A forum to present new ideas to benefit all Nevada libraries brought about 120 participants to Carson City this past week.
The Nevada Library Association concluded its two-day annual conference Friday at the Carson Nugget and Business Innovation Resource Center.
"The Carson City Library has made significant changes to the way we do business. Many changes have come as a result of needing to adapt to economic conditions and the increasing demands on our services. Nearly every change we have made, in the last four years especially, came to us through learning and researching new opportunities to improve our efficiencies and effectiveness," said Carson City Library Director Sara Jones.
Six sponsors, 16 exhibitors, 40 panelists and 27 sessions made up the conference mix addressing the overarching theme of meeting the demand for information services while addressing the reality of severe economic challenge.
"One of the best ways to learn about new ideas and services is by participating in professional conferences. Our library workers had a unique opportunity to hear a multitude of speakers to give them new ideas for future implementation," Jones said. "We are proud to host the statewide conference of librarians and grateful for the opportunity that every worker at the library gets to participate. We appreciate Carson City's understanding that the library needed to be closed on Friday so our entire staff could attend."
Early Friday morning the Carson City Library staff attended a special session with John Huber, author of Lean Library Management, Eleven Strategies for Reducing Costs and Improving Customer Services. Huber has traveled the country helping more than 100 manufacturing, distribution, retail and library organizations transform their operations, she said.
For the library world, Huber's clients have included the New York Public Library and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, among others. He has a degree in industrial engineering and management from Oklahoma State University and holds three U.S. patents.
For all attendees, Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Susan Hildreth, joined Huber, Jones, Deputy Superintendent of Washoe County School District Jane Woodburn, and Director of the Cleveland Public Library Felton Thomas in a panel discussion, titled, "More with less: Innovative approaches to providing quality library service."
"More than ever, today's libraries can provide essential services and a meaningful library experience for the families, students, businesses and workers they serve," said Carson City Deputy Library Director Tammy Westergard.
"Forward-thinking libraries with a priority on using new technologies, efficient service models, and highly skilled staff strengthen a community's portals of access to information, tools and professional services that enhance lifelong learning, and that is exactly what we are all about here in Carson City and aim to deliver with our new Knowledge and Discovery Center project," she said.