Summer Library Challenge: Book Haul #2 and Goals Check-in

In my first library book haul post, I picked up five books. I dropped three of them, but The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was a five star read and I’m greatly enjoying Buddhism Plain & Simple so far. I had two more holds come shortly after that post – All the Birds, Singing and I Forgot to Remember. I read both and posted a few thoughts here.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve picked up a good number of library books, through planned trips, spontaneous browsing and hold requests. Here’s what’s sitting in the pile:


As we’re just past the halfway mark for this challenge, I thought I would review how my goals are going.
  • Visit the library once a week
    • I forgot this was actually on my goals list! Oops…I haven’t been keeping track, but I think I have managed this anyhow. I’ve been stopping in lots to pick up books. I haven’t had any of those fun afternoons at the library yet, but now that I’m done school I hope to get in at least two before the end of the month.
  • Read 12 library books
  • Attend two library-hosted events
    • Halfway there! I participated in an Ideas Fair last month. Today I inadvertently found a clue for the library’s book hunt. Next time I visit I’m going to give it a try. After checking out upcoming events, I might attend an outdoor open mic reading session or a guided tour of a local park.

Have you visited the library recently? What’s in your library TBR pile?

Summer Library Challenge: Library Social, Ideas Fair + Book Haul #1

 This week’s challenge: “Find out what kind of social media your library uses and if it would be useful, follow them! Make a post, tweet, etc. about what you found useful!”

 My library uses the following social media:

I think that’s all of the accounts! I didn’t realize how many there are. I follow the library on Facebook and read the main blog. I recently discovered the Flickr account while completing my individual practicum project last semester at the head branch. I did not know about the YouTube account, so I just checked it out and there are videos about programs, recordings of events, and how-to tutorials. The account doesn’t appear to be utilized too much – prior to two weeks ago, the last upload was one year ago and then three years ago. But, the videos that are there look like good resources. The Flickr account has many photos and is frequently updated. I like to see what’s happening at the different library branches. I like the main library blog because the posts are always substantial and thoughtful. I particularly like the posts that discuss a subject and provide book reviews, such as this post about the history of cities. Does your library maintain a blog?

This month my library is hosting Idea Fairs to gather feedback about what is important to library goers and their community, in order to “help shape the future of WPL!” I was excited to attend this fair at the main branch, especially because my class practicum project explored ways in which public institution can engage visitors and created our own installation at the university library to gather ideas about how the library can be more beneficial to users. The library had four interactive stations set up (as well as one station for children):

  1. Space – A poster board displayed eight photos of libraries. You received three stickers to place under the library setting you liked best. On another board, you could write a sticky note explaining why you chose that setting.
  2. Collections – Ten jars were labeled with different library collections (digital media, books, Aboriginal resources, etc.). You received ten tokens to deposit in the jars to indicate which collections in which you think the library should invest. Again, you could write a sticky note explaining why you chose those collections.
  3. Programs and Services – You received a paper with an alter ego and had to write how you thought the library could best meet that character’s needs. My persona was a budding young writer – this was easy as that used to be me!
  4. Community Involvement – A giant map of the city hung on the wall. You received a sticky note to mark your favourite aspect about your neighbourhood and how the library might become involved in that aspect.

The Ideas Fairs are put of a two month public consultation stage of the WPL’s strategic planning process called “Inspiring Ideas”. From the website:

“Input gathered during the public consultation process will be used to help shape the future direction of Winnipeg Public Library by helping set the development of a new five-year Strategic Plan that will include goals and actions for the Library to pursue.”

This strategic plan will not be revealed until the fall, when I will no longer be living here, but I’m eager to see what sort of changes might come from this process. Online, I read too much about libraries losing funding or shutting down completely, so it really is inspiring to see my library engaging in this process.


After submitting my thoughts for the Idea Fair, I picked up some books. The last batch of library books I signed out were books I felt I should read and not books I was excited about at the time. So, this time, I focused on some ‘lighter’ reads that really piqued my interest. I didn’t mean to start reading them until I finished the three books I was already reading, but I kept peeking at The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender on the bus and now I’m halfway through! I hope to finish these five books and the other three I’m reading by the end of the month.