Interview with Jessica Rollerson pt. 2

Sydney. Fireworks Newyear 2006. Opera House an...

Sydney. Fireworks Newyear 2006. Opera House and Harbour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy New Year’s Eve and welcome to part 2 of my interview with Jessica Rollerson.  Yesterday, we got to know a little about Jessica and her reading preferences, and today she will share her thoughts about programming at the library.

Interview with Jessica Rollerson pt. 2

How can libraries create a “low-tech” makerspace for their young patrons?
Open the closets and ask for donations! Our kids know that they are welcome to anything in the closet. They also know (I don’t know how because I didn’t teach them this on purpose) that they have to ask me to get it. And we ask for donations. Yarn, fabric, hinges, springs; these are all things people are willing to donate and kids know how to use.

What are some of the benefits of giving kids control during programs?                                                                                                                                                    

The benefit of giving kids control of a program is that you automatically are providing each patron with the program they need. That said, I think the kids here know that I’m the boss and that I allow them a lot of freedom…on my terms. It seems chaotic down here but most of the time I know what each child is working on. If they are not engaged in a project that belongs at the library, I work with them to get them there. I’m great with busy, messy, loud and exciting. I’m not into chaos at all.

What is your take on the concept of “unprogramming”?
Unprogramming is a great approach.I read about it on, “The Show Me Librarian.”  They have a great guide to Unprogramming.

It’s really about letting the kids lead and moving away from telling them what’s good for them. It’s sort of akin to unschooling- an approach in which one allows her children to naturally acquire education as they naturally would as curious little creatures. It requires some faith on our part!

Thank you, Jessica!  Please join us tomorrow for the final part of the interview, when Jessica will discuss tips for dealing with challenging patrons.


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