This is part of a series of Session Notes from grantees who have received Professional Development grants from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. Each grantee will share their professional development experience and include tips and other resources from the workshop or class. Grantees had their choice of an article for the Compendium, a webinar or a podcast. This project was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Debbie McClure

Debbie McClure


by Debbie McClure,
Aston Public Library

Two online courses from InfoPeople:

Strategic Planning That Doesn’t Hurt a Bit!
I enjoyed taking this course with Instructor Catherine Hakala-Ausperk. Her lesson plans were well thought out. The resources she gave us to read from were very informative.  I learned how to outline a strategic plan of action from beginning to end that I can takeback to The Aston Public Library and apply. I enjoyed the lessons plans and I gained information from the other student’s posts. The print outs are very useful and can be used as guides whenever I need to refer back to them. I learned how important and useful it is to get the entire staff involved in the planning process. The online meeting was a great opportunity to get ideas from other libraries.

The class taught me the steps to take for strategic planning that can be applied to any project.

  1. Take a survey to find out what the Community needs or lacks
  2. Once you have decided what the project will be, have a group meeting with all of the staff members to get their input and suggestions       on how to make the project happen (make a list)
  3. Outline what the project will be and all supplies and material needed.Determine the cost of the project..Determine a time frame.
  4. Draft a final outline with all the information gathered
  5. Present the project to the appropriate Board Members to get approval and start the project

Teen Services Fundamentals
The Teen Services course with Instructor Sarah Flowers was very informative. I really enjoyed doing her lesson plans. She always gave positive feedback to each of the student’s post. I learned a lot of new ideas from Sarah and the other students. The online meeting was a good way to hear what other libraries are doing to try and get teens involved. Sarah’s lesson plan on helping teens do online research was useful information that I can apply and share with the staff at the Aston Public Library.

I liked sharing and learning new ideas that I can apply to our library. We started passive programs for different age levels that the children and teens can come in and do and receive small prizes for participation. They really enjoy the all the different activities pages they can choose from. A monthly scavenger hunt has been very popular with the teens. When a teen comes in looking for a book, I let them know if they need any help that I will be at the desk. I don’t invade their space. I also let them tell me first what THEY like to read before I make suggestions.