Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Subversive Library!

Once upon a time (aka June, 2012) Kelly Jensen and I presented on passive programming at ALA Annual in Anaheim. It was a delightfully nerve-wracking experience. Afterward, we were asked to write an article on the subject of our talk. Today, many moons later, that article has posted with Programming Librarian, and can be read here.

Feedback and your experiences with the subject are welcome!

One thing that Kelly and I were very committed to including were specific examples of how you can implement our recommendations (some culled from personal experience, some are well-known adaptations, and some are blatantly stolen from here and there). Nothing frustrates me more when reading professional material than eight paragraphs of how awesome this thing that librarian did was, followed up with zero practical info about how to reproduce it. It wastes everyone's time, and frankly, it's tacky self-promo in a space that should be more about professional enrichment, advice, and inspiration (I has a beef*). That was exactly the opposite what Kelly and I were going for. Not that we want to be all touchy-feely objects of inspiration. That would be gross. Our goal was more of the line of thinking about reaching different segments of your teen population. Which is pretty much what we said in our last paragraph:

"Passive programming gives teens another avenue and level in which to interact and connect with the library. It will hopefully lead to larger, more obvious engagement, but even if it doesn’t, even if a teen never once actually participates in a passive program, those teens will still have seen the effort. Whether or not they embrace the activities, it communicates to them that they are wanted and valued; that the teen area is truly  their  space. That’s the long game. We want patrons, no matter their age, to understand that they own the library."

ANYWAY. We did a thing, and even though the whole package, including the presentation** has been something Kelly & I have been thinking about and experimenting with for well (well) over a year now, I, apparently, still feel strongly about the subject. So, give it a read. See if you can apply any of it to your library or life. Let us know how it turns out.

*It's really hard for me to find time to read professional journals. I get cranky when you don't give me the tools for reproduction. Don't bother writing if you're going to be all selfish about it. /meanieness
**speech notes can be found here, and the Prezi here.