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TL v60n3: Ann Clapp
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Tennessee Libraries

Volume 60 Number 3



It's My Opinion!

Staff Development

by  Ann Clapp


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 What is TNLibrary Snapshot Day, and why should my library participate?

TNLibrary Snapshot Day is based on an initiative by the American Library Association to gather information on a state level to help promote library funding and reduce the cuts to libraries happening across the country.  According to the ALA website, “Library Snapshot Day provides a way for libraries of all types across a state, region, system or community to show what happens in a single day in their libraries. How many books are checked out? How many people receive help finding a job? Doing their taxes? Doing their homework? This initiative provides an easy means to collect statistics, photos and stories that will enable library advocates to prove the value of their libraries to decision-makers and increase public awareness.”

October 7, 2010, marks TNLibrary Snapshot Day, but libraries can choose a different date if they are unable to participate on that day.  Libraries and media centers across the state will be gathering statistics, comments, and photographs.  We will use these statistics and stories to create PR materials for funding agencies, governing bodies, legislators, and the public.  We also plan to create a small photography publication similar to the “Day in the Life of…” books that will include high-quality photos from all types of libraries across the state with interesting comments and statistics as captions.  This publication could be an effective tool during public funding battles and with legislators throughout the year.

The TNLibrary Snapshot committee, which is made up of representatives from school, public, academic, special, and government document libraries, has made Snapshot Day participation as easy as possible.  Visit the website at and follow these steps:

1. Visit the SURVEY page for your type of library and determine how you will gather the information required.
2. Visit the FORMS page to download helpful survey/comment sheets for patron input, statistics tracking sheets, photo releases, etc.
3. Visit the PR page to download templates for press releases, fliers, bookmarks, staff training, etc.
4.  If possible, recruit volunteers and/or students to help take high-quality photographs, pass out forms, and count the people or items during statistic gathering.
5. October 7th...TN Library Snapshot Day...gather the information, take compelling photos, and gather quotes and surveys from patrons.
6. Visit the SURVEY page for your type of library and complete the survey, upload photos to Flickr, and mail written comments to The Brentwood Library, 8109 Concord RD, Brentwood, TN 37027, Attention: Ann Clapp.

Snapshot Day will only be successful with your participation, so please join us.

Ann Clapp is Head of Reference & Acquisition at The Brentwood Library, Brentwood, Tennessee and is the co-chair (with Beverly Simmons) of TLA’s Staff Development Committee.  Before coming to libraries, she served as a district manager for a retail bookstore chain.  Interested in free library training materials?  Please visit the Library Skillbuilders website at


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