Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Future is Here: Millennials in the library (a session I went to)

I went to a program the other day about millennials in the library. When I signed up for this session, I was very excited. Finally, someone is going to talk to me about how to get millennials in the library, get them to check out our books and attend my programs. Unfortunately I was rather disappointed.

It was a two hour session, 3 speaks, each speaker given a half hour to speak. During the final half hour, it was opened to the floor discussion/panel style. The first speaker started off giving us plenty of statistics on millennials, stereotypes, etc. She then began speaking about her time volunteering on the Obama campaign and how there were so many millennials there also volunteering. Long story short, we learned a lot about millennials and their politics.

The second speaker spoke about getting millennials into the library to volunteer. She told us that we needed to bring them in and inspire them so that they would volunteer their time and money. She told us the key to doing that was to have a facebook, to have a website, to have a donation page on our website and to make sure that we thank them for their time. There was no mention on how to go about doing so. She then spent the rest of the time telling us about how she was a millennial and went to different companies to help out and how they loved her. Once again, I had nothing to take back with me.

Finally, we had a speaker who talked to us about redesigning our space to appeal to millennials. In order to redesign our space, we needed to redesign our libraries. He showed us projects he was working on, mostly Philadelphia libraries that were going under construction. How, they would now have more natural light, more group seating, more outlets. Because this is what millennials want. But what about those of us who dont have the funding to put our library under construction. What are we to do? Find funding. Okay. Thanks. Where can I find that funding? Lets ask someone in the crowd, maybe they have ideas. Okayyyyy.

Overall, it was a horrible session from my point of view. I went there hoping to steal peoples ideas, create programs, get book titles, get tried and true ways to get this crowd in my library. I went back to my library having learned nothing but having enjoyed the best scones I've ever tasted. There is a bright side to every situation. You just have to find it. 


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