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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 Service | Leadership | Organizational Development | Personal Development | Learning/Teaching | User Experience | Miscellaneous

Customer Service

Every Child Ready to Read- Beth Crist

Incorporating early literacy activities and tips for parents during storytime, outreach programs, and really ALL library programs and everyday patron interactions is the key to ECRR. This is a great training topic for ALL staff, as everyone can incorporate ECRR into interactions with families and caregivers with young children.

The Hidden Biases of Good People – Jean Heilig and Beth Crist
Most of us believe that we are ethical and unbiased but research has confirmed that, in reality, most of us fall short in the way we perceive ourselves. Our experiences shape who we are, and our race, ethnicity, gender, height, weight, sexual orientation, place of birth, and other factors impact how we view the world. Our hidden biases can guide our perception, behavior, opinions, decisions, and attitudes, even when we’re not aware of it. During the session, an overview of unconscious bias and examples of its impact are provided. You will be encouraged to examine your own biases and assumptions so that you can make more informed decisions.

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.

Large Print Resource Sharing- Debbi MacLeod
Do you have a limited budget for materials and just wish you could supplement your large print collection? CTBL is the answer to your wish. Learn about our resource sharing program.
The Power to Delight: Providing extraordinary service – Christine Kreger and Kieran Hixon
Exceptional service has the power to transform lives. Together we will share stories of extraordinary service moments from for-profit companies and brainstorm ways we can recognize potential transformational moments, empower staff, and shift libraries from places of transaction into spaces for interaction, and transformation.

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.

Recapture the Joy of Reading – Debbi MacLeod
How do you stay connected to reading, stories and adventure if you can’t read standard print? Lean about the Colorado Talking Book Library and how this service changes a person’s outlook from isolation to being connected.

Tear Down this Wall:Find and remove barriers to library use- Beth Crist
While your library is ADA compliant and welcomes all, there may be hidden barriers for some in your community that hinder them from using your library. Who isn’t using your library, and why? And much more importantly, how can you find and remove barriers for non-library users? Join us for this interactive session to discuss how to find out who isn’t coming to your library and why, and talk through strategies for how to break down road blocks that some members of your community have to enable them to become more active library patrons. We’ll also share best practices learned from SPELL—Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries—as examples.

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!

We’re All Tourists Sometimes – Beth Crist
In this interactive session we’ll explore how libraries in tourist areas promote their services to guests; balance serving residents (both permanent and part-time) and tourists; work with tourism boards; partner with other cultural and recreational organizations; factor visitors into the equations of policies, programs, collections and services; and how all libraries can learn from them to welcome and serve visitors.

When a Patron Needs More than a Book – 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.

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.

The Why’s and How’s of Eliminating Fines and Fees – Beth Crist
Research shows that fines and fees can be a barrier that keep low-income families and residents from using the library; additional research also shows that eliminating overdue fines is cost-neutral, does not increase return rates, and promotes positive community relations. This session outlines the research and provides tips on how to eliminate fines and fees in your library.


Leadership it CAN be Learned – Becky Russell

Leadership is an necessary skill in all types of work in today’s world. Yet, many people think that they aren’t leaders for a variety of reasons. You may be surprised to learn that leadership is something that ALL of us can learn and in which ALL of us can become skilled.

Organizational Development

Beyond Institutional Preparedness: Partnerships for preparation, response, and recovery – Amy Zimmer
Learn how cultural heritage institutions in Colorado are collaborating with the emergency management community and each other to leverage capabilities and resources to protect and provide assistance to institutions affected by major disasters.

Collaboration: It CAN be learned – Becky Russell
We want to ensure that our student learners are effective collaborators who can thrive in today’s work force. And yet, how many of us adult learners have received guidance or training in collaborating effectively? What are the key ingredients of exemplary collaboration? And, how can we grow and provide guidance for others in this skill?
Join me in identifying behaviors of effective collaboration, and strategize ways to work with different learner styles at varying levels on the collaboration continuum. Walk away with ideas for more intentional and successful collaborative experiences with your staff and students.

Flexing Your Style: It’s not about yoga, it’s about a better workplace- Debbi MacLeod
No one is an island in the workplace. Now that you know your social style, learn to meet people closer to their style when the stakes are high. Learn methods to assess effectiveness in various situations that enables the reduction of interaction conflicts.

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.

What? No, way: Understanding social styles to build relationships and reduce conflict – Debbi MacLeod
Research shows that knowing and understanding social styles impacts success and satisfaction in the workplace. Workplace accomplishments depend on the ability to deal with other people. Understanding the behavioral style of yourself and others increases effectiveness while improving communication and interpersonal skills

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.

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.

Confidence Counts: Increasing your Confidence Quotient – Christine Kreger

  • Do you hesitate to try new things, take risks, or challenge yourself?
  • Do you hold yourself back because you feel like you aren’t good enough, or that you don’t have enough skills or experience?
  • Do you sometimes feel like a fraud or that you’re just faking it?

Join us for a lively discussion as we explore the complexities of confidence and its impact on the library profession. Together, we will examine common barriers to confidence, and consider specific strategies to boost confidence in ourselves and in our peers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Purpose and Motivation: Let’s slay some monsters – Christine Kreger and Katie Fox

Does my work matter? Am I having an impact? Am I doing what I’m good at? It’s ok to ask these big questions, because we all want our work to matter. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll dive into the importance of meaningful work. We’ll help you develop your own purpose statement by reflecting on your unique strengths and applying those strengths to the work that you already do. Aligning purpose, strengths and work can boost motivation and empower us all to confront the areas of our work that we struggle with (our monsters). Lastly, we will help you determine concrete actions for moving forward with your individual journey. . Be brave, be bold, and join us to kick some monster butt!

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!

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.


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.

Student-Centered Learning: Creating Engaging and Meaningful Experiences!

What is Student-Centered Learning? And, how can we create more meaningful and engaging learning both in our classrooms and with other educators? Attendees will walk away from this interactive webinar with strategies and ideas for making shifts to engage and motivate our learners.

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

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.

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.

Join us as we discuss how to conduct some basic research with your patrons to help make your website or other services easier to use.

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.


Tapping Into Colorado Government Information – Amy Zimmer and Samantha Hagar