The Experience Library: Handout and slide set

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Here are the handout and slides from my September 10 collections workshop at the Waterloo Public Library: The Experience Library. Next up (September 17), we’ll talk about the concepts and mathematics underlying the primary measure of collection performance: Availability. Bring a calculator!

The handout includes a bibliography and definitions of key terms.

To summarize the experience library workshop:

  • The mission of librarians is to help create transformative meaning in the lives of readers and the conversations of communities. (Riffing on David Lankes)
  • Public library collections work is about designing transformative experiences,
  • Readers experience collections as unitary artifacts that afford practice, play, and praxis.
  • Public library collections are overwhelmingly about narrative, not information.
  • Creating meaning is hard work, and our readers deserve our respect.


Slide set


  1. Sheryl McGovern says:

    It was a good session. Made me think, and it brought together some ideas I haven’t been able to clearly define in my head, or pass along. I am really interested in the concept of designing transformative experiences.

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