A great conference brings together interesting people, new perspectives, and plenty of ideas to share. When librarians come together, you can expect sharing to happen everywhere—in hallways, at the buffet line, and even in the hotel lobby. We are a profession that loves learning, so it’s great when we can get together and let the ideas fly.
This past week at the CLiC Spring Workshops in Pueblo, librarians from all over Colorado spent two days learning and sharing together. Here are some of the ideas that inspired me.
Suzette Baker from Penrose Community Library shared that they are starting an Upcycling program. Upcycling is similar to recycling, except that materials are reused and re-purposed for something new. This weekend, patrons are going to make lawn ornaments using vases, glass bowls, and a little elbow grease. This program goes to show that you don’t need hi-tech equipment to start a maker movement at your library. Contact Penrose Community Library to learn more.
Dawn Combe, Research & Instruction Librarian at Regis University Library, is finding new ways to connect with students on and off campus. She and her staff have started a relationship with the student government to learn how they can better support students. They are trying lots of different strategies, from bringing in therapy dogs during finals week to gathering feedback about what type of furniture to buy. They’ve added charging stations, started a newsletter, and entered costume contests. Dawn said that they not afraid to try new ideas and scrap the ones that don’t work, and she encouraged other librarians to use that kind of iterative design thinking when evaluating outreach programs.
Rethinking Library Design
Dave Sanger from the University of Denver shared how teacher librarians can rethink their spaces to maximize student engagement in a digital age. The library sets the tone for the entire building, and it should evolve as collections and instruction evolve. One librarian told me it was her favorite session of the conference because it gave her new ideas to try in her own library, which is what every presenter wants to hear. Check out Dave’s presentation, Rethinking School Library Collections.
Renegade Readers’ Advisory
Katie, a librarian at a corrections facility, shared her passion for reader’s advisory during my session, You Should Totally Present About That. Katie’s patrons are restricted in many ways, including the library resources they can access. It was an inspiring moment for everyone in the room when she shared how much she loves surprising her patrons with books they end up enjoying. I, for one, would be thrilled to see Katie present at next year’s CLiC workshop on the topic, which she calls “Renegade Readers’ Advisory”.
Everyone who attended the CLiC Spring Workshop, presenters and participants alike, brought a wealth of ideas worth sharing—this is just the tip of the iceberg. For even more inspiration, check out the presenter materials on Colorado Virtual Library and on the CLiC website.
It’s easy to put sharing on the backburner once a conference is over and the real world sets in, but let’s keep it going! Spotlight on Sharing is an initiative that increases the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado’s libraries. How is YOUR library sharing? Let us know by filling out this super short form. If you’re on Twitter, tweet @hitchlib or use the hashtag #spotlightonsharing.