Mid-Atlantic Library Alliance (MALiA) played it SAFE (Suspend judgment, Accept all offers, Focus on the others, Embrace failure) at their annual meeting by playing with improv ideas. Activities focused on exercising spontaneity, active listening, and thinking in unconventional ways. One game -- I call it mashup -- elicited some fun, interesting, and even doable library programming. Each group was given a challenge, something someone cared about, and a special skill (all generated from participants). They then mashed these 3 prompts into a single program or event. The results ranged from entertaining to completely doable. How about enlisting the Weeding King to rid people of their bad habits? Or how about creating an Empathy hotline for people frustrated by their friends' lack of book and film knowledge? What about a library event in which senior citizens create collages of their homes and share their memories? How about a student-run coffee shop teaching students about financial management?
It was a fun day meeting new colleagues and learning about the good and important work they do. Thanks so much, MALiA librarians, for inviting me and for the hospitality!