Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places. I love adventuring. I am “outdoorsy” so a place that is in the mountains with a giant, pristine lake, and countless opportunities for activities, is my kind of place. I have been to Tahoe three times, but I have never been able to stay for more than a few days at a time. Even with our time restrictions, I feel like we get a lot done, we have hiked, went on a Tahoe Lake Cruise, did a treetop obstacle course and went to the library. I hope to be able to go back someday and spend more time, there is just so much to do and it is so beautiful.
Tahoe City Library is located within sight of the lake and a nice walking and biking trail. I imagine staff members might enjoy taking their lunch breaks at the lake and getting some exercise on good weather days. The library itself is on the bottom floor of a shared building and is only slightly bigger than your neighborhood Little Free Library. That being said, the library is very efficiently run and makes great use of its limited space.
The librarian that runs the branch, has been there for over a decade, and seems to be a collection development master. When she took over the branch, the library shelves were overflowing and books were stacked and stored wherever they would fit, but you would never know that now. The library is very neat and books have plenty of shelf space. Running a small branch is hard for a lot of librarians because of the constant weeding that is required to maintain the collection. When I complimented her on her collection development practices, she just shrugged it off, so it must come naturally to her.
This tiny library offers so much for its community. This is a place where locals and tourists can come and get a library card, access computers and check out books, dvds and audiobooks. They offer Storytimes and a Summer Reading Club program. They have adorable pins and stickers for patrons, like the llama pin that I pawed so much, the librarian kindly asked if I might want it. I did, I really did want it. Tahoe City Library might be small, but the location and services are perfect for this mountain town.
Name and title: Mary George, Director of Library Services
Library name: Placer County Library
How many libraries are in your system? Nine and a Mobile Library (AKA Bookmobile)
Staff size: 50+/- (mainly minus 😊)
How Many MLS: 12
Community size: 200,000/ 1,500 square miles
Collection size: 250,000 items
How do you think being located at Lake Tahoe affects the operations of the library?
Tahoe City is a community with a year-round population and a very busy tourist destination especially in the summer and winter months. People visit the shores of Lake Tahoe from all over the world and a great many visitors stay and are employed in the service industries in the busy seasons. This makes Tahoe City Library one of the places for travelers and seasonal workers to get their entertainment and information.
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Name and title: Sarah Scheinman, Operations Manager
Name and title: Pat Hasenfus, Branch Manager
Library name: Summit County Libraries
How many libraries are in your system? 3
Staff size: 14 How Many MLS?: 3
Community size: 31,000
Collection size: 137,083
Is there a new technology that you are excited about using at the library?
Sarah: We are aware that for libraries to remain relevant for teens, technology is the way to get them interested. We have had tremendous success in online gaming, virtual reality headsets and our girls who code program launched last year was also very popular. We even expanded Girls who Code to just Code Club as we had so many boys who also wanted to join. We enjoy empowering them to take those natural technology skills children are developing at such a young age to the next level. We also recognize that the internet requires us to raise awareness of the hazards and we are looking at doing a digital citizenship program series for children and parents this fall.
Pat: We will be rolling out self-check in the near future. While it is not new, it will empower patrons and free up limited staff time. That said, we are the only human contact some of our patrons have on a daily basis, and we always want to keep that contact and community connection.
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Name and title: Carolyn Booker, Director of Library Services
Library name: Lewisville Public Library, Lewisville, TX
How many libraries are in your system? We are a one library city.
Staff size: 41 employees
Community size: 102,000
Collection size: 143,600 titles, 164,100 items including eBooks and eAudio.
What are you most proud of about your library?
The variety and quality of programming across all age levels is what sets apart the Lewisville Public Library. The staff work incredibly hard and are constantly trying new things and bringing exciting opportunities to the people who visit us.
What was your most popular event for teens or adults?
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I am always impressed and inspired when I hear what other librarians are doing for their communities. I think that every librarian can learn from other librarians and that every librarian has something to offer. One of our professions greatest strengths is that we view each other as colleagues, not as competition. We share our ideas with others in our profession and are truly flattered when someone uses our ideas, we are also grateful when someone helps us solve a problem. Let’s learn from each other!
I talk a lot about myself, my opinions and my experiences in this blog, but I hope that the stories I share are a starting point for conversation between librarians. This site will routinely offer articles, book lists, book reviews and librarian interviews. The interviews will feature librarians around the country and their creativity, successes, and challenges. If you are proud of your library and are interested in having it featured please email me at email@example.com. Interviews will be by email, phone or in person (if proximity allows). We can all benefit from your experience!
Let’s Collaborate! Is there a library that you think consistently “wows” it’s patrons? What stands out about that library? Comment below: