In which it’s all about you. Yes, you!

Last night, in my IST511 class (Introduction to the Library and Information Profession) we did an activity that I enjoyed far too much. Dividing up into pairs, we each spent two minutes talking to our partner about something we were passionate about. I devoted 120 delicious, uninterrupted seconds to geeking out over opera. In return, I was treated to an enthusiastic description of crochet and its increasing popularity.

The purpose of the exercise was to teach/remind us that community conversations are easier when you discover what excites people. A great way to learn what a library members want or need is to ask “What do you love? What can’t you get enough of?”

My desire to serve my community, to connect people with resources, is what drew me to librarianship. Blogging about my journey is a pleasure, but sometimes feels a bit narcissistic. So that’s why this post is now dedicated to YOU. Really!

Word You and single person standing

Instead of writing anymore about myself today, let’s talk about you. Whoever you are, librarian or non-librarian, friend or stranger… what are you most passionate about?

What ideas could you spend two minutes, or two hours, discussing non-stop? Sea creatures? Gourmet cooking? Aboriginal art?

What are the really nerdy things that you wish other people were as giddy over? What topic makes you jump for joy when you hear or read about it in the media?

Please share your enthusiasm in the comments below, whether in just one word, or several paragraphs on your favorite hobby. I’m sincerely curious and I promise to read every word.

P.S. Want to see two good examples of public libraries asking these sorts of questions? The Fayetteville Free Library has a first-rate Community Engagement Survey. Simple but effective, the form allows them to gauge their members’ interests and contact those who might have skills and information to share. The Geek the Library campaign (in the village of Hamilton and many other participating libraries) achieves a similar goal, giving the public a chance to express what motivates and inspires them to learn. How are other libraries initiating these conversations?

6 thoughts on “In which it’s all about you. Yes, you!

    • Library Heather September 30, 2015 / 8:26 pm

      That sounds amazing! I’d love to go out and spend time surveying the community. Honestly, that was one of my favorite parts of my bookstore job: meeting people and finding out about all the great community assets, the skills and experience of so many fascinating individuals. I loved facilitating those connections. So I would meet kids & parents who were really interested in llamas and then invite a local hobby farmer to bring her live llama to the bookstore for show-and-tell. Or bring together a historical event designer and English country dancer with the local Jane Austen book club for a Regency Christmas ball.

      I love that the LISSA FiTS program makes use of the skills of us students in a similar way.


  1. Hilary Virgil September 30, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out Heather! Yes, the Geek The Library was a great opportunity for community building, connecting with neighbors, and reflecting on Library needs & interests. 🙂

    PS– I geek cooking and baking; pottery; and cats!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tcheer4life September 30, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    Here’s a shock, it would be reading and books. I’ve always considered myself a Jill of all trades and mistress of none because I have so many interests that I’m passionate about (music, theater, knitting, needlework, cooking…) but reading and books have lasted longer than any.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A. Marie October 4, 2015 / 7:52 pm

    Jane Austen, of course. But also, not necessarily in this order: gardening, birdwatching (love the Library4Birds, BTW), cruising secondhand stores, visiting farmers’ markets, and reading (even though thanks to the fact that I read for a living, my stack of “to read” books for pleasure is halfway to the ceiling).

    DH and I had an enjoyable drive out east on Sat. 10/3, and we encountered your and my mutual friend Amanda and her mother selling their fantabulous baked goods at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market. Greetings were exchanged, and I brought Amanda up to date on your latest adventures, including this blog. Hope she’ll stop in!

    Liked by 1 person

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