. If it is class visit, if you know the class is going to take a boat ride, you could do something related to boats, or the river to help them get ready. 
Erin Zolotukhin-Ridgway




Thursday, May 17, 2018

Minnesota Coalition of County Law Libraries Spring Education Workshop

Minnesota Coalition of County Law Libraries had its Spring Educational Workshop on April 27th.


Featured speakers were:
  • Carol Bros, Attorney, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
  • Virginia Kuberski, Forms Manager, Minnesota Judicial Branch
  • Liz, Reppe, Minnesota State  Law Librarian
  • Jennifer Stohl Powell, Attorney, Immigration Law Center of Minnesota
Below are the links to their presentations.  (As you download them, please note that some of the files are quite large.)


Immigration-Librarian Presentation, presented by Jennifer Stohl Powell
Divorce Overview, presented by Carol Bros
Using Free Sites to Locate People, presented by Liz Reppe
MCCLL and MN State Law Library_Spring Training_042718, presented by Virginia Kuberski. (Legal forms on the Minnesota state courts website. Note: "SRL = Self-Represented Litigant")


[pmb/glcl 5/17/18]

Monday, April 16, 2018

Library Technology Conference: Maker Presentations


Dakota County Library had two presentations about their makerspace, iLab, and maker programs: Virtual Reality in Practice and Tech in the Suburbs.



Virtual reality is hot in the news and in popular culture.

Uses for VR:

  • Aversion therapy
  • Treatment of PTSD
  • Creation of an intense group connection
  • Evoking a feeling of empathy- putting oneself in someone else's shoes
  • Combating memory loss
  • Virtual tours for people with disabilities - e.g. people with autism who are disoriented by new places
  • Immersive games
  • Virtual visits to other countries for genealogy or history


Dakota County decided not to go with immersive experience viewers such as the Vive or the Oculus Rift because of issues with expense and instant obsolescence. Instead, they went with Viewmaster- cheap, sturdy, easy to clean, can be used in a class with a bunch of kids. A smartphone or similar device is required. Dakota County asks patrons to bring their own, then has two iPod Touches for people without their own device.


Tips for virtual reality programs:

  • Do a short "body awareness" exercise before class to minimize disorientation.
  • Monitor patrons so they don’t bump into something .
  • Provide a disclaimer that VR is disorientating and to take a break if they experience discomfort.
  • Not every app will be compatible with every device.
  • Check the calibration settings for your device.


Currently, Dakota County only has a very basic "Exploring VR" class and sometimes has VR games when offering gaming programs. This summer, it will be more integrated into youth STEAM programs. Uses for virtual reality aren’t there for long programs yet. For Saint Paul Public Library, asking patrons to bring their own devices could be problematic, especially with youth.


VR resources:



Dakota County now has circulating 2Go! Kits for fitness, nature and maker activities, including 2 VR kits (smartphone not included). Kits are not request-able or renewable. Total cost was $2000 for 28 kits (2 copies of 14 kits). Tubs were purchased from Global industrial. Some items in the kits, such as a spindle for weaving and a lucet for braiding, were made using the 3D printer.


Maker programs at Dakota County Library:

  • Homeschool science series
  • Movie making for youth- kids work in pairs on in a small group to create a movie with iMovie, Legos, and a green screen.
  • Makey-Makey and Snap Circuits.
  • Coding - Scratch is free, Hour of Code has free activities.
  • Robotics- Local high school robotics team volunteers
  • Fashion battle - had a contestant from Project Runway mentor youth designers - asked for clothing donation from staff for kids to transform
  • T-shirt quilt - patrons brought their own t-shirts
  • DIY throw pillow
  • Lucet braiding
  • Bicycle maintenance
  • Preserving digital memories - got 40 people to come
  • NASA moon rocks - Have to pay for shipping, special storage, certification, and security guard if you publicize that moon rocks will be available.
  • Hedgehog made from a book.


Sources for makerspace donations/grants:

  • Local craft/hobbyist groups might be willing to donate equipment
  • Craft stores might give away an old sewing machine when they get the new ones
  • Local tech companies
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Big box stores have education grants
  • Local utility companies
  • DEMCO has a grant search

The presentation for Virtual Reality in Practice is here.


In other maker news, St. Louis Public Library shared what they learned about collaboration from their makerspace, Creative Experience. Beth Staats from Minitex shared some notes.



Macalester College also has a makerspace, the Idea Lab. that is very art- and textile-oriented, but also has two 3D printers and a large-format inkjet printer. Here are some pictures.


--Andrea @GLCL


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Library Technology Conference: MNSpin @Hennepin County Library




MNSpin is a place to listen to local music. Anyone can stream, but they can only download if they have a card registered in Hennepin County Library (this includes anyone with reciprocal borrowing in Minnesota). It was funded completely by the Friends of Hennepin County Library. There have been 14,000 streams from 12/2017 - 2/2018 and all 54 artists have been accessed. Only 10 libraries in the nation have similar resources.




This project took a lot of work, so they limit submissions to one cycle/year- otherwise too much for staff.

A lot of stakeholders meant a lot of communication needed to happen:
  • Community
  • Friends of the library
  • Musicians
  • Staff
  • Vendors -Madison, Wisconsin-based Rabble created the site.
The County attorney, library director and county administrator had to sign off on things -took more time than expected.

Steps for MNSpin prior to selection:
  • Named site - asked staff for input.
  • Created logo- applied for a trademark in MN.
  • Evaluated database products.
  • Communicated with staff about the project.
  • Reached out for ambassadors to publicize MNSpin - took months to create a relationship with ambassadors.
  • Identified public and staff curators- looking for intense genre interest and broad-based knowledge. 
  • Trained curators on database interface.

HCL reached out to organizations such as record stores, professional musician groups, music schools, instrument stores, and radio stations for ambassadors to publicize the project:



MNSpin selection criteria:

  • Have to live mostly in Minnesota.
  • Employees not eligible.
  • No artists under 15- age 15-17 parents need to sign.
  • Artist is responsible for securing rights to samples, covers, etc.
  • Diverse content that reflects the community, including possibly offensive content
  • Nothing older than 5 years -release date is required.

HCL will keep music for a minimum of 2 years. The artist still has copyright- can sign with a label.


MNSpin selection process:
  • Asked patrons to submit music by a particular date.
  • Asked ambassadors to promote via their networks.
  • Used staff to bring down to a manageable level before sending to community curators. 347 submissions is a lot to listen to. Staff rated on a scale of 1-5, then sent best to curators.
  • Used Excel to calculate aggregate scores. Curation took about a month and a half.
  • Asked curators for feedback on what worked and what didn't.


What they learned:
  • Get names, then get more names - start dropping them early and often.
  • Be persistent - people get busy 
  • You gotta have food!


Future plans:
  • Change rating system to 1-3, because no one wanted to give albums 1s or 5s
  • Add to library catalog - currently a separate site.
  • Add patron rating system.
  • Train curators just before they get into the database so it’s fresh for them

Looking at the site, my feeling is that their current selection process is biased towards middle-of-the-road genres due to the culling process and lack of curators in certain areas. This will probably be rectified as they add more curators and patrons weigh in. 

Also, they use the same broad subject headings as their CDs, so "Pop" would cover metal, punk, funk, ska, reggae, R & B, electronica, etc. More granular genres would be better when the musicians are not well-known. 

Presentation is here.


--Andrea @GLCL

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Library Technology Conference 2018: Highlights



These are the things I that stood out to me the most at the conference:

According to librarians at Purdue University, students have stated that "Twitter is for old people" so they don't use Twitter anymore. Facebook was reported as the most popular and commonly used social media platform. Purdue believes that teens initially left Facebook when parents or older adults started using Facebook; however, they discovered that those who left when they were teens, eventually started using Facebook again in college. Librarians at Purdue also mentioned that SnapChat is another great way to connect with students. Apparently, students are getting their news through SnapChat now. I thought this was kind of weird that they mentioned using SnapChat because it has become less favorable and less popular recently. Based from my observation and knowledge in recent social media trends, people are using SnapChat less, and are moving towards Instagram stories. Another topic we discussed was how to deal with inappropriate comments that are posted on library social media accounts. Purdue highly recommended deleting those posts; however, we need to have established a policy on commenting first. They gave an interesting example on how a library dealt with an inappropriate comment that was posted on their social media account. That particular library immediately deleted the comment, but it caused a huge problem because the person who posted that inappropriate comment sued the library and won! It was probably related to freedom of speech. The judge ordered the library to take a break from social media. Before they returned to social media again, and protect themselves from going through another similar incident, they decided to write up a policy on commenting for the public to be aware of.

In one of the other classes offered at this conference, they talked about the programs that they have made available for their patrons. At the George Latimer Central Library, we have a really nice  Canon DSLR camera that is rarely used by patrons. I thought that "light painting with a camera" activity was a great idea for Lab After Dark program but also to promote use of the DSLR camera. Another one was Spoonflower, which is a website where people can customize and design their own fabric, wallpaper, or gift wrap paper. This would be really good for people who enjoy sewing, or even small business owners. Speaking of sewing, I thought it was really cool how their library was able to bring in a former Project Runway competitor who also happened to be a Minnesotan. It would be nice to have someone with that kind of experience to come in but even for a well-funded suburb library, it got too expensive for them to continue.


--Duzong @GLCL