One of my favorite Kansas colleagues is headed to San Fransisco next month to give an “ignite talk” on lifelong learning in libraries. I have no idea what an “ignite talk” is, but I already love it!
To prep for her talk, she put a call out to Kansas librarians to share ideas about how lifelong learning happens in each of our libraries, whether it’s programs, events, spaces, training, web events, materials, etc. She’ll be turning our feedback into a word art slide show that shows all the different ways we’re getting at this key library function.
As I sat down to answer her question and shoot some photos her way, I was just really proud of what my library’s been working on. Our Thrifty Gifter series, which taught our community about hands-on DIY crafting, upcycling, frugality, metalworking, and knitting. Our recent “Meat and Greet” Kansas Day celebration which ditched the butter churning and anthems, and instead introduced community members to local ranchers, who talked about animal husbandry and sustainable food while the audience enjoyed free tasting portions of their meats. We’ve had fun teaming up with local foodies to offer events like Coffee Tastings, where we talk about how coffee is grown and techniques for tasting, roasting, and brewing. And currently we’re in the middle of a series of Financial Wellness Clinics, which cover budgeting, saving, investing, love & money, and more.
The more I hone the practice of librarianship, and especially events and programs, the more I’m convinced that libraries thrive when we offer what our communities actually want to know, instead of what we think they ought to know. In my community, that means arts, local foods, sustainability, civil war history, basketball, and lit… and the weirder, the better.
What event have you loved at your library, lately?