Sunday, November 06, 2016

NYLA2016 : I STILL Don't Want to Talk About It

Woman with hand over her mouthOne of my favorite NYLA sessions continued to be "I STILL Don't Want to Talk About it".  This year the expert panel included Gerald Nichols, Lisa Rosenblum, and Mary Jean Jakubowski. Prior to the session, the panelists solicit problems from public libraries, which are then anonymized and used during the session.  They specifically seek out problems related to staff and patrons.  During the session, they used those problems to talk about solutions which often include advice on needed library policies.  It is always a fascinating and educational setting.  

While the problems used during the session are anonymized, they are also specific. And no notes would actually capture all of the information and nuances. So rather than publishing my notes, let me say these things:
  • Every library needs to have written policies which govern staff and patron activities and expectations.  
  • In the case of a public library, the library's board of trustees should be involved in creating those policies and assuring that they are implemented.
  • A public library should not just adopt the policies of its municipality.  Rather the policies should be specific to the library.
  • In some instances, a library director may also need to rely on legal counsel.  Every library should have legal counsel that it can contact/use.
  • Staff should understand the policies.  They should also know who to refer policy questions to.
  • Library directors need to be willing to enforce expectations and policies.

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