Enabling Innovation (brainstorming session)

Jill Hurst-Wahl @jill_hw

Full session brain-storming list!


Brainstorming rules from IDEO

  1. Defer judgment
  2. Encourage wild ideas
  3. Build on the ideas of others
  4. Stay focused on the topic
  5. One conversation at a time
  6. Be visual
  7. Go for quantity

And….. stick to the rules! Work quickly. No ideas are refused.

Role Storming

What is it? You select a specific real or fictional character and brainstorm from that person’s point of view. Like Darth Vader or Hannibal Lector or Mark Cuban (just throw money at the problem).

Why? Frees you to think of wild and imaginative ideas

Long List

  • Brainstorm as many ideas as possible 100+
  • Early ideas are the easiest and least creative. Real creativity occurs after the easy ideas have been said
  • Ex. Allow patrons to create their own summer programming


  • You consider the exact opposite of what is normal
  • It provides a deifferent perspective and can spark useful ideas
  • Ex. Rather than a lib being a safe place, it is a dangerous place; what if kids were excluded from the library?


  • Take a specific brand and brainstorm from that point-of-view
  • Provides a different basis for your brainstorming
  • Ex. Apple, Lego, Disney, NBA designed a new library, what would it look like? And what services would it have?

Questions about these methods

  • If characters aren’t familiar to the group, in rolestorming, each individual is taking on their own persona. In brandstorming, everyone is brainstorming from that one brand’s point of view. Everyone should be somewhat familiar with it.
  • #cildc  cross dept brainstorming groups can be good but have to play by rules need moderator not everyone plays nice — @mlibrarianus
  • Should facilitators be used, inside/outside: facilitators need to be outside idea generation. Facilitator needs to step out of being part of the brainstorms.
  • Brainstorm tightly focused but also loosely focused — both approaches work.
  • “Everyone at the table gets a voice. This is important because not everybody plays nice.” — @niwandajones

Let’s do it!

  1. Role storming — Design of a new library
  2. Long list – STEAM related services
  3. Opposites Services a library should provide
  4. Brand-Storming new ways of using tech in the library

Ideas are being captured and Jill will share out later.

Long list of STEAM related services (our group’s choice)

  • Lego mindstorm workshop
  • check out flesh-eating beetles
  • insect petting zoo
  • draw a bird day
  • shrinky dinks
  • science fair
  • storm chasers
  • make a shrunken head
  • mindstorm competition
  • what floats what sinks
  • 3d printing
  • musical instrument petting zoo
  • check for mold in library books
  • CSI
  • art gallery
  • sidewalk chart art
  • figure drawing class
  • dance exhibition
  • partner with local arts school
  • partner with local music teachers
  • partner with local engineers
  • theater
  • robotics clubs
  • local engineering
  • pencil rubbings of book jackets
  • origami with your old books
  • book art
  • aletered book
  • blackout poetry
  • poetry slams
  • book spine poetry
  • building forts out of books
  • obstacles courses out of books
  • making jewelry out of old library cards
  • minute to win it programs
  • math tutoring
  • science tutoring
  • checkout a scientist
  • checkout a musician
  • checkout an actor
  • recycled computer parts
  • build a computers
  • math bowls
  • minecraft
  • gardening programs —
  • petri disc cultures from library restrooms
  • petri disk cultures from public accesss computers
  • garden on library roof
  • weather balloons
  • solar panels in the library
  • egg drop
  • RUBE Goldberg
  • bridge building — library cards, toothpicks, gumdrops
  • collages from pressed leaves
  • development psych experiments in toddler storytimes
  • shock therapy
  • tornado in a bottle
  • volcanoes
  • superhero day
  • composing
  • play writing
  • masquerade ball as favorite artist, scientist, etc
  • puppet theatre
  • perform play
  • video screening of science
  • book trailer
  • spontaneous art performance

So what do you do with this long list of ideas after brainstorming. Don’t throw anything out investigate further –@mlibrarianus

#cildc  keep the list look back on it later ideas might work –@mlibrarianus