the 500 hats of library staff

In the 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, the protagonist is ordered to take off his hat before the king, only to find that another hat sprouts in its place, until (you guessed it!), Cubbins gets to the 500th hat…and I will stop there, as I’d hate to ruin a wonderful story! In much the same way library directors and staff at small libraries may sometimes feel like Bartholomew–constantly switching hats to meet the demands of our jobs.

We are called upon to work the CIRC desk, catalog new materials, run programs, clean up messes, handle patron complaints/concerns, offer ready reference, and the list goes on…It is therefore imperative to our staff that we offer as many opportunities for continuing education as possible, so that we don’t just wear our 500 hats, but we rock the look!

I am encouraging folks to consider attending the Ohio Library Council Chapter Conferences or regional conferences in your home states! Here are just a few reasons to consider:

  • Lasts only one day, making it easy(ier) for library staff to get away. Consider closing the library for a Staff Training Day–tell your Board that continuing ed is a way for your staff to better serve the public!
  • Much of the content tends to be geared more toward smaller libraries, which means many ideas can be changed to fit your needs; smaller numbers also makes it easier for you to ask more questions
  • Courses offered are on a variety of pertinent topics
  • Great opportunity to network with professional peers

Amanda Bennett, Director
Ada Public Library


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