Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ideas. They can pop up anywhere!

I can't help it--I never completely stop thinking about libraries. I think it's like how your brain will continue working on a problem or complication even while you're doing something else, like cooking or showering or sleeping. When my brain recognizes something with library potential, no matter what I'm doing, it's like a light goes off. Eureka! An idea from an unexpected place.

Such was the case over the past week, when I was vacationing in New York City. That is a big city, full of lots of new sensory experiences; sometimes I just quietly take everything in, walking and observing without particular direction or intent. But then, out of seemingly nowhere, BAM! A library connection is made. As an example: I went wandering through the Met a bit, and I found myself in the hall of armor. There happened to be a family art activity going on; the activity encouraged museum-goers to sketch some of the patterns they saw in the armor and then etch their own patterns in art-quality foil. Says my brain: replicate this activity, and throw in some knights-in-shining-armor storytelling to make it a full, robust program. Easy peasy.

I hadn't had any further intention in visiting the Met than viewing some great art, but I came out with a program idea. Those things can pop up anywhere! I've gotten random program inspiration from museums, gardens, strolls through neighborhoods...really, inspiration can be anywhere. And thank goodness for that, too, because it helps keep programming fresh, interesting, and engaging--for my kiddos and for me.

The topic of finding library inspiration from museums turned into a Twitter convo, then a Pinterest board, between me, Melissa Techman, and Sophie Brookover. Check out the board, which is in its very early stages.

What have been your unconventional sources of library inspiration?

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