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We’re Starting Up A Jelly

   July 12th, 2011

Chelmsford Jelly logoThere's a new program starting this week at my library - a Jelly.

What's a Jelly?!
A Jelly is a casual yet organized assembly of people who choose to work in a social atmosphere - with other interesting and creative people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off.

The idea for the Chelmsford Jelly actually originated with a patron. He approached our programming librarian and asked if the library could host a Jelly. After researching online to find out what the heck a Jelly was, we agreed - we're providing a room and some publicity, and he's doing everything else. He's also set up a meetup page for the Jelly to manage it.

I think the idea of "coworking" is a good one. There are lots of people now who, for whatever reason, do work at home, in coffee shops, in parks, whatever, instead of going into an office. There is a lot of freedom in that, but sometimes it helps to be around people who are also doing work. The coworking approach is just that - working around other people who are also working. They're not necessarily working together, just near each other - near enough to enjoy each other's company, use as a sounding board, share lunch, and share the experience of working. Basically, social networking in person.

For us, the Jelly will meet every third Friday from 11:30-4:30. We're not sure how successful it will be, but since the library's core mission is providing community space for patrons (and this program requires extremely little effort on our part), we want to support this program as much as possible.

Update: At our first Jelly, I think there were about 4-5 people who came to work, and stay for part or all of the day. But I was told there was a steady stream of other people who just popped their heads in to see what it was, or, as one man said, "to see what kind of people come to these things." I think this will become more popular as word spreads over time, so I'll post an addition update after a few sessions.

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5 Responses to “We’re Starting Up A Jelly”

  1. Michelle Says:

    We also have SOHO people working in our library, so would love to hear how this goes.

  2. Jennifer Moore Says:

    neat idea.

  3. Eric Salerno Says:

    Thanks for blogging about tomorrow’s event Brian. The Chelmsford Public Library is such a great resource, and that includes the great people that work there!

    I’m so glad to see that already, there are other librarians watching to see how this goes. Because if it actually does take off, it could be a great example of how a Library can attract more patrons and increase it’s presence in the community.

    At the very least, it’s gotten some local media attention for the library from our local business radio show (WCAP 980) and our local paper, the Chelmsford Independent.

    Even if it doesn’t turn out the way we planned it, it got people talking and thinking.

  4. Paul Adasiak Says:

    This is a fantastic idea. If your job allows you the liberty, try meeting in a bar or pub — a clean, well-lighted one. Until my supervisor put the kibosh on it, I found that a little beer (not a lot) helped work go more smoothly, on the “spoonful of sugar” principle. My faculty friends from other departments could grade papers or prepare lectures, while I did various metadata projects and put out an “Ask Here For Research Help” sign.

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