A couple weeks ago during our library staff meeting time, we had a maker program for staff. Whenever there’s a 5th week we do something fun/professional development-y, and I suggested that we pull out all our maker stations and let the staff explore. Here’s why:
It’s good team building. Just like kids work together learning new things in our maker programs, so did the grownups. And I would argue that they were even more proud of themselves for each accomplishment than the kids are. Kids know they can figure new things out and make and create something amazing. Sometimes grownups have forgotten that.
It’s really tangible YS advocacy. I hear a lot of, “Holly has so much fun!” or “Holly always has a new toy to play with.” Yes, I have fun, and yes, I enjoy trying new things, but the idea that it is just fun is damaging to the really important work that we do in YS. When non-YS staff tried the activities that we do in maker programs, I hope that they gained some understanding of the why and the how.
It’s good marketing. By experiencing first hand what we do in a program, other library staff can more effectively talk about these programs to families and kids. They have a better idea of what we do and can share that with our patrons.
It’s fun. Staff meetings aren’t usually the most enjoyable part of the day, and sometimes everyone just needs a break and a chance to relax. On that note, if you do this make sure to erase any stop motion videos made by staff before the kids get their hands on the ipads again…