By David F. Rooney
Dozens of ideas about possible new directions for the Okanagan Regional Library to take in the years ahead frothed to the surface as 30 people brainstormed together during Wednesday evening’s Ideas Lab at the Revelstoke branch.
These 30 regular patrons congregated in small groups to consider questions clustered together in four themes:
Theme 1: What We Do — How should the services and functions of the library evolve?
Theme 2: Meeting Local Needs — How can the ORL respond to the needs of Revelstoke?
Theme 3: Re-imagining Spaces — How can we reinvent the physical and virtual spaces of our libraries?
A lot of interesting, eminently doable and even cost-effective proposals emerged from the small group sessions. Here’s a brief representative sampling:
Theme 1. Encouraging local groups to use its spaces, acting as a resource centre, programs for children and others. More books in languages other than English, consider starting a collection of publicly accessible software programs, electronic games and other media.
Theme 2: Surveying the local population in order to identify individuals and groups such as immigrants, teens, visitors and others that rarely — if ever — use the library and asking them what would make it relevant to them. Using electronic media such as Skype to sponsor virtual conferences and group discussions, organizing group discussions around weekly or monthly screenings of TED Talks supplemented by displays of relevant books and other materials.
Theme 3: Creating bright, well-lit spaces for the public. Setting up more individual computer stations. Exhibiting photos, paintings and other local artworks.
The ideas gathered by consultant Evan Peterson of Barefoot Planning will be consolidated with those gathered during the other Ideas Labs held in West Kelowna, Keremeos and Salmon Arm and integrated with the strategic plan now being developed for the Okanagan Regional Library.
Here are some other photos from the Ideas Lab: