People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Monthly Archives: July 2016

Library Career Transitions, Consulting, and Coming Full Circle

IMG_1231I (my partner in crime couldn’t make it) enjoyed speaking about our consulting work at the last month’s panel discussion on Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Transitioning to Another Type of Library, organized by SLA-NY and hosted by Baruch College. There were lots of interesting discussions and conversations about library career transitions, career strategies, and trends. It was great to meet new faces and reconnect with old ones.

The whoa! moment that evening was when I first stepped into the room where the panel was going to take place. It hit me that this was the same exact room that Sandra and I were in for a SLA-NY Future Ready event back in 2011 where we decided to get creative with our name tags and put aspiring consultant. Five years later, I was in the very same room, talking about how we got into consulting. Talk about coming full circle.

Wandering Librarian: NYPL 53rd Street Library

Wandering around NYC, I ended up on the block of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and across the street is the recently opened NYPL 53rd Street Library. I had remembered visiting the former library in this location and was curious to see what the new one looks like. Upon entering, I was greeted by friendly staff. Enlarged posters of book cover jackets line the top of the bookshelves. “Staff picks” cards were displayed on bookshelves throughout the library, reminding me of local bookstores. One service desk was simply a desk with a nook for supplies where staff would carry a laptop to the desk during their shift. Outlets almost everywhere you looked from tabletops to seating areas. A seating area next to the stairs that doubled as an auditorium/theater. Saw a colleague who is now working at this location, it was great to reconnect. Bright and open space, fairly quiet and comfortable. NYPL 53rd Street Library was a quick but enjoyable and welcoming visit.

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Monthly Method Spotlight: Stepladder


When/why: To get out of groupthink or to encourage shy folks to contribute, stepladder encourages team members to contribute individually BEFORE they can be influenced by everyone else.

How: A facilitator shares the topic or question with a team. Everyone leaves the room except 2 people. These 2 members will then discuss the topic and their ideas. Then, one additional team member is added to the group. This new member will contribute their ideas BEFORE the other two discuss theirs. Repeat this cycle until everyone from the original group is in the room.

Tips: The facilitator should record to take notes of the discussions. They should also keep an ear out for a growing consensus in the discussions.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.