A Day in the Life With Lori Reed – Tuesday


There is no time to hit the snooze button today. I have a class on customer service starting in two hours. I have no idea what traffic might be like, if the room will be set up, or any other number of variables. Normally I would not schedule training to start at 8am but I try to have at least 1-2 sessions a year of this class early in the morning so that our staff who work behind the scenes in the middle of the night delivering books to branches don’t have to adjust their circadian rhythm too much in order to attend. It’s a trainer’s job to put the learners needs first and sometimes that means getting up really early. I’ve even done sessions at 7am.


I planned to be out the door before the kids woke up. No such luck there. I spend a few minutes holding my 2-year-old daughter and she screams as I walk out the door, “Mommy don’t go.” Having been through this many times before I’m able to leave with only a small feeling of guilt.


I arrive at the library and realize that I only have 30-minutes until start time. It’s a pet peeve of mine to start a class late especially when most of the attendees have also gotten up early to park, walk a few blocks, and be ready to start on time. The room is set up and the door is open for me. Hurray! I don’t have to search for a key. The room was used the night before so I could not check the set up ahead of time. Like always our maintenance staff did a great job and ahead of schedule. I notice that there is not a flip chart stand and flip charting is a crucial part of this session. I run upstairs to borrow one. I also hunt down an AV cart that has a projector and PC. I unplug the PC and hook up my laptop. Better to use the computer I am familiar with. Handouts and roster were printed the day before. I am ready to go!


Nearly everyone has arrived on time and we are ready to go. From 8am-noon we have some great discussions about customer service including: who are our competitors, what do libraries do well, what do our competitors do well, what could libraries do better, tying our mission and vision in with customer service, how to say no, body language, tone of voice, words used, how to create an engaging environment, how to handle complaints, who are our customers, what are their needs, role playing, and small group discussions. Four hours seems like a lot, but we need it. This is a great session that requires lots of audience interaction. It’s one of my favorite workshops to facilitate.


Step out with a colleague/friend to pick up lunch. Come back to eat in the office and talk about an upcoming project we are collaborating on.


Back in my office to wrap up scheduling training for 2010. I can’t seem to reach the people I need to talk to get this project done. I have most of the training scheduled and the rest will have to be listed as TBD. I begin inputting the 50+ sessions into PeopleSoft so staff can register for the sessions. It takes a while to enter this many courses and also cross reference various calendars to make sure there are absolutely no mistakes. The worse thing that can happen is training is listed as one day but a room was reserved for a different day or a trainer has it listed as a different day. You don’t want 10 or 20 or 30 people to show up for training and not have a space or trainer available.


I sign in to the George and Joan InfoPeople webinar on collaboration but I have a headache. Download the slides and know that the webinar will be in itunes tomorrow morning. Back to entering courses.


Courses entered now it’s time to put them in a Word document that can be sent out to staff. I use the previous schedule as a template and do a lot of copy and pasting. Then it’s time to double check the Word document against the sessions in PeopleSoft against the sessions on my calendar. The last thing to do it enter the dates again on our Intranet calendar but that will have to wait.


I think about changing some of the wording regarding required training for part-time staff. This takes some thought, writing, and revisions. Another hour gone.


I have to leave on time today. My husband is working till 7pm so I have to pick up both kids. Start driving to my son’s school and call my colleague Paul to discuss the book we are writing together.


Arrive at my son’s school. Greeted with the normal hugs and kisses. Head out to pick my daughter up from daycare.


Pick up my daughter. I only pick her up once a week so she squeals with excitement when she sees me. Talk to her teachers and some of the other parents. My son sees his friends who were here with him last year for preschool. He gives them lots of hugs too.


We are home and headache is worse. Take something for it. Make a snack for the kids and put on a movie. We all sit down together to watch Clifford’s Really Big Movie.


Husband comes home and fixes dinner. Have I mentioned how lucky I am? Spend some more time with the kids until bedtime.


Back to the computer to write up these posts, write up the post for Library Trainer about moving to the new site, catch up on personal email, social networks, and school. I’m taking 6 hours of courses this semester Writing for PR and Pop Culture. I hate the way Blackboard discussion groups are laid out on the screen and wish someone would improve the collaboration within Blackboard. Been waiting for a week for a response from a professor about an assignment that I need special approval for. Can’t call because office hours are limited and conflict with my training schedule at work. Reading tweets by mstephens7 about using Twitter for his classes and wish he were my professor.


Everything done. Posts scheduled for 11am tomorrow. Hurray. Time for bed!

Revitalizing the Library Experience: A Free Webinar

From InfoPeople:

Information has become an off-shored commodity. Google handles more questions in a second than a reference librarian will answer in a career. Social gatherings have moved to online networks. Why come to a library? For the experience! If your members still experience your library the way they did in the 1990s (1950s?), perhaps it’s time to rethink and revitalize. In this webinar, library consultants Joan Frye Williams and George Needham will reprise their popular presentation from this year’s ASCLA President’s Program. They’ll describe new ways to present your services to the world. By the end of this webinar, you will:

  • Understand the difference between passive and active library experiences, and how to make each work in your favor;
  • Know what makes an environment inspiring to independent learners;
  • Learn several ways to “layer” library services for increased impact;
  • See how you can plan library services around life’s predictable passages.

As always, George and Joan will challenge you to rethink how you do business, turning some old stereotypes on their ears while refreshing our notions as well as our services. The tips and techniques covered here won’t necessarily cost more money, but they will help make your work more valuable and more fun.

Speakers: Joan Frye Williams and George Needham.

Joan Frye Williams – For more than 25 years Joan Frye Williams (joan@jfwilliams.com) has been a successful librarian, consultant, vendor, planner, trainer, evaluator and user of library services, with a special emphasis on innovation, technology and emerging library trends. She is the president of her own library and information technology consulting firm. Joan is best known as an acute–and sometimes irreverent–observer of trends in what she calls “the cultural anthropology of libraries.” She is a nationally recognized library futurist and designer of innovative library services.

George Needham – Before joining OCLC in 1999, George was State Librarian of Michigan. From 1993 to 1996, he was Executive Director of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. From 1990 to 1993, he was Director of Member Services of the Ohio Library Association. From 1984 to 1989, he served as Library Director of Fairfield County District Library in Lancaster, Ohio. From 1977 to 1984, he held various posts at the Charleston County Library in Charleston, South Carolina.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 3– 4 pm Eastern/12-1pm Pacific

This webinar will last approximately one hour. There is no charge for this webinar. Pre-registration is not required. For more information and to participate in the November 17 webinar, go to http://infopeople.org/training/webcasts/webcast_data/363/index.html

If you are unable to attend the live event, you can access the archived version the day following the webinar. Check our archive listing at: http://www.infopeople.org/training/webcasts/list/archived

Learning in Hard Times: Thinking Out Loud With George and Joan

If you have about 16 minutes listen to this thought-provoking podcast by Joan Frye Williams and George Needham. They echo many of our thoughts and concerns about training and learning in libraries.

For instance when times get tough training budgets appear to be an easy mark. But is that the best solution?

Addressing one of the fears many organizations have about training: What if you train them and they leave? But what if you don’t train them and they stay?

Whose responsibility is learning? The professional or the institution?

What is learning? Does watching a YouTube video count or talking at lunch?

If learning is important are we modeling that?

I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I did!