Lifelong Access Ideas in Action in Fayetteville, AR
2008 Lifelong Access Fellow Michele Raine, Manager of Reference Services at the Fayetteville Public Library, writes:
It’s been two months since we were in Chapel Hill together, and I can say that I’ve thought about something we learned there at least once a week since then. I’m not much of a blogger, but I wanted to share some of what’s happened at the Fayetteville Public Library based on our experiences at the LFF Lifelong Access Institute.
The first change after the LFF Institute was that the library began partnering with the Arkansas Yoga Center to offer free yoga classes at the library. (If you read Vogue magazine, you might have seen the article about the Arkansas Yoga Center in the September 2008 issue.) We now offer three classes a month, and they are filled through November! Dr. Nussbaum’s program on brain health was a call to action for me, not only for physical activity, but mental activity.
The second big change in my department since LFF has been my attitude toward roles for volunteers. I don’t know if you remember my reaction to Jill Friedman Fixler’s discussion on developing meaningful experiences at the library for our volunteers. Faced with expanding daily tasks and shrinking staff, I was resistant. I think I said something like, “but who will call the holds?” However, I met with our volunteer manager and in September we began a program called “Reading Road Show for Adults.” We already had one for kids that took storytime to Head Start centers, but now the Road Show book club meets at the Senior Center once a month.
The Road Show is completely organized and led by volunteers. Library staff simply checks out a book club kit to volunteers, and off they go. I also shopped the idea of a walking club organized and led by volunteers. Our library is across the street from the trailhead to one of the city’s walking trails and two blocks from the historic square, which seem like nice walking destinations. I’ll keep you posted on both initiatives.
Finally, we won a PBS grant for a series of programs on social entrepreneurship that will take place in November. We’ve invited a former winner of the Purpose Prize, Jose-Pablo Fernandez, to come and be the keynote speaker for that series, and I wouldn’t have heard of the Purpose Prize without LFF!
Hope all are enjoying a healthy and productive fall.