December 3rd, 2011 Brian Herzog
This week's question made me laugh, and then made me think - and I wasn't the only one.
One of the programs going on at my library right now is something call the "Cultural Road Show." The idea behind it is to increase awareness of the museums and other cultural organizations in the community, by having one of them come to the library each month and give a program on their group/collection.
Essentially, get the museums to get a small exhibit "on the road" and bring it to the library (one nice side effect is that it also promotes our museum passes). We're using the bus image to reenforce the "road trip" theme, and also are scanning people's library cards as they enter (sort of like an EZPass going through a toll booth) which enters people into drawing for prizes from the museums.
Our Community/Programming Librarian has been doing a good job of organizing and promoting it, and the first few road shows have been pretty well-attended.
But this week, a patron walked up to the circulation desk and said:
I saw signs for this Cultural Road Show - what time does the bus get here, and do you have a schedule of all the places where we'll be stopping?
Of course, obvious and honest misunderstandings like this are humorous, mainly because this approach never even occurred to anyone on the staff - and we all had a good laugh.
But then we all thought, why not plan a road trip for patrons to actually visit museums? Just because the idea didn't originate with a staff person doesn't mean we can't do it. We need to look into the feasibility of that kind of program, but we all liked the sound of it.
It reminded me of Jessamyn's recent post about the trend in library programs to do new things - sometimes, the best way to come up with new ideas is to ask patrons.
December 9th, 2010 Brian Herzog
Do you know what I enjoy more than telling people where the bathroom is? Shopping.
In case anyone is pestering you for gift ideas, they could read How To Get Good Gifts for Librarians, or use the links below to find something for the librarian in their life.
- Typographic Note Cards from my cousin Tom's collections at studiotwentysix2
- One of my favorite t-shirts
- PLA's online shop, including the cookery apron
- Make a year-end donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and help fight for freedom
- Help out Cory Doctorow's self-publishing experiment, With a Little Help
- Support a library school student's effort to raise money for his graduation with a Tattooed Librarians of the Pacific Northwest calendar. Other calendars: Librarian: The Original Search Engine and Library due date calendar
- Unshelved's online store - I wear my Library Raid jacket all the time (thanks Tim)
- Assorted book- and librarian-themed items at Etsy, CafePress, Zazzle, BookLoverTshirts.com, GiftsForAGeek.com
- As seen on Swiss Army Librarian: Kate Spade book bags, Seuss Army Knife shirt, Swiss Army Librarian sticker (still available for free!)
- For more tech-oriented ideas, BoingBoing's Holiday Gift Guide has some fun and unusual suggestions
- Update: Barbarian Librarian's Booty Shop - gifts for book people with attitude
- Update 2: More awesomeness from Boing Boing - their Charitable Giving Guide, the 2010 edition, with donation ideas such as Creative Commons, The Internet Archive, and The Gutenberg Project. And don't forget Wikipedia
- Update 3: Librarian Lump of Coal Gift Guide 2010 from 100 Scope Notes - these are great, but my favorite is the squashed rat bookmark
- Update 4: I'm sorry I forgot this one: give someone a gift membership to LibraryThing.com - 1-year or lifetime
And finally, the Washington Post's fiction critic picks special gifts for the book lover (via LISNews):
Tags: book, Books, christmas, gift, gifts, holiday, idea, ideas, librarian, libraries, Library, present, presents
December 7th, 2010 Brian Herzog
The following came in email from Peter W. Tobey, Director of Sales & Marketing for Salem Press. I thought it was something worth publicizing and supporting - check it out:
The Great Reference Idea Contest
Salem is tinkering with a way to learn more about the changing landscape of reference. In this particular instance, we're wondering about what new content areas (or emphasis) might be on the minds of students, patrons and librarians. So, we're asking.
We'd like librarians to suggest titles and/or subject areas for new reference. Everything is on the table. Every idea is welcome, covering any subject. Our hope is that librarians will ask for the reference their patrons and students need but can't find.
The first three librarians whose suggestions on any specific subject become new Salem Press reference will receive that reference free. That's it, very simple: Be among the first three with an idea and we'll give you the reference when (and if) we publish it.
Librarians should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their ideas. Librarians may submit as many ideas as they'd like. In fact, the more the merrier.
For a press release on the program, click Press Release. Hope you enjoy this...
Peter W. Tobey
Director, Sales & Marketing
Voice: (201) 968-9599
I appreciate publishers taking an interest in the development and future direction of the library world, and this cooperative approach to identify need, rather than just pushing whatever they have to sell.
I haven't come up with any earth-shattering ideas, but I'll definitely submit something.
(Image: energy-saving light bulb by AA, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from sloth_rider's photostream)
Tags: crowdsource, crowdsourcing, evolution, idea, ideas, innovation, libraries, Library, public, reference, salem press