We hosted our third musical event in the library for the year this week, which I think is such a twist on the traditional library atmosphere. We actually have bands inside the library, playing for hours as people sit and listen, browse for books, read the newspaper or tap their foot appreciatively at the OPACs.
This time around, it was a jazz quartet, though we have also hosted a string quartet and an Irish band. Come December, we're having a local Sweet Adelines group sing carols in the library for an hour. We have the space, the acoustics and the attitude that "this ain't your grandma's library"...why not capitalize?
In that same vein, we're starting to see an upswing of our IM Reference services...word is getting out, and we can see teens in the library telling each other about the service. In my hour on the reference desk earlier this week, I had three IMs within minutes of each other: one to ask about an anime program our YA librarian is hosting, one to reserve a computer for a later time, and one needing help to find a movie in the library.
Part of the convo with me:
patron: where can i find the outsiders
askalexandrian: The book by SE Hinton?
patron: yeah but im talki bout the movie
askalexandrian: It's under "O" for Outsiders in the General collection of our VHS tapes. :)
askalexandrian: np :)
The most interesting thing about this transaction? It was from one of our regular teen patrons, who was using a computer in the library to ask the question. He might have been too shy, too embarrassed, too something to come up to the reference desk and ask for help, but over IM? No problem.
Proof that this service is reaching the right people, on the right level.
Even better? Getting some publicity to go with it - we've been getting nice feedback from our standard "press release" agencies, including the latest Library Hotline.
I keep telling everyone...we didn't create the idea (I leave that to smart people like Michael or Sarah), we just monitored it, watched it blossom into a full service for some libraries, then made it fit for our tiny library.
If we can, anyone can. I want to make sure everyone can see that.
(click photo to see larger version)