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Staff Day Topics

Are you looking for presentations or workshops for your library’s staff day? The State Library may be able to help. Check out the expertise we have to offer by topic or staff member! We are happy to offer these sessions free of charge.

Customer ServiceOrganizational Development | Personal Development | Learning/Teaching |

Library Trends | Library Programming | User Experience

Customer Service

Be the Magic: What libraries can learn from Disney – Sharon Morris and Kieran Hixon

Disney’s service model is world-renowned for creating lifetime treasured memories. Get a peak behind the curtain to what Walt wanted and how Disney crafts “guest experiences.” Consider three key Disney strategies that can improve the quality of services in your library, while bringing magic and more creativity to staff. This workshop includes a field guide to Disney in the library, interactive experiences, small group discussions, exploration, and whimsy.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will:

  • have a greater understanding of Disney techniques
  • be able to apply Disney methods in their library
  • want to visit a Disney theme park and see these methods in action

Duration: 60-90 Minutes

Colorado’s Spanish-speakers: Who They Are, Where They Are, and Resources for Serving Them in Our Libraries – Cristy Moran

Fostering belonging is our goal, and knowing who our libraries serve is the necessary first step to attaining it. Colorado’s hispanohablante, or Spanish-speakers, are far from monolithic. Diversity among them is often lost with umbrella terms like “Latino/a” and “Hispanic.” Where they come from and where they are in Colorado is valuable information for libraries who serve (or want to serve) hispanohablante Coloradans. In this session, attendees will explore the diversity among Spanish speakers in Colorado, including terminology, tools to research and connect with your community, and new and upcoming resources available from the Colorado State Library (and others) to help libraries serve them. Ideas for partnerships, outreach, and programming from the field will also be shared. This session is appropriate for all librarians and library staff, even those of us within the Spanish-speaking community and with experience serving it. 

Duration: 60 or 90 minutes. The 90-minute version of this session will include community mapping and library services brainstorming activities.  

Bienvenidos: Creating Welcome for Hispanohablantes and Latines at Your Library – Cristy Moran

In the 2020 Census, over 22% of Coloradans self-identified as Hispanic or Latino. In some of our communities, the population is more than double (and not always where you think!). As state population trends shifts and the demographics of our communities change, libraries look to how we can create welcoming spaces that leverage our existing missions and service models to serve those new community members. “Bienvenidos” offers insights from state and local demographic sources to discover who makes up the community we serve. It also features best practices built from bilingual and self-identified Latine library staff and librarians in our libraries. In the end, participants can use these insights to establish best practices for welcoming visitors to our libraries regardless of linguistic and cultural barriers.  

Duration: 60 or 90 minutes  

Note: This presentation maybe done in tandem with the “Colorado’s Spanish-speakers: Who They Are, Where They Are, and Resources for Serving Them in Our Libraries.”  

In Service of Hope: Empowering our patrons to achieve their goals – Christine Kreger
“The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination, and the energy to get started (Norman Cousins).” In today’s tumultuous environment, libraries are continuously developing services designed to meet the needs of the communities we serve. But what if libraries focused on directly impacting our communities by creating a culture of hope?
Join me for an interactive workshop exploring how we can align and/or create library services designed to empower our patrons to achieve their individual goals, to experience the power of hope, and to potentially transform our communities.

Duration 60 or 75 minutes.

Minds Unlocked: Supporting Intellectual Freedom in Correctional Libraries – Erin Boyington

Come fill your toolkit with strategies to support intellectual freedom for those you serve with jail or prison outreach. Learn about the realities of correctional censorship, how to develop a policy to answer the toughest challenges, and how you can be a powerful and articulate advocate for your community.

Sticky Situations: Patron privacy, and customer service – Christine Kreger

Privacy and confidentiality are core values of librarianship, but what does that mean when we are interacting with our patrons on a day-to-day basis? Join me for an interactive session as we explore how patron privacy connects to everyday customer service.

Duration 60 minutes.

We Need to Talk: Overcoming the fear of having a difficult conversation – Jean Heilig
When faced with having a difficult conversation do you find yourself procrastinating, back peddling, dodging, panicking, or finding yourself filled with dread? Whether the conversation is with staff, a patron, your family, or an annoying neighbor this session will help to move you forward. These conversations don’t have to be difficult if you prepare in advance and leave your emotions out of the equation.
Join me for this conversation…about difficult conversations!

Duration: 60 minutes.

When a Patron Needs More than a Book – Sharon Morris and Kieran Hixon
• Have you accidentally helped a library patron transform?
• Are you ready to be an intentional champion for your library users?
Join us as we explore services that make all the difference. Together we will share stories of extraordinary library moments and identify common ways library staff help people grow and learn in transformative ways. Walk away with an understanding of how libraries change lives and gain ideas for what you can do to provide more meaningful library services. Together we will discover how to shift libraries from places of transaction into spaces for interaction, and transformation.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will:

  • have a greater understanding of the systems and processes that lead to transformational change
  • learn a method for building more positivity experiences in libraries
  • walk away with a plan for being more intentional about transformation

Duration: 60 – 90 minutes.

Who’s Pushing your Buttons – Jean Heilig
It’s inevitable, at some point in your week you’ll run into one of them. Those people who seem to turn a wonderful day into a dark one. You know these people; they seem to be chronically critical, belligerent, indignant, angry, or just plain rude. But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. Learning tactics for dealing with negative or difficult people will help you survive in the workplace. Join us for this thought provoking session.

Duration: 60 minutes.

Organizational Development

Doing What Matters: Values of the library – Sharon Morris and Christine Kreger

Our values are the lens through which we interpret the world. They are the principles that guide our thoughts, actions, and behaviors. When we consciously and intentionally leverage our core values in our work, it gives us a sense of confidence, meaning, and purpose. It also helps us navigate conflict and consensus with grace and courage. In this workshop, individuals will reflect on the core values they bring to their work. They will work together to identify the core values of the organization. Then, through a series of activities and experiments, they will plan for how to embed those values with more intention in communication, work activities, and interactions with others.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will:

  • Identify of personal core values
  • Agreement on core values of the library
  • Plan for how use core values in daily work for more meaning, satisfaction, and excellence
  • Understanding and techniques for dealing with values conflicts

Duration: 60-90 minutes

Imrov-ing at the Library: Using improvisational comedy to improve library culture – Sharon Morris and Kieran Hixon

What does improvisational comedy have to do with library service? More than you might expect! Hear stories, learn models, and try improv activities that apply in libraries. Staff will discover new ways to engage with humor and play. Get ready to reframe interactions with 5 techniques from improv comedy that can uplift you, your users, and the library.  Engage in a fun and revitalizing session. Even introverts and serious people can find this enjoyable 🙂

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will:

  • Develop stronger positive connections among staff
  • Experience improvisation techniques that apply to libraries
  • Gain strategies for connecting better as a team
  • Plan to use improv techniques to strengthen work relationships with staff and your community.

Duration: 60-90 minutes

Intergen in the Library Workplace – Cristy Moran

Baby Boomers. Gen X-ers. Millennials. Zoomers. Working in a library is to work with people of different ages and from different generations. Age diversity creates a rich tapestry of experience in our workplaces, but may also create obstacles. Tendencies to default to ageist language and conflicting attitudes arising from the many differences of our lived experiences result in miscommunication, unintended animosity, and microaggressions. In this workshop, participants will learn about changing workforce demographics, explore how generational trends manifest in our workplaces, and identify barriers to thriving intergenerational workplaces. The goal of this workshop is to build bridges over steep generational chasms through asset mapping of our library teams.

Duration: 60-90 minutes

Managing Conversations: From conflict to deeper connection – Sharon Morris and Kieran Hixon

When conflict happens, what do you do? Fuss or fume, fight or flee, or just have the necessary talk? Handle conflict with grace: honest, direct, and respectful connection rather than anger, fear, and drama. Ease stress and tension to get to what matters. We will take you into the brain science of conflict, so you get a creative look at workplace conflict, turbulent supervision, and community relations. You’ll get strategies and tips to move from agitation to collaboration. The longer interactive workshop (3 hours) will also address ways to recognize and respond to high conflict, when safety, rather than connection, is needed.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will:

  • have at least three strategies for navigating challenging situations
  • learn a method for confronting issues with staff
  • walk away with confidence in handling conflict

Duration: 60 – 180 minutes 

Partnering to Provide Library Services to Jails and Prisons – Erin Boyington

The incarcerated in Colorado’s youth and adult correctional facilities are some of the most appreciative library patrons anywhere. 97% of them will be released someday, and many struggle with basic information needs. The key to helping the incarcerated successfully reenter society is library outreach. Join us to learn about forming partnerships with correctional libraries and to discuss how you can support your future patrons today.

Playing Well with Others – At Work – Sharon Morris, Kieran Hixon, and Christine Kreger

We all know that children learn through play, but what about adults? Research shows that when humans, at any age, play, they learn and grow into healthy, happy, well-functioning individuals. Indeed, embedding playful work techniques into your day can lead to greater creativity, productivity, and resilience in you and your library. And knowing others’ play styles will help build better teams, improve collaborative work, and create a more enjoyable work culture. Join us for this lively, interactive, and fun session, as we delve into the research on play, identify your play style, and explore ways to add more play into your work.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will:

  • Understand how play enhances work
  • Have clarity on their preferred play style, as well as recognize others’ play styles
  • Have a plan for at least three ways to embed play into their everyday work
  • Be ready to spread play in the library and community

Duration: 60 – 90 minutes

Workplace Bullying: words can hurt more than you think – Jean Heilig
Remember being bullied in grade school? The tears, fears, and anxiety of facing bullies may have shaped who you have become today. Do you ever wonder what happened to those bullies? It’s sad to say but many have grown up and are now creating havoc in our libraries! This engaging session will show you how to remain calm and stay strong when coping with the bullies you work with or serve in your community.

Duration: 60 minutes.

Personal Development

Body Language: Understanding non-verbal communication – Jean Heilig

There are sometimes subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – movements, gestures and facial expressions that can indicate what we are thinking. By developing your awareness of the signs of body language, you can more easily understand other people, and more effectively communicate with them.  Additionally, by increasing your understanding of others, you can also become more aware of the messages that you convey to them.  It’s more important than ever to be aware of what your body is saying to the outside world.

Duration: 60 minutes

Creating More Joy & Resilience in the Library – Sharon Morris and Kieran Hixon

Considerable research shows that those with more joy, laughter, and well-being in their life are more resilient, productive, and effective at work, and they live more fulfilling lives. This staff session is designed to increase fun, creativity, and joy. Through video, activities, and experimentation, participants will learn the research and experiment with strategies to increase happiness and well-being within themselves, within the library culture, and with others. We will address the difference between constructive orientation and toxic positivity. You’ll walk away with practical ideas to increase joy, play, and well-being in the workplace and in your own life.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will have:

  • an increased knowledge of the research on positive psychology
  • experiences with techniques proven to increase joy
  • a plan to use the techniques increase joy & well-being in themselves
  • Ideas for spreading these techniques in the library and the community

Duration: 60-90 minutes

Decision Making: Crystal ball or magic 8 ball? – Jean Heilig
Decision making is an essential skill. We make quick decisions all the time; other decisions we procrastinate and agonize over. Making poor decisions can label you as ineffective in your job. Learn how to make timely well-considered decisions to be assured of future success.
Join us for an engaging session that will offer you practical tools to make better choices.

Duration 60 minutes

Getting Unstuck: The Secret Life of Procrastinators – Jean Heilig and Christine Kreger
Do you believe you work best under pressure? Do you avoid tasks and deliberately look for distractions? Are you late for appointments? Have a hard time completing projects? If you struggle with any of these you may be a procrastinator. Join this session to explore why we procrastinate and how we can stop.

Duration: 60 minutes

Leaders: Discover your Leadership Style and Plan to It! – Sharon Morris and Christine Kreger

Do you feel you have leadership potential but wonder how to leverage it? Are you already a leader and looking for ways to grow? Or do you simply wonder what the heck people mean when they talk about leadership? This interactive session is relevant to all! You will use a basic model that illuminates key aspects of leadership to identify your unique leadership strengths. Then plan to show up with behaviors and intentions that develop you as a leader. Feel more empowered to use your natural leadership attributes regardless of your position in the library.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will:

  • know the essential attributes of emergent leadership
  • have a clearer understanding of their own leadership strengths and areas of growth
  • have a plan for how to use their leadership strengths with more intention in their work

Duration: 60-90 minutes

Leading with Emotional Intelligence: Become an Emotion Scientist – Christine Kreger
Did you know that emotions drive nearly every aspect of our work and personal lives? From decision making, to performance, to our relationships with others, our emotions can have a profound impact. Join us as we discuss the science behind our emotions, the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace, and how we can all learn to harness the power of our emotions as leadership tools.

Duration 60 or 75 minutes

Look at Me When I am Talking to You!: Getting ahead by improving your listening skills – Jean Heilig
In our high-tech and often stressful world, communication is becoming more important than ever. If this is true, then why are so many of us such poor listeners? Becoming a better listener will allow you to become more productive, avoid conflict, improve accuracy, and build better friendships and careers. During this session you will discover how good your listening skills are and what you can do to improve them.

Duration: 60 minutes

Mindmaping: how to maximize your brain’s potential – Jean Heilig
Have you ever brainstormed an idea only to find yourself with pages of information and no clue as to how it all fits together? If so, then Mind Mapping can help you organize your thoughts and move forward. Mind Maps offer a way of using and improving your memory, concentration, and creativity in planning and structuring thought on all levels, in order to accelerate your ability to learn, remember, and record information.’

Duration: 60 minutes

That’s Not What I Meant: Improving Your Online Communication Skills – Jean Heilig

The internet offers a variety of communication channels that most of us are relying on during the Pandemic. Personal relationships aside, poor online communication skills can harm your productivity and effectiveness. This means more emails, phone calls or repeated work when something is misunderstood.  In this session we will discuss simple ways to improve your online communication skills with both your co-workers and patrons.

Duration: 60 minutes

Time Management for Librarians – Erin Boyington

Overwhelmed by patrons the moment you open your doors? Not sure how you’re going to get everything done while balancing competing demands? Get tips on planning library services and time management strategies to make your correctional library successful and efficient!

Wake Up! Are you sleepwalking your way through the day? – Jean Heilig
Did you know that getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising? Sleep can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. The damage from a lack of adequate sleep can occur in an instant (car accident) or over a period of time. Ongoing sleep problems can increase your risk for chronic health problems. It can also affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.
Join us as we discuss how sleep and lack of sleep affects us and brainstorm the changes you need to make to experience a good night’s sleep!

Duration: 60 minutes

When you are Engulfed in Flames: Recognizing and overcoming job burnout – Jean Heilig
Job burnout is a response to stress that leaves you feeling hopeless, powerless, despondent and overwhelmed. But, don’t despair you can do something about it! During this session you’ll learn this doesn’t happen overnight. Our bodies and minds do give us warning signs, and if you know what to look for, you can recognize it before exhaustion and ineffectiveness set in.
Join us to discover if you are at risk or are experiencing job burnout and we will brainstorm what you can do.

Duration: 60 minutes


Learning IS the Work: Take charge of your workplace learning – Christine Kreger

Once upon a time, employers decided what, when, and how employs would learn needed work skills. However, in today’s ever-changing world, the modern learner needs to step up and take responsibility for our professional development. But where do we start? Join us for a lively discussion as we share ideas and brainstorm strategies you can use to take charge of your workplace learning.

Duration: 60 minutes

Transitioning from Sage on the Stage to Engaging Learning: Tips and tricks for presenting to adults – Christine Kreger 

Tired of attending the same old presentations? Want to learn how to truly engage with your audience? Whether delivering presentations online or in person, attendee interaction and engagement are central to learning. In this highly interactive session we will uncover the power of experiential, collaborative learning, and brainstorm ways to make your presentations more interactive.

Duration: 60 minutes

Trends – Sharon Morris and Kieran Hixon

What’s the difference between a fad and a trend? How do we plan for the future in such ambiguous times? Where do we go to find out about trends? These and other questions will be discussed in this discussion-based trends talk. We will introduce you to trends that are impacting libraries and discuss how they may impact internal operations, library services, and/or how the community thinks of and values the library into the future. The session includes local demographic and library data discussion and analysis.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify trends that impact libraries
  • Analyze trends through the lens of library operations, services, and value
  • Gain new strategies for thinking about trends into the future

Duration: 60-90 minutes

Library Programming

Scouting Possibilities: Intergenerational Programming – Kate Brunner, Cristy Moran, and Kate Compton

Often, library work finds librarians and staff siloed into age-restricted spaces. Intergenerational programs present a challenge to the structures of our physical spaces, collections, and areas of expertise and experience. In this workshop, librarians and staff will discover the value of designing programs for participants of different age groups, traversing generational divides with intentional opportunities to learn from one another and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. A successful intergenerational program uses differences in ages, skills, and life experiences to find strengths among those differences that can serve as a value to all, irrespective of one’s age. This workshop includes examples and resources generously shared from successful intergenerational programs at Colorado libraries.

Duration: 90 minutes or 120 minutes

User Experience

Learning from Your Patrons: An introduction to user research – Babi Hammond

User research doesn’t need to be time-consuming or expensive. A single librarian can conduct and analyze simple patron evaluations with technology readily available in nearly any library. Small scale research projects, done at regular intervals, can continuously improve library services, and help you to see your library through your patron’s perspective.

Duration: 60 minutes

Wikipedia for Libraries  – Cristy Moran

“Wikipedia at the Library” is centered on the question: How can we use Wikipedia to facilitate understanding of often complex or intimidating topics when reliable information is otherwise just beyond an individual’s reach? Libraries meet people where they are to bring information, access, and resources to them. If people are on Wikipedia, then it becomes our responsibility – or best practice – to find out how best to serve our patrons with Wikipedia as a part of their information diet. Wikipedia gets a bad rap and most (but not all) is unwarranted. This session will include fast facts and hands-on activities that can be replicated at a reference desk, at a program, or on your phone from the sofa as you fact-check something you heard on TV.  

Duration: 60 or 90 minutes. The 90-mintue version of this session will include a hands-on exploration of Wikipedia relevant to your library. For public libraries, this may including finding your library’s Wikipedia entry, creating a Wikipedia username and login, and/or exploring the use of the library entry template for your library. For academic and school libraries, the 90-minute version of this session will include creation of a Wikipedia-centered activity using existing resources and templates for information and digital literacy.  

Working with WordPress – Babi Hammond

This session can cover anything from the basics of creating and editing content to more advanced topics such as working with themes and creating a usable site design.

Weeding your Website with Basic Google Analytics – Babi Hammond

This session covers the basics of how Google Analytics works, what terms like users, sessions, and pageviews really mean, and how to get the most meaningful numbers to guide your content weeding decisions.

Website Design and best Practices for Usability – Babi Hammond

Basic principles for creating clear, easy-to-use websites and web content.

Tips for Updating your Library Intranet: Creating a content management strategy – Erin Boyington

Does your website cause extreme anxiety? Are users lost in frustratingly dense pages? Come learn how one project to improve a library intranet can give you tools to enhance your site, from redesign planning to usability testing to content management.