Monday, August 27, 2007

Building a community creativity lab

In case anyone's been wondering what happened to me, I did not fall off the earth! It just feels that way since I've been wrapped up in beginning of the school year craziness and starting my second-to-last Marketing class before completing my certificate - yeah! While it's been insanely busy, I've still been cooking up ideas for the blog and I think there are some exciting developments in the works.

The next project I want to tackle is building on the concept of a community creativity lab as a model for library services. I got some fairly good responses to my previous post on the topic, so I decided to take the concept a bit further. I can't claim to be the first to come up with this general idea, and there's already a lot of outstanding work being done along these lines. However, I thought it was a little unfair to say that libraries should become creativity labs without giving any specifics as to how they could work in reality.

So, in a series of posts, I'm going to tackle questions like:

  • What would the founding principles and purpose of a creativity lab be?
  • What would it look like in terms of physical spaces, both public and non-public?
  • How would the community be involved?
  • What services would be offered?
You get the idea. Since there's already evidence of these labs taking shape, I'm going to start with examples I've seen and point out their key elements and build up from there. (I already have a guest post or two coming up that describe some outstanding initiatives). I have no idea how many posts it'll take to fully explore this idea or how long it'll take, but I'm just going to keep plugging away at it. At the end, whatever that may be, I'll assemble the posts into a document that you all can do with what you wish.

Care to be involved? I would really love it if you readers would contribute your thoughts and ideas as we go along. Please comment on any post of interest and I'll incorporate your thoughts into the final paper. If you want to be involved sooner, please send me examples you've seen in libraries or elsewhere that you think resemble "creativity labs." I'll feature them in my posts and use them to define this concept.

Final note: What does any of this have to do with marketing? Faithful readers will know that in marketing, the most important piece of the marketing mix is the product. This series on the library as creativity lab will essentially explore new product ideas for libraries that resonate with today's patrons and their increasingly sophisticated needs. Here's hoping it works! :-)


Anonymous said...

Two of our librarians have kids with juvenile diabetes. They actively participate in JDRF's (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund) annual Walk for Diabetes as a fundraiser. Next year the library plans to be a "corporate" sponsor of the walk in our local area.
1. We would involve all staff and patrons
2.We also plan to have a class for adults and teens on designing logos/decals on t-shirts using software in our Computer Lab where numerous computer related classes are offered to the public.

We hope to make it a community building activity that is both educational and fun.

Jill said...

This is a great example, thanks! Good luck with it and feel free to let us know how it goes.