Have an abstract concept to solve like, figuring out what is needed for the library in order to create the kind of experience we want for our teens? Ask our teens what they want from us.

Sure we may hear things like, ‘a roller coaster’, ‘a swimming pool’, ‘a McDonald’s attached to the library’. Then it’s our turn to ask those probing questions (we’re Librarians after all, we are likely familiar with the reference interview). We add a variable by saying something like, I don’t know that we could have a McDonald’s but what about better food in the library?’ It’s the teen’s turn and they suggest a compromise in their original idea because they understand context and figuring out another way to do something (think ‘choose your own adventure books!’) and suggest a snack bar. By then you might be thinking to yourself, ‘why not, why couldn’t we have a snack bar and what would that even look like?’ Maybe it turns out to be allowing food in the library where there once never was before. Seemingly small change but HUGE impact.

Enter ThInk Big.
1. Come up with your big idea and send in by (certain date)
2. Find a photo or take one that best represents how your idea would fit into a library
3. Write down or print out the URL that best explains your photo
4. Tape the URL and photo to this poster
5. Give your contact information to staff

Here’s what you can win.
1. The library may purchase your item or the concept of your item (hint: the better you can make the case through your photo or URL, the better chance you’ll have to win!
2. If your item is chosen, you’ll be invited to the Extravaganza to help kick it off!

What isn’t mentioned in the guidelines is the discussion that takes place in between and around finding a photo and talking through how best to represent an idea. From air hockey tables to getting better manga-ideas will be popping like popcorn! Likely you may have thought of a few things that might not allow ThInk Big to work at your library. So change the rules to make it work in your space.

Always getting back to the library and why something would make sense helps players define the space for you. There will be a literal cacophony of ideas and synergy over what could be. Learn, Quest, Play: ThInk Big. It’s really that simple.

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation