Stuck Creatively? Look for Inspiration!

When you’re tasked with being creative as an ongoing function of your job, the toughest thing can be coming up with new ideas on a continual basis. Where do you find unique ideas? What inspires you to be creative?

A few of my no-fail options include:

The American Library Association’s Programming Librarian is a valuable resource that includes program plans and calendars of events. Got a big idea but aren’t sure how to fund it? The page also includes information about programming grant opportunities.

If you’re here then you already know the merit of the Association for Library Services to Children website. On the site you can find book lists, continuing education opportunities, and a list of very valuable professional tools.

Jbrary is an irreplaceable resource for so many things. Even if it’s an “old” resource to some, it can still get those creatives ideas flowing. Sometimes seeing a song or a recommended book can be enough to start the planning ideas. Plus, watching the authors sing and finger play their way through classics, both old and new, is guaranteed to release happy chemicals into your brain.

Do you have a Pinterest account? If not, you should! It’s an endless source of craft ideas, book displays, and themed parties. TikTok also can fill the same function, if your city allows you to use it.

Chat with your coworkers or other librarians. I confessed to someone at another library that I was intimidated by using a parachute in storytime. She shared what she did and it’s now become a staple in my own programming! Last December I chatted with a co-workers about holiday movie we both liked and somehow ended up doing a Home Alone party complete with cheese pizzas, a themed photo booth, and take home boxes of mac and cheese!

If all else fails – turn to the internet! Try googling a few key words such as “kid programs,” “Bluey party,” or even “what DO teens actually like?!” While it may not give you a direct answer, a simple search often can get your brain moving in the right direction.

One of the best things about youth librarians is their willingness to share information. If you see something that sounds interesting, email that librarian and ask about it! And if you’ve done a program you love, shout if from the rooftops! Share your great ideas with other librarians who are struggling to come up with a new idea.

Do you have a favorite way to spark creativity? What is it?

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