Celebrating Makerspace Success

26 January 2023

Makerspaces in libraries are great. While makerspaces allow people to get creative and discover new ideas for projects, using the new equipment can be daunting for those who are unfamiliar with it. That’s why The Workshop Lab at Palatine Library District created an easy and accessible way to introduce members to the new space. 

Making a Makerspace: A Library-Win Fable

26 December 2022

Once upon a time, there was a library nestled amid farm fields in Central Illinois.  Now, this library was not big, but its patrons loved the library, and the library loved all the people that came to visit.  The kind people who ran the library wanted to do everything they could to provide materials and services to their patrons that could not be found elsewhere.

Teaching Essential Digital Literacy

19 December 2022

In May of 2022, a patron came up to the Reference Desk at the Northbrook Public Library asking for help with her new cell phone. She said that she had previously used a flip phone, but was told by her phone provider that they no longer supported it and that she needed to get a smartphone. She said that she didn't know how to use a smartphone, even to make or receive a call and she was concerned she was going to miss an important call from her doctor.

Helping Start a New Business

8 December 2022

Business Librarian at the Crystal Lake Public Library here.  I had a patron come in for a one-on-one reference appointment shortly before the COVID-19 lockdown went into effect.  She and her partner were looking to open a bookstore and needed help gathering information.  I showed her our collection of business books, worked with her to find resources on writing a business plan, and demonstrated a couple of databases that would help her in her quest. 

My Library Is... A Place for Fresh Produce

10 October 2022

Cool, autumn weather and… gardens? It may not seem like the two go hand-in-hand, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about library programming and services for next year. One great way to get started is with a Garden Table.

Started in 2018, the Vespasian Warner Public Library District Garden Table encourages local gardeners to bring their surplus fruits and vegetables to share with the community. Then, library visitors are invited to take home whatever items they can use. This is a great way for the community to receive free produce that may otherwise go to waste.

Fostering Community Partnerships: 10 Easy Steps!

1 August 2022

As costs rise across the entire economic playing field, libraries are feeling the squeeze on their budgets.  One way to help mitigate a tight programming budget is to foster and maintain community partnerships.  Working with the businesses in your community is a winning solution for everyone involved.  Libraries get exposure to potential new card holders, while businesses get “free advertising” to prospective customers.  Often, the business community does not think about the library as a potential partner, so it is up to the library’s marketing or programming lead to initiate these relation

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