November 20, 2014

Purchases for Local History/Genealogy

Question:     Who in Libraries made the decision to purchase matchbooks, pillow covers, and silver serving trays? What money was used to make these purchases? How does any of this fit with the strategic plan of the Library Department?

Answer by Pat Cook, Central Librarian, M.E.O. Central Library:  Who in Libraries made the decision to purchase matchbooks, pillow covers, and silver serving trays?
Pat Cook purchased most of these items, though some were donations from customers. The local history collection needs to connect with all of our citizens whether they are natives of Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach or have moved here.  This includes those whose first encounter with the area was due to military service. Most of these items were purchased using the Central Library City Credit Card, when that happens Pat gets the bill, it was approved by David, was then approved by Marcy, who then got approval from Cindy Curtis and then everything went to finance who then approved the expense. 

The matchbook covers (they no longer have the matches in them J) were purchased to enhance the collection of materials about local businesses, either current or defunct, in the Virginia Beach and Tidewater area.  In many cases these covers may be the only record remaining concerning a business that was well known at the time of its existence. Customers looking through the notebook that has copies of the covers have been excited when they recognized a restaurant, motel, gas station or business they had forgotten.  These covers help our customers “ take a walk down memory lane” and have resulted in donations of additional local history materials.

The pillow covers were purchased as display items to help promote the local history collection.  These were sold as gifts to servicemen to send to their family and friends and often say “To my Sweetheart” “To my Wife” “To my mother and father”, they list the branch of or location of service -  Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or one of the local military bases. When they were in the display cases in the local history area, we had many comments about the fact that family members still had these from servicemen from WWI and WW2. In fact we had someone come in yesterday to see the display (which is no longer there) and said they had one of these cases.

The silver plated serving tray, was purchased along with other local military base memorabilia for displays to promote the local history collection which includes military materials.  This tray was given to the retiring commander of Camp Bradford (Camp Bradford was part of what is now Little Creek Fort Story Joint Expeditionary Base).   The inscription is Captain and Mrs. J W Whitfield, USN, From officers of Camp Bradford, September 1944.   The Information Services staff researched this officer for information to be included in the display to recognize May as National Military Appreciation Month:

James Walter Whitfield was born 25 Jan 1895 and died 31 July 1965. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy (Class of 1918) from Delaware, serving from June 1914 to January 1947.  He retired with the rank of Rear Admiral.  In addition to Camp Bradford, he served on various ships including the Albany, Ohio, Colorado, Chester, Mugford and Calvert. He had several awards including the Legion of Merit with gold star, the Navy Commendation Ribbon and Army Commendation Ribbon as well as several campaign medals.  In retirement he was a sales representative for various electronics companies.  There is no record of a marriage or children.  In his spare time he raised Siberian huskies, winning several prizes in dog shows

What money was used to make these purchases? Some but not all other paper ephemera including the matchbooks, also photographs, records and tapes of music from Virginia Beach residents or about Virginia Beach came from Materials Management funds last year when there was a budget for the LHGN and Archive if not from MM budget they were from the CL budget.  Memorabilia such as the pillow covers and the Camp Bradford tray, purchased as display materials were typically purchased using the CL budget as are most programming and display materials. The Friends of Virginia Beach Public Library have provided funding for digitization of books and microfilm and any additional money needed for digitization comes from the CL budget.  I do want to note that MM bought a FANTASTIC scanner that is used by the digitizing crew in LHGN!!

How does any of this fit with the strategic plan of the Library Department? As a City Department VBPL needs to be in alignment with City goals and initiatives.  We support the City’s strategic initiatives including the following from the Cultural and Recreational Opportunity Strategic Initiative Team:

CRO 1.02: We engage the community in developing and promoting Cultural and Recreational Opportunities through mutually beneficial relationships.
Within this strategy is the initiative: 
INI-04696: Invite citizens to contribute to the Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach Archives to ensure collection growth.
Within this initiative is the activity:
ACT-04713: Ensure there are unique and appropriate items in this collection that when used in presentations will pique citizens' interest and encourage them to explore the collection further.

The citizens of Virginia Beach have become more and more involved with this collection and are starting to take an active part in enhancing it!  We have gone from a tiny group of materials to the need to expand our facilities AGAIN! This is a wonderful way to use the past to provide for future generations!  I hope this has answered your questions, if not I would be happy to discuss the LHGN collection and LHGN Archives with anyone who interested and would love to come and talk at any staff meeting! 

November 17, 2014

Duplicate copies of Inside VBPL

Question:  For the past month, I have been getting the new edition of Inside VBPL at 8pm and then again at 10pm.  I have not made any changes to my account  that would give me two copies.  Is there a way to stop receiving this extra copy?  Thanks!

Answer by Lennis Sullivan, Digital Services Librarian:  I will need more information to troubleshoot this issue. Please contact me so I can investigate this further.  

October 20, 2014

3D Printers

Question:  What is the status of the 3D printers?  Why aren't they being used?

Answer by Susan Morris, Technology Services Manager and Nicole McGee, Emerging Technologies Librarian:  When can you expect to see 3D printers in use at the library? Since the 3D printers arrived this summer, Technology Services, along with the programming librarians, have been testing their capabilities, gaining 3D experience and knowledge, and exploring ideas for practical use in the library.  The first implementation phase involves developing and offering programs for the public. Starting in January 2015, customers will begin to see programs available to learn more about this technology.  An implementation plan is being presented to LET this month. The November virtual LCT will provide more information about the 3D printers, and additional in-person staff trainings will be available in the next few months.  Watch for a preview of machines at the “Block Party” on November 4th!

Movies in Workflows

Question:  I noticed that movies on Overdrive show up in Workflows, but movies on Hoopla do not. Is this going to change sometime in the future?

Answer by Sean O'Connell, Materials Management:  The reason we have catalog records in elibrary for Overdrive movies but not Hoopla movies is we own the movies and all of our content on Overdrive.  With Hoopla, we do not own the content.  Hoopla uses a subscription model where they own and control what is available.  Hoopla is continuously changing the content, not just additions but also deletions.  For these reasons we have decided not to add records to the catalog.

September 25, 2014


Question:    So here is another question about the Update. Why does marketing place programs/classes under headings that do not make sense, or reduce programs to links that may or may not be new? I am also discovering with each Update that some program descriptions submitted to the Marketing Department are changed by the Marketing Department. What is the point of going through detailed processes at the branches if the marketing department is going to change what the branch supervisors and programmers decided?

Answer by Christine Brantley, Community Relations and Development Manager:  The community relations & development team (aka marketing)  - and system program coordinators, Katie Cerqua (Youth & Family), James Giangregorio (Teen) and Ashley Barrineau (Adult) - make edits to program descriptions in Update for many reasons. Most often it’s to reduce length, improve clarity and streamline style and format. With each issue, about 20% more program content (2 – 3 pages) is submitted for Update than will fit on its pages. We must make decisions about what can be edited, or maybe changed from a detailed description to more of an "ad" that refers customers to the online calendar or website for details.

As for why a program might appear under a heading that “doesn’t make sense” – without knowing what you’re referencing – it might have been a simple mistake, or, maybe the blurb was vague and we misinterpreted the program. Feel free to let us know when you feel a program is grouped incorrectly, especially if it’s recurring one, so we can resolve the issue.   

The point of the detailed process is to enable the system program coordinators and the marketing team to efficiently compile and manage content from 9 branches (168 proposals in Fall, many with multiple date listings) into one streamlined VBPL publication with a consistent voice. The content is used in Update, the online calendar, sent to external press and repurposed in a variety of other ways.

Tips to avoid excessive editing:
1.      Please keep program titles & descriptions concise; avoid unnecessary/redundant info
2.      Ensure that descriptions clearly explain the program so that a person with no knowledge of it can quickly understand what’s happening
3.      Format paragraphs as outlined in this link to formatting tips & guidelines on our SharePoint site, sent on Sept. 5 to all library staff, in an email about the Update process

The Update content is sent to contacts at each branch for proofing before layout, and once again in layout form. Please take that time to proof the content and report edits to your Update contact. If you’re unsure of who the Update contacts are at your branch, please ask your manager.

Please feel free to contact Kevin CarobineKatie Handerhan or me, or the system coordinator for your program’s target age group, if you have further questions about the Update process. We appreciate you asking the questions and providing us the opportunity to explain.

September 18, 2014

Local Authors

QuestionMonths ago the question was posed to this forum asking about the creation of a local author collection flyer or bookmark to give to customers. Why has this question never been answered? Why has something not been created so that staff can give something to would-be authors?

Answer by the Library Communication TeamThere is currently a policy (and procedure) for the Local Author Collection which has been on SharePoint since March 2014.  It's short and clear and could be printed for anyone asking about the collection.  When events promoting the Local Author collection occur, appropriate PR will be created.

(Diane - Oceanfront Library: I must apologize for missing your earlier question.  It totally fell through the AMH installation crack.  I'm very sorry for your wait and I want to thank you for re-submitting your question. )

August 25, 2014


Question:  We've been getting questions about what happened to Rocket.  Is there a plan to return the stuffed animal to each library?

Answer by Katie Cerqua, Youth & Family Services Manager:  The Rocket dogs are still at the libraries and will remain there.  They can be used for storytimes and programs.