This morning (May 30th) Inspiring Ideas Ambassadors with our Outreach Services unit had some terrific interactions with the men and women at Siloam Mission. Outreach Services (learn more about us here) visits Siloam about 4 times each year to sign up people for Library memberships, replace Library cards and answer any questions folks may have about what the Library offers. The conversations are always great.
Today we heard a whole lot of ideas about how Winnipeg Public Library should focus its efforts. People were excited about the idea of more mobile services, had questions about the future of print books, were excited to learn about our new hoopla service and talked about wanting resources to learn more about Cree and Ojibway cultures. Like I said, the conversations are always great. Thank you to Siloam for continuing to host us and to our fellow community members who shared their dining room space with us this morning.
The Seniors’ Housing and Lifestyles Expo was hopping busy with organizations and businesses from across the city presenting their services for older adults. Library staff were on hand to showcase our programs and services – and answer questions of all kinds. There was a lot of interest in our collections and services for the visually impaired, and in our programs (over 3,200 a year!), and lots of great technology questions too. Many spoke of their love of print books and magazines, the genealogy and newspaper databases, and were delighted to learn about the library’s extensive movie collection of DVDs and Blu-ray. Everyone loved Zinio eMagazines and getting the chance to download and try it for themselves at our handy iPad station. We introduced many others to Hoopla (music, movies, audiobooks). By the day’s end we had spoken to over 250 people!
Our eager Inspiring Ideas team was right there with us helping with the online survey (or paper survey, if that was preferred) and taking attendees comments and ideas.
Westwood Library attended the West Portage YMCA Wellness Fair on May 1st. Among the colouring tables, home safety demonstrations, and free loot bags, library staff spoke with 176 families about literacy, baby rhymes, library cards, and our upcoming Mother’s Day program! We even had our own comfy reading corner.
We also embraced the opportunity to talk to folks about any inspiring ideas they might want to share about the future for their library. These new young parents with their little human inspirations in tow have ideas aplenty and we were eager to hear all about it!
April 28 was the launch of the Inspiring Ideas project. The launch, held at the newly-renovated Metropolitan Theatre, was itself inspiring. Spoken word artist Nereo set the tone with a forward-thinking, captivating performance which enthralled the audience. “Set your imagination free” was the message he spun from mere words into spell-binding images you could hear and almost see. With this opening performance, the morning’s events were bound to engage the audience.
The launch continued its momentum with life-long library supporter Councillor Brian Mayes’ thoughtful words on the many strengths and far-reaching effects of libraries, as well the importance of community involvement in planning the future of these public spaces. Councillor Mayes also revealed that one of his local libraries was not actually a branch of the City system, but his sons’ bedroom, where books were organized and ordered, and for which the Councillor required a library card!
Keynote speaker Ken Roberts gave the audience a taste of the future of libraries. Ken has traveled the world consulting and working with library stakeholders. Through pictures and words Ken forecasted the changing needs and corresponding roles that the Winnipeg Public Library will fill. Ken inspired the audience to think about what they would like to see their local library become. The days of book repositories are long over. Libraries are seeking and finding creative ways to reach out to communities: using their library spaces for collaborative imaginative projects as well as information sharing. Building spaces that have a strong street presence. Giving free access to a new generation of electronic books. No longer content to wait for the public to come to them, the Library is going to the Public.
The morning’s speakers were introduced by Manager of Library Services Rick Walker, tireless champion of new and innovative library initiatives. The audience was encouraged to share their ideas in a variety of ways, by writing or drawing them out on a large mural, by posting them on a white board, by displaying them in pictures via a photo booth, and by filling out the online (or paper) survey.