NEO-RLS News-March 8, 2021

Empathy in April

A Note from the Executive Director

I just received my first COVID-19 vaccination on Friday last week.  Immediately my mind began churning with thoughts of returning to our office.  I wanted to think that I would be able to get back to “normal.”  However, after the initial headiness of those thoughts, I calmed down because I know that is not really what will happen.  Instead, the NEO-RLS staff will continue to work from our homes until we are all vaccinated and will continue doing online webinars until all of you are vaccinated.  I also realized that I don’t really want NEO-RLS to go back to “normal.”  There are so many things for all of us to think about as we look toward the “end” of the pandemic.  We really can’t, and shouldn’t, return to doing what we were previously doing.  To do so would be to ignore the many challenges and innovations that have occurred in our organizations.  However, the extent to which our libraries and customers have been changed during the past year+ is still relatively unknown.  Many of the new priorities and trends have yet to reveal themselves and it will take us all time to regroup, listen, assess and then determine how to move into the future.  We know that certain things have worked.  Virtual programming has been a huge success for the most part.  However, the digital divide is very real and still stands in the way of making it a huge success for all.  Curbside services have been a lifesaver to many but not to those without personal transportation or access to public transportation.  Home delivery and outreach services are wonderful for those that have them but what about those that do not?  Our ability to provide information resources is very high but how does that translate into helpful if the level of information literacy is not?  The next months are a perfect time to start thinking about the gaps that were present in our individual service models and how those gaps might be addressed moving forward.  What else do we need to think about?  Who aren’t we serving and why?  Together we will move forward stronger than ever if we take this time to reflect.  Thanks and have a safe and healthy week!

Betsy Lantz

CE to Print and Share

Don't forget about CE @ a Glance.  A simple one-page flyer to share with your staff.


Friday, April 2, 2021 at 10:00 am
Are you concerned that your library's website isn't meeting accessibility standards? If not, you should be--lawsuits concerning website accessibility failures are increasing, and libraries do not have immunity.
In this one-hour webinar, you'll gain an understanding of which guidelines are used to measure website accessibility in the United States, and how to begin to evaluate your own library's site for potential issues. We'll also discuss some common pitfalls and things to avoid.
Starting May 3, Ohio libraries will migrate from to LinkedIn Learning. OPLIN director Don Yarman and LinkedIn's Julie Palmer will demo the new interface and answer questions about the switchover. 
Join us on Thursday, March 18th at 10:00 AM for Introducing LinkedIn Learning for Ohio Libraries .


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Here is What Happened in February

Still Time to Register

Single Story Bias
This Tuesday, March 9th at 2 pm

We are aware of the ways in which we can most effectively serve diverse clients, but we aren’t always aware of the ways in which our unconscious biases can interfere. This program explores the “Single Story” bias and how it can negatively impact our interactions with others, especially when the bias is operating outside of our awareness.  Single stories are single accounts or stereotypes that we hold about others, based on the social group we assume that they belong to.  This workshop will explore this concept through interactive activities and discussions.  
Presenter:  Jeff Modzelewski, Senior Engagement Manager, SHIFT Consulting, The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.  This will not be recorded.  Please register only if you are able to attend at the scheduled time.

Employment Opportunities

See what's new!  View Job Postings on the NEO-RLS website. 

From the State Library

Ohio Deaf History Month celebrates deaf history and the contributions of the hearing impaired and Deaf community to society. The General Assembly of the State of Ohio passed legislation in 2017 designating the period beginning March 13 and ending April 15 as Ohio Deaf History Month.  . The State Library of Ohio Board proclaimed the period beginning March 13 and ending April 15, 2021 as Ohio Deaf History Month and encourages Ohio libraries to display materials and host deaf awareness activities to highlight the significance of the many outstanding contributions made by Deaf and hearing pioneers, particularly in Deaf Education.

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Call for Posters

Of Interest to Youth Services

The Ohio Department of Education has announced legislative changes to Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Under these changes, for the 2020-2021 school year, students should not be retained for not meeting the promotion score or reading subscore on Ohio’s State Test for grade 3 English language arts unless the child’s principal and reading teacher decide otherwise.
Summer Reading:
Ohio-based storyteller and author Lindsay Bonilla sent this this link to a brief video in which she describes the programs she has available for Ohio libraries this summer.

A few weeks ago, Janet Ingram Dwyer shared the new publication “Library Staff as Public Servants: A Field Guide for Preparing to Support Communities in Crisis” (learn more and download here:
The creators are presenting a webinar later this month:
What’s Essential When Serving Youth and Families in Crisis Times?
Tuesday, March 23, Noon ET

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