Nicole Fowles: Training our staff to better serve our customers


You may already know that this Monday, Jan. 18, all Delaware County District Library locations close in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. However, if you drive by the Delaware main library on East Winter Street, the parking lot will be full and it will look like the usual center of community and activity that it is. That is because every year, we use this day to close our branches and bring our entire DCDL staff together for an in-service day.

In total, we have more than 100 paid employees in our four-branch system. With varying schedules and hours of operations at the different branches, you can imagine it is quite difficult to have an opportunity to have all staff gather at one time for training. Having this opportunity once a year is a rare, but valuable, experience for all who participate.

This year, we look forward to hearing from speakers on the subject of front-line customer service, an update from our Friends of the Library on their plans for the year (and most pressingly, their upcoming visit from Piper Kerman on Wednesday, Jan. 20), information on the Ohio Digital Library and eBooks, how to respond in a disaster, and much more.

All of these trainings have the purpose of giving our staff the most accurate and up-to-date information to best serve you, our patrons. As you come to the library in 2016, please let us know how we are doing. Whether you’d like to see a new book on our shelves that we don’t have, or you wish we subscribed to a certain magazine in our Zinio collection, we are happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions. You can always email me at [email protected], stop by, or call the library and talk to any of our dedicated staff.

Where can I find information about shrimp or prawn farming?

World Book Online – one of DCDL’s research databases – explains that aquaculture is the term for the “controlled raising of aquatic animals and plants” and that crustaceans, such as shrimp and prawns, account for more than 5 percent of aquaculture production worldwide. I expanded my search to also include our partner OhioLink libraries for information on this subject – most coming from Ohio State University libraries. Titles included “Feeding of Fish and Shrimp: A Manual on the Preparation and Presentation of Compound Feeds for Shrimp and Fish in Aquaculture” by Michael B. New; “Shrimp Culture: Economics, Market, and Trade,” edited by PingSun Leung and Carole Engle; and “Aquaculture Training Manual” by Donald R. Swift.

What causes nightmares?

DCDL owns several titles on dreaming, including one called “The Secret History of Dreaming” by Robert Moss. There are also a number of articles on nightmares – particularly in relation to trauma and post-traumatic stress syndrome – available through our EBSCOhost research database. One such article — titled “Nightmares, Bad Dreams, and Emotion Dysregulation: A Review and Neurocognitive Model of Dreaming” by Ross Levin and Tore Nielsen — explains that though nightmares are common, their origin remains largely unexplained. The article goes on to pose that nightmares reflect failures in emotion regulation and are caused by variance in emotional pressures, as well as high levels of negative emotional reactivity.

Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s website at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked.

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