Thornton’s Anythink Libraries will take a special role this year in Outside the Lines, an international program designed to highlight creative programs at public libraries.
“Outside the Lines was created as a response to the sense of urgency …
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“Outside the Lines was created as a response to the sense of urgency Colorado library leadership felt in shifting outdated perceptions of libraries,” said Stacie Ledden, director of innovations and brand strategy for Anythink. ”We wanted to create a scalable initiate that small and large libraries alike could adopt to engage their communities in creative ways.”
Internationally, the effort includes working with local officials to promote bicycle-friendly streets, bringing technology to people unfamiliar with it and promoting community bonds.
In Thornton, the library is offering it Startup Month, aimed at offering information to small businesses and budding entrepreneurs. Workshops during the month include marketing, financing, search engine optimization and web design.
It’s one of programs highlighted by the international group.
“Small businesses make up the majority of Adams County’s economy, and at Anythink, we are looking for new ways to support innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit in our community,” says Ledden. “Through eclectic workshops and networking opportunities provided by Anythink staff and our metro-area partners, we hope to spark new ideas, new career opportunities, and maybe even new business ventures here in Adams County — all through the local library.”
Colorado to international
Anythink Libraries joined a coalition of Colorado library directors five years ago called the R-Squared, or Risk and Reward conference. That coalition’s goal was to promote creative thinking for libraries.
Outside the Lines, which provides a framework for campaigns and events tailored to each community, grew out of that.
Expanding beyond its original 20 libraries, it now includes 206 organizations in 11 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, France, Ghana, Italy, Nigeria, the United States and Zimbabwe will all participate this year. Those include K-through-12 libraries and public, specialty and collegiate libraries.
This year, 23 library districts from across Colorado are hosting events Sept. 10 through 16 designed to showcase a fresh approach and give the public a new perspective as well as to show that libraries are more relevant than ever before. A full list of participants can be seen at www.getoutsidethelines.org.
“We have not measured increased foot traffic based on Outside the Lines, but we have seen an increase in foot traffic due to the libraries rebranding in 2009, as well as the building and renovation of our buildings, and our switch from a traditional library system to an experience library,” Ledden said.
Last year, participants include International Fertilizer Development Center, an agricultural research library focused on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in developing countries as well as Políticas Relacionais, a Sao Paulo-based organization, committed to special projects for the Brazilians which are community-focused.
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