Because I went out and looked about …
With budgets tight and staffing levels low, many librarians are foregoing customary trips to conferences, forums, and seminars. Chats, webinars, and listservs can keep us connected when we can’t get out of the library. However, sometimes it does pay to get out and look about – even if for the most mundane of reasons.
As a member of NJLA’s Children’s Services Section executive board, I often attend meetings in libraries throughout the state. Whenever time permits, I take a quick stroll through the children’s department at the meeting location. It’s fun to look around, and sometimes I see great program, bulletin board or display idea.
Recently, I attended a meeting at a branch of my own county library. As I admired the tidy and cozy children’s computer area it suddenly dawned on me why it looked so cozy – it was the little table and chairs. At my branch, the computer table and chairs are adult-sized, with children often perched up on their knees to see. Knowing that the budget is tight and new furniture would not be forthcoming, I went back to my branch and surveyed the situation with an eye toward a solution.
Lo and behold! I found that my table was adjustable! Since my chairs are of the rolling variety, they’re adjustable, too. How could I not have noticed that before? A quick call to the maintenance department was all I needed to make the switch.
Without having spent a dime, my little customers are much more comfortable and less likely to tumble out of their chairs – and it looks cozy, too. You can’t put a price on that!