Guest Blogger

Networking at a Table Full of Beads

I am here to attest to the absolute joy and calm that the Boulder Public Library’s Library Lodge brought to so many #pla2024 attendees, particularly the Friendship Bracelet area. A huge thank you goes to the staff who came to Columbus, and to their colleagues back home who kept the library running. Three days of sessions and exhibits is a lot to take in, and knowing this space was here as a respite helped many an attendee regroup and process the ideas and information heard, whether inside our own heads or more often, in conversation with others at the table.

Bead friendship bracelets created at #PLA2024
Photo courtesy of J. Ehrenstein.

Sarah Wright and Brooke Thomas of the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Thursday session Programming Holistically: Building Social-Emotional Learning into Library Programs pointed out that craft programs promote mindfulness and a growth mindset, where effort is more important than outcome. The calming effect that a simple craft activity can have was evident at the Friendship Bracelet tables. As we searched for the elusive “A” bead or passed the scissors, we were also talking and laughing, sharing ideas about how we could implement things we’d heard about, showing a selfie taken with Mychal Threets, and brainstorming ways to convince a library board of the value of going fine free. Our hands may have been busy stringing beads but the true work being done was connecting with other library professionals, sharing what we learned and encouraging others to give something a try. The time at the Lodge was invaluable, as it allowed us to stop, take a needed break, and make some connections. And some fun bracelets.


Judy Ehrenstein (she/her) is a Children’s Librarian in Maryland. She is excited to be attending the PLA Conference and hearing about amazing programs and services. At the conference, you may see her snacking on trail mix or drinking coffee.


This post addresses ALSC Core Competency VII: Professionalism and Professional Development

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

One comment

  1. Kirsten

    This is such a cute and fun idea! Everyone loves a friendship bracelet. I may have to use this idea sometime!

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