Working With Young Professionals


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The notes for my presentation for MLA Annual: Working with Young Professionals

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Working With Young Professionals

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  2. 2. Who are “Young Professionals”:-  We says “people in their 20s and 30s”, but what does that mean?-  That includes individuals from two generations: Millennials and Generation Xers-  It includes people in many different parts of their life: college, first jobs, marriage, kids-  They are of different genders, races, sexual orientations, and socio-economic classes 2
  3. 3. So Who Are the Millenials:- The label refers those born after 1980 – the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. (PEW– Millennials Confident, Connected, Open to Change)-  More highly educated than previous generations-  Least likely to be married before 30-  Less white, more black and hispanic than any previous generation- They’re more likely to want to be good parents & having a successful career, but less likely to valuehaving a successful marriage or living a religious life- They are consistently more upbeat (when surveyed since 1990)- They are just as satisfied with their local community as other generations- They’re less likely to believe that people can be trusted-  75% are on social networking – they’re also more likely to use wifi other than at home, to have posted avideo online, to text, and to not have a landline-  83% sleep next to their cell phone-  80% of Millenians have texted in the last day (88% ever), while on 77% of Gen Xers have ever texted-  Less likely to have been employed 3
  4. 4. Why Should We Care? 4
  5. 5. We work hard to get users in young 5
  6. 6. We do a lot to keep them coming through high school. 6
  7. 7. And we’re a bastion for the elderly on a fixed income. 7
  8. 8. So what about the rest of the time? 8
  9. 9. Our friends groups are aging 9
  10. 10. We’re all trying to avoid this 10
  11. 11. Convincing young people to love the library is an investment in the library’s future – moreso thanconvincing children to love the library, convincing people in their 20s and 30s to love the library creates alifelong library user. 11
  12. 12. Millennials and Generation Xers are actually more likely to be satisfied with their Local Communities thanBoomers or the Silent Generation.They are more satisfied when they feel that their government is being transparent. The more you share,the happier they are. 12
  13. 13. So you are going to reach out 13
  14. 14. Your library is going to inform them 14
  15. 15. And your library is going to be transparent 15
  16. 16. I propose three things to reach out: Programming, Collection Management & Promotion, and Outreach 16
  17. 17. Programming 17
  18. 18. Probably the most popular choice for programs is book clubs – Perhaps this is because it’s a programwith which libraries are already very familiar –It fits the mission of the libraryIts something that librarians are good at doing 18
  19. 19. Most libraries seem to leave the library to do this club – and they generally choose either a coffee shop ora bar/restaurant. It makes the atmosphere more casual, it reaches out to local businesses, and it brings inusers that might not normally come into the library. 19
  20. 20. Don’t get too caught up in discussing the book if people don’t want to 20
  21. 21. Speed Dating – In the library or out, literary or not 21
  22. 22. There are some libraries that partition them – or have tried to. If you have a large LGBT community or alarge Furry community, consider partitioning separate speed dating events – even getting away from YP,try seniors. You could do them for sci-fi lovers around comic-con or for military men around Memorial Day.Or you could just stick to Valentine’s Day. 22
  23. 23. Keep it inclusive – only parition is you know that you have a large community to attend when you partitionSome good conversation starts – literary, movies, things that will bring them into the librarySome special day options: Valentine’s Day, Pride week, Sweetests Day, do a sci-fi lovers one duringComic-con 23
  24. 24. After Hours Programs. You need nothing but space. No preparation, no nothing. You just give space –perhaps an activity. 24
  25. 25. How about a board game night? Leave the library open just for these groups after hours on a Friday/Saturday night. Put our board games, make coffee, and give people a place to go that’s not a bar. 25
  26. 26. Music Programs. Ferndale – First Stop Fridays – Invite local bands. Bring in a totally different crowd, andmaybe some of your regulars as well. 26
  27. 27. It’s also good to bring people in for safety reasons 27
  28. 28. Don’t want to do the work. Get someone else to do it for you. 28
  29. 29. If you can’t convince your friends group to revitalize – create a new group.All you need is a small group of young people who use the library to become passionate about itLet them plan programming or fundraisers 29
  30. 30. Let them plan a fundraiser like:A fashion showA concertAn after hours barLet them plan what they like – they’ll enjoy it more and the library will benefit more 30
  31. 31. Collection Management 31
  32. 32. This is the area where the fewest people are doing and investigating. Some suggestions as to what wecan do? 32
  33. 33. The first thing to do is watch. Where do you see young people in your collection? Are they in the DVDssection? Your CDs? Do they like your nonfiction or your fiction? Are they in the romance or mysterysections? Are they in the teen section? 33
  34. 34. Listen. Get an ear to the ground. You can listen in on what young people are talking about, or you canmake a few relationships with a few young professionals and let them do the work for you. Are theremovies that they’re watching? Are there things that they want that you don’t have?I have a group of five young people who recommend music to me. If they see a great youtube video theyemail or tweet it to me and then I see if its something that the library wants. 34
  35. 35. Don’t feel up to the task, let people do it for you. Stop two or three YP who you see come in. Introduceyourself. Ask them what they like and ask them to tell you when they see something they want. Let themfacebook you, tweet you, email you, whatever you want.Lindseys list of books – all teen – made sure that we had themMary’s cd collectionI’ve found that giving them an area of responsibility has better results. I see that you really like cds, whatcan I get? Is there anything that you can send me to help me do my job better? 35
  36. 36. You may have to try something new and different – but if what you’re doing right now isn’t working, thentrying something new isn’t so bad. 36
  37. 37. Graphic Novels are not something to be scared of.They are also not necessarily(1)  For children(2)  Full of Super HeroesAs this current generation grows up, they’re going to want this format which they’ve known their whole lives, and you’ll need a collection to placate them – start now.To start a graphic novels collection:(1)  Start with just those graphic novels that are in popular culture Walking Dead (AMC TV Show), Watchmen (Movie), Sin City (Movie), Priest (Movie)(2)  Try picking one graphic novel off of the NYTImes graphic hardcover best seller list a month (a week if you can swing it). A lot of the graphic novels could go into youth or YA, but there are some that must land firmly into the adult section(3)  There is a core collection of graphic novels that every library should own without question: Maus (Art Speigelman), Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi), Stitches (David Small), Blankets (Craig Thompson), Watchman (Alan Moore), Sandman – Series (Neil Gaiman) 37
  38. 38. There is a core collection of graphic novels that every library should own without question: Maus (ArtSpeigelman), Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi), Stitches (David Small), Blankets (Craig Thompson),Watchman (Alan Moore), Sandman – Series (Neil Gaiman) 38
  39. 39. Display something new!Nov/Dec – Cooking & Feb – LoveOct – HalloweenDecorationJan – Weight LossGraphic NovelsTeen Books for AdultsBooks into Movies (Read it – CareersIt doesn’t just help to draw attention from YP – it also livens up the rest of your patrons who have alsoseen the same thing every year. 39
  40. 40. Outreach 40
  41. 41. The simplest thing that you can do is to reach out.Literally, to someone already in the library 41
  42. 42. Young professionals can use computersThey can use the online catalog (well, they think so).They’re not inclined to ask for help or suggestions.So you need to reach out.You need to make the effort 42
  43. 43. Stop people at the circulation desk. “O, I read that book, it’s great.” “I’ve been thinking of trying that cd,what’s your favorite Ke$ha song?”It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, and it doesn’t have to be a young professional.Commit to talking to one person a week who has never talked to you at the reference desk each day. It’sa small thing, but it gives you a chance to interact with, and endear yourself to, a patron who might nototherwise be invested in the library. 43
  44. 44. Roving reference will only get you so far.Asking whether or not someone needs help won’t always end in an opportunity for outreach. Casualconversation is sometimes the way to go. 44
  45. 45. But so often – they feel like this 45
  46. 46. Unfortunately, sometimes we feel like this 46
  47. 47. How do we bridge the gap?(1)  Don’t be scared or intimidated. Seriously – young people are people, too(2)  Do your research. We are all products of the events that shaped our lives. Knowing those events will help you better understand and relate to younger generations. For almost 20 years Beloit has made a list every year of things that each entering freshman class has had and has never had. (Beloit College Mindset List). Some notable ones for the class of 2015 (1)  US Tax Forms have always been available in Spanish (2)  “Amazon” has never been just a river (it was founded in 1994, online in 1995) (3)  We have never asked and they have never had to tell (4)  Arnold Palmer has always been a drink (5)  New Kids have always been known as NKOTB (6)  Ferris Bueller could be their father (7)  From my year (2006) (1)  Born in the USA could have been played to celebrate their birth (it was release 3 days after I was born) (2)  Genetic testing and DNA screening have always been available (3)  The drinking age has always been 21 (4)  Hip-hop and rap have always been popular music forms (5)  A Hair band has always been a fashion accessory(3)  Try something new. Do you wonder why people listen to Ke$ha (I wonder myself sometimes)? Read zombie books (I love zombie books)? Start flash mobs (I love a good flash mob)? Do your research – listen to Ke$ha, read Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, watch some flash mob videos. Try something new.(4)  Be honest – if you don’t know what they’re talking about, ask them. It will only make them thing that you care and you’re interested – and it will better prepare you for the next person 47
  48. 48. 3 Things: Programming, Collection Management & Promotion, and Outreach 48
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