Posts by: Gail Zachariah

CHILIS Fundraising Survey

At the fall CHILIS business meeting, I reported on the Fundraising Committee’s plans for the coming year. I explained how we have submitted on grant to provide mini-grants. We hope to submit additional grants and to solicit gifts from businesses and individuals. You can help us write compelling appeals by sharing your ideas and stories by filling out this short survey.

Here is a link to the survey:

Thank you for your assistance!

Gail Zachariah

CHILIS President’s Report

CHILIS’s greatest strengths lie in its energetic, committed, and generous members.
During this exciting yet challenging time for libraries, CHILIS is leading New Hampshire Youth Librarians to quality library service to children and their families.

Our achievements this year include three excellent readers choice lists for youth, two stimulating one-day conferences, an exciting summer reading program, and the selection of inspiring and accomplished Debbie Lafford from the Pelham Public Library as the CHILIS Children’s Librarian of the Year. These accomplishments are built on commitment to quality library service to youth and our beliefs that:

Only the best is good enough for children.
Meetings should be full of the gift of laughter.
An exchange of ideas is a basic ingredient of any meeting.

Libraries are changing fast. It seems that every day there is something new device or service for youth librarians to buy and incorporate. Just as we anticipate and embrace the innovations of the future, CHILIS nurtures the traditional initiatives like summer reading programs and state readers choice awards that have helped to define us and continue to express our quality and core values. In the coming years, with shrinking resources and greater demands in our communities, the role of CHILIS in developing and supporting competencies cannot help but increase. Excellence and hard work of member volunteers will lead us into a bright and interesting future. I eagerly anticipate it, and thank you for the opportunity to lead CHILIS on this part of the path.

Respectfully submitted,

Gail Zachariah
CHILIS Past President

A New Year; A New Direction

At this time of year I often try to focus and redirect.  I look at what I’ve been doing to see if it works and I ask myself how can I do better. Here’s my quick list of what I’ll like to do in 2013.

  1. Busy families drop-in to make a craft anytime on summer Fridays at the Keene Public Library

    Busy families drop in to make a craft anytime on summer Fridays at the Keene Public Library

    Meet Library Users Where They Are. Do we offer programs in the right time and place for busy working families? If not, why not? And what can we do to make it easier to use the library and to attend events?  One way could be to turn more structured library programs into passive drop-in programs. During December and the summer months, we have a drop-in craft Friday. Almost everyone that comes into the department on these days participates.  Perhaps we should do this more regularly. This year I want to consider why our evening family programs have not always had the numbers we anticipated.  Perhaps evening programs may need to be a bit bigger and brighter than our weekly daytime offerings. And maybe the timing is wrong. At the Keene Public Library, we offer a number of big draw Saturday afternoon programs like our annual Family Ladybug Book Award Festival, Star Wars Day, and Family Gingerbread House Workshops. If we had  add occasional high impact evening programs to our schedule of events, would we reach a whole new population that has been too busy to make a trip to the library?

  2. Lego

    Lego brings in new families at the Keene Public Library

    Make New Friends. I want to bring new people into the library and to have them return regularly.  This evening I noticed families asking for directions in the library. “Where’s the Trustee’s Room?” It dawned on me that if these people are probably new to the library and whatever program was happening in the Trustee’s Room had achieved something I wish all my programs did. It brought new people into the library. This year I want to make sure I’m offering some programs that will bring in new people.  Our monthly Lego program does but what other programs can I offer that will bring in people that have to ask for directions? I recognize that I’ve been guilty of taking the easy way out and offering my the programs I like without taking the trouble to find out what my patrons want. Sometimes it is too easy to do last year’s successful program again this year.  And then after a decade you realize maybe the program isn’t so hot anymore. I just found some good suggestions on how to make sure my programs are relevant to my current patrons on Bryce Don’t Play. He suggests that we watch a little of the new shows on Nick Jr., PBS, and the Cartoon Network and to pay attention to kids’ shirts.  Read more »