Meet me in Tacoma, Washington

By Marion Steele

That is where this year’s ARSL conference was held. It was a great place to have a conference and learn so much to take back to the library. One of the workshops that I attended was called Frugal Fundraising: It Doesn’t Take Money To Make Money. This workshop covered how Friends of Libraries groups make money by doing things that take very little money. Some of the suggestions were to start with a concrete purpose for raising money. This concept intrigues people interested in giving toward that goal. You can also have an auction and ask for donations of items or services to auction off. I learned that some restaurants like Subway, Wendy’s and Pizza Hut, will host nights where they will give a percentage of what they make to the library. Another popular fundraising idea was an event called a Taste of Chocolate. Everyone likes chocolate!

Another program I attended was Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from Tech Averse to Tech Savvy. This program taught ways to get your staff up to snuff on techniques for helping patrons. I learned about some programs geared towards teaching staff so that they can then go out and show the patrons how to do things and also about programs that will train the patron directly. Part of this class was to get the staff comfortable in helping people. A main point of the program was that you give the staff a chance to be self-directed learners by giving them a form to fill out about what new technology skill they will learn, by what date, and how they will use this new skill. I think this is really important to help staff set goals.

Another fun program was Lego@ Your Library. This program discussed starting a Lego club and how popular they are becoming. The presenters discussed how they got a grant to purchase the Legos to get the program started. They created a library Lego club where people could make their Lego creations. After they were finished the library would put it on display for two weeks so that people could see what had been made.  This successful program also brought families together by encouraging them to work together.

Leave a Reply