The next Back in Circulation Again Conference will be October 10-11, 2016. Please contact Anna Palmer,, if you have questions.

Hope to see you in Madison next Fall!


Back in Circulation Again 2014

October 6-7, 2014
The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI 53706

Conference Fee: $300
(includes lunch on October 6 and daily refreshments)

Registration is closed! Please contact Anna Palmer,, for more information.

Conference Schedule

Monday, October 6

8:15-8:45  Registration with refreshments

8:45-9:00  Welcome

Room 325/326
9:00-10:30 Keynote: The Power of Leading to Achieve Great Service with Dee Dee Rapp

10:30-10:45 Break with refreshments

10:45-12:00 Concurrent Sessions
Room 325/326  What Can RFID Tags Do for Your Library?
Room 309  Leading the Way to Yes: Building Good Will through Circulation Policy and Practice

12:00-1:30 Lunch at the Pyle Center

1:30-2:45 Concurrent Sessions
Room 325/326  Making Service Great—for YOU!
Room 309  Necessity is the Mother of Community

2:45-3:15 Break with Refreshments

3:15-4:30 Concurrent Sessions
Room 325/326  Disaster Preparation & Libraries: Are We Ready for the Worst?
Room 309  An Access Services Model Responsive to Change

Tuesday, October 7

8:30-9:00 Refreshments

9:00-10:15 Concurrent Sessions
Room 325/326  Changing the world:  Increasing Circulation Periods and Eliminating Fines at the BYU Harold B Lee Library

Room 309  Help Me Do My Job Better or Make Me a Better Person: training circulation assistants beyond standard expectations 

10:15-10:45 Break with refreshments

10:45-12:15 Closing Session
Room 325/326 The Lego Approach: Skill Sets for Today & Tomorrow

Conference Sessions



The Power of Leading to Achieve Great Service

Dee Dee Rapp

Dee Dee’s belief is simple: libraries matter because people matter. With a simple focus on real
strategies that every leader can implement, Dee Dee helps library leaders learn how to inspire
employees to deliver great service every day. This program will help librarians to:

  • Remind staff why they are “MAD”— Making a Difference — every day
  • Identify and deliver their Service Brand Promise
  • Communicate the service vision, goals and experience that inspire staff
  • Ensure all members of their team understand their meaningful role in service
  • Celebrate service success with recognition that rewards and inspires

Dee Dee Rapp has been helping organizations improve customer and employee communication since 1987. After many years working in travel, media, banking, and marketing, she has gained valuable insight and expertise on service, leadership, and life. Learn more about her here.

Making Service Great—for YOU!
Dee Dee Rapp

Who takes care of you when your job is to deliver great service? The answer is YOU! In this
humorous, tips-filled session, participants will learn how to fill their emotional reservoirs with laughter,
self-care and positive energy that makes service rewarding instead of draining. This program will help
librarians to:

  • Remember the fulfilling “why” of service that makes the journey great
  • Identify three key steps to making service fun
  • Identify three key steps to creating positive energy every day

What Can RFID Tags Do for Your Library?
Stacie Pajewski, Coordinator of Materials Management, Manitowoc (WI) Public Library
Amy Eisenschink, Assistant Coordinator of Materials Management, Manitowoc (WI) Public Library

Manitowoc Public Library is now using RFID tags on all material in conjunction with an automated-material-handler return system and self-check out units. In the first 4 weeks our self-check use rose from 30% to 65%. Program will address questions like - how does this work with the ILS? How do you choose a vendor? How can RFID tags help with inventory?

Necessity is the Mother of Community
Jeff Campbell, Patron Services Specialist, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Kelly Miller-Martin, Learning Commons Manager, Rose Library, James Madison University
Elizabeth Haworth, Director of Public Services, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Stefanie Warlick, Assistant Director for Public Services, Carrier and Rose Libraries, James Madison University

James Madison University Libraries began a period of expansion and service model redesign in 2008. A number of unexpected consequences resulted from the changes, requiring both new and existing staff to re-examine roles, expectations, and how to function as a community. Rose Library, a state-of-the-art science library, opened in 2008.  Although there were two small satellite libraries, opening the science library meant that there was no longer a “main” library. The opening of the new library introduced shifts in the community through large numbers of new staff and significant differences in service models across the two buildings. As a result, staff found themselves both geographically and philosophically separated. The Libraries were experiencing this fundamental disconnect while also facing growth in patron visits, reference, and circulation transactions. We were motivated by our users to maintain our excellent standard of service and by our common values to work toward a transparent user experience. Public services leadership recognized the importance of promoting common practices. Training emerged as an opportunity to collaborate, connect, and build community. Working together on student and staff training allowed colleagues to know and trust one another. Today, every department in the Libraries participates in our annual training extravaganza. Once trust was established between colleagues, the Libraries were able to develop common practices in additional areas.  We began to take advantage of opportunities to streamline operations, build functional teams focused on consistency and coordination, and realign roles to think holistically about future directions.

Leading the Way to Yes: Building Good Will through Circulation Policy and Practice
Heather Jett, Access Services Librarian, Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The 21st century library opens doors to information and resources, and those doors are unlocked and held open through circulation and access services. At Murphy Library, we in circulation and access services strive to be the “yes” people—yes, we can get it for you; yes, we can provide that service; yes, we can offer this space. Although libraries are clearly no longer the 19th century “guardians” of information, we must maintain our resources through policy and practice so that they can be used by the broadest constituency. That maintenance sometimes requires that we say no. It is possible, however, to say no while still saying yes, and circulation and access services staff can build good will with our constituencies through the “positive no” while leading the larger library community toward a “culture of yes” through both written and applied policy and practice. This presentation will offer ideas and tips to increase good will in your library using written and applied policies and practices to eliminate both real and perceived barriers to the access and sharing of information resources and services.

Disaster Preparation & Libraries: Are We Ready for the Worst?

Denise O’Shea, Head of Access Services and Systems, Montclair State University


Nobody likes to imagine a disaster striking their library but we all need to be prepared in case that happens. Today’s libraries are vulnerable to a wide variety of disasters, from natural events like earthquakes, hurricanes and other weather-related events to unnatural events including power failures and cyber terrorism. To prevent – or, at least, mitigate – the impact of a disaster, libraries need a comprehensive disaster plan. Circulation staff are often involved in disaster planning because our staff are generally available whenever the library is open, including during a disaster. 

Creating a disaster plan is hard work, and most conventional library disaster plans tend to be narrowly focused on preserving collections. In my presentation, I will discuss a plan that focuses on the communication aspects of disaster response because I see communication as one of the most critical elements of a disaster plan. I will cover topics such as addressing the safety of library staff and patrons, dealing with communication technology failure, collaboration and team work when traditional tools are unavailable, effective use of social media, and how and when to communicate with patrons, vendors and other stakeholders throughout all phases of a disaster.


Changing the world:  Increasing Circulation Periods and Eliminating Fines at the BYU Harold B Lee Library

Duane Wilson, Access Services Department Head, Brigham Young University


When the circulation committee found that the BYU Harold B Lee Library circulation periods were not sufficient and that fines were problematic, how could they make a change?  Come learn how careful assessment, a variety of communication methods, and discussion with multiple stake holders can influence dramatic change and challenge long-held library beliefs.  We will also discuss the difference in opinion between librarians and patrons in regards to circulation periods and fines and what the library did to solve the problem.

Help Me Do My Job Better or Make Me a Better Person: training circulation assistants beyond standard expectations 
Sarah Andrews, Access Services Supervisor, University of Iowa Libraries

Every employee in circulation needs to receive a base-level of training covering the usuals: shelving, circulation, customer service and finding materials.  Some of them might also receive training in helping people with computers, wireless or printing. But how do you ensure that your staff have skills to deal with more than the basics?  You can’t train them for every possibility, but you can train them to be “better people.”  I will talk about my part-time employee group training.  I will cover successes and failures, feedback and how I moved to a more holistic model.



An Access Services Model Responsive to Change
CJ de Jong, Access Services, University of Alberta Libraries

Staff is where needed, the work is done, and your patrons are happy with the services provided. Seems simple, but in an environment where change is constant, you require continual changes to staffing models and workflows, while mitigating any impacts on services. Sound familiar? The University of Alberta Libraries makes use of a centralized model for Access Services and single service points in each library. Twice in the last three years, staff was offered voluntary severance packages, resulting in large numbers of retirements. Access and ILL staff were moved together into one area. This presentation will highlight how our Access Services model has evolved, how it embraced batch discharging, self-serve reserve rooms, cross training, and student workers. It will consider the strengths and weaknesses of our model, allowing participants to gain insight into our successes and struggles, as we continue to provide same-day shelving of all materials, same-day processing of lending requests, a holds retrieval service, and many other functions of our Access Services unit.

The Lego Approach: Skill Sets for Today & Tomorrow
Kelly Krieg-Sigman, Director, La Crosse (WI) Public Library 

OMG! I don’t know ANYTHING about privacy settings on Facebook!! Yikes! I cringe when a patron asks about Overdrive! Geesh!! ANOTHER migration to yet another different product? Yep, more and more, working in today’s libraries is demanding an almost continual cycle of learning or refining skill sets. It can be, and often is, exhausting, but it can also be creative, invigorating, and satisfying. This session looks at what the essential skills for success in the modern library are and how to hire people who have them.

Questions? Contact Anna Palmer,