Here’s this week’s news from WebJunction and WebJunction Minnesota:

·         New WebJunction Courses Ranging from Hopeful Workplace to Trends in Frontline Customer Service

·         Crossroads December 2013 – Delivering Top-notch Customer Service
·         WebJunction Home Page Spotlights
·         Upcoming WebJunction Webinars – December 2013 to February 2014

New WebJunction Courses Ranging from Teens & Technology to Trends in Frontline Customer Service

WebJunction staff have added new content in the WebJunction course catalog.  Check out these new courses – including:   

Where Teens and Technology Meet — HOMAGO (Hanging Out. Messing Around. Geeking Out) is an exploratory learning approach that has been used successfully to engage youth. The Howard County Library System’s HiTech Digital Media Lab applies innovative teaching methods based on HOMAGO, demonstrating that teens learn most effectively through hands-on projects and peer-to-peer communications.

Learn about:
·         the HOMAGO approach
·         how HiTech Labs engage teens at the library
·         the connection between digital media and STEM
·         how to apply hands-on instruction in a teen-centered environment
·         what works, both high and low tech

>> Login to the WebJunction catalog and add this course to your learning plan or launch it right away. Login today!
The Hopeful Workplace (Infopeople webinar).  There’s doom and gloom in library land, but futurist Joan Frye Williams and strategist George Needham are having none of it! These passionate library advocates believe that dealing with desperate economic times need not make us desperate. They offer practical techniques for improving your own job satisfaction and moving your organization in a more positive direction. Anyone in the library community who wants to see libraries move forward (library staff, volunteers, friends, trustees, and commissioners) can find ways to support each other, build trust and confidence, and develop services that recapture that feeling of success for ourselves and our communities.
>> Login to the WebJunction catalog and add this course to your learning plan or launch it right away. Login today!

New and Emerging Trends in Front Line Customer Service (Infopeople webinar) What is the use of a library if nobody comes? Or worse, what if they come but don’t come back?  Libraries offer a compelling set of resources and services to meet the needs of their communities. But, old service models often focus on the needs of the library first — and the user second.

Retail establishments, including bookstores, coffee shops, information services, computing services, and purveyors of e-readers, are encroaching on the library’s user base by replicating services traditionally associated with libraries.
Consumer research has shown repeatedly that understanding user needs and cultivating good customer relationships is key to the success of the modern organization. Creating a customer-focused library enables staff to know their users and meet their needs. A customer-focused library means more users, engaged staff, and a satisfying relationship with your community.
This webinar will present success stories of customer-focused libraries and will give participants strategies to shift their own libraries to a customer focus. At the end of the presentation, participants will:
• Understand the changing customer service milieu in which libraries operate.
• Be aware of tools and techniques to understand customer needs.
• Learn scalable strategies for empowering customers to serve themselves and staff to give strong service.
• Have a checklist to analyze their own organizations as well as best practices to get the process started.
This content will be of interest to staff in all types of libraries, especially front-desk staff.
>> Login to the WebJunction catalog and add this course to your learning plan or launch it right away. Login today!

Crossroads December 2013 – Delivering Top-notch Customer Service
The December issue of WebJunction’s monthly newsletter Crossroads is all about customer service — providing top-notch customer support, and engaging and communicating with patrons in meaningful ways. 

Feature Story: Customer Service that’s Cause for a Smile
How is a library like a deli counter? Or like Nordstrom or the Ritz? All of these businesses rely on excellent customer service skills to delight patrons. As many expert resources will say, good customer service is grounded in good common sense: be kind; be thoughtful; do your best to help. Top customer service organizations incorporate these ideas, and make a habit of constant improvement, to create exceptional experiences for those they serve.

Key Resources:

·         Customer Service that’s Cause for a Smile: Discover customer service best practices and tools to help manage interactions and feedback.
·         In the webinar Extreme Customer Service, Every Time, explore practical, actionable ideas for delivering excellent service.
·         Learn how to stay atop the changing technology landscape and remain relevant, if not core, to your community’s needs in the webinar The Future is Now: Rural Library as Innovation Incubator.

Question of the MonthWhat helps you most to understand customer needs, or measure customer satisfaction? Take the poll »

·         View the full December issue.
·         Not subscribed to Crossroads yet? Not a problem! Anyone can subscribe to receive Crossroads once a month in your inbox.

WebJunction Home Page Spotlights

Putting the “e” in eHealthLiz Morris / Published: 02 December 2013
Technology is a central feature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Individuals and families are encouraged to utilize the online health insurance marketplace to apply for coverage, assess options, and enroll. This assumes a level of familiarity with and access to online services that libraries have a well-documented history of supporting patrons with.
The first weeks of the ACA open enrollment period have been marked by successes and challenges with online enrollment platforms at the national and state level. As the technical requirements for ACA engagement continue to evolve, libraries are in a unique position to advance their role as trusted community technology service providers.
A review of ACA resources provided by the Lake County Public Library (LCPL) in Merrillville, IN, highlights ways libraries can prepare their patrons for success in the health insurance marketplace. In addition to providing general information sessions and comprehensive ACA resources for patrons, the library also provides computer classes on email essentials and the online application process. Debbie Rzepczynski is the Library Skills Trainer for LCPL, and intends to offer these services for the duration of the open enrollment period, which runs through March 31, 2014.

Read more >> Putting the “e” in eHealth

Hooray for Healthy Work Habits!
How to reduce stress through positive communications, proactive time management, and a productive approach to problems
Megan Knapp  /  Published: 19 November 2013 

What is your biggest stressor today?

If you replied, “Too much to do!” you are not alone. When presenters in the recent webinar Grace Under Pressure: Tips and Tricks to Cultivate a Positive Approach asked this same question, many types of stress filled the screen; but the sheer amount of work to manage, both in the office and in life, topped the list. Speakers Cheryl Heywood (Timberland Regional Library, WA), Georgia Lomax (Pierce County Library System, WA), and Anna Shelton (OCLC Program Consultant) helped with ideas and strategies, sharing useful tools and habits we can use to help manage time, projects, and perspectives. Though change is constant, and work performance and satisfaction is a continual journey, there are many steps we can take to pave a smoother path.

Read more >> Grace Under Pressure: Tips and Tricks to Cultivate a Positive Approach

Upcoming WebJunction Webinars – December 2013 to February 2014
December:*Postponed* The Power of Transformational Stories
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1 p.m., 60 min
Registration: we will announce a new date once one is confirmed

Extreme Customer Service, Every Time
Thursday, Dec. 12, 1 p.m. Central, 60 min.
Commitment to great customer service goes beyond “service with a smile.” It is a commitment to truly engage and communicate with patrons and to find ways to extend the experience above and beyond their expectations. Building on the success of the Darien Library, whose reputation is known internationally for providing “extreme customer service,” presenter Gretchen Caserotti will provide you with practical and actionable ideas that can help your library, whether small or large, commit to excellent customer service.

Presented by: Gretchen Caserotti, director, Meridian Library District (ID), who has served from frontline librarian to policy maker, and was trained at the Darien Library (CT).

Flexible Spaces – Flexible FuturesWednesday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m. Central, 60 min.
As libraries continue to evolve as community spaces and information hubs, there is an opportunity to explore how patrons use library space and to create spaces that are flexible and adaptable to changing needs. Presenter Dri Ralph has helped lead the King County Library System (WA) through an extensive bond project which has included the renovation and/or building of 30 libraries. She will share highlights of their design choices, ideas for flexible use of space, and tips for engaging the community in the planning and design process.  
The webinar will also explore options for libraries with limited budgets. You’ll learn about opportunities to help any library make innovative choices for engaging with patrons.
Presented by: Kendra Morgan, OCLC Senior Program Manager, and Dri RalphFacilities Design Coordinator, King County Library System

Library Surveys for SuccessTuesday, Feb. 4, 1 p.m. Central, 60 min.
Surveys are often the tool of choice when you want to determine how to meet the needs of your community or measure your library’s impact. But do you know how to use the tool effectively? Choosing the right survey style for the situation and knowing which question type will elicit the best responses are critical elements for gathering meaningful information. Learn how to conduct an effective survey that can be used to make, measure, and meet your library’s goals. The results may just surprise you. At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will:
·         Understand why and how to conduct a survey
·         Describe the key elements of an effective library survey
·         Discuss the pros and cons of different survey styles
·         Identify  5 main question types and when to use each of them
Presented by:  Colleen Eggett, Training Coordinator, Utah State Library

The Iron is HOT: Libraries as Innovative & Creative Community Catalysts
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m., 60 min.
Renew your sense of hope for the longtime viability of public libraries. Presenter Mary Lou Carolan sees amazing and out-of-the-ordinary opportunities for your library to serve as a vibrant and active community center. The library can be the creative catalyst to ignite community enthusiasm. Learn about the ‘Inside/Outside Approach’ and other engaging and fun marketing practices. Find out how to implement ‘placemaking’ for lighter, quicker, cheaper ways to attract more users. And catch the sense of urgency that libraries need to act now:  Hope, Opportunity, Time – strike while the iron is HOT
This webinar is hosted in collaboration with Geek the Library, a community awareness campaign.
Presented by: Mary Lou Carolan, director, Wallkill Public Library, New York
Mary Ann Van Cura, State Library Services
Cecelia Boone, Minitex
Affiliation with WebJunction Minnesota is free and available to members of the Minnesota library community. Tell your colleagues! 
The Institute of Museum and Library Services, a Federal Agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning, in conjunction with State Library services, a division of the Minnesota Department  of Education, which administers federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants, supports the WebJunction Minnesota project.