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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thursday, September 21st at Leeds Jane Culbreth Library, 10 am.
TOPIC: Bring your ideas or hints of ideas to the meeting -- swap adult programming schemes and go home with a new outlook on planning a wonderful, fun-filled, educational agenda for your adults! 
REQUIRED: No matter if it's just a kernel of an idea, bring 5 adult program ideas and be ready to exchange with others! You never know who might be able to flesh out your suggestions into workable events!
ALSO: Voting on 2018 topics for Adult Services Roundtable. I will also be seeking locations for our meetings: January 18, March 15, May 17, July 19, September 20, and November 15, 2018.
So far:  March 15 -- Irondale Library

Friday, July 21, 2017

ASRT Roundtable Meeting - 

Topic:  Professional Development

Shannon, Hoover
Laura, Southern History
Debbie, Leeds
David, BPL Fiction
Russell, BPL ALS
Leslie, BPL ALS
Deidre, Bessemer
NaTasha, BPL Info/Circ
Rachel, BPL Info/Circ
Terri, Vestavia Hills
Brandon, Eastwood
Jiemin, BPL Info/Circ

Thanks to the big crowd for coming out!  We had a rather short meeting but very informative.  The discussion centered around individual responsibility in attaining professional development.  There are tons of useful opportunities outside of library conventions and expensive online/in-person courses.  Although necessary for personal growth and to show good faith in professional advancement, it is rarely an official requirement of a job to have CEUs on our record.  It is up to the individual to take time either while off of a public desk or on personal time to learn new software, new reference tools, or new professional skills.  

Besides online training, there are plenty of local groups that provide in-person opportunities for professional growth.  For instance (just a short list!!!):  Toastmasters, Rotary Club, Young Professionals of Birmingham, Birmingham Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women, etc.

Below are some of our suggestions and best-bets for online webinars and training:, eLearning  (Most webinars do cost, if they are multiple days.  Some free webinars are offered.)

ALA OnDemand Online Learning (PLA’s “On-Demand” Webinars with a variety of topics for a cost of anywhere from $28/webinar (individual) to $119/person for groups.)

Booklist Online (free webinar archives)

Choice  (Association of College & Research Librarians)

"Find MOOCs by University/Entity" (resource for finding free online courses by university or topic)

Florida Libraries (Consortium offering webinars)

Individual companies products:  
Examples:  EBSCO training on NoveList & LibraryAware

Individual publishers: 
Most give free webinars on their latest and greatest books – if you sign up, you can usually then get a link to the archived webinar allowing you to view it at your leisure.

LibraryConnect (Elsevier - mostly academic topics but free archived webinars!)

Library Journal Webcasts   (mostly free or low cost webcasts) (LinkedIn product)
    Software development, web development, using apps, business courses, etc.
    Free trial available, subscription from $19.99 to $29.99/month

Open Education Database (Open Education Database – kind of a clearinghouse of ongoing webinars, both free and at cost)

Programming Librarian  (webinar links)

SCORE  (Birmingham resource dedicated to education entrepreneurs and encouraging the formation, growth and success of small business by providing free counseling and no-cost/low-cost workshops) 

SWON Libraries Consortium (Southwest Ohio)

TLT Group (Teaching, Learning and Technology Group)

WebJunction (Extensive webinar archives)

Wednesdays with Ingram (using the Ipage database is just one facet)

Please feel free to add your own experiences and resources!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5/18/17 ASRT Meeting, Bessemer Library

TOPIC:  Adult Summer Reading Programs

Shannon, Hoover
Lisa, Gardendale
Deidre, Bessemer
Kelly, Springville Road
Maura, Trussville
Debbie, Leeds

Although we were few in number, we had a great discussion about our various takes on an adult summer reading program.  Everyone present, except Trussville, is integrating an adult summer reading program.  Trussville is in the process of moving and have referred their patrons to other area libraries.

*If you are located close to Trussville, Maura Davies will be glad to receive your summer reading programs or calendars to share with their patrons -- a library presence is expected to remain somewhere in Trussville.

BPL, Vestavia Hills and Hoover are all using the software Beanstack to keep track of summer reading for both children and adults.  This is the first year for Hoover to use the software and they are using both the online method and paper logs (which our patrons are used to).  Springville Road and other BPL branches are not issuing paper logs and employees must enter a patrons information if patrons are unable to do so themselves.  Vestavia Hills is also just working with Beanstack.  With Beanstack, varying levels of analytics can be pulled from the librarian's side.  From the patron's side, it gives the added bonus of readers advisory -- again for any audience.

Bessemer uses Google Docs.  According to Lori Poe, they created a form within Google Docs to allow patrons to register for summer reading via their website.  Patrons can click the link and fill out the information themselves.  The information on the form is automatically loaded on an Excel form that can be printed  or saved for keeping records.  This might present a low cost effort for smaller or struggling libraries.

Most all libraries represented give out weekly prizes and grand prizes.  Gardendale offers 5 different gift baskets and patrons enter their name/number into the one they want to win.  For Bessemer and Hoover, patrons get one slip for every five books read.  At Springville Road, they give one slip for every book read.

Other unique things done that other libraries may want to adopt:
1.  Springville Road purchased a screen printing device. Patrons bring their own t-shirt and it is screened using one color, then patrons come back to color the shirt with fabric paint.  Evidently, the machine can be purchased for as low as $50.
2.  Hoover has found that gift cards for both groceries and gasoline are VERY popular with adults and it doesn't matter how much they are for.  These are highly coveted.
3.  Most libraries are doing at least two adult programs geared towards the theme of "Build a Better World."  It is easiest when the theme is a good one and the adults can utilize the same theme.
4.  Here's Hoover Library's YouTube video...

ALSO discussed:  Sewing in the Library...
Kelly at Springville Road said they have acquired several sewing machines for ongoing adult programs.  Evidently, through Bib & Tucker Cooperative ( you can purchase reconditioned machines for as low as $25.  Liability was discussed as it is something to consider.

NEXT MEETING:  Thursday, July 20, 10 am, downtown at BPL's Southern History department.
TOPIC:  Professional Development

Monday, March 20, 2017

Shannon, Hoover
Justin, Hoover
Leslie, BPL downtown
Debbie, Leeds
Deidre, Bessemer
Laura, Trussville
Maura, Trussville

Topic:  Gaming in the LibraryPlease Note:  Because Hoover seemed to be the only participants at the meeting that currently do a gaming program in the library, notes are primarily from those spokespeople.  (I did not want to give the impression that this roundtable is at all Hoover-centric!  If you have a program, please add notes to these minutes.  Thanks!)

Hoover Library started having after-hours Friday Night Game Night in December 2012 with beer offerings and videogames (Wii & Xbox), along with adult board games.  Attendance grew from 35-40 people to a steady following of about 60-70.  As time went on, it was decided to get rid of videogames (more trouble, less people per game, less interest) and focus instead on board games.  As the process for obtaining vendors to donate beer grew, it was also decided to discontinue this practice.  By this time, however, everyone was hooked!

Today, Game Night is offered every other month, usually on the the fourth Friday of the month from 7 - 10 pm.  Families are not discouraged at all but it remains an adult focused gathering. (We usually have about 5 staff members to handle security and events but it can be staffed by volunteers and less staff too.)  Small door prizes make for even more excitement -- no matter what it is, people love door prizes!

This is a very passive program because many people will bring their own board games.  Basically, you are just providing the space and encouraging game playing.  Games ranges from Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble to the newer Settlers of Catan, Munchkin and Exploding Kittens.  Hoover, over time, has developed a separate circulating adult designer board game collection but also a collection of games used at Game Night only. Some of these have been donated, some are bought through Amazon or other game websites.  (2nd & Charles also has a collection.)  We have partnered with an area game shop (Excelsior) for advertising and promotion.

Because of our ongoing focus on adult designer board games, other opportunities have come to us.  We hosted "Magick:  The Gathering" tournament for the area in our library in conjunction with Excelsior Game Store.  We've also taken advantage of other "official" days such as International Tabletop Day on April 29, 2017 ( and International Games Day at the Library sometime in November (  These events have been very successful.

Hoover has developed a YouTube channel where they include Game Demonstrations for users (  They also do demonstrations at Game Night.  This encourages the use of different/new games and generates more interest.  The success of such things have led to the now annual Science Fiction/Fantasy Festival (  2017 is going to be off the hook!

For libraries wishing to try out this passive programming, Hoover will gladly check out to the library our various adult designer board games.  Checkout details and more were discussed at a previous ASRT meeting (  Replacement cost would have to be paid if any pieces are missing, but it might be worth it to try out these games before investing in them yourself.  If you have further questions about the best games to start with contact Madalyn Cohron at or more about Game Night specifically, contact Justin Rogers at

Got more ideas?  Share them here!  Your opinions, suggestions, tips and tricks are always welcome!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Some resources for our upcoming meeting, Thursday, March 16 at 10 am, Homewood Library, Room 102.  Be there!


TechSoup for Libraries:  Gaming in the Library

ALA Tools, Gaming in the Library

Gaming in Libraries Building Relationships between Communities & Libraries

Game Making Interest Group Wiki

Friday, March 3, 2017

Don't forget:  Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 10 am in Room 102 of the Homewood Public Library to discuss "Gaming in the Library".
Until that time, read a bit about what ALA has to say about gaming in the library at