Conducting the Reference Interview: How to Ask Better Questions to Make Customers Happy

  • With Robin Filipczak and Stacey Grijalva
  • Originally aired 11/06/2019
  • View the Archive

“Do you have any books on law?”

“I need information on bats.”

Have customers ever asked you general or ambiguous questions like these? How do we connect customers with exactly what they need when the way they ask for something is open to many interpretations?

Enter… the reference interview! The purpose of a reference interview is to find out what a customer wants so library staff can match the information need with the library’s resources.

Join us as we break down the process into simple steps and discuss solutions to common problems. Participants will leave with a 6-step tool kit to asking better questions so customers leave happy.

This class is intended to give an introduction and basic overview of the reference interview. The class is aimed at front-line staff and librarians who want a refresher.

Recommended Pre-Session Reading:


Session Handout (PDF)

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Supporting Developing Readers at the Library: Outreach for K-3rd Graders

  • With Liesel Schmidt & Gigi Pagliarulo
  • Originally aired 11/04/2019
  • View the Archive

Part 4 of a 4 part series about services designed for kids K – 3.

Learn how the Children’s Librarians at Denver Public Library are expanding their services to developing readers and the grown ups in their lives using the five Grade Level Reading Skills. We’ll discuss outreach best practices, different types of outreach currently being piloted in Denver, as well as challenges and successes.

Missed the first 3 parts of this series? View the archives listed below!

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Bullet Journaling: The Magic Bullet for Increased Productivity

Do you struggle each day to get through your “to do” list? Are you losing track of projects and missing deadlines because you don’t have a system to manage all of your responsibilities? In this session, you will learn about an increasingly popular planning method – bullet journaling – as a means to gain control of your work and personal lives. We will also consider the bigger picture about productivity by discussing how we can exploit our natural tendencies to increase motivation and optimize our workflow. Come to the webinar ready to share your best productivity tips and tricks


  • Session Slides (PDF)
  • Four Tendencies Quiz
  • Bullet Journal Tool Recommendations
  • Facebook Group
  • Productivity Tools
  • Productivity Tips
    • I try to find blocks of uninterrupted time…coming in early, working at a different location for an afternoon.
    • I have to shut my office door and put earbuds in otherwise I am watching and eavesdropping on the circ desk.
    • I use a Gantt chart with To Do, Pending, Doing, & Done on sticky notes.  I also love Google Keep!
    • I like to go hide in the other end of the building in the basement. It’s really the only way to get people to not interrupt. Not an option for everyone…
    • Putting on headset…but without sound. Staff think I’m listening to a training session


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Supporting Developing Readers at the Library: Collection Development for K-3rd Graders

Amy Forrester
  • With Amy Forrester & Sarah Dutelle
  • Originally aired 09/24/2019
  • View the Archive

Part 3 of a 4 part series about services designed for kids K – 3.

Learn how the Children’s Librarians at Denver Public Library are expanding their services to developing readers and the grown ups in their lives using the five Grade Level Reading Skills. Selecting, cataloging, and shelving books for developing readers presents a number of unique challenges. We’ll talk about ways DPL has evaluated and enhanced their collection to make developing reader titles more accessible. Information on DPL’s recent diversity audit will be shared.

Session Slides with notes (PDF)

Missed the first 2 parts of this series? View the archives listed below!


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Playing Well with Others – At Work

Sharon Morris

Note: Unfortunately, the recording of this session is unavailable. We wound up with hold music playing through the session (operator error). We may try to offer the session again in the future to capture an archive.

We all know that children learn through play, but what about adults? Research shows that when humans, at any age, play, they learn and grow into healthy, happy, well-functioning individuals. Find out more about the research on play, identify your play style as well as others, and imagine ways to add more play into your work. Perhaps counter-intuitively, your habits of embedding playful work techniques into your day can lead to greater creativity, productivity, and resilience in you and your library. And knowing others’ play styles will help build better teams, collaborative work, and enjoyable work culture.


Resource List (PDF)


Draw a Libraryscreenshot



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Danger in the Comfort Zone: How to change when change isn’t coming naturally

Jean Marie Heilig

Rationally we know that change is imminent and to stay relevant we must adapt quickly, but emotionally we want to stay in our “comfort zone.”  In this session you will learn how to change when change doesn’t come naturally by mastering new habits and skills.  After all, for things to change, somebody has to start acting differently. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s your team.

Note: There are 3 videos we used in this session that do not play in the archive. You can watch the videos on your own by clicking the links below. The links are also available from the slides in Adobe Connect.


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2020 Census + Libraries = Complete Count in Colorado

Sara Wright
  • With Adam Bickford and Sara Wright
  • Originally aired 07/18/2019
  • View the Archive

Libraries will play a crucial role in getting a complete count for the 2020 Census.  Join us and Adam Bickford from the Colorado State Demography Office as we discuss this critical role for libraries, outline the  implementation plans for the 2020 Census and demonstrate demography data resources you can start using right now.


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CSL Resource Kits: What’s In Them For You!

Kieran Hixon

The Colorado State Library Resource Kits are bundled tools and materials that enable you to provide exciting programs to engage with your community in new and interesting ways.

Join us as we discuss how to take advantage of the ‘Let’s talk about it!: CSL Big Red Resource Kits’ kits in order to gain awareness of social issues facing our communities, hold community conversations, and how to work with identified under-served patrons more successfully.


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Welcoming Transgender Customers at Your Library

  • With Adrian Johnson and Bec Czarnecki
  • Originally aired 06/11/2019
  • View the Archive

As rights for transgender people continue to be debated, at the library we welcome the youth, adults, and colleagues who are in our communities. Join us to learn how to provide excellent internal and external customer service to transgender individuals at your library. This session will help participants re-frame ideas around gender, give them best practices for serving trans customers, and end with developing strategies to make their libraries trans-inclusive.


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The 2 Generation Approach to Eliminating Poverty

  • With Beth Crist and Becki Loughlin
  • Originally aired 05/07/2019
  • View the Archive

What is the 2Gen approach? You’re probably already doing it! The 2Gen approach is a method that helps families escape the cycle of poverty by intentionally serving children and their parents or adult caregivers together. Join us to brainstorm about how to support all members of the family and learn new ways to fight poverty in your community through library programs and services. Discover how you can expand and implement 2Gen more proactively. Explore examples from High Plains Library District and other Colorado communities and share your own examples and ideas for partnerships and programs from your own community.


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