Friday, April 16, 2010

TLA preconference

I'm sitting in a preconference at TLA thinking I really want to share what I just heard with some people. So I think well maybe its time to blog about something other than books. Michelle gorman was the speaker- remember her? Well I do cause we were in theater together in high school. It is just amazing to me to see how passionate and knowledgable she has become about the same profession! (Yes people it does make me feel inadequate, especially since she's actually younger!) Ok so here's the background: her all teen and children library just got cut by 1/3 of its staff. Ouch. So her message is fourfold: 1 know your stuff, 2 share your message, 3 choose your words, 4 be an advocate. Let's see how well I can summarize what she said here. The first is about understanding the adolescent brain. New research tells us brains are still developing until their early 20s. So we need to remember that. Having that knowledge means we need to react accordingly. Other things to keep in mind when dealing with teens is their 7 needs and 40 developmental assets. More on that later when I have the handouts!
Sharing your message can be done in many ways- anecdote file ( because its more than just a number), visibility, socail messaging, and film testimonials. No one knows what you're doing unless you tell them!
Choosing your words is largely based on the ideas of Valerie Gross in Transforming our image through words that work. One great piece of advice is to do dual marketing- one for kids and one for adults!
Being an advocate can be done by modeling the behavior you want to see from the adults in the library, developing a philosophy of service, making sure policies are in alignment with developmental needs, and realizing that if you don't do it, no one will. I'm out of room, so feel free to comment!

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