Heading to Public Library Association Portland

Hey all – I leave early tomorrow for Portland for the PLA conference. I am thrilled to be presenting with Stacie Ledden, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Anythink Libraries.

I will be checking email as much as possible. Send messages directly to mstephens7@mac.com please.

Finding Joy: Library as Space for Playful Learning and Creativity


We keep returning to the idea of “taking care” as we move into a post-pandemic world. We have been taking care of ourselves, our families and friends, and others in the world. Now we return to tending to the needs of our users: offering a safe space for every person who comes through our doors to learn and grow, designing welcoming spaces for folks to come together to collaborate and exchange ideas, creating thriving digital communities, and providing participatory services to promote learning and well-being. What we want for everyone we serve is Joy.

This participatory session, focused on Library as Space for Playful Learning and Creativity, will be all about finding ways to instill joy in folks as they return to our libraries and cultural institutions. Participants will engage around creating joyful adventures focused on: Learning / Exploration / Experience / Story



Learning Outcomes

Define what it means to instill joy in public library users via services and programs;

Devise opportunities for joyful activities to meet the needs and interests of specific communities; and

Plan actionable programs and experiences to take back to their institutions




5 thoughts on “Heading to Public Library Association Portland

  1. Joy Nieman

    @Michael I love the idea of this topic! Thinking about community + behavior has had me thinking about our own behaviors (past and present) within the information community, and I think that “joy” and “creativity” and “playful” are all feelings that we should try to re-instill in library/learning/information environments, for those of ALL ages. I hope it went well! Looking forward to hearing about it.

  2. Deena Rosen

    @michael Oooh, I love what they are doing at Anythink Libraries, and your presentation/learning session sounds super interesting. This shift in public libraries to being “spaces for playful learning and creativity” is exactly why I want to become a librarian. And 100 people in a room talking about joy is just beautiful. Do you teach other classes at SJSU that lean into this kind of stuff? Classes where ideas like playfulness, creativity, and joy are the main ideas?
    Glad it went well!

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