Storywalks and Vending Machines

So far I am enjoying all the examples of hyperlinked libraries. The creativity some people have blows me away and makes me want to be a part of the revolution of librarians providing more creative experiences, programming and services to the public.

The lecture did remind me of my own experience with the Storywalk. A few years ago, I was given the privilege of attending the CLA conference in Sacramento and came across a presentation of the Storywalk. I was so fascinated by it that I requested trying it out at the library I work at. I coordinated with the Children’s Librarian to create my own lower-budget version of a Storywalk. I have since done it three times, all put up for about a month in the summer during the summer reading program. Each year we pick two new books and I assemble it so that walking one way you can read one book and walking the other way you can read a different book. I enjoyed this experience (not just because I love using the laminator) primarily for the joy it brought all the patrons who used it. It was lovely to see people happy to have a reason to take a short walk outside and read to their kids.

The photo I had of one of the Storywalks was terrible quality, so I must confess I found this one on the library’s Facebook page from the one I did in 2017.

Along these same lines of hyperlinked libraries, I love the idea of bringing unconventional services to the public. A year or so ago, I read an article about a library that provided poetry vending machines. I thought this was such a cool idea because not only are writers able to put their work out there for the world to read, but the public is able to enjoy a quick creative work. I don’t think this is the same article I read, but here is an interesting one done by the New York Times.

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Storywalks and Vending Machines

  1. Hello Stephany,
    I enjoyed reading about the storywalks. I was inspired when I read it and adapted the idea for an interactive display at the library for the students. I do monthly themed interactive displays for the students (they’re in college)each month throughout the semester. I like you’re idea of having temporary storywalk in the summer and with the summer reading program. I am thinking of proposing something similar on our campus. The difference would be it being catered for college students.

    I thought it was an interesting idea of the vending machines with poetry. I wonder how successful it was and how much the initial investment was for the vending machine. Vending machines I hear are very popular in some areas.

    • Hi Rosa,
      I am so glad to hear that my post helped you come up with your own version of a Storywalk! That is what I love about libraries- the collaborative nature of bouncing ideas off one another and being free to incorporate our own versions of programming and services.

  2. Stephany,
    I really like the idea of your storywalk having a different story for each direction! That is a great improvement on the concept (in my opinion anyway). The poetry vending machines you mention sound interesting too. They reminded me a little bit of the zine collection at the Oakland Public library. Anyone can submit a zine to the library, and then they are available for other patrons to read and borrow!

    Here’s an example I saw: https://i.imgur.com/U8llm6n.jpg

    (And for anyone reading who doesn’t know, “A zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zine )

  3. Thank you, David! It was actually a huge pain to have it face both ways the first year because every week I had to take down all the stakes so the lawn could be mowed and then put it back in order. It was worth it though.

    Thank you for sharing the info about zines! I had heard of them but didn’t know what they were. I love the example you found on imgur-it looks like something I would want to check out myself 🙂

  4. Yay! It is super cool to me that you had this experience of taking stories out into the community via the Storywalk. The one from JCPL is favorite example and to read about your success even makes the idea better.

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