children, including several interactive children’s museums ◇ Interviewed experts on play, including two librarians with opposing views on its value ◇ Interviewed families to understand “how they use the library together, and how the library fits into the larger context of their lives.” (11) DTT page 11-14
piecing together patterns, and documenting findings, including: ◇ Libraries are perceived as the third safe place between school and home, and therefore there is potentially more permission to experiment with offerings. ◇ The library should be part of the investigative process in a child’s life. ◇ Parents and librarians have a tendency to want to control or structure play, so new programs have to balance a need for control with a need for flexibility that is inherent in play activities. ◇ Parents of school-aged children want a separation between play and study. DTT page 11-14
into actionable ideas and prototypes. ◇ In five hours, they worked with foam core, toys, and other materials on hand to prototype a new children’s space that allowed children to tell stories to one another. DTT page 11-14
to recreate known comic book characters or create their own, then respond to others’ creations ◇ Event focused on interaction vs. performance ◇ Library staff more involved in inviting children to draw in the windows and create mini-comics DTT page 11-14
Children were willing to collaborate in telling stories ◇ Children loved an activity like writing on the walls, which they couldn’t do at home ◇ Families need structure in activities, at least until play in the library becomes normal ◇ Families need permission to be loud. Some staff would need to change views about noise and control, which may require training. DTT page 11-14
had some good ideas, how could CPL translate them across different branches? ◇ Focus on librarian roles rather than tools or materials ◇ Sensitivity to local branch cultures ◇ Introduces possibilities for both repurposing existing space and developing new space ◇ Setting flexible yet achievable goals, ie, “every branch having at least one service, space or program that demonstrates the value of play and storytelling in childhood learning.” (DTT, 14) Caveat: Details for how CPL transmitted these ideas across branch libraries / whether they met these goals are sparse. DTT page 11-14
- even just a wall works! ◇ Protect team time (recurring meetings) ◇ What’s your communication strategy? ◇ Don’t be afraid to visualize ideas as you go ◇ Externalize thoughts through big post-its that team members can see, rather than jotting things down in a private notebook ◇ Document! Document! Document! You’ll be glad you did. DTT page 23
and freeing • A facilitator is pretty necessary, especially when the process is new • As a non-visual person, rapid prototyping pushed me out of my comfort zone FAST • Shared vocabulary and terminology help • Trust the process!