Anythink Buzz Abounded at PLA2010

anythink staff present at pla10

Members of the Anythink administrative team, along with creative consultant John Bellina of Ricochet Ideas, shared the story of one library district's transformation from the worst-funded system in Colorado to a model for the future of libraries at PLA on March 25. Anythink has developed a philosophy that puts ideas at the center, and the new brand represents the playfulness and empowerment that customers experience when they visit Anythink libraries. Photo by Steve Dykes.

During last week’s Public Library Association conference in Portland, Ore., March 23-27, 2010, the Oregon Convention Center was abuzz with AnythinkTM. Rangeview Library District’s Anythink team shared their story about evolving from the worst-funded system in the state of Colorado to one that offers an innovative model for other libraries across the nation. The two presentations, held on March 25 and March 27, gathered standing-room-only crowds, and the discussion continued in the halls of the convention center throughout the conference.

In the March 27 article, “The Anythink Revolution is Ripe,” Library Journal editor Norman Oder wrote: “If any session yesterday illustrated the palpable hunger public librarians have for change – and, perhaps, a silver bullet to ensure their future – it was the packed session featuring a crew from the Rangeview Library District, Adams County, CO, propagators of the brand they call Anythink. …it looks like Rangeview, led by director Pam Sandlian Smith and a forward-thinking board, has the library equivalent of the Midas touch.”

The success of the two programs, You Say You Want a Revolution and Cracking the Code: Beyond Dewey, proved that public librarians nationwide are interested in the message of hope and innovation Anythink provides. The idea that customers are at the center of what Rangeview Library District does – and how the district has changed its policies and philosophies to better serve its communities – resonated with the sessions’ attendees.

“This has been an amazing experience to solidify that we’re heading in the right direction,” says Rangeview Library District director Pam Sandlian Smith. “We knew we were on the right track here in Colorado, but to see how it’s been received nationally is incredible. The best thing is that Adams County residents get to use these wonderful libraries, and they feel a sense of pride that other systems across the country are now looking to Anythink libraries as a model for the future.”

As a way to continue the discussions of innovation post-conference, the district has launched the Anythink Tank, a discussion board and resources area for library professionals to show off innovations at their own libraries.

Comments

Hello from Oregon! I attended both sessions last week and can attest to the excitement that extended from the sessions themselves throughout the conference. Anythink was clearly the "it" library of PLA 2010! As a small town library director, I"m so impressed with all you have accomplished, and will be studying your model closely as we plan our new library. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, wisdom and success. It is truly inspirational!