Express Creativity - Sharing Content

Express Creativity - Sharing Content

Posted on Friday June 03, 2011 at 03:44PM

Sharing is a good thing. From the time we enter kindergarten, we are evaluated on how well we play with others and how well we share. The meaning is simple: allowing others to enjoy something that we own or have created. In the world of fine arts, the bigger and broader the audience we share with, the better; think blockbuster movies, best-sellers and Twitter followers measured in the millions.

When we create something, and are proud of the accomplishment, we naturally want others to know. When patrons go to the library to express their creativity, the experience should not end with the creation. With this library service response, libraries need to come up with ways to display, or share the content of their patrons, which is actually just as much a promotion of the library as it is of the patron’s work!

The biggest medium for sharing these days is online space. With your library websites, you have the ability to post photos and images of pretty much anything your patrons can come up with. Some libraries in Alberta have YouTube channels, which allow them to post videos created at their libraries, either for storytime or by their patrons (e.g. Medicine Hat Public Library, Bighorn Library, etc.). Patrons creating websites can have their creations uploaded with web hosting providers; be cautious with “free” web hosting services, as they make their money through advertisements on your page of which you have no say about the content.

Some more old school methods of sharing is by hosting “Art Night” at the library, publishing written work for distribution and adding to the library’s collection, and displays. All of these can have maximum impact if the local media (newspaper or radio) are informed, invited and the publish articles and photos. If your library provides a variety of creativity programs, then a variety night would be in order. Showcasing local talent can bring out others who are interested or even professionals in certain fields. This in turn can open up new possibilities for programs and events at the library.

The more you share, the more you’ll grow. Be sure to have your patrons’ permission before displaying any other their work. When you do display it, display it well. Simple line drawings take on the appearance of master pieces when properly matted and framed. Having your poetry stapled in a booklet does not have nearly the same impact as having it properly bound in a local anthology. Proper display increases the pride of the creator in the work, which in turn heightens their good will towards the library. Of course cost will always be an issue, but you and your patrons may find that their creativity has a way of generating funds for the library and its programs.


  • One session is already full at conference and others are filling up fast! Make sure you can register for your first choice sessions by signing up now!
  • Budgets and Statements of Receipts and Disbursements are due June 15!
  • Kathy Jessup will be starting her tour of NLLS libraries next month – do you have your date circled on your calendar?

Author: Northern Lights Library System


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