This October, BELS and the Elmwood Park Memorial HS hosted a full day professional development session for its members. The day began with a very involved discussion about the future of inter-library loan services for our school libraries, along with various other topics for consideration, including the BELS budget and the 2018-19 Executive Board elections.
Bonnie Lafazan, Library Director at Berkeley College, led our main session called “Sparking Creativity With Your Outreach Efforts: How to Promote Your Library’s Value.” Bonnie spoke about the four essential steps in promoting a successful library program; Preparations, Communications, Building Content, and Post-Event. Preparation includes event planning and scheduling. Communications is about creating materials to advertise and get the word out to the intended audience. Building Content is for creating materials to make participants feel engaged during the event and content to share afterwards. Post-Event is about post-promotion and assessing the event’s execution. Bonnie’s talk was integrated with exercises to evaluate each library’s direction for growth and then setting goals and planning how to reach them. Participants got to share their successes and give both new event and promotion ideas to their peers. You can review Bonnie’s slides and handouts for further explanations of the PR process and to complete the exercises.
The day ended with a choice of two book-related sessions. Grace Cantwell from the new Follett Book Fairs program spoke to our K-8 schools interested in hosting book fairs and the innovations that Follett has introduced to the book fair market. Linda Smith from Booksmiths visited with our high school librarians to talk about eBooks, collections for ESL and students with special needs, and curriculum-based content.
We thank LibraryLinkNJ for generously sponsoring this professional development program and bringing us wonderful speakers to learn from.