SSCS One-Day Conference 2013 Brainstorming

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During Kelly Krieg-Sigman’s keynote address at the 2013 SSCS One-Day Conference, she asked attendees to brainstorm ideas for library best practices. She provided posters with categories from the article “Great Libraries” by Mary Rzepczynski in Public Libraries, 51(5), and attendees wrote in their own ideas. The results of the brainstorming exercise are reproduced here.

  • Boost local retail and public markets
    • Receipt for fines paid that serves as a public pool pass
    • Mobile book drop at Saturday farmers market
    • Business of the month display
    • Farmers market at library
    • Donated book and DVD on sale
  • Build capacity for local business
    • Create job center for job searching and posting
    • Provide more info to homeless and where they can stay
    • Emergency assistance programs
    • Partially fund weekly transportation from local senior center to library
  • Feature multiple attractions and destinations
    • Craft table in juvenile department
    • Displays that promote people – crafts – history – rather than library events – promote library events elsewhere!
    • Partner programs at local churches, Boys and Girls Club, schools, senior centers, pool, trailer parks, parks
    • Worm race – children’s area
    • MuVChat with movie nights
    • Mini golf through the stacks for summer reading program kickoffs
    • Quilt display
    • Photography
    • Recipe exchange
    • Temporary collection displays (on a counter or bookcase, etc.)
    • Host sustainability program with seed and plant exchange
    • Summer reading program
    • Bike giveaway
  • Make the surrounding area come alive
    • Plant a cutting flower garden to provide fresh flowers on the counter
    • Roof top garden, reading area
    • Picnic/reading area in space behind library
    • Sidewalk art day
    • Commission a fountain
    • Outside water fountain with wireless access
    • Sidewalk chalk art
  • Offer broad mix of community services
    • Become center for sustainable/local/organic initiatives
    • Board games for collection and game night
    • Beginners quilting club
    • English as 2nd language
    • Minecraft program
    • Service animal training program
    • Writing class
    • Teen art contest (themed)
    • Free iPad/Kindle classes
    • Garden club
    • Free computer class
    • Chess club
    • Photography exhibit of local gardens – patrons provide pictures
    • Seed and plant exchanges in spring
    • Homebound delivery services
    • Music lessons – or a staff member who plays – either teach or offer music
    • Lego club
    • Stuff animal sleepover
    • Read to Rover
  • Foster communication
    • Logo design contest
    • Online book discussion groups
    • Online “suggestion box”
    • White boards with discussion questions for patrons to answer
    • Friends annual silent themed basket auction
  • Showcase history and information
    • Semi-annual public scan of photos
    • Encourage oral history project
    • History room
    • Ho-Chunk book for sale
    • Ancestery.com
    • Local history museum places displays in library and presents programs
    • Public programs on services
    • Online access to all
  • Become public gathering places
    • Annual Bookin’ It run – fundraiser and community activity
    • Quilting group
    • 1/2 day school programs
    • Free piano concerts to the public
    • Printer ink recycling drop off
    • “Awards” for certain books (most circulated, most liked, etc.)
    • Farmers market is next to water fountain/library
    • Sponsor film festival, kite festival, any festival!
    • “TV” nights – change specific programs periodically
    • Reel to Real screening with PBS
  • Offer easy access
    • Credit card payments at circulation desk
    • Highlight your easy access (i.e., Sunday hours – people are frequently surprised that we’re open on Sundays)
    • Library to go
    • Provide wheelchair and rolling walker
    • Motorized scooter
  • Provide a variety of amenities
    • Laser tag in the stacks
    • Homework help
    • Computer classes (basic – how do you use a mouse?)
    • In house use of Kindles/iPads
    • Study group location
  • Change with the calendar
    • Live music – seasonal and holiday
    • Color displays
    • Butterfest parade
    • Free bin of scarves, mittens, hats
    • Give-aways of packets of hot chocolate or tea or coffee
    • Finals scream led by library
    • End of quarter/semester “party” for high schoolers
  • Catalyze community revitalization
    • Volunteers tend flower gardens and community garden
    • Inviting outdoor reading/performance spaces
    • Neighborhood cleanup projects
    • Outdoor plays, books readings, poetry recitals
    • Library sign on main highway
    • Up to date landscaping
  • Design to support function
    • “Business” copy area
    • Add coffee (cart or bistro)
    • Student collaborative areas
    • Place where patrons who know each other can talk without disturbing those who want quiet
    • “You are here” signs like at the mall
    • Virtual maps online and on screen at the library
    • Move large print closer to front door