Sunday, March 11, 2012

Keynote Program: The Anythink Libraries

Pam Sandlian-Smith, Adams County, Colorado

Sometimes people need a story more than food to stay alive.

Adams County library system was the worst in the state. Funding tripled in 2006. Everything needed to be fixed. Collections were 20 yrs. old. Understaffed. Built four new libraries and renovated three.

Conventions: books/periodicals, homework, facts/research, shhhh. Disruptions: community/connections, ideas/experiences, curious minds, etc. A new model.

Spaces: dumped the traditional building program, counting books, tables, and chairs. Took everything out and rethought the space to work best for the people. Rocking chairs on the porch. Library the heart of the community. Experience library...feel welcome, at home. Bookstore-like. Fireplaces. Geothermal, solar, sustainable. Paco Underhill? Book on how people shop. Delightful experiences as you go through the building. Kids learn by touching, playing, experiencing. Tables to display books.

Culture: go about work joyfully and collaboratively. Feels like play. "You are not just an employee, volunteer or board member. You do not merely catalog books, organize periodicals...Part wizard, part genius, part explorer...." Hire people who are friendly, have a strong work ethic. I AM customer focused, cooperative and a collaborator, understanding and compassionate, flexible, effective communicator, problem solver, responsible and honest, emotional mature, continuous learner, innovator, leader...AN ANYTHINKER. Wrangler: part product placement, part inventory control, part display technician. The materials handlers. Concierge: customer service, tech assistance, product promotion. Guide: customer education, reference advocate, event planning. ("Hospitality exists when you believe the other person is on your side." Setting the Table, Danny Meyer)

Disruptions: "SHHH is a four letter word." "Stand back, I can get technical on you." BISAC instead of dewey.

Summer program...Read, Think, Do. Inter-generational.

Branding..(Look for posters from Anythink.) All good ideas start with a doodle.

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