Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seventh Stop...Social Intelligence

Social Intelligence (SI) describes one's ability to quickly assess the emotions of colleagues and customers and adapt their words and actions accordingly. This skill is important when library staff work with customers and colleagues to complete daily tasks and collaborate on larger projects. Trust and strong working relationships lead to greater productivity and are built through SI.

Social intelligence is natural. We automatically feel empathy for others and SI helps us express it to colleagues and customers throughout the course of our day. SI allows us to focus outwardly so we can pick up on the social cues our customers and colleagues provide asking for help, support, and feedback.

Group Exercise: Name That Emotion


Increase the ability to recognize emotions in co-workers and customers.


Note: This is a group activity. Facilitator must fill out form and list all participants. 

Please choose a facilitator for this exercise. This person will submit the names of participants and the total training time upon completion using the form on Harriet.  Up to 1 hour training credit will be given for this exercise. 
  1. Facilitator Prep: Procure handout listing emotions by filling out this form and make slips of paper for each emotion. 
  2. Five minutes discussion: Why is it important to identify emotions in oneself and others?
  3. Each individual chooses a slip of paper with an emotion.
  4. Work in pairs to act out the emotion for one's partner who is tasked with guessing the emotion.
  5. After pair activity, come back together as large group.
  6. Large group discussion: What were the challenges and rewards in understanding the emotion presented by one's partner? How can this skill be helpful in the workplace? Can group members recall a situation where understanding the emotions of colleagues or customers led to positive outcomes?
  7. Allow 30 minutes for the exercise and 10 minutes for facilitator preparation. 


Team members will increase trust, communication and conflict-resolutions skills through this exercise which should allow for more effective collaboration with colleagues and customers. 

Adapted from Developing Emotional and Social Intelligence by Marcia Hughes and Amy Miller.

When you have submitted the participants at this station, you will receive the your medal and get up to 1 hour of training.  You will have until October 11th to complete this exercise. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sixth Stop...Transdisciplinarity and the Traveling Book

Literacy is an ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines.

Transdisciplinarity is a skill that especially relates to everyone that works in a library system. While we are experts in our own discipline, library life does not happen in a bubble! The knowledge and appreciation for the work of others expounds our ability to better our own work. Understanding other’s process also illuminates why things are the way they are and why things happen the way the happen!

How does a book end up in the Harris County Public Library? It seems like a very simple question at first glance. In actuality, there are many travels that a book has to navigate before it even enters a Harris County Library branch. Not one HCPL circulating title enters the library without going through various hands and multiple steps. We are all interconnected by the nature of our work. 

Watch the film below as it illustrates the many disciplines involved in building our library collection. 

Complete ONE of the following TWO options.  This is worth one hour of training credit.

Option 1 - Film Questionnaire 

Use the form to answer the following questions.
  1. What is the purpose of the budget meeting?
  2. What type of materials does Michael Saperstein select?
  3. Name one of the tools used to select materials (Elaine is the example)?
  4. What is the Horizon status of items that have been authorized for purchase by the Acquisitions Librarian?
  5. What company supplies most of our library books?
  6. What department places barcodes on library materials?
  7. Name one label that the processing department adds?
  8. What type of materials requires extra hand processing?
  9. When materials have gone through all four featured departments, what is the next step?
  10. In your own words and based on what you learned by watching the film, briefly describe the following:
    1. Materials Selection
    2. Acquisitions
    3. Cataloging
    4. Processing

Option 2 - The Job Exchange

After watching “The Traveling Book" film, complete one of the following tasks. Try and get out of your comfort zone! Pick something you would not normally do within a regular work day!  Work with a Staff Expert* and find out how to do your selected task!

(Note*: A Staff Expert is the person who would normally complete the task on a daily basis.)

  • Prepare a Storytime craft.
  • Process a book.
  • Resolve the Hold Expired Report.
  • Read a story at Storytime.
  • Receive an item in Receiving.
  • Checkin Delivery.
  • Resolve the Pull List.
  • Process Holds.
  • Process an incoming ILL.
  • Request an ILL for a customer.
  • Facilitate a Book Club.
  • Create a Display.
  • Answer the main phone line and transfer calls.
  • Shelf shift a small collection.
  • Weed 10 books.
  • Complete a reference interview with a Teen or Tween.
  • Take a fine and settle the payment on a library record.
  • Straighten the supply closet and talk to your Supply Clerk. Learn about ordering.
  • Update a branch schedule.
  • Upload photos to Flickr.
  • Post on your branch Facebook account or Tweet on your branch Twitter account.
  • Make and apply tub lid sheets and sort tubs.
  • Observe Online Reference.
  • Place a print request or print a print request.
  • Create a blog post and suggest it for use.
Use the form to report back on your experience:
  1. What is your job title?
  2. What task did you select?
  3. Who was your Staff Expert?
  4. What did you learn about the role of your Staff Expert?
You will have until September 27th to complete one of the above exercises.  You can earn credit for only one of the two exercises.