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These are tough times for libraries. Given time and monetary constraints, you must be very selective about the training events that you attend. So why should you as a library staff member consider attending a workshop on "Stimulating Creativity"? Because only through finding creative solutions will libraries survive and thrive. No matter what your position in the library organization - but especially if you are a supervisor, manager, or director - you can help your library (and your career) by learning how to think and work creatively. Stimulating your own inherent creativity will help you to:

  • Come up with new solutions to old problems,
  • Challenge assumptions about how things are done,
  • Relieve boredom and burnout,
  • Motivate others to take on and complete new projects, and
  • Avoid wasting time solving the wrong problem.

During this workshop you will discover that great ideas are all around if you learn how to see creatively. If you need creative solutions for handling increasing library workload, attracting new audiences, appealing to new funding sources, or restructuring existing services, this workshop can give you the tools you need to get unstuck and move forward.

Workshop Description: This is a highly interactive all-day workshop. Through engaging individual and small group exercises you will discover how to bring out the full creative potential in yourself and others. The instructor will introduce key topics with short presentations followed by small group activities. Worksheets and handouts will be provided. This program is fun, fast paced, and packed with practical tools and techniques such as appreciative inquiry, for tackling on-the-job problems. By the end of the day, you will be ready to face future challenges with practical tools plus creative confidence, an unstoppable combination!

Pre-workshop assignment (must do all three of the following):

  1. Bring an inspiring story of how creativity was used to create an opportunity or solve a difficult problem. This can be from a library experience or from another field. We can learn from both. Simply think of something that made you stop and say, "Wow! That's a great idea"! Example: NetFlix movie rental service through the mail.
  2. Choose a current challenge you face that needs a creative solution. The more impossible it seems, the better! This can be focused on how to stimulate creativity in others or another topic related to your work that needs some fresh thinking. We will select some of these to work on during the day.
  3. Bring a blank journal or notebook of any size to use as your visual idea journal during the program and beyond.

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Stimulating Creativity Through C.U.R.I.O.S.I.T.Y.
    • How to harness natural curiosity to spark creativity
    • A simple three step approach: collect-connect-create
    • Benefits include efficiency, engagement and excellence
  • Keeping A Visual Journal
    • How visual journals differ from traditional note taking
    • How you can use this tool without being able to draw
    • Setting up and using your own visual journal right away
  • Learning From Stories (Collect)
    • Discover the 8-innovation story plots.
    • Sorting your stories using the C.U.R.I.O.S.I.T.Y. frame
    • Finding ideas in other fields you can use right away
  • Tools you can use to boost connection making (Connect)
    • Crafting questions that stimulate creative thinking
    • Making master mind maps to discover opportunities
    • Using metaphors to find connections
  • Wow! That's A Great Idea! (Create)
    • How to generate great ideas
    • How to judge ideas to take forward
    • How to refine ideas so they will succeed quickly

Workshop Instructor: Suzanne Merritt