September is coming fast, and the Martha Canfield Library in Arlington has planned many programs to tie in with the national library card signup month. The month begins with a reception for area select boards and moves on through a host of Vermont authors and book panels. Area residents can hear Sue Halpern, Bill McKibben, Frankie Bailey, Linda Furiya, Reeve Lindbergh and poet laureate Sydney Lea. Four programs feature the Internet– social networks, LibraryThing, Facebook, and Linked In. Three more highlight area history: Arlington & the Revolutionary War, Collecting Sandgate Memories, and stories from the Memoir Group.
Two years ago Brooks Memorial Library joined forces with area bookstores in their “Smartest Card” promotion. Card holders could get a 15% discount by showing their library card during September. The campaign also featured local card holders:
“The library is your ticket for liberating the mind” (Marie, Brattleboro)
“Here’s my library card, the most important card in my wallet next to my license,” (overheard at the main desk.)
“You can’t imagine what a gift this library card is!” (Jenny in Whitingham).
ALA has plenty of information to tie local events to the national campaign. Check out audio public service announcements, a Flickr slide show, letter to the editor and more at the ALA Library Card link. This year’s spokesperson is Super Bowl champion Troy Polamalu.
Mary Metcalf at the Greensboro Free Library used the My PC workshops from Microsoft for a ten week series. Big benefit: the program is free, tested, and friendly. Well, free except for the staff commitment. Mary figured about three hours a week to hold the one hour programs.
Greensboro has a room which seats 49 and has good wi-fi access. She put out tables and seating, asked patrons to bring their own laptops. Are there adults who have laptops and need training? You bet! Of course, offering library computers or a lab extends the benefit to people without laptops. If the library is too small, consider the local school’s facility.
Here’s more from the My PC website, a list of what does the My PC Series offers.
Access to a complete, comprehensive, and free set of delivery materials for each of the My PC courses and workshops, including instructor guide, a set of PowerPoint slides, student handouts, and a collection of course files needed to deliver each course or workshop.
Access to free materials to support instructors in evaluating the curriculum, learning the software, and preparing to teach, including white papers, and software resource kits.
A full suite of marketing materials and guidance to help attract students, such as customizable flyers, catalog ads in a variety of sizes, and e-mail templates.
Greensboro Free does a good job on publicizing programs with press releases to area papers, posters up 3-4 weeks before the program, website, Facebook and Twitter releases, and lots of word of mouth as people check out their books. The audience in Greensboro was a committed group of 8 who stuck with the program.
Some Best Practice suggestions for job seekers seen at Brooks Memorial Library recently:
Post a link or software app for building resumes (Resume Builder, seen in the screenshot above)
Offer Skype sessions and training for face to face videoconferencing for interviews.
Tell people they can apply for longer computer sessions in order to fill out job applications, take online tests
Offer one to one tutorials to teach two basic job application skills: how to get a free email account and how to fill out an online job application