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It wasn’t until very recently that I had a revelation:

When a patron is in our library and discovers something neat like our <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Summer Reading Program Booklets</a>, and they’re all like, “Wow! I had <em>no</em> idea!” and I’m all Beamy McBeamface and like, “I know! Isn’t it great?!”

That’s just wrong.

It took me taking a step back and observing just the facts and I realized:


  <li>No one should be surprised at how awesome we are.</li>

  <li>No one should be surprised at the great resources we have.</li>

  <li>No one should feel silly for not knowing something.</li>

  <li>For everyone who is pleasantly surprised about something, there could be countless people who may never realize something about us unless we share it.</li>


So I’ve been looking back to times where people have been surprised at something that we do. Then we need to figure out how to share that thing we do.

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That way, we have knowledgeable and excited people coming through our doors.

I must give credit to where the seed of this realization was sown: in <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Bryce Don’t Play'</a><a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>s</a>&nbsp;<em>Iron Fist</em> course. &nbsp;She had us think about our library as a foreign land where the customs and expectations may be unknown to those visiting us. I’d been focusing on the <em>expectations</em>, and hadn’t really thought much about our “customs.”

With all that in mind, here are the first few deliberate attempts at sharing our world with others:

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I had added this image to our website events, and then a few months later realized that this would be a helpful tidbit on <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>our events bulletin board</a>. I’ve lost count of how many new visitors will take a look at our bulletin board to see what’s happening, so this would be a great place to share this very important information.

While writing this, I <em>just</em> realized that we need to add this little tidbit to our flyers/advertising. I mean, how many people see “library” and assume that they need a library card to do stuff with us? I don’t know, but I bet the numbers would likely surprise me.

The number two piece of information that I’ve heard many people be pleasantly surprised about: our <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Summer Reading Booklets</a>. I’ve started the process of letting more people know about this, but I’ve got a way to go. I’m imagining a fun/informative video.

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Yep, while posting this, I realized that I didn’t indicate that <strong>YOU DON’T NEED A LIBRARY CARD TO PARTICIPATE</strong>. Oh well, this is a learning process.

How about you: what have you noticed patrons being surprised about in your library (if anything)? Or do you have any tips or tricks to share with me about informing/advocating for what happens at your library?

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