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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Small Business Bonanza by Stacy

According to the SBA, small businesses accounted for 67% of new American jobs created since the beginning of the 2009 recession.  These small businesses are crucial to our own community which is why many agencies are devoted to helping successfully grow Stillwater small businesses.

Wednesday, on Oct. 24, local service providers are pooling their resources for the Fourth Annual Small Business Conference.  I’m most impressed with the array of topics being offered and the heavy hitters of the local business education world who will be speaking.  Every attendee will leave the conference with a new vision for growing their business.  Topics and speakers include:

·           Importance of Networking-Kyle Eastham, business owner
·           Using Paypal - Dr. Brian Whitacre, OSU
·           Introduction to Social Media & Strategic Planning for Social Media - Mandy Gross, Communications Services Manager, Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center
·           Choosing the Right Business Structure - Attorney & Accounting Professor Monika Turek
·           Advanced Social Media & Evaluating Your Social Media Efforts - Megan Horton, OSU Communication Services
·           Visual Displays - Dr. Cosette Armstrong, OSU

The event will be held at the library and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Registration is $25 and includes lunch.  To register, go to or contact Suzette Barta at 405-747-8320.  

While you are at the conference, stop by the library’s small business center to check out material on a wide-variety of business issues including some of our latest titles like:

·           The small business guide to government contracts by Steven Koprince

·           Grow your handmade business by Kari Chapin

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scary Books for the Tween Set by Andrea

One of the most difficult questions a librarian may be asked from a child is when a child says “I want something scary to read. Can you help me find a book?” It is difficult, because what they usually mean is they want something just scary enough to be entertaining, but not too scary. So as a former child who loved a good ghost story, and in honor of Halloween, I want to present some of my favorite spooky authors who can still be found in the juvenile and young adult sections of the library. As always, if you are not sure if something is suitable for your child, please peruse the material first. 

Betty Ren Wright and Mary Downing Hahn are both excellent writers of suspenseful haunted tales, usually with an intriguing mystery at the center of the story.  John Bellairs’ books are a great mix of gothic mystery, adventure, and the paranormal, which boys especially might like. Joan Aiken’s books are not necessarily about ghosts, but are British, dark, and strange. I loved the Witch Trilogy starting with “Witch's Sister” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. 

One book I read over and over which has long been out of print, but is now available in e-book format from our Overdrive website is “The Little Vampire” by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. Alvin Schwartz's “ScaryStories to Tell in the Dark” has long been popular, although there is some controversy over the illustrations in the new editions as they are not nearly as scary as the originals. Other authors to try are Peg Kehret and Zilpha Keatley Snyder.

For more spooky tales, visit the Help Desk.  And for an awesome, spooky good time, go to the Red Dirt Zombie Halloween Festival which will be held downtown on Oct. 30.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy or Unhappy Boss Day? by Stacy

‘National Boss Day’ is October 16.  Some of us will be getting a card and cake for our boss or maybe taking them out to lunch.  Other employees though are probably just trying to make it through the day dealing with a boss they’d rather not have.  If you are one of the unlucky latter, the library has tons of material on making your situation more manageable.  Come in to check out some of the following choices:

·             Coping with toxic managers, subordinates and other difficult people” by Roy Lubit.  Lubit describes twenty types of toxic boss behaviors, then how to artfully deal with your problem boss without losing your job or sanity.

·             Throwing the elephant: Zen and the art of managing up” by Stanley Bing.  Bing teaches the Zen method of working with your difficult boss.

·             Followership: how followers are creating change and changing leaders” by Barbara Kellerman.  Kellerman explains how employees can change their own response to their rank, their superiors and work situations.

Now, if you are the boss who finds no sweets on your desk Oct. 16, you may want to think about coming by to check out one of the following:

·             Good boss, bad boss” by Robert Sutton.  Sutton helps managers assess whether they are good, so-so or inept and what to do to become one of the good ones.

·             Managing to stay out of court: how to avoid the 8 deadly sins of mismanagement" by Jathan Janove.  Janove explains the worst eight sins managers commit and how to correct them.

·             Too many bosses, too few leaders” by Rajeev Peshawaria.  Being hired as a manager does not mean you are necessarily a good boss.  Peshawaria explains what managers need to do to lead.

And last, if you are unhappy at work, you may want to reflect on whether it is your boss who is the problem or whether it could actually be you (or both!):

·             Working for you isn't working for me: the ultimate guide to managing your boss” by Katherine Crowley.  Crowley explains how to distance yourself from and depersonalize bad boss behavior, while also helping you examine whether you are part of the problem.

·             Drama-Free Office” by Jim Warner and Kaley Klemp.  Find out whether you are the person in the office causing all of the drama and how to correct it if you are.

Stop by anytime for all sorts of resources on being happier and more effective at work whether you are a manager or an employee.  Investigate our material on emotional intelligence at work, time management, project management, inspiring others, delegating, planning, collaboration and working with or managing different types of employees.

Happy Boss Day!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thankful by Carline and Stacy

I knew I wanted to start our column this week by thanking the community for the huge show of support at this fall’s booksale.  We often worry about whether or not we will be able to continue offering the quality services we do, but luckily, our community keeps showing up year after year making it possible.  In preparing this “thank you,” I saw a column our delightful librarian Carline Talent wrote for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  I think it says everything that we are feeling about your support:

What are we thankful for? YOU!  Here are a few of the reasons why:
1.      Your beautiful smile and friendly hello.
2.      Your patience waiting in line when we are helping another customer or on the phone.          
3.      Your diligence in bringing materials back on time, allowing another customer the opportunity to borrow those items.
4.      Your careful handling of borrowed library materials so that the next customer has a clean and gently used item to enjoy.
5.      Your understanding when we sometimes make mistakes.
6.      Your very generous support of the library by way of gifts and donations to the Friends of the Library for their book sales.
7.      Your wonderful and carefully thought-out suggestions for ways to improve our services and update our collection.
8.      Your helpfulness in keeping the library neat and clean so everyone can relax and enjoy their time spent in the library.
9.      Your watchful willingness to alert staff when you see something that should be brought to our attention.
10.  Your kind and thoughtful comments that make our day!      

YOU are the reason we are here.  We strive to give you the most helpful and friendly service possible.  We look forward to many years of your continued patronage and hope that we earn your thanks for your library and library staff.

Thank you Stillwater!