December Newsletter

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Is your library part of your community?Add "added value."



'Fotched-On' Librarian
Newsletter December

Promoting an Eclectic Librarianship in Rural Appalachia Is your library part of your community? . ..
Come together! Making the rural library part of the community would seem to be a logical, almost simplistic idea. But what do you know about your community? Do you know how many people actually live in it? What their occupations are? What their interests are? Where the community is centrally located? What the level of "ruralism" is? What social organization's exist? What its' form of local government is? And what the ages of the residents are? What do you know about the library aspect of the equation? Without a clear definition of your purpose in your community it is difficult to decide how to incorporate your library into the heart of your community. Knowledge of what is needed can be made available through communication with various social groups within your community. These groups, such as churches, PTA, veterans organizations, boy scouts, 4H and others, have a potential for disseminating information back into the community. They can provide an excellent network of verbal and financial support. Having access to these groups will enable the library to bend and mold with whatever new demands may arise. Remember that there is no substitute for good planning and knowing your logistics. Even the best plans can be WELCOME
It is my hope that you will find the content of this newsletter helpful as you strive to serve your community and embed your library into its DNA. Please share what you like with others by sharing this newsletter with a friend. Thank you.

"The real asset of the community is its support." Nancy Ruccio

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ineffective if they do not fulfill the wants and needs of those to be served. Listen to what your people want. Communication is essential in defining the population's needs and in disseminating the information to satisfy those needs. So here are a few questions to ask yourselves before the library and the community can be united: What type of library service can we offer? How will that service be financed? Does the service have the flexibility to sustain change? Any project or service must have the built-in capacity for change. As the service community changes, the library must be ready and willing to move with it. You must justify the existence of your library. The cloistered existence has no place in twentieth century public library service. As a public agent, libraries are vying for scare tax dollars. Constant reassessment is essential to being a viable part of your community.
The idea is to communicate. Let people know that you are doing. Include not just the currently interested patrons, but also the non-users. The organization must be pulsating enough to catch the interest of an increased portion of the population. Stagnation is an unhealthy situation. Get funding from your social, civic and religious groups. An effective method of fund raising is to develop a program and launch it yearly. The object is to make it a function of the community. The program should be dynamic enough and appealing enough to withstand time. It should be a function that the community enjoys and is willing to participate in on a yearly basis. In order for your library to become truly a part of the community, it must not only attempt to inform the community, but the library must be equally informed concerning the activities and life of the community!

Special Libraries

“The library should function as the interpreter of the desires of its service community. The worth of that library will be judged by its ability to satisfy the needs of the community." Nancy Ruccio

Video presentations available at 'Fotched-On' Librarian's Channel PowerPoint presentations available at The Settlement Library Project Published Works available at ‘Fotched-On’ Librarian’s Documents Profile available at 'Fotched-On' Librarian's Network

So now is the time to Come Together! (Thanks to Nancy Ruccio) IN THIS ISSUE

Library Journal Webcast Archives WebJunction Webinar Archives SirsiDynix Institute Webcast Archives

Connecting to Collections Music and Film Resources for Librarians Your Pyramid of Resources

Do you REALLY offer added value? . . .
You need the formula.
When pursuing excellence, Michael Jordan refers to the key as teamwork and intelligence. For a library staff, the formula is just as simple: like-minded individuals with similar objectives, interests, and abilities who have the desire to provide the dynamics for customer added value. Just as a basketball team works together interacting and coordinating their objectives toward a common goal on the court, enabling the group to perform at a higher level of unity through purpose, loyalty, and mutual accountability, advocates of team management say that teams are beneficial because they increase productivity, lead to better decisions, enhance employee commitment to work, foster creativity and innovation, increase organizational flexibility, and lead to greater customer satisfaction! This team involvement and mind set is often an answer to individual empowerment allowing for individual contributions and accountability even within a library setting. Some organizations flourish in this type of flexible and trusting environment often leading to improved customer service and innovation. Because teams are so multifaceted and complex due to individual personalities and dynamics, successful teams enable all members to excel through the excellence portrayed by the entire unit. Teamwork enhances individual success through the common ground each team member shares in the team focus. For a basketball team that team focus would be winning games. For a library staff the team focus would be cementing the library and its services as essential within the community it serves.

A 'Settlement Library' is a social enterprise and symbolic site of collective memory for each individual rural community it serves. A 'Settlement Library' encourages individual learning and self-mastery as a way to address change personally, socially, environmentally, and politically. A ‘Settlement Library’ is a trusted neighborhood think-tank, equitable source for civic thinking, and clearinghouse for community-wide resources.

The dynamics of teamwork, whether on a basketball court or within a library setting, enables interaction of individual talents, individual interests, and individual abilities and skills meshing together to create a quality experience for everyone involved. A Center is usually the biggest and tallest member of the team so that he/she can block and rebound the ball effectively. That is his/her skill, ability, and talent on the court. In a library staff, there are those who are excellent writers, or have a talent in archiving, or another who enjoys planning events. Each member of the team is not only used corporately, but also individually. For the basketball team, this variety of positions equals added performance. For the library staff, a variety of individuals with personal expertise equals added value. The team or staff experiences increased job satisfaction feeling appreciated and respected, and the public experiences added value through that offshoot of team empowerment. Everyone contributes, and everyone benefits. In teamwork there is a greater unity of purpose: a loyalty to the group for the achievement of the goal placing the team purpose ahead of individual self-interests. This holistic mindset creates relationships: relationships which foster opportunities for greatness, and opportunities for a helping hand, making individuals just as successful as the unit itself. It’s a win/win for everyone.

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Open to Create Less is More Able to Deliver

Housekeeping Tricks of the Trade . . .
For the rural librarian, funds may be scarce for housekeeping. Here are some easy solutions to everyday problems in the library that won’t break the bank.

Ready to Impact


Your Furniture Needs Cleaning!
While furniture dusting will keep furniture relatively clean, different types of furniture require specialized care. Iron Furniture: Painted Wood Furniture: An iron piece of furniture must be properly sealed by the manufacturer. Clean by wiping with a damp cloth or mild solution of dish-washing liquid and water and spray with WDRegularly dust a delicate decoupage, or faux-painted piece, or one made of distressed wood and wipe it occasionally with a microfiber

"The patron is entitled to quality service." Nancy Ruccio


40 on moving parts only. Remove any rust stains immediately with a wire brush and apply touch up paint as needed. Leather Furniture: Simply vacuum regularly especially in crevices and along seams where dirt can gather. Pigmented leather should be vacuumed and wiped periodically with a soft, white cloth dampened with water. Once a year or so, use saddle soap or some other cleaner/polisher made specifically for leather. If the leather beings to crack, apply neat's foot oil. Plastic Laminated Furniture: Dust regularly and occasionally wipe with a damp, soft cloth.

dusting cloth. If the wood has been sealed, dampen it with a sponge, and wipe dry. Suede Furniture: Suede is porous and quick to absorb stains. For routine care, gently brush suede furniture with a soft brush or a textured cloth such as a towel to remove dirt. Vacuum regularly. To clean a greasy stain, rub it with ground oatmeal leaving the oatmeal in place to absorb the grease, then brush it off and vacuum. To raise the nap, brush it with a terry-cloth towel. If the suede has been flattened by spills or wear and tear, a professional leather refinisher can restore it.

Library Anecdote: Patron: “I am looking for a globe of the earth.” Librarian: “We have a table-top model over here.” Patron: “No, that’s not good enough. Don’t you have a lifesize?”

Librarian: (pause) “Yes, but it’s in use right now.”


"I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me." Hebrews 2:12,13


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