My local library is a tiny branch in a huge system (the Chicago Public Library system, to be exact), and budget and space considerations generally limit its programming to toddler storytimes (although I have to give them credit for scheduling an interesting lecture in May for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: “First Voice Narrative of Life in Japanese American Internment Camps”). Recently I found myself pondering what programs I wish I could attend there. If money and potential audience (and possible legal issues) weren’t a consideration, here’s the short list of what I would want to see at my branch:
- Storytime with dogs! (Okay, being childfree, I wouldn’t actually attend this, but I would love if it was offered.)
- A knitting circle.
- A regularly scheduled recipe exchange, where people bring in food samples with their recipes. (I would start with vegetarian cooking, but I could see having themes for each meeting, such as different ethnic cuisines, cooking with whole foods, using a pressure cooker or a slow cooker…).
- DIY workshops. (This would go well with the local tool library I fantasize about.)
- Wine tasting and lectures. (But especially the tasting.)
- Ever watch a zookeeper bring exotic animals onto a talk show? Imagine a koala or penguin at the library. (A monkey would also be acceptable.)
- Foreign language lessons.
- And, of course, visits by my favorite authors.
A lot of these seem like they could even be doable, with a partner and a small grant. A dog therapy group, a local knitting store, a grocery store or local restaurants, a home improvement or hardware store, a liquor store, a zoo or animal rescue, and cultural heritage groups could help make my programming dreams come true. (Visits from my favorite authors are a bit trickier, I admit.)
What programs are on your wish list, either personally or professionally?