Guest Blogger

Finding Joy: Library as Space for Playful Learning and Creativity #PLA2022

This joyful session run by Stacie Ledden and Michael Stephens focused on joy as an essential library service. We discussed the ways in which libraries spark joy: through learning, experience, and story. They then broke us down into small groups to discuss what programs we have done in our own libraries.

Ideas were then shared with the larger group. These are just three of the many programs that were shared.

  • How to Festivals: Community members came to the library and in a one day festival share how to do things they are passionate about.
  • Fire Pit for Families: A program where people can meet outside around a fire pit and get to know their neighbors.
  • Oral History: Teens in New Jersey gathered together to participate in the COVID Oral History Project. The teens brainstormed questions, and then interviewed each other about how their lives changed as a result of COVID.

I was awestruck by the creativity that libraries across the country have shown to keep our communities engaged. This is a session that I honestly felt could have kept rolling for another hour as we shared the stories of our joyful programs.

If you’d be willing to share your own joyful programs in the comments, it would be greatly appreciated!


Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Guest conference blogger Bettina Wesloh (she/her) is a Librarian at the Owings Mills Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. Bettina is looking forward to discussing how library services have evolved in the wake of the pandemic and effective strategies for bringing back into the doors of the library. She is eagerly anticipating the children’s author breakfast and learning how to play the ukelele. Bettina and her little black cat Hermes share a passion for breakfast food.

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