All branches of the Oconee County Public Library will be closed on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 for a staff training day. Book returns at the branches will be open, and the website, http://www.oconeelibrary.org, will also be available. All branches will reopen at normal times on Thursday, October 6.
Several times a year, we close down our four branches and the bookmobile, and the staff gathers together for training. Next Wednesday’s agenda has great variety:
We will hear from Joe Ryan speaking on the topic of “Child Safety on the Internet.” Mr. Ryan is an education coordinator for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He visits schools across the state and teaches students about the dangers of social media.
We will have a group report from six OCPL staff members who recently attended a one-day workshop at a branch library in Richland County.
Our Technical Services Librarian, Robena Barton, will present the results of her work on the OCPL’s online catalog, which makes our digital resources visible via the catalog.
The library’s new assistive technology computer and software, acquired through a grant from the South Carolina State Library, will be demonstrated to the library staff.
Small group breakout sessions will feature teams of library staff demonstrating the use of OCPL’s digital products to other staff members. All staff members are expected to be able to instruct the public in their use.
Representatives from the Friends of the Library will explain their bookstore operation, which is housed in the basement of the Walhalla Library.
Continuing education, in the form of In-Service Days, is instrumental in training our staff to serve the public because public libraries are constantly changing as we adapt to changes in technology. We have added the following digital products in the past six years: Overdrive, Mango Languages, Ancestry.com, Value Line (online edition), New York Times (online edition, available in both English and Spanish), Flipster(digital magazines). Moreover, since we are heavily dependent on part-time staff, and these part-time positions turn over fairly often, we must constantly train new staff members. In-Service Day also gives existing staff the opportunity to meet the new staff members.
For our March In-Service Day, we travelled to Spartanburg County so that the staff could tour the Main Library in downtown Spartanburg and the Boiling Springs branch library. Touring this much larger library educated our staff about newer technologies and library services, which we hope to implement in Oconee County some day. All county libraries in South Carolina compete with each other to offer materials and services to our patrons, for we know that public libraries are part of the quality of life that both individuals and companies look at when deciding where to locate.*
* We noted from today’s WGOG news broadcast that Spartanburg County landed Michelin’s Distribution Facility. Oconee County had hoped the facility would be housed in Oconee County’s Industrial Park near Fair Play.