Ingram Blog

On the Road at #ALAAC18: Two Librarians And A Microphone Podcast

We took Season 4, What I Didn’t Learn In Library School, on the road. Straight from the trade show floor in NOLA, we asked librarians who stopped by our booth what they would share with the next generation of information experts. From building maintenance to library marketing that works, see if they add insight to your own ideas.

Who We Talked To:

  • A former President of ALA
  • A Library Director
  • And more!


    Things They Said:

    • Physical labor and power tools!
    • Balancing community, materials, and budgets.
    • Plus, other gems from #TheLibraryLife!



    Listen on-the-go!

    iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | Spotify SoundCloud



    Jim Heuer [00:00:13] Hello everyone, welcome to the Ingram Library Services podcast, Two Librarians and a Microphone. I'm your host, Jim Heuer, Director of Sales for Ingram Library Services. A little bit later this episode, I will be joined by the two librarians you've come to know, librarian number one, Tricia Bengel, librarian number two, Donna George. We are excited, because we're going to record this episode live in New Orleans, at the ALA Annual Convention. With that being said, please note that you might hear some background noise. You'll hear the hustle and bustle of a trade show slash convention. We'll be talking to folks, but in the background everybody else will be "conventioning" it. If you've been listening to this season, and we hope that you have, you know that we've been talking about the theme: "What I Didn't Learn in Library School." We've already recorded three episodes. The first was The Unusual and Interesting. The second, The Awe Inspiring and Motivational. The third, The Things That Make It Worthwhile. If you haven't listened to those, please go back and give them a listen. Right, they're available anywhere you listen to podcasts, find podcasts, whether that's iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud, the website, basically wherever you find a podcast, you'll find this Two Librarians and a Microphone podcast, as well. As I mentioned, we did those three episodes. We thought the fourth episode would be fun if we gave you, current librarians, the opportunity to give advice to the next generation of librarian who is in library school.

    Jim Heuer [00:01:54] We corralled some folks that we met with, we invited folks to come and talk to us, and we got some really interesting content. It runs the gamut from different perspectives on the world of library. We think that it's fun, we think that you'll enjoy it, perhaps you'll learn a couple of things or two. If you are a library student who has stumbled upon this, listen up! There might be some things in here that will help you in your future career. We had posed that question to quite a few individuals along the way and we now bring you their responses. Sit back, listen, and get ready for the ALA edition of, What Advice Would You Give to the Next Generation of Librarians? Alrighty, so we have with us Nancy Kranich. Nancy, what do you think about this question, "What advice would you give to the next generation of librarian?"

    Nancy Kranich [00:02:54] I'd tell you to think libraries are not just about collecting, they're about connecting. It's building those relationships that's going to make all the difference in the world for you, whether or not you get a job and then once you're in the job, whether or not your library thrives. Think about all that connecting you need to do and don't worry as much about the collecting.

    Jim Heuer [00:03:18] Alrighty, thank you Nancy. The next couple of folks that we spoke to had some interesting advice about some of the physical work that goes on at a library. First, you'll hear from Diane, and she's going to talk a little bit about some of the mending of books, that type of thing. Followed by Susan who will talk about some the things that she experienced in her library when she became the director of a historical building. Alright, so first Diane and then Susan.

    Diane [00:03:46] I wish I learned how to actually mend and bind books, because you don't learn that and you just learn about theories and all the different things that, how to be a librarian, but not the actual, physical, how do I do this.

    Susan [00:04:04] If an individual wishes to be a part of library administration, you really need to know building maintenance, preventative maintenance, construction…I could go on and on, especially with so many of our older Carnegie buildings. It's amazing what it takes to keep a building together. We don't think about it. Knowing that was my weakness, when I applied for my job, I asked them, "What condition is the building in?" Thinking I would have time to research the subject. "Oh, it's just great." They said, "It's great condition." Right, it was falling apart. After I got the job, I learned quickly. But you don't learn about building preventative maintenance and maintenance in library school.

    Jim Heuer [00:04:48] Wow, thank you. That's an interesting perspective, great advice. Alrighty, the next few librarians that we spoke to had some interesting perspectives about actually working in a library. First, Samantha talks to us about trying to start a library. Gladys talks about actually placing orders and Pam will talk to you about shelving books. Alright, the next three librarians up. Take it away.

    Samantha [00:05:14] I would tell them that it can be really overwhelming and right now I'm working on trying to start a library at a high school, and it's so much work, but that there are lots of really awesome people who are here to talk to you through it and to help you do the very best that you possibly can. I would have to say that the most useful thing that I did not learn in library school was actually how to place an order. I felt like all of my collection development classes were wonderful, and I knew how to pick out the items, but I didn't actually know of any library companies to order from. And simply, when I first began, the first sales rep that came to visit me, I ordered from that company and I continued to, and I didn't actually think about looking at my options and looking at the company that would work best with my needs.

    Pam [00:06:04] The books don't shelve themselves. I was shocked at the end of my first week that none of the books were back on the shelf. So, have a plan for that.

    Jim Heuer [00:06:12] Alright, here's a familiar voice for you. Donna, librarian number two, Donna George, tells us an interesting story that we heard at dinner one of the nights at ALA. Donna, why don't you tell us what you heard. Really fascinating stuff.

    Donna George [00:06:28] We had a great dinner with customers last night and one of the people sitting at our table, works for Palm Beach County, Florida. Which happens to be stationed right across the street from Mar-a-Lago, and he had a lot of stories to tell about how things change in his town when the President comes to town. Not the least of which is that the Press Corps comes to his library and camps out in the meeting room when Trump is in town. And doing his civic duty, he has invited some college students to his library on a couple of occasions, so that they can learn from the Press Corps, these are people who are studying Communications, so. He has made the most of what is truly a frantic situation in his town.

    Jim Heuer [00:07:13] Alright, good morning everybody. We're here live, Monday, at ALA in New Orleans and I'm with Casey McPhee, Director of the Largo Public Library in Largo, Florida. Before we ask Casey our question, we're going to let you know that Largo is also doing a podcast called Page Turn. You can find it on Stitcher and Blubrry or off of their website. It's hosted by Hannah and Victor does the Spanish version. Pretty neat. Casey, what would you tell the next generation of librarian who’s in library school now that they really should be learning about that maybe they're not?

    Casey McPhee [00:07:47] Well, thanks Jim, thanks for having me today. I think I would have paid more attention to marketing as a really important thing for libraries. Getting our story out there. But not necessarily just pushing marketing, like programs and services, but getting feedback from people. Having that interactive approach, which we now have social media and some things like that that are more interactive and we can get all kinds of input. That's just a really important thing. It's helpful for fundraising, for getting your message out about the services you have, but also showing your stakeholders how important you are to the community, as well.

    Jim Heuer [00:08:23] Wow that's some good stuff, and I'd imagine a podcast is going to fit the bill. Good luck with that.

    Casey McPhee [00:08:27] It really will. It's just an alternative method of lots of things of things that we were doing in the past. Paper, print products, and that kind of thing. And it's probably associated with why we may have been named Florida Library Association Library of the Year, as well this year.

    Jim Heuer [00:08:43] Ah, look at that. Congratulations and thanks for coming by.

    Casey McPhee [00:08:45] Thank you! Thanks so much.

    Jim Heuer [00:08:48] Jessica, what would you tell the next generation of librarian they should be learning about in library school?

    Jessica [00:08:54] Wow, what I wish I knew through library school? Well, I would say that no matter what size library you're in, no matter what community, urban, rural, academic, public, school, you're going to have to become extremely resourceful. You're going to have to learn to recycle everything from bits of paper to boxes and storage and make the most out of the least. Using resources effectively, that's smart just in general, but in a library, especially a rural public library like we're in, in South Alabama. We have to make good use of every single thing we have. Being resourceful, that's for materials and that's also for your budget. When you're using public money, people like for you to be accountable for every penny and the broader you can spread those dollars, the more effectively you can help your public and so, I would say being resourceful and being a good steward of whether it's, physical materials in your library or money, that's something I wish I had a little more experience in. Fortunately, I'm a pretty…, I feel like I'm a pretty resourceful, creative person. So, that's helped! But, you know, and that goes into building relationships too. Like you know, if you're...

    Jim Heuer [00:10:15] Sure.

    Jessica [00:10:16] …resourceful you know who to call on in, when you need to troubleshoot or it goes a long way. That's a very, very good skill to have if you're going to be a librarian.

    Jim Heuer [00:10:27] Excellent, right a little thriftiness.

    Jessica [00:10:29] I feel like, yeah, yeah, being able to know where to find answers to things is more than just information that's also being a good troubleshooter, just in general. I think resourcefulness.

    Jim Heuer [00:10:39] Excellent. Thank you, Jessica. Alrighty, wow, thanks everybody. That's some really great advice. Some inspirational stories, some informational pieces. Hopefully the folks listening will enjoy it as much as we did. Just remember, at any stage in your career you all have room to learn and gain fresh perspectives and inspiration. The world is changing around us at a rapid pace. We really all have to sprint to keep up. We thank you to our guests who've come along and shared some of the things that will help us do that. Right? How have you been enjoying these past few episodes? What did you think of this season? We'd love to know. We want to know. Leave us a comment on iTunes with your feedback and ideas. It's really been overwhelming, some of the stories that we've received you know, we've certainly had all the feels in talking about this episode. These podcasts with our librarians and our friends and the folks in the library world. As I mentioned before, check out our podcast. If you just stumbled upon this, you can subscribe over at our website or wherever you listen to podcasts. For the folks on Instagram, right? We'd like to let you know that you can keep up with our coverage of books and library stories and inspiration using the handle @TheLibraryLife. We'd love for if you would follow along for that. Finally, if we didn't see you at ALA Annual, please make sure you come see us at either the state shows coming up in the fall.

    Jim Heuer [00:12:17] Maybe in Seattle at Midwinter. Right, next year in D.C. We're always looking to have conversations with our customers. Having…sharing ideas, anecdotes. Finding out what they think of #thelibrarylife. Thank you very much for listening. For everyone who came by and gave us some content, thank you. This is Jim Heuer signing off, take care. Bye. Two Librarians and a Microphone is produced and directed by Rachel Cope. Sound engineering by Craig Simpson. Special help from Essence Brisco, Elizabeth Wilcox, and Candice Sweet. Our research done by our librarians, Donna George and Tricia Bengel. I am the microphone, Jim Heuer, and thanks most of all to you for listening.