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"Walk into a Library for the First Time: Deforest Library

LIS 712
by

Briony Zlomke

on 13 March 2013

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Transcript of "Walk into a Library for the First Time: Deforest Library

Surprises! But about connecting with your audience Library Website First Impressions and Hospitality My first interaction with the library staff was very satisfactory. The staff quickly answered any questions I had, and if they did not know, they asked a more knowledgeable member. I further observed the staff when they were interacting with other patrons. They always appeared cheerful and quickly offered assistance. By Briony Zlomke
LIS 712 203 Library Street
Deforest, Wisconsin 53532 Children's Section T
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E Getting There February 21, 2013 Traveled from South Madison to Deforest, Wisconsin. Streets were marked clearly and accurately.

There was some road work but it only minimally interfered with traveling.

Upon entering the Village of Deforest, there is a road sign indicating a library straight ahead. Parking Arrival Deforest Library offers two parking lots. One on Library Street and the other on Market Street. Market Street is another alternative entrance to the Library.

The parking lot was fairly clean with snow removal, but some of the areas were a little slippery with ice.

There appears to be enough parking. While the parking lot seems to be narrow, there is enough to room reverse and park.

There is a small parking lot at near the corner of Commerce Street and Market Street. However, you must cross the railroad tracks to reach it. Outside Entrance Outside entrance displays a clear "OPEN" sign. Below the "OPEN" sign are the library's hours, location of the bike rack, and prohibition of weapons. Near Outside Entrance Offers a handicapped
accessible entrance. There is a bike rack on location. However, it is only east side of the building Each side of the building has a book drop. The only con is there no book drop drive-thur.
Patrons have the option of parking their car and depositing their books on the side of the building. Near the Library, there are several establishments. Initially it does not appear that that they detract from the library's exterior. Most share the same facade as the library. A concern is the sharing of the parking lot. Interior Entrance Each lobby is labeled with a plaque of the donations of those who made it possible. Each lobby is outfitted with a television that rotates announcements. This is beneficial, as patrons do not have to go on a scavenger hunt for information. In the east side lobby, there is a bulletin with the Board of Trustee's board minutes and announcements. Finally, there is a directory. Other Internal Features In each lobby there are additional material. While the tax forms are helpful, I thought that extra bins and racks slightly cluttered the area. VHS Sale Rack Free Magazine Exchange Tax rack and table Library Proper The very first thing you notice when you walk Deforest Library is the ceiling. It is absolutely stunning. Library Proper Continued The set-up of the library is a two-leveled facility. The circulation is the center of library. The library also has an open floor plan, however, at times it felt a bit cramped. The flow of the library was disjointed. The layout of the children's area was interesting. Using blue cartons, the library creatively uses them to display their books. The bins also offer the area some color. The only concern is that it is difficult for your eyes to navigate the area when not in a broad aisle.
The only concern I had was the circulation desk, itself. With several check-out points, Staff was constantly moving around it. Sometimes, you had to flag down for assistance, or wait for them to notice that you were waiting at a particular area. Some perks to children's area are the numerous theme book bags. There is also some neat and unique features in the children's area. One is an awesome duck blind for children to sit and read in. It is on loan by a local man. To possibly compensate for the navigation of the bins, Deforest places several signs directing patrons to the correct area. For easy readers, the library color coded the levels. While this is not new, I did appreciate that the library explained each level. Children are also able to buy books and treats with the dragon bucks they earned through their Winter Reading Program. The layout of the teen's section seems easier to navigate. Utilizing traditional shelves, this section allows the eye to rest and discern the content. Fiction Wall Audiobook Shelf Graphic Novel and Comic Book Spinners The student section also appeals to teens' favorite activity of hanging out with each other. More than half of the section is devoted to lounging. The teen section also prominently houses a Captain Jack Sparrow cutout that displays upcoming Teen activities. A nice surprise was the inclusion of the "tween" population. Between the children's and teen's area is a whiteboard that displays activities specifically for ages, 9-12. Deforest has an interesting set-up for bathrooms. There is currently only one bathroom on the main floor that is accessible to the patrons and it remains locked. When I inquired why it was locked, staff said they had trouble with vandalism a few years ago. There are additional bathrooms in the basement, but these also remained locked. This is the second bathroom. It is in the children's program room. It is only available to parents and children participating in the activity. C
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F February 20, 2013 http://www.deforest.lib.wi.us/ Positives The webpage's layout is easy to navigate.
Each navigation button is clearly labeled and the drop down menus adequately list relevant links.

Databases are presented in a clean format. It appears they put the most popular ones in the drop-down menu.

The library uses their front page for upcoming events. This is useful as patrons do not have to dig to locate the information.

The website lists the library hours, address, and comments/concerns directly under their home banner.

There is a calendar link. In this link, the library utilizes Google Calendar to document all upcoming programs.

For Tweens who like to write creative stories, the library connects to Dragonbrood message board. Tweens can post and interact with other young writers. Social Media Twitter
Use to update about programs
Facebook
Use to update on programs and post the newest information.
Pinterest
Document photos from programs and displays. Cons There is no clearly defined list of staff members. If you click on certain links, such as children's programming, it mentions how you may contact them.

There is no clear distinction for e-books. Patrons would already need to know that Overdrive is where they are supposed to go to access this information.

There are no listed guidelines for fines, fees, and lost materials. On the "About" page, patrons can find out what services are available to them through the library.

Library website demonstrates an acceptance of social media. They update them hourly.

When you click on the databases, you learn that Deforest is part of the South Central Library System. Top Three Positive Aspects Top Three Negatives Deforest Library website is one of the most user friendly library sites I have ever used. Easily navigable and clearly labeled, patrons should have relatively little difficulty in accessing the information they are seeking.

This library definitely prides themselves in their programming. With the children's storytime room and the abundance and variety of activities offered, patrons have many options.

The last positive was the resources that the library makes available to their patrons. When I inquired what was available for check out, the staff member listed a Xbox 360, a Kinect, GPS systems, flip video cameras, cameras, a karaoke machine, and a pocket projector. The set-up of the children's area is problematic with the bins. I thought they were more distracting than helpful.
If I had the funds, I would invest in traditional shelves. I believe it would provide cleaner lines. When I was walking around, I interacted with two specific staff members, the assistant library director and the children's librarian. The assistant library director came out of her office and provided me some interesting information about the library. Assistant Library Director's Cat The other staff that assisted me was the children's librarian. When I was doing my final walk through, I discovered that the children's program room was open. The children's librarian allowed me to take pictures and explained everything in the room for me. A small children's computer outside of the children's program room. There was only one of these computers. It would have been nice to offer another computer for the children. There is only one circulation/help desk. Staff must come to the circulation desk for assistance. This could cause delay on a busy day. I also never saw the circulation staff leave behind the desk. I wondered how staff helps patrons who arelooking for a specific topic.
If I could properly rearrange the shelving units, I would incorporate a small desk for reference and the children's area. This may ease the pressure off circulation desk. The last negative is fairly minor. Upon walking upstairs, I noticed a staff area that was marked off. In this area there were boxes carelessly thrown on top of each other. I believe it may have been donations, but it was very sloppy. I would simply clean this area up. If it is donations, carts or shelves will make the area tidier. Adult Section Reference Section. The library offers tables for studying and reviewing its books. Near the reference area and nestled between playaways and books on tape was a sitting area. The seats were comfortable. Upstairs, the fiction shelves were clearly labeled with their themes. Scattered upstairs were these mini shelves displaying readers' favorite fiction and non-fiction reads. I thought this was nice for the library to include their users' viewpoints. The non-fiction was set up traditionally with the shelves, but the content was differently arranged. The assistant director mentioned that a few years ago the library participated in the "Even Start National Liberty" program. They learned that adults who had a lower reading level or who were learning English preferred juvenile non-fiction. To solve this issue, they integrated all young adult, adult, and juvenile fiction into this area. This eliminated any embarrassment from browsing the younger shelves. The YA sticker indicates young adult non-fiction. The pink sticker with the black dot is juvenile non-fiction. The adult magazine collection is located at the end of the non-fiction area. Back issues of the magazine are located on the opposite wall. The problem with the bins is that while they are on the lower shelf, they wrap around to the top shelf of the next shelf. Someone would need to know to turn around and look at the top shelf. Bathrooms One stall bathroom. New Reflection Alternative School The basement of the library houses the New Reflection Alternative School. The School is composed of thirteen students and has been in session since thirteen years. Eight of those years have been held in the library. The students' computer lab. Instead of desks, the students sit on couches. The teacher said that for the most part the students do really well. Sometimes they do dose off. Students are able to buy coke products. The school actually receives a portion of the funds. They normally use it for field trips. Children's Storytime Room The children's room has tables scattered throughout it. The chairs are elementary level, so both children and adults can still comfortably in them. The children's librarian insisted on having a sink for crafts when they were building the library. A children's nature table . It has items for the children to touch and feel. The puzzle and toy table. The children's librarian gave up on cleaning it. These are theme boxes that only day cares are allowed to check out. The ball pit. The children's librarian releases them for the toddlers to play with after storytime. There were security cameras all in the basement. I asked if this was school-related, and they said no. However, it has been utilized to capture students doing things they were not supposed to be doing. The historical society room was smaller but still had an interesting display about music. They began in the 1800s and ended in the 1950s A Deforest marching band uniform. I learned something new at the library. The historical society's Valentine Day case was in the lobby. Computers The computers are located next
to the reference area. The computers do not have logins. The circulation does ask that patrons check in with them before getting on the computer. Patrons are not allowed on the computer if their fines are over $5. The computer system is on a first come basis. The time limit is one hour, but patrons may stay on it longer if no one is waiting. The rules for the computer. The Many Signs of Deforest Library Labeling Cds Plants Library Rules Español? Anyone Guidelines and Suggestions Community Bulletin Board R.E.A.D and Watch a Movie Program Signs for Adults Children and Tweens Signs After Thoughts Activity level: The library was extremely quiet. I arrived around 2ish and was there for over 2 1/2 hours. There are a few areas, the conferences rooms, that patrons could go when activity does increase, but these are limited. There was enough staff to adequately help those in the library. Collection: The library has a fairly diverse and updated collection. They have blu-rays, video and Leapster games, and the newest releases of books and DVDs. Surprisingly, Deforest still has retained a collection of books on tape and VHS movies. These specific collections do not appear to circulate as much as other items. It is evident that Deforest has begun a weeding process of these out-dated material.
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