Our Social Library series continues, with everything from a shoe drive to a reading invasion, and from free toothbrushes to a free amp tune-up. These five featured libraries caught our eye with unique programming and community connections, and they join the expansive list of library innovation we’ve collected for your inspiration. If you'd like to see your library featured in a Social Library edition, please let us know via email@example.com or find us on Facebook.
- Skidompha Library in Maine kicked-off their 2018 Community Read series built around the book, "Blood, Bones & Butter" by chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton. "Join us as we explore the themes of Food, Community, and Identity over the course of the 6 weeks of this community-focused extravaganza." The programming line-up is incredible and includes Summer Contests with a Food-Themed Writing and Art Contest, and a Cooking Contest.
- El Paso Public Library in Texas will be hosting a Repair Cafe with a special focus on Free Guitar & Amp Tuning, Trouble Shooting & Minor Repair. What a great way to connect musicians and local expertise! We see lots of potential for additional programming and events built on this cafe...perhaps an open mic or battle of the bands?
- Moorhead Public Library in Minnesota, in collaboration with Delta Dental of Minnesota, is celebrating National Smile Month by giving out free toothbrushes. We learned from an article in the Free Press that Delta Dental distributed thousands of the free toothbrushes to more than 300 public libraries in the state.
- Sam Fore, Jr. Wilson County Public Library in Texas is hosting a Shoe Drive in conjunction with their Summer Reading program. On the second day, they had already collected 7 bags of gently worn, used, and/or new shoes, with a goal of reaching 100 bags by July 14th. They're encouraging patrons to accept the family challenge to donate 25 pairs of shoes. We learned in a Wilson County News article "donated shoes will be sold per pound to help support micro-entrepreneurs (small-business owners) in developing nations like Haiti, Colombia, and Tanzania."
- And from New York, we learned from a Buffalo & Erie County Public Library - Central Library post about the Buffalo Reading Invasion, whose mission is to "promote Buffalo's love of reading through large public action." Now in its 7th year the Buffalo Reading Invasions gathers in Buffalo’s most beautiful spaces, to celebrate the simple act of reading, and the complex and incredible community that supports and encourages it. According to the Invasion's blog, "The idea is simple: People bring something to read and “invade” a large public space. This isn’t a book club; just a time to come together, to enjoy the act of reading, and to remind our fellow Buffalonians that reading is an essential element of the many of our lives. So bring a book and bring a friend, and join us for an hour of reading, relaxing, and gathering in our most beautiful public spaces." An August Buffalo Reading Invasion will be held outside the Central Library, and the Buffalo initiative has already inspired others around the country, including the recent Wichita Reading Invasion, also highlighted in the news last week.