Volume 23 Issue 4 Introduction
Llamas, Adulting 101, Henna Art, Raptors, and Trivia. Most people in Oregon typically would not think of these words in connection with their local library. Yet, all of these are programs that have been served up in our local libraries just in the past year alone. With hundreds of programs covering even more diverse topics than these, perhaps the more typical things people think about when it comes to programs are an author talk, storytime, or book talk in the library. These are still staple library programs, but with this Oregon Library Association Quarterly issue we will be sharing some unique ideas that you can replicate at your library. From coffee and conversations to build community relationships to llamas (yes, llamas!) to encouraging upcycling, the common thread of all of the programs in this edition of the Oregon Library Association Quarterly is that they are replicable and they come with “Here’s what worked, here’s what didn’t work,” feedback from your colleagues to hopefully help you jump-start your own ideas of what is possible at your library. Each community is unique, and most librarians typically know their own community and what may or may not work well.
The library as a community center has been a widespread concept for libraries in Oregon as well as on the national and international front for decades, and it is one of the myriad of reasons libraries are simply not going away. Most programs are tied to literacy while others serve to fit a niche or gap in the community served. Programming in libraries today includes a literacy aspect that fits the core tenet of the library as a place where learning and developing literacy take place side by side and most libraries also include STEM, art, and other cultural programs that are important for the community both educationally and holistically. More often than not, programs fill a gap that the community may not have an option for otherwise. In my small town, the library often acts as a hub for cultural community experiences. Last year we had 8,000 attendees at our programs, which included diverse programs such as author talks, trivia nights, storytimes, and environmental events from the local Necanicum Watershed Council and North Coast Land Conservancy about our unique watershed and wildlife areas to teens learning to cook to building Raspberry Pi computers.