#TTW10 : Ukeleles & Love

I love highlighting cool things libraries are doing beyond the norm here on TTW. I’ve done it for years in the “Library Innovators” category. It’s easy to get stuck in our grooves…the same programs, the same services, over and over and over again.

From Justin Hoenke:


All of my love, support, and thanks to Kirsten Cappy and Michael Whittaker.  These people are the future of libraries.

Got Uke?  No?  No worries, your library does.

Portland, Maine library card holders can now check out ukuleles and equally hip young adult books from the Teen Room of the Portland Public Library.

This is so in sync with my new column at Library Journal “Holding Us Back:”

It’s easy to focus on the folks who use our services consistently, the ones who borrow materials, attend programs, and bring children to story time. The next step I would call “radical community engagement,” and it begins with statements like this: “I think our strength is in our ties to the community and the relationships we build with our customers. That should be our focus and should drive how we develop our programs and services in the future.” Golden! The need to be vocal can’t be overemphasized: “We need to change the concept of the library as a restricted, quiet space—we bustle, we rock, we engage, but so many people in the community do not know this.” The Pew report is evidence that tapping in to community needs and interests is paramount for libraries, and active interaction with citizens, business, nonprofits, and other entities is a promising future. Open the doors to local experts and creators to teach and share.

Think beyond the collection, folks… there’s some great things possible! Justin’s work is proof of this.