Northeast Ohio Regional Library System - Event Information - Northeast Ohio Regional Library System

Event Name:
Staff Development Week

Registration is now open for individuals for Staff Development Week.  Feel free to attend as an individual if your library has not already registered to attend.  The following libraries have already signed up for Staff Development Week:  Burton Public Library, Cuyahoga Falls Library, Fairport Harbor Public Library, Hubbard Public Library, Ingalls Library, Kirtland Public Library, Lakeland Community College Library, Marvin Memorial Library, McKinley Memorial Library, Morley Library, Perry Public Library, Shaker Heights Public Library, Wayne County Public Library, Westlake Porter Public Library and Warren Trumbull County Public Library.  Click here to register.

We are excited to bring you a week-long staff development opportunity.  The week-long event, "Positive, Proactive and Prepared," will feature an opening Keynote speaker, a closing Keynote speaker and 7 breakout sessions.  Network Group Meetings will also be held daily.  Breakout sessions will cover a wide variety of topics aimed at all staff.  

HOW MUCH:  Cost for the day is FREE for Gold Members; $10.00 per person for Silver Members;  $25.00 per person for Bronze Members; and $50.00 per person for Geographic Members  
HOW MANY:  We will take a maximum of 990 participants
HOW TO SIGN UP:  Directors should contact Melissa Lattanzi to sign up your entire staff, part of your staff or individual staff.  We will give first priority to NEO-RLS members in our region and then to all others including individual registrations.
DEADLINE TO SIGN UP:  October 31, 2020

Descriptions, Dates and Times:

Monday, January 25, 2020

How to Become a Positive Thinker
10:00 am - 11:30 am

This online workshop is for people who prefer to look on the upside instead of the downside and who recognize that we can all use some support in doing so from time to time.  Join Cheryl as she talks about our natural instincts to be problem solvers and how we can re-frame stressful situations.  By stressing the value of play and fun (which we’ll be having in this session), you’ll get some new solutions for dealing with negativity and learn how to move forward to a positive new future.


Cheryl Gould is a learning facilitator and training consultant who believes in the transformative role libraries can play in their communities.  Cheryl’s professional role is to help libraries with the culture shift required to move from an institution that provides access to resources to one that promotes conversation, learning and engagement at all levels.  Cheryl’s ability to connect people and ideas, to facilitate conversation and to enhance learning has been demonstrated through 17 years of working with libraries in thousands of hours of consulting,mentoring and training.  Her passion for learning, crossed with current developments in neuroscience and her involvement with Applied Improvisation to create library cultures of “Yes, And…” define her work.

Patience! Patience!
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Considering it takes just 2.45 seconds to load a typical web page and just a few more than that to send a text, it’s not surprising that anything in the range of 10 seconds has us huffing and puffing about why it’s taking so long. Google has even found that a web page on a mobile device takes a “jarring” 7 seconds to load – gasp!
Add to that the many other things that might be testing your patience (running late, boredom, doing too many things, health issues, relationship irritants, and any number of life’s other stressors – such as a pandemic!), and it shouldn’t really surprise you that it’s a rare person who moves through each day in a warm, fuzzy blanket of patience.
Constant impatience, though, can cause other issues for you. Allowing your impatience to reign supreme, you can damage relationships, make poor decisions, say things you regret, DO things you regret, contribute to your own health problems, and the list goes on. I think you’ll agree that those are all pretty good reasons to develop our patience!  

Learning Objectives:
  • You will learn to develop an awareness of your own impatience
  • You will learn tips on how to increase your level of patience – and your happiness

Linda Bruno has been developing and conducting training workshops for libraries and other organizations for more than fifteen years. She offers workshops on topics ranging from Leadership Skills to Emotional Intelligence – and lots of areas in between!  Linda received her MBA from the University of Florida and has years of experience in hands-on management positions.  She develops her workshops based on solid research and – more importantly – real-life application.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Privilege & Systemic Inequities-Part 1
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

This program builds upon our Unconscious Bias and Micro Messages program by digging deeper into the identities and power we hold. We will examine how these identities and the systems in which we live lead to power differentials and inequity.  Racism, sexism, and other social ills are often understood in the context of their interpersonal impacts, but we rarely examine the ways that our laws, neighborhoods, schools, and organizations can reinforce these dynamics. In addition to building knowledge of privilege and oppression as they relate to identity, we will apply this understand to systemic barriers. Participants will engage in activities to examine their own identities and learn about systemic inequities in the U.S. with interactive simulations and activities. Finally, participants will develop strategies for disrupting the effects of bias and oppression in organizations and systems and working towards equity and inclusion. 


Caitlin Hawkins, Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio
As a community social worker, Caitlin is passionate about creative, authentic engagement in workplaces and communities. Her educational and professional experiences in community development and higher education lead her to the understanding that relationships matter, and that relationships with people who are different from ourselves provide opportunities for immense growth and collaboration, as long as we know how to harness those connections.  At The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, she works alongside businesses and organizations through every step of the consulting process and engages staff in customized workshops around the topics of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Caitlin works with the express intention of facilitating the growth of inclusive and equitable workplaces.

Vania Sherepita is a JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Specialist at the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio. As a believer in social justice and equity for all, she has committed herself to maintaining a lens of empathy while seeking out the common ground where diverse communities can meet and mutually understand each other through passionate storytelling and compassionate listening. While working with organizations such as Human Rights Campaign, American Civil Liberties Union, and Equality Ohio, she has utilized emotional intelligence, social perceptiveness, and a stance of sincere vulnerability to negotiate, work with, and act as liaison between people of diverse backgrounds and differing opinions. As a JEDI Specialist at the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, she combines her passionate commitment to this work with her professional background in Consulting and Learning & Development (and just a pinch of on-stage experience) to facilitate workshops on creating and maintaining diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace climates.

How to Move on Emotionally After a Big Workplace Loss
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

When bad things happen, most people need time to mourn and make sense of the experience. Budget cuts, furloughs and layoffs, the loss of familiar routines and connections with people, working remotely, the worries that accompany the pandemic, and the impact on-coworkers and library customers.  Workplace grief can be debilitating. Discover new and practical ways to cope and learn how to focus on tomorrow.

Learning Objectives:
  • Feel more confident and competent about meeting daily challenges
  • Lower the impact of past and current losses
  • Apply advice from experts on grief and loss to workplace issues


Pat Wagner is a trainer and consultant with 40 years of experience working for libraries, universities, local government, non-profits, and small businesses. She supports the success of libraries with programs on personnel, supervision, management, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, project management, and communication. Pat has worked with libraries and library organizations throughout the United States, from the smallest rural storefronts to the largest academic and urban library institutions. Pat also is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences. She is known for her good-humored and practical presentations.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Privilege & Systemic Inequities-Part 2
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

See description above under Tuesday morning.

Presenter:  The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio

Tools for Tense Situations with Angry Customers-Will be rescheduled due to last minute emergency
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

In this 90-minute session, Steve will discuss what tools and skills we need to use as libraries continue to re-open their doors to provide skillful and dedicated service to patrons. He’ll provide tools to recognize and resolve conflicts with patrons, including the need for patience, empathy, and understanding other points of view without judgment. His learning points include these important topics:


  • What are the service challenges we face as we return from a Work From Home status to back to working in and around our library buildings?
  • What safety and security protocols do we need to follow, coming and going and while working in publicly-accessed buildings?
  • How can library leaders, managers, and supervisors monitor the work culture for conflict, communication, and morale issues?
  • How do we respectfully request that patrons and other library visitors (vendors, delivery, maintenance, janitorial providers) follow posted Covid-19 safety protocols?
  • How do we agree to disagree and have patience and empathy for our patrons or co-workers who have strong feelings about national issues that differ from ours?
  • How about a little personal and professional stress management?
  • What does the future hold for library employees and what new ways can we provide service to patrons?

Dr. Steve Albrecht manages a training, coaching, and management consulting firm, using a dedicated and experienced team of subcontractor specialists. As a trainer, speaker, author, and consultant, Steve is internationally recognized for his expertise in high-risk HR issues.

He provides HR consulting, site security assessments, coaching, and training workshops in supervisory improvement, workplace violence prevention, harassment prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, team building and team conflict resolution, negotiation, and stress management.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

We Need to Talk:  A Step by Step Guide to Difficult Conversations
10:00 am - 12:15pm
This highly interactive webinar will give participants the tools for having difficult conversations that achieve results. Participants will learn, and practice, a step by step process for managing difficult conversations about a variety of workplace issues. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the sources and costs of workplace conflict
  • Understand the neuroscience behind difficult conversations
  • Learn steps for successful difficult conversations
  • Practice difficult conversation scenarios
Barbara Baker is a Commissioner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) in Independence, Ohio. As a Federal Mediator, she assists parties in collective bargaining negotiations and mediates labor and employment disputes in the private, public and federal sectors. In addition, Ms. Baker trains labor advocates and management in collective bargaining including bargaining processes, contract administration, steward/supervisor training and developing effective labor management committees. She also provides training in communication skills such as conflict resolution, active listening and communication dynamics. Ms. Baker facilitates person to person dialogues as well as group discussions to promote strong workplace relationships.

Vanessa Bullock 
was appointed Commissioner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in May 1997. She is employed as a mediator in the Philadelphia office located in the Northeast region. As a Commissioner, Ms. Bullock has mediated both Labor and Employment disputes in the private and public sectors. In addition to her primary duties of dispute mediation, she is responsible for curriculum development and training in a variety of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs for the  FMCS Institute; Federal Executive Board; and the Cornell University ILR Scrimmage program.

How to Improve Your Workplace When You are Not the Boss
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

It’s not enough to criticize and complain if you want to make your workplace better, particularly when you don’t have power or authority. Also, being right about the technical details of the problem and possible solutions is usually not enough either. You can improve your situation by building better workplace relationships, learning to navigate the political maze of your workplace, and ensuring your own behavior is beyond reproach.

Learning Objectives:
  • Build status through accomplishment and good workplace relationships
  • Identify first steps for making successful change
  • Create a support team of mentors and like-minded change agents


Pat Wagner is a trainer and consultant with 40 years of experience working for libraries, universities, local government, non-profits, and small businesses. She supports the success of libraries with programs on personnel, supervision, management, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, project management, and communication. Pat has worked with libraries and library organizations throughout the United States, from the smallest rural storefronts to the largest academic and urban library institutions. Pat also is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences. She is known for her good-humored and practical presentations.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Creating & Maintaining Good Habits
10:00 am - 11:30 am
During the pandemic lock-down (followed by the NE Ohio winter) many people noticed a shift in their personal and professional habits: some for the better, some for the worse. Harnessing the better habits and nixing the unwelcome habits requires an understanding of the science of habits, awareness of the foundational habits, and the tools to evaluate your habits. Join Dr. Tamsin Astor, Chief Habit Scientist, International Speaker & Author for a deep dive into habits, so you can create and maintain the right habits for your life!

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the science of habit formation
  • Learn about the 5 foundational habits for success
  • Learn how to evaluate your habits

Tamsin Astor, PhD is the founder and Chief Habit Scientist of Yoga Brained Coaching. She is known for giving her clients the tools to shift their mindset, organize their vision, and improve their habits to create an efficient, productive business. We make 35,000 decisions every day, which leads to decision fatigue. Dr. Astor helps her clients reduce the amount of overwhelming decision-making they do by harnessing their goal-achieving machine – AKA – their brains. This also increases their time and energy for fun!

Tamsin Astor holds a PhD in neuroscience and psychology and a post-doctorate in education. She also has certifications in yoga (RYT500, Yoga Ed.), mindset & Ayurveda (Living Ayurveda, Yoga Health Coach). She is an executive coach and author of the book Force of Habit: Unleash Your Power by Developing Great Habits

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Breath by Breath:  Dealing with Anxiety through Yoga

Approximately 40 million Americans deal with anxiety disorders.  Anxiety is a common mental health concern that we are seeing more often.  Our brain function remains the same but our lifestyles keep taking on more and more stress, just like what is happening during the current COVID-19 crisis.   Yoga helps to reduce anxiety by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system or the “rest and digest” system. 

Learning Objectives

  • How Yoga/Meditation help to reduce anxiety 
  • Breath Control for anxiety
  • The Basics of Mindfulness

Vanessa Blair Farris, currently residing in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is no stranger to Northeast Ohio.  Born and raised near Youngstown, Vanessa has a passion for both her Indiana and Ohio communities.  She uses yoga to soothe the mind and the body.  Vanessa has a passion for helping people with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.  She has spent countless hours educating herself on trauma-sensitive yoga methods, attending online summits for trauma sensitivity, as well as learning the fundamentals of yoga and meditation to help those that are struggling. 


Event Date:

Event Time:
This is a week-long event


Non-Member Cost:      $50
NEO-RLS Bronze Member/
NORWELD, SERLS, SWON Member Cost:  $25
NEO-RLS Silver Member Cost:  $10
NEO-RLS Gold Member Cost:    FREE

A portion of the week's events are supported by the State Library of Ohio with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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