Friday, March 2, 2012

Keynote Address: Anythink Libraries

The keynote address was given by Pam Sandlian-Smith, a the library director from Adams County in Colorado. She created Anythink, a completely renovated library system for her community. I found her ideas so refreshing and positive. Absolutely everything was changed about their system. The library employees are divided into three categories: wranglers (book handlers), concierges (people helpers) and guides (reference librarians). They got rid of Dewey and organized the space with a natural language organizational system that is used in bookstores. I especially liked the quote she shared from Joan Frye Williams: “"Libraries used to be like a supermarket, where you would go to get the ingredients you need to take home to your kitchen and make something. Today the library is becoming more like a kitchen, where 'meals' can be prepared and shared in a community setting." This philosophy was clearly apparent when she showed pictures of their children’s section, which was designed to look like a treehouse. The children’s library is full of experience zones, so children can learn from touching, doing, playing and being together. Brilliant!

For more information about Anythink, visit the web site at and click on their “Anythink Tank” in the upper right.

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