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WVLS staff member Anne Hamland attended the Minnesota Library Association Conference on Oct. 11 and 12 in St. Cloud, MN. Below are some notes from the sessions she attended. 

Libraries in Laundromats

Libraries Without Boarders has a mobile library that fits into 4 crates (projector, computer, books, crafts) that travels the world, so why not the United States?

Placing libraries in unique locations that are natural gathering spaces may take away barriers, but the passerby or space user may not be self-selected. They didn’t go to the library, but they went to the laundromat instead. 

Wash & Learn initiative in St. Paul uses ideas from Too Small to Fail/Talking is Teaching and Literacies.

Barriers removed:

  • Scheduling: cannot fit the library into life schedule
  • Travel/Transportation: cannot get to library
  • Wifi provided in laundromats
  • Laundromat customers usually do laundry every week

The entire library is not brought to the off-site location, but just what location wants or needs: wifi, storytime, information brochures, computer access.


Teenagers Are Humans and You Can Too!
HOMAGO : Hang out, mess around, geek out, drives teen space and programming

Teen spaces should be places where teens can relax, vent, escape, and find support for their lives.
“Be the person you needed when you were younger.”
“You don’t have to be best friends every day.”

Soft skills are very important in working with teens: so is patience, understanding, perspective, flexibility, humility, a good sense of humor, acceptance, open mindedness, building relationships, and creativity.

You need to know the teens by their NAME! Through relationship building, you can learn habits, struggles, triggers, and engage with them more fully.

St. Paul Libraries used empathy interviews between teen librarians and teen library user regulars.

  • Why do you come to the library?
  • If you weren’t here, where would you be?