Friday, November 14, 2014
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you’ll probably hear lots
of turkey talk. Brine or baste? Bake or deep-fry? Turkey tips get play
because they’re in demand now. Timely messages hold our
attention. You can find timely information to share, too, and
the more you tailor it to your local audience, the more valuable it’s
likely to be.
Thanksgiving is also time for non-turkey-related
pursuits. Some of your patrons will spend a lot of time watching
football. Others will don all-weather gear and go Black-Friday shopping.
What can you offer those audiences? A bit of football trivia? A few
tips on deals to grab and deals to beware? Finding a new angle or
digging for more information to share takes work, but the reward is that
The timeliness trap
challenge for planners and programmers is that we can’t
wait for an idea to become timely to start working on it. A
program at your library on pie baking might be warmly welcomed, but two
weeks before Thanksgiving is too late to start looking for a presenter
if you want to tie it in to the holiday.
This is true for topics,
as well as events. Is this the right time to put a maker space in your
library? Is there demand for tools like 3D printers where you are? It
can be hard to tell, especially when the topic is unfamiliar to you. And
it’s easy to conflate our own interest (or disinterest) in a topic with
What to do?
It’s tough to know
where to start, especially with a new subject area. If you’ve never
before, how much do you have to learn before hosting your first
Minecraft event? Are your computers fast enough? How much tech-savvy
does it take to set up?
Turn to people who have already
done it. Turn to your community. You don’t have to figure it
all out on your own. Join one of SWON’s
Special Interest Groups and come to a meeting, or send a message to
the group online. And share ideas you work on, even if it was an event
whose moment is passed. Great ideas find ways to become timely again.
Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator
Ohio Library Day
Set during National Library
Week next year, Ohio Library Day is an
opportunity to show library/community partnerships. Led by the “Library
Think Tank: Community Hub” committee from Library Leadership Ohio,
they’re encouraging libraries of all types to plan programming for that
day that demonstrate that libraries are community hubs and meeting
They’re already posting programming
ideas for academic, public, school and special libraries. The more
libraries get involved, the stronger the impact can be. We can make it a
timely topic by working on it together. Start planning now for Ohio Library Day, April