Patrons Your Library Serves:
Share a transformation at your library that you are most proud of.
Our library transformed into a learning commons after one full year of planning and development. We’ve removed 10,000 books and gained nearly 500 sq. ft. in the process. We’ve updated our furniture and the palette of the room, making it brighter and more inviting. We’ve also removed fixed locations for computing by bringing in 40 laptops for student checkout.
Describe your library’s most innovative or most successful service or program.
By far our best change is the furniture, which is mobile in every sense of the word. It allows for the patrons to define the space for their needs. It’s also a great indicator to our change in philosophy and patron service; nothing says “non-traditional” than tables that move as easily as a skateboard and an updated color palette in the space. The openness is inviting and not intimidating.
How does your library connect with your community?
We’ve expanded our social networking footprint by being present on Twitter and Instagram, and will continue to expand ourselves digitally with a presence on Facebook. We have numerous small activities like our Question of the Day and other contests.
What is your library’s vision for the future?
We hope to someday have the large floor area be a noisier space, with our small rooms dedicated to quiet, individual study. We’d also love to have a multi-room, with the materials available to allow our patrons to explore maker culture and 3rd millennium A/V generation.
How do you stay inspired?
I am never in my office. I work on the floor, in the midst of my patrons. I hear and see them working and it helps me determine what I can do to make what they do easier and a deeper experience. I also chat with other librarians as often as I can, and when I’m on vacation I visit local public & college libraries.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for your fellow librarians?
Get rid of your fear. Rejection, failure, conflict; these are necessary for growth. People won’t like what you’re doing, and it’ll probably be because your change reflects their lack of progress, or some other insecurity they have about themselves. You are not responsible for that. As long as you remain true to your patronage, you’re doing it right.