Use Your Annual Statistics to Evaluate your Library – Fast

September 4, 2014

1:30 pm

Chris Rippel, CKLS

*One of the lunch speakers was running late, so I got into the session about 10 minutes late.

**This topic is a bit difficult to explain via blogging.

Smallest town on the left…  largest towns on right.  Comparing small towns to larger towns and their hours to help a library figure out if they’re open enough hours.

Has a spreadsheet from State Statistics with libraries, their service hours, population, etc.

Used data to create table with population (smallest to largest) and hours open per hour (added trend line).  Assumes that as population gets larger, hours open increase.   Could use this to help support the claim that your library isn’t open enough hours compared to the rest of the libraries.

Next:  Do you have staff to support this?

Next:  Do I have the money?

Can use this information to go to your board.

May not work so well if you want to compare similar/different demographics or locations.

How can you prove you’re using your money the best way you can.. or how cost effective other libraries are?

Only as good as the data provided.  Some of the data is obviously missing or flawed.  Have to know clientele and think about whether it’s correct or not.

Some instances of some directors inflating stats, clerks giving wrong funding info, etc.

Important to train new staff about what kind of info is needed and how to collect it if done by equipment or software. Important that staff members know what the questions are asking in order to get reliable data.  Want the data to be useful.  Templates on Spreadsheets for libraries.



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Marketing Your Small or Rural Library through Social Media

Thursday, September 4, 2014
11:00 am – 12pm
Penny Hummel Consulting

Feels like social media that there are a lot of mouths to feed and there’s always something more.

Rural/urban differences social networking (as of 2008)

  • Fewer social media friends
  • friends located closer to home
  • set profiles to private at higher rate


PEW Research Center Social media update (2013)
Urban users 71% Facebook, 21% Pinterest
Rural users 71% Facebook, 17% Pinterest

Pinterest and Facebook are the highest for Rural Areas

Rural people are using Facebook and Pinterest at a high rate.  They like to connect to people closer to home.

Small and Rural Libraires:  less likely to have social media presence, serve a lower portion of highly engaged users, serve a higher proportion of non-user

Social media is like teen sex:
“Everyone wants to to do it.  No one actually knows how.  When finally done, there is a surprise it’s not better.”  March 2009 tween by Google Analytics evangelist Avenish Kaushik

“Librarians often envision the role of the library as a community center. Social media allows them to put this philosophy into practice. ” Laura Soloman, Library Services Manager, Ohio Public Library

Social Media = communication from many to many

Has to benefit everything we’re doing… just not the likes we get on Facebook.

1.  Listen, Follow what’s going on
Create and save a search (or searches) in Twitter for your library’s name
Do the same in Google Alerts

2.  Create a strong foundation

  • Meet your patrons in their “social neighboorhood”.  Facebook for the most part
  • Establish clear goals
  • Create a social media policy
  • Allocate sufficient staff resources
    25% listening, 50% commenting and communicating, 25% creating

Facebook – what matters?

  • Post reach – how many ppl see an individual post from your library
  • Page reach – how many people see your content during a particular time
  • Number of followers
  • Likes, comments, shares, clicks

What makes a great post?

  • Unique
  • quote
  • photos, video
  • stories
  • open-ended questions
  • humor
  • delight
  • pulling heartstrings
  • brevity
  • surprise
  • That “I want to share this” feeling

Think about magazine headlines.  Why do they grab you?

  • Successful posts:
    25 literary pun names for your cat
  • Mobile library post with book covers and post with books to read in June
  • Take a selfie of yourself reading and be entered into a drawing to win free gas
  • This week in history post…  (tbt)  Elephant breaks into Restaurant, eats pies
  • Freegal post (Topeka and Shawnee Public Library) used album cover
  • Quizzes (Who was your favorite Sherlock?)
  • Funny Book Memes
  • "My book is almost finished, but I’m just not ready to say goodbye to these characters. Maybe if I just read the last chapter really slow … "
  • Promoting events (Pretend Play)

“… a call to action draws on social capital.”  – Laura Soloman, The Librarian’s Nitty Gritty Guide to Social Media.  Everytime you promote the library, you’re making a withdrawl.  Think about social capital and spend it wisely.

Not all about blowing the library’s own horn all of the time.  Do more than just promoting things and issuing invitations.

How to build social capital – thank ppl for comments, respond promptly, pass on useful links, provide info ppl care about, ask for opinions and encourage feedback.    Think about this the most when people complain  – respond promptly.

Someone in the audience had a teenage daughter tweeting about authors and had several respond to her.  Great feeling!

Developing Content:

  • Think of it as curating
  • Use a conversation calendar and schedule them in advance.  tbt posts
  • Post same kind of content on the same day each week
  • re-pin important posts back up at the top of your Facebook page.
  • Reveiw Facebook’s page insights

What increases FB engagement:

  • Posts on Thursdays or Friday: 18%
  • Posts outside of business hours: 20%
  • Shorter posts, more engagement
  • photographs
  • Open-ended questions

Certain types of questions get more comments:
Should, would

Best Practices:

  • Word of mouth offline
  • Add social media URLs to publications and business

Whether ppl like it, click a link, share it, etc…  This is what Facebook tracks.  The more interaction you get, the more followers see your posts with Facebook algorithms.

  • Tips for power users:
  • Pose questions that spark nostalgia or a really good feeling
  • Use compelling images
  • Share quotes that are inspirational to your audience
  • Maintain a casual, friendly tone…

Advertising on Facebook:

  • Case study:  7 libraries of varying sizes each committed $10/day to advertise for 28 days.
  • Ads targeted each library’s demographics and zip code.  Increase in followers for each library ranged from 101%-427%

Most popular categories on Pinterest

Food and Drink

DIY and Crafts

Home Decor

Holidays and Events

…  Most popular non-ficton

Pinterest Ideas:

  • Current Books
  • Downloadable
  • History
  • Gardening  (resources on the web from area, books)
  • Parents and Kids
  • Library Cats
  • Great Gatsby
  • Library Rennovation
  • Community Board
  • Holmes Public Library (26 different boards)  Technology Boards
  • Bookstore Books
  • Local Businesses, Kindergarten READiNESS (resources to crafts, links to materials)
  • Book Love
  • Homeschooler Resources
  • Displays

How to get Started:

  • Allocate Staff Resources
  • Goals
  • Commit to a plan
  • Set up initial boards with at least 9 things each

Best Practices:

  • Links to social media
  • Add pin it button to website


  • Facebook and Pinterest places to be
  • It’s about curation
  • Spend social capital wisely
  • Set measurable goals and allocate staff resources
  • Stay abreast of changes, try new things, and continuously adapt.

Teens are using Instagram more and more.

Creating identity and brand..

Check out Ben Bizzle’s site.  He’s a thought leader on advertising and what photos work well on Facebook.

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Peanut Loves the New Place

Peanut,  our Rat Terrier,  has already made herself at home in our new place.

Creative Commons License
Picture of Peanut the Rat Terrier by Janelle Mercer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

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Getting Group Notifications out of your News Feed in Facebook

You may have noticed that group notifications are cluttering  up your News Feed on Facebook even though you are not subscribed to group updates.   Image

Here is how you can fix it.

1.  Hover or roll your mouse over the post.  In the right hand corner you should notice a blue down pointing arrow pop up.  Click on the blue down pointing arrow and click on Hide.

2.  Clicking on Hide will hide the single post.  To hide ALL posts from the group on your News Feed click on the Hide all stories from link.  See picture below.  Image

3.  Now all stories from that group should be hidden from your News Feed.  You can still view the stories or posts by going directly into the group.  To manage your hidden items scroll to the top of your News Feed and click on the pencil next to News Feed to Edit your settings.


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Checking Out eReaders to Customers

This post contains my notes and some pictures from the Checking out eReaders to customers panel, Brad Allen (Lawrence); Jeff Tate (TSCPL); Alex Mudd (ESU); Diana Weaver (Basehor); Jack Granath (KCKPL) at Northeast Kansas Library System’s 2013 Technology and Innovation Day on April 24.  A recording of this session was also made and can be found here:


Circulating preloded ereaders for a year.  Variety of devices started with tech tool box.
Competition between devives with community focus group.
Circulate in bag with device, user agreement, startup guide, charging cord.
patron responsibilty to remove personal data
Charge patrons if they put in dropbox.  Check out like an audio.


Manage content from online account.  If were going to do over again would purchase one brand of device.  attached with prepaid visa ca4d, now use giftcards to buy content.
Created email

Topeka Shawnee County Public Library
Bought 15 simple touch Nooks
Started in red carpet department ( homebound, nursing home, low vision patrons)
Locked the devices down.
Decided to keep it simple with just the books.
Business to business program from Barnes and Noble.  Circulating since March… 32 checkouts so far.
Like that they can read large print books without holding a large book.
Hope to take it to other library users



Kansas City, Kansas South Branch
Bought 10 Nooks
Good circ
What hardware?  Nooks were cheapest
Bought warranty and neoprene cases… used gun cases.. $7.50
None have been lost or stolen… only one major problem… someone restored to factory settings.
Nook devices have had low sales lately…something to think about when purchasing

Lawrence Public Library
Had eBook kiosks
Twelve devices total
Trying to decide what to do after they werent kiosks anymore.
Genre ereaders… best seller, romance, teen, npr
See it as a pilot
Constantly in flux… not sure what future holds.
Future: community driven ereaders… patrons can choose content
Used consumer model

Emporia State University
Bought Nook Colors and rooted them to make android tablets
Planned to use for instruction… didnt work out too well. Most students didnt have experience with android devices then (about a year and a half ago)
Now circulate the not rooted ones
May root the rest and circulate

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Gluten Free Chicken Enchiladas

One of my favorite foods is chicken enchiladas.  I just love the taste and the gooeyness of them.   In the past I have made them with a can of cream of chicken soup and flour enchiladas.  I am trying to eat gluten free so I thought this time I would try them with chicken stock and corn tortillas.

This recipe was adapted from the Novice Chef’s Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas.


For the sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup medium salsa verde
1 cup light sour cream

for the enchiladas:
3 cups chopped or shredded chicken (I used chicken and stock from a whole chicken I cooked in a slow cooker and froze last week)
8 oz  Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded & divided
1 small yellow onion, chopped
12 – 14 corn tortillas


Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute  garlic, for 1 minute. Stir in cornstarch, constantly stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, whisk in the sour cream and salsa verde. Remove from heat.

Spray/grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add 3/4 cup sauce to the bottom of the pan. Add chicken, Cabot Monterrey Jack Cheese, and onion to the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with leftover cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling.   Once the enchiladas are bubbling turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown the tops a little bit.  Watch carefully so the enchiladas don’t burn!  Serve immediately.

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Library Girl

One of my Facebook friends shared this YouTube video with me and I thought some of you would get a kick out of it.

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