From Grocery Store to Kitchen

I was fortunate enough to present at two programs this afternoon for the 2011 ALA Annual Conference. Here’s the full description of the first program, “From Grocery Stores to Kitchens: Empowering Users to Get Creative with Digital Media.”

It’s time for libraries to stop functioning like grocery stores where people simply come to get stuff and start acting more like kitchens where people come to create and tell their own stories. This program will provide insights into why libraries need to start empowering users of all ages to work with videos, music, podcasts, and graphic design. Also, hear about “StoryTubes”, an exciting yet simple project that combines kids’ interest in technology with their love for books and reading. We’ll end with some tips on how to create a simple digital media lab for you library.

The main point of the presentation is that libraries need to stop functioning only like grocery stores where people simply come to get stuff and start functioning like kitchens where people do stuff and create stuff. Joyce Valenza wrote about this metaphor after hearing Joan Frye Williams speak on it back in 2008. Here are my slides from this presentation:

The second presentation was much shorter as I was part of a panel discussing examples of transliteracy in action at libraries. Here’s the description for this program:

Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks. This session looks at the practical aspects of what we can do to help our patrons become transliterate citizens, including real world examples from academic, public and school libraries. Sponsored by LITA Transliteracy Interest Group.

Here are my slides for that presentation.

Thanks to Bobbi Newman for inviting me to take part in this program. And thanks to everyone who attended both of these presentations today. Please leave a comment here if you’d like to continue the conversation!


  1. Richard, thanks for sharing these links and presentations! BALibrary has learned a lot from other libraries and it is great to continue sharing and communicating about these types of projects.

    I have spent a lot of time in our lab this week watching kids and teens explore and create simply by having the mouse turned over to them. Seeing kids with a wide range of abilities discover a new talent or interest makes it all worthwhile. Not many professions can have such an impact on kids’ future.

    Ryann (ruden at BALibrary dot org).


  2. Thank you so much for agreeing to be on the panel and delivering an amazing presentation!


  3. @Ryann it’s great to hear success stories like that!

    @Bobbi it was my pleasure. thanks for inviting me. had a lot of fun and learned a lot from the others.


  4. Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous slides! This gives us a lot of useful information for our own endeavors.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *