Today I chaired my last Knitting club meeting in the library. The idea behind this club is that everyone is welcome to come along, have a go at knitting or crochet in a relaxed friendly fun environment of all ability. We hold it every Thursday lunchtime on the ground floor of the library and it is open to staff and students.
I set up this initiative after having organised the Get Creative Event. I discovered that a lot of students and staff people love knitting and they asked me to set up a regular meeting just to relax and discuss current projects.
I enjoyed spending time showing people how to knit and crochet the basics, and share hints tips and patterns, even though we end up just laughing and chatting. I think it is a very good time for networking with staff coming from other departments (HR, IT, Marketing, Registry) and use the library spaces for creative initiatives.
Our weekly meeting helped fostering network connections. I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from others colleagues sharing a common interest in a craft. People also came to the library at the invitation of friends and I can proudly say that working relationships begun during the knitting meeting are extending beyond it. Plus crafting is therapeutic and create common information ground.
I firmly believe that, as Prigoda & McKenzie (2007) really well stated, “group participation can be seen both to fill information gaps and to fulfil participants’ need to socialise, form a caring community, and participate in craft, and the knitting group is a site for collectivist information practices”. Let me just give you some examples: a Portuguese student joined our group and she was knitting in a completely different way by keeping the thread around her neck, my Syrian colleague was stitching with her fingers and I taught how to chain bind off along a straight edge in my Italian way. In this way experienced knitters served as expert information sources for staff/students with less experience.
You don’t have idea how much I love the spontaneous and serendipitous sharing of information (I am a librarian at the end!). Go knitting!
Prigoda, E., & McKenzie, P. J. (2007). Purls of wisdom: A collectivist study of human information behaviour in a public library knitting group. Journal of Documentation, 63(1), 90-114. doi:10.1108/00220410710723902
Who said libraries are boring? Comic Relief Cake sale on took place in the library today. All of the cakes were made by our staff. We raised the magnificent sum of £350. What a fun!
I am so lucky to have such amazing colleagues who put their hearts, creativity skills, and commitments into events like this. It was such a collaborative occasion and we celebrate our team effort. In particular a colleague, who was not on duty today, still come and give us support.
My three marketing event tips:
- Networking with key staff member across the university. I have been talking about this event for a week to colleagues and students = create hype.
- Promote it across the departments. Yesterday I literally visited all the university departments inviting staff to come to the library and leaving leaflets around their offices. Going in person is 10x more effective that sending an email, because you show your face and you are going to invite people personally = it’s like a wedding!
- When it’s all over… don’t stop! Continue to add value to the community you’ve built. Thank all the people involved for attending because this will help when you come to repeat the event. You’ve got a captive audience, there waiting for you…so what’s next?
A couple of weeks ago I applied to be a participant in the next round in the International Librarian’s Network (ILN) and be matched with a librarian from across the globe. ILN is a peer mentoring program that aims to spread the library networks beyond home countries and facilitate good practise sharing.
I was really excited when I submitted my application and today I received the official communication about my new ILN partner. Quelle joie! When I was 15 I had a pen-friend based in Denmark and I still remember the pleasure of receiving her letters and news. Anyway, I have now to introduce myself to her and I can’t wait to hear about her library experience and her hopes in this sector.
I love the ILN programme because I can keep my mind open, seek to learn – share (as much as I can) as well as self-reflect on my profession. Just to start with we are going to explore the following questions:
· Where do you work? What does your job involve?
· What does your workspace look like? Try sharing a picture.
· What was your career path? How did you get where you are today?
· What inspired you to join the ILN?
· What are your hopes and expectations for the new partnership?
I’ll update my progresses soon. Definitely a good day! Au revoir…