Thursday, February 14, 2013

Library Love--Get Outside your Bubble

My favorite Valentine was a letter from a Storytimer at my old library

I am feeling the library love today! It's so wonderful to visit other libraries and get ideas, insight and just experience something different. I highly recommend making the effort to get out of your bubble and visiting libraries outside your system.

Yesterday I took a trip to visit Marge (Tiny Tips for Library Fun) and Sara (Bryce Don't Play)* at their library a few hours away. It was awesome to get a behind-the-scenes look at all the cool things they're doing at their library. It's always so refreshing to talk to Marge--five minutes talking to her can literally change my whole outlook on something.

Sara and I are presenting together this April with Anne (So Tomorrow), so part of the purpose of my trip was to get some work done on our presentation,** but I also got to sit in on one of Sara's fantastic Elementary-age programs (I warned her I would be creepin' on her, so it wasn't like this***).

I totally admire Sara's talent for school-aged programming, and she's planning to blog about the program I attended, "Wild Record Wednesdays." It was another great, simple program idea that WORKS. But more than the program idea, I really appreciated the ability to see how she runs her programs. From when to call a no-show (which it looked like at first), to dealing with non-ideal behavior, to seeing her style of interacting with the kids and conducting the program, it made me feel really invigorated to actually *see* someone else doing what I do and how she does it.

Today I stopped by the library closest to my house, which is in a different system from the library where I work. I just spent about ten minutes strolling around and looking at how they do things. What kinds of displays do they have? How are they communicating with their patrons? What kinds of programs are they doing? In this case it was really interesting because I could see different ways this library was implementing the same programs that my library does since we're in the same consortium.

It's definitely worth the effort to get out and see and celebrate what others are doing.

Superfluous cute story:

My favorite moment was walking past an early literacy installation, which happened to be a bus complete with a steering wheel, the little girl 'driving' the bus invited me to, "Hop in!" Being a good children's librarian, I naturally complied. When I asked where we were going she said, "To college." There was an interactive magnetic map inside the bus, and a little boy came up and started arranging our route. He informed me very seriously that if we were good at the bank, hospital, church, and post office THEN we could go to the park. You're never off the clock if you work with kids!

*pro-tip: her blog title is a lie--she's totally fun

**After Anne read the work we did on the outline she tweeted this gem: "When you plan a conference presentation with and , the outline specifies where GIFs will go.

***or was it?

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