Category Archives: News

Libraries Partner on Makerspace

The Launch Pad at the Daytona Beach Regional Library, a branch of Volusia County Public Library, started as an idea to repurpose an underused area and be able to provide new and exciting technology and programs for our patrons. Months of planning, weeding and hard work allowed the room to evolve into a multi-use, flexible workspace with Wi-Fi, power and a presentation area.

Along the way news about our makerspace idea was shared through a casual conversation between Library staff and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University staff. This discussion lead to the agreement that our goals aligned. We wanted to provide the public with access to technology and equipment that might otherwise be unavailable and to reach out to an underserved population of middle school and high school age students. Sparking an interest in science, technology, engineering and math in these students would in the future provide prospective students for ERAU programs.

Through a Memorandum of Agreement Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University pledged to provide funding for two years. Our technology acquisitions the first year included two high end computers and software, a two color 3D printer and several Little Bits and Arduino kits. Students visiting the Launch Pad are able to explore basic circuits and robotics, create animation through coding, build with legos and learn about controlled flight through the use of drones and flight simulation software.

Our wish list is growing for our second year of funding as we gather ideas from citizens using the new Launch Pad.

The Friends of the Daytona Beach Library also provided ongoing funding to open and sustain the Launch Pad including furniture and supplies.

Launch Pad Maker space at the Daytona Beach Regional Library opened to the public September 21, 2015 and has been a popular location since then. A variety of groups now meet in the Launch Pad including a local Hacker group and several crafting classes. We are currently planning a Teen Tech Summer Camp to take place in the Launch Pad later in July. A growing number of patrons are using our Launch Pad to launch a hobby, education, career or business!



NEFLIN is proud to have the littleBits STEAM Student Set, now available in our Equipment Loan program.littleBits STEAMEngage your patrons in problem solving, creative thinking, and collaboration through invention-based learning.  Getting started is simple with a Student Invention Guide and Librarian’s Guide, along with 16+ hours of STEM/STEAM activities with 8 engaging challenges, and additional companion lessons.

The littleBits STEAM Student Set is a powerful toolbox for invention-based learning that is easy to teach and fun to use.  The NEFLIN kit works for library/makerspace instruction or self-directed learning for 4 – 12 participants.

Borrow littleBits from NEFLIN today!



Nassau County Public Library System

The Nassau County Public Library System (NCPLS) became an independent library system in 1998.  The main branch is located in Fernandina Beach, and opened in the existing facility in 1977.  In 2011 the facility was certification to process passport applications.  In 2015 the building was remodeled and expanded to double its size and is now 16,284 sq. ft.  Along with the upgraded space we are in the process of upgrading the technology infrastructure in all of the library branches.  We can now offer high speed, business class internet to all of our residents and we are in the process of switching over our staff network to fiber.

We are in the process of converting our libraries to RFID.  The main location will serve as our test site and tagging the collection is almost complete.  We have RFID gates arriving in two weeks along with our first self-check machine.  The Callahan and Hilliard Branches are scheduled to be tagged in 2017.

The Callahan Branch opened in 1989 in the small train depot located in Callahan.  The branch has been relocated twice since then, and now resides in a new shopping plaza.

The Hilliard Branch joined the county library system in 1995, after operating as a small town library for several decades.  The Hilliard Branch Library was relocated to a new facility in 2006.

The Yulee Branch opened in 2001 and is located within the Florida State College at Jacksonville.  This is a shared facility, it maintains a public library collection as well as the college collection, and utilizes the county library’s ILS.

The Bryceville Branch opened in 2003.  This is the smallest of the branches at 525 sq. ft.  It is located within the Community Center and has the largest meeting space of the libraries.

The NCPLS offers free library cards to all residents of the state of Florida and has reciprocal borrowing agreements with St. Johns County Public Library and New River Public Library Cooperative.  We have a full summer program including a reading program for adults with prizes.

UX Update: Keystone Heights Jr./Sr. High School

Kathy Williams and Mary Karshner-Smith, media specialists at Keystone Heights Jr./Sr. High School care deeply about their students. Since 2010, the number of students on free and reduced lunch increased from roughly a third of their students to over half.  This only represents students who turned in their paperwork.

The school endured a few traumatic months when multiple students committed suicide or were killed in tragic accidents.  Kathy and Mary considered their students’ emotional needs. They wanted to create an inviting, nurturing place where students feel like they belong.

While brainstorming about the UX project they mentioned that in that part of Clay county kids don’t have much to do after school.  Drug use, pregnancy and poverty are all too common. Kathy and Mary wanted to give the kids something safe to do after school. They were passionate about it. As a result Keystone Heights Jr./Sr. High School’s library had their first movie night – they invited students to watch Star Wars:  The Force Awakens. About forty kids turned out.

They have also started a makerspace. Right now it’s a creative area with adult coloring books and origami. They have an iMac kids can experiment with to learn music and video creation, and there is a cart of Legos in the works.

They painted the center over their spring break and are eager to put together a charging station or two before the summer. They have also recently agreed on a price to refurbish their existing circulation desk.

They mounted a TV on the wall which they will set up with a laptop and surround sound for teacher use in the classroom area of the center.

They sent faculty a survey to help prioritize their next steps. Additionally they plan to respond to students’ requests for a game night with big screens and gaming systems. They believe keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility and they are playing their part.

Drones in the Library?

Did you know that NEFLIN has a Parrot MiniDrones Rolling Spider (along with some other really cool stuff!) available for YOU to check out from our Equipment Loan program?

Parrot-Rolling-Spider-freeflight3-ipad-600x500Drones or ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ (UAVs) will become a regular part of life, used in research, transportation and delivery, artistic production, news coverage and reporting, law enforcement and surveillance, and entertainment.  Why not introduce them to your library communities?

See all of the great new items NEFLIN has to offer!

Successfully Supervising People

Leading others through the process of achieving organizational objectives is a challenging, yet rewarding assignment that requires excellent administrative, interpersonal, and communication skills.  In today’s professional worlds, successful supervisors and managers not only need to create a proactive environment, but they must also react professionally to unanticipated issues and situations.

Join NEFLIN Trainer Claudia Monte in one, or all five, sessions in this series for library managers and supervisors!

Claudia-MonteSession One: Introducing Situational Leadership; Identifying Leadership Challenges/Rewards

Session Two: Practicing Emotional Intelligence; Motivating Others

Session Three: Understanding Performance Management; Delegating and Communicating Wisely

Session Four: Managing Differences Constructively; Moving Forward Together

Session Five: Coaching for Positive Outcomes (full-day classroom experience)

Expert Series: Meet Tony Greiner

EXPERT header

Our NEFLIN Expert Series is coming to a close this summer, but there is still time to register for a day with our final Expert Facilitator, Tony Greiner.

Tony shadowJULY 8 – Tony Greiner Analyzing Library Collection Use with Excel

Knowing how your collection is used is a core part of librarianship.  Budgeting, purchasing new items and duplicates and weeding can all be done faster and better when you have information how your library collection is used at your fingertips. In this workshop we will take the use records for a local library collection and for any given range learn how to determine average and median use, age of the collection, use of recently purchased books, relative use (use compared to the size of the sub-section), candidates for weeding, and more.  The class will take a day, and in the past participants have completed use analyses of their own collections the next day.

Participants will receive a handout with step-by-step directions in addition to hands-on work.  This will be Tony’s 4th trip to NEFLIN, and the classes always fill up. Register for this Expert Series workshop today!

Soft Skills for Your Paraprofessional Toolkit

Soft Skills for Your Paraprofessional Toolkit: 

Customer Service and Time Management 

FLA logo 2015

Presented by the Florida Library Association

Date:       Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Time:       11:00 am – 1:00 pm, ET

Cost:        FREE and open to all Florida library staff


Library support staff, or library paraprofessionals, is involved in all library operations at all levels.  They are often the first contact for library users. These webinars are intended to educate staff on topics related to library skills and making a good first impression to the public and other staff.

Session One: Customer Service: Creating a Positive Work Environment – ideas on promoting a positive, helpful environment for staff and patrons.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn the tools that are at your library
  • Key ideas on promoting a positive environment
  • Find different means of customer service inspiration

Phyllis Gorshe is the Library Director of the Dunedin Public Library and has been a librarian with the City of Dunedin since 2000. Phyllis has worked as a Law Librarian, Youth Services Librarian and Reference Librarian. She loves her current job as Director and has worked on numerous initiatives such as online resources, an award winning seed library, collaboration with local organizations and schools along with being involved in libraries and literacy at the County and State level.

Session Two: Do you feel stuck on a big project?

Based on the book, Getting Things Done by David Allen, participants will be able to:

  • Identify dead end models
  • Learn the five components of a project / meeting
  • Uncover best practices for each component
  • Discover the source of procrastination and how to overcome it

Doug Crane is the Director of the Palm Beach County Library System. He has presented talks on productivity to SEFLIN, the State Library of Florida, and the Palm Beach County government. His article called “May I Ask You a Question? Lessons Learned from Interviewing Public Library Leaders” can be found in Public Libraries magazine, Nov/Dec. 2015.