Categories Engaging Library Users

182 posts

Posts about strategies to get users involved in the library or thoughts related to serving library user’s needs

Creative Confidence Book Review – A TTW guest post by Dana Lema

When you ask my father to draw a picture of a dog, you get this: When you ask me to draw a picture of a dog, you get something like this: My dad is an artist and art instructor by profession and a semi-professional guitar player as a hobby. My mother was a practiced pianist and seamstress while working as an attorney. My sister can master any type of dance. I can sing, but play no musical instruments. I cannot sew and my dance moves, while enthusiastic, wouldn’t be considered skillful or graceful.  The joy of being part of a […]

Yes, and…. – A TTW guest post by Cheryl May

Devil’s advocates need not apply As I was listening to the Library as a Classroom lecture this week, the devil’s advocate component reminded me of a phrase that is more productive.  That phrase is “yes, and…” rather than “no, but…” or “let me play devil’s advocate”.  In conjunction with this flip on devil’s advocate, asking people to bring solutions is an excellent tool and one I’ve been actively trying to train my staff on for a few years now.  When someone comes to me with a complaint or is being a naysayer, I will frequently ask them to remember I am […]

Where we live (Part 5) – A TTW Guest Post by Beth Harper

The pulse and the flow So what do people want from us? They want help doing things, rather than finding things. – Brian Kenney, “Where Reference Fits in the Modern Library” Infinite learning. Infinite learning. This is actually a really hard topic for me to write about, because it’s so personal, so close to my heart. I don’t know where to start. It’s like talking about breathing. Infinite learning is more than lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is where the mainstream core of the profession is now: “….All purposeful learning activity, whether formal or informal, undertaken on an ongoing basis with the […]

Where we live (Part 2) – A TTW Guest Post by Beth Harper

Love makes a community When I lived in Seattle right after library school I was an AmeriCorps volunteer at Seattle Public Library and helped start the Wired for Learning program which taught tech skills to folks who needed them. In Seattle that was mostly low income folks, new immigrants and people with cognitive or physical disabilities.   My feeling was that I’d do that for a few years, then everyone would have learned the stuff and then we could move on to more sophisticated topics […] Then I moved to the east coast which was a bit behind the west coast and […]

Office Hours: Next Library

My new Library Journal column is all about the Next Library experience. Please take a look. Next Library enhanced the global perspective that I’d argue benefits all information professionals. Over fifty Ignite sessions gave participants a sampling of innovation in  libraries around the globe. Petar Luka?i?, Head of Adult department in Fran Galovic Public Library in Croatia and a scholarship winner to attend the conference, told me “I realize that our core value is the same all around the world: see what your community needs and react. If you talk to someone from Denmark or Ghana, it’s the same problem, […]

People, Places, and Objects – A TTW Guest Post by Anjanette Jones

As libraries anticipate and explore new possibilities for the future, there are three areas that should be focused on for a successful transition; people, places, and objects. Libraries have always desired to reach out to their users, but in the past this involved library buildings that had to be visited in person which were filled with row after row of books and little space left for anything other than reading. With advances in technology libraries have the opportunity to meet user needs in interesting and varied ways. People Technology has and will continue to transform people’s lives. Libraries have a […]

Office Hours: The Hygge State of Mind

Will “hygge” guide our services and interactions? Scandinavian countries have introduced libraries to some wonderful things in the past few years. Nordic Noir fiction, some beautiful new buildings to gather inspiration from, and perhaps the most interesting of all: the concept of hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” it loosely translates from the Danish as “coziness,” but bloggers, news reporters, and folks sharing #hygge-tagged images are quick to say it is so much more. Some might argue that it’s a feeling, a vibe, a state of mind. Others say it’s about connections, conversations, and comfort. This definition shared on an Instagram post by […]

Office Hours: Dream. Explore. Experiment.

A MODEL LIBRARY “We designed our libraries for people, not books,” Østergård said. The collection remained the same size, about 325,000 items, but the new space is much larger. It’s based on the Four Space model developed by Danish Royal School of Library and Information Science professors: inspiration space, learning space, meeting space, and performative space that overlap and intersect. Action words for each sector of the model: Excite. Explore. Create. ­Participate. Do a deep dive into The Model Programme for Public Libraries and you’ll see intriguing and thought-provoking results in Denmark and beyond. Libraries become the center of urban […]

Office Hours: Libraries in Balance

This column explores balancing technology with services and people. Services to the vulnerable and technology offerings are not polar opposites. Librarians have to stop seeing it that way. These are all points on a continuum, and without technological skills, some folks will fall right back into the world out of which they’re desperately trying to pull themselves. Technology is not some future we have the option of ignoring—it is the present. It’s the world in which we live. There will always be people who need to be directed to housing resources, but those are not the majority of our users. […]