Saturday, September 27, 2008


I have never been so filled with ideas! The meetings and workshops that I have had the privilege to go to over the past 2 weeks have been astounding and inspiring.

PaLA Leadership Orientation: Every year, incoming and outgoing chairs of PaLA's divisions, committees and round tables gather together to get inspired on the best way to lead others towards this fine organization. What are the missions of our prospective areas? What haven't we tried yet to get new members interested in PaLA? What do we need to do to keep members involved in PaLA? How can I get my division inspired to do new things and be more vital to the organization? I have some new ideas inspired by this gathering that I would love to discuss with all of you at our annual meeting during the PaLA Conference on Monday, November 10, at 8 am. I promise that, with enough coffee and attendees, I will try my best to inspire you to get involved along with me.

Family Place Retreat: This was awesome! On the first day, we learned about how Norfolk, Virginia libraries went above and beyond the Family Place Library concept to redesign their branches to have Kidzones - inviting and spacious areas for play and imagination to help kids grow and learn. Go to this website: and scroll down to look for the Pennsylvania Family Place PowerPoint presentation on the right. You'll be amazed and inspired too.

The second speaker was from the Vermont Center for the Book and has designed programs and kits for us to use on Science and Math concepts. Each Family Place Library got a kit of 6 of these awesome kits to bring back and make use of in many fun and creative ways. We played with blocks to make a map of the room. How many meetings let you play with blocks?

Each District also received more materials to share to make the concepts more well rounded. I already have my entire next year planned out thanks to this inspiring talk and these kits. Check them out at You might be inspired to do science and math based programs with your families. Make discovery centers for families to play with science and math based objects like tangram puzzles and other fun stuff.

Between the science and math kits and talking about the upcoming art and drama based summer reading club theme (Be Creative @ Your Library:, I began to wonder just what was left of a school curriculum we were not covering at my own library. We use the word "Explorers" a lot in naming our programs. We have Sensory Explorers - using the five senses in new ways; Fitness Explorers: using our bodies and getting in shape. The new kits will help us develop Science Explorers and Math Explorers. Summer Reading Club will bring Art Explorers and Drama Explorers. We explored the world and cultures via Passports to the World this past year. What was left? HISTORY! We'll do a monthly program on varying kinds of history!

As you can see, the possibilities can be endless once the kernal of an idea gets me going. I hope that many of you will be able to join us at this fall's PaLA Conference to get inspired at the wonderful selection of workshops and sessions we are offering this year. Please check out the schedule at and I hope to see you all at our annual meeting too.

Let the ideas begin!