Reflections on RIPL: Jessi Finnie


In May 2018, the Massachusetts Library System hosted the Research Institute for Public Libraries.  Fifty librarians attended the institute with the goal of building research into their activities.  Interested to learn more about how the institute has benefitted our members this past year, I reached out to Jessi Finnie, the Director of the Scituate Town Library.  In this interview, Jessi will tell you about how she integrated what she learned at RIPL into her workflow and strategic planning process.

Jessi Finnie

Jessi Finnie opening the doors at the Scituate Town Library grand opening.

Reflecting on the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL), what did you think about your experience?

Jessi Finnie:  Overall, I was pleased with my experience at RIPL and left with more tools in my tool belt to manage our library’s Strategic Planning process.

What are the most useful tools and resources you learned about at the RIPL? 

While I already knew how to pull census data, RIPL highlighted tools within FactFinder such as using the advanced search feature to compare data between towns. We also learned of a number of smaller and more niche databases that could provide helpful data such as “Kid’s Count” and some of the information to be found from the Centers for Disease Control.

Learning about new resources is always helpful, but one of my biggest takeaways from the session was simplifying and maximizing my presentation data. We discussed the pros and cons of various types of charts and graphs, and learned a bit about how people respond to these visual tools. I think data analysis comes naturally to many librarians, but presenting data in an impactful way can be a bit more challenging. Continue reading

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MLS Member Update: January 2019

Marlborough Office News
New owners have purchased the building where MLS leases its Marlborough office. The new owners intend to occupy the entire building, so MLS-Marlborough is now looking for a new home. We are working quickly to find a location close to our current home. We know that location is a big factor for our members and staff, and we are committed to maintaining easy access to the major routes we’ve come to rely on. The move will most likely happen this summer, and we’ll keep you posted on news as it happens.

Membership News
MLS welcomed 1 new member and 5 new directors in December:

New Members
• George P. King Elementary School, Framingham

New Directors
• Candace Bradbury-Carlin, Tilton Library, South Deerfield
• Amy-Jo Conant, Fiske Elementary School, Lexington
• Sandra Moltz, Swampscott Middle School
• Ivan Ussach, Warwick Free Public Library
• Marcie Walsh-O’Connor, Whitman Public Library

Commonwealth eBook Collections Content Transfer “Mini Update”
MLS staff has nearly completed follow-up with publishers to authorize the transfer of content from Axis 360 to OverDrive and will issue a report soon with the outcomes. One important update, MLS was able to connect with Rosen Publishing who were happy to approve the content transfer. MLS was previously misinformed that this publisher had disapproved the transfer.

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Announcing our Spring 2019 CE Calendar

We are pleased to present our Spring 2019 Training Calendar!

Workshop Offerings:
Planning With Purpose: Strategic Planning At Your Library
Strategic Planning Tips, Tools, and Techniques
Out of this World Summer Library Programs
Word of Mouth Marketing: How to Drive the Message
Copyright and Plagiarism Basics
Intro to Copyright, Plagiarism, and Open Access

Registration and further information can be found on our calendar: Be sure to check back periodically as we are continuing to post additional webinars and other training opportunities.

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This collection is not half baked

See libraries with cake pans (and other Library of Things) on our scatter map!

With Valentine’s Day coming, libraries are setting up thematic displays. Making your display truly eye catching isn’t that hard: in fact, it’s a bit of a cake walk!

Read below for advice from other Massachusetts libraries that have frosted a sense of community by adding heart shaped cake pans to their collection. Although your library would have to move at bakeneck speed to add heart shaped pans by Valentine’s Day, this is a good opportunity to consider preparing for other holidays and events.

Many libraries start their Library of Things collection with ukuleles, but in addition to being able to lend a cake-ophony of noise, many cross cake pans off their bake-it list next. Some libraries carry other exciting cookware, but the main ovent is cake pans.

Aside from holiday related shapes, cakes in the shapes of trucks, or with numbers on them for a specific age, are extremely popular with parents. You can also try posting a survey to ask your patrons for some Angel food for thought on their preferences.

Hudson's heart cakes

Hudson’s heart cakes

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Citizenship Day at the Boston Public Library

With the red-blue divide over immigration policy and our government shut-down, it’s a very stressful time to be an immigrant.  There’s a trusted, welcoming place of equal opportunity in every community:  the public library.  In this interview, Melissa Theroux, Literacy Coordinator, at the Boston Public Library (BPL) will tell you about the BPL’s experience hosting a Naturalization Ceremony and establishing Immigrant Information Corners in partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Please tell us about the Naturalization Ceremony that the Boston Public Library hosted for Citizenship Day.

Boston Public Library Naturalization Ceremony
Photo Credit: Boston Public Library

Melissa Theroux: On September 17th, 2018, we held a Naturalization Ceremony at the Central Library in Copley Square. It was an honor to be part of this inspiring event! The idea for having the ceremony on Citizenship Day came from USCIS staff at the Boston office, specifically District Director Denis Riordan.  The ceremony was held in Central Library’s Rabb Lecture Hall. We had a total of ninety new citizens naturalized that morning, along with their family and friends. Boston Public Library President David Leonard, a naturalized citizen himself, gave the opening remarks, with Judge Marianne Bowler presiding. We were fortunate to have the Back Bay Chorale (a neighborhood chorus that provides outreach to community programs) present to sing during the ceremony. Afterward, the new citizens and their families were invited to a reception, where community partners were on hand to assist them with signing up for passports and registering to vote. The USCIS staff were instrumental in introducing us to partners who provide these services. Continue reading

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