Have you thought about the benefits of cross collaboration among libraries?
Do you belong to a collective of libraries that meet to share library trends and new ideas for children and teen services?
Simi Valley Public Library is part of the Meet & Greet group, which is a collective of seven public libraries from different library systems that meet every three months.
What do we do?
- Share library trends for children and teen services that have worked for us.
- Share innovative program ideas.
- Share ideas for tween spaces.
- Discuss books that have impacted us.
- Discuss ideas to advertise our collections.
How do we do it?
- We meet in different locations every time, depending on the hosting library. The idea is to end with a library tour focusing on the Teen and Kid’s space and learn from the hosting library.
- Our meetings are in the morning. The hosting library usually offers a complimentary breakfast.
- The hosting library organizes the meeting and invites librarians to be presenters.
- Each meeting has either three or four presenters, each with a topic of interest.
- Attendees discuss topics provided by presenters, which offers room for growth as we all share our unique experiences.
- Meetings last two hours and are kept energized with a rich flow of personal contributions.
- Meetings are planned accordingly and even though they have an informal tone, the hosting library warrants a learning experience for all the attendees.
- Meetings are kept within schedule and in alignment with the goals of Meet & Greet.
Who is in the Meet & Greet Group?
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The participants come from different library systems. This distinctive feature allow us to keep a network of teen and children’s services staff connected by the desire to grow together and learn from each other. Last, cross collaboration presents a noteworthy opportunity to keep each other informed and in constant growth through our quarterly meetings.
How can you do it?
It might appear complicated, however if you have the motivation to create your own group, you have half the work done. Now you can seek collaboration within your staff and then invite neighboring libraries to participate in your initiative. Chances are other teen and children’s librarians would love to meet. Therefore, you can be the starting point. The rest involves coordination and planning, but all is possible now that you have a team supporting your initiative.