October 20, 2014

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.

August 21, 2014


Question:  Wow - numerous problems with incorrect program information in the fall 2014 Update! This not only is problematic for staff, but is poor customer service. What is being done to ensure this doesn't happen again? 

Answer by Christine M. Brantley, Community Relations & Development Manager:  There was an exceptional number of errors in the Fall Update. We're sorry for the inconvenience to staff and especially our customers. Much work and care goes into creating every issue of the publication and we will continue to make process changes as needed to ensure we continue producing the most accurate publication possible. The Fall issue is an anomaly, attributable to several factors which are being addressed. 

We have several solutions to minimize the impact of the errors for Fall 2014. We've asked library managers to have staff review the publication and email all program errors to my attention. We will create a system-wide corrections sheet based on one created at JUL. Branches can print and post, rather than having staff or volunteers spend time updating individual copies of the magazine. Additionally, we will list the erroneous programs in Trumba, and mark them as cancelled, so when customers try to register, they will find some information. This should lessen the confusion.

Again, sorry for the inconvenience. 

August 13, 2014

Online Training Classes

QuestionMany of us who went to the LCT on Aug 12 were unaware of this service (p. 10 of presentation): "Online training classes available 24/7."   What are these?  And where are they listed on the home page?  (The only item under Programs and Classes is SRP).  Thank you.

Answer by the Library Communications Team:  There are online training classes listed on the homepage under Services > Technology Education > Self Paced Learning.  Topics include computer basics, internet safety, Microsoft products, email, social media, and more!
There are also tutorials under Services > Technology Education > Help with Research Sources that teach how to use research sources available through the Virginia Beach Public Library through help files, videos and demonstrations.