Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

How often do you go to a program, read a blog post, see a blog comment or in conversation with your colleagues hear, "I stole this program."

You guys, no you didn't!!!!

I feel very strongly about this issue.  We all share so that we all can learn. This issue came up in our programming class and one of the student-librarians wrote this post on our class blog Kids Library Program Mojo.

Each description or workshop or blog post on a program or idea is really an open invitation to take the idea and grow it for YOUR community.

Remember, if you don't use that idea, it stays hidden and the children in your community never get the benefit of that innovation.  Hidden ideas seldom grow, evolve and change.

It's within the scrum of sharing, borrowing and giving away of ideas that we see the true evolution of innovation in children's library work. Be good and credit your source and the originator always and then grow it!

Sandy Krost started 1000 Books Before Kindergarten - look where it is now.

Sara Bryce pioneered Story Action Pods - look where it is now.

Cory Eckert started the Guerrilla Storytime movement - look where it is now.

Mel Depper started the Flannel Friday movement - look where it is now.

Lisa Shaia just started the school age Thrive Thursday movement - look where it is now.

I had a hand in starting the Unprogramming concept - look where it is now.

I could go on...but these are all incredible new, crowd-sourced initiatives that have grown like topsy because we share - and give ownership and agency away.  It is good to know you started the snowball rolling but why do you have to hoard the snow that goes into making it bigger, better and shared across the area, state, region or nation?

Any one of these things would still exist if it were "owned" by its founder in some small way, in one small community, in one lonely place.  But by giving it away, inviting participation, sharing and sharing, all of these innovative children's initiatives, projects, programs and concepts have taken on a vibrant life of their own.

We are stronger together. So free yourself.  Give it away. Take it. Share it. Grow it. Fairly credit it. And be mighty.


  1. Now I'm going to scramble around my blog to make sure I have credited everyone that makes my programs awesome! :)

    1. There has been an interesting Twitter conversation going on. Part of it is knowing the difference between sharing something within the community so your town benefits from something cool vs, blogging/presenting on someone else's idea w/o giving credit. That seems to be the linchpin of discontent. SO glad you wrote the post to get us going!!

    2. That makes total sense. I know every time I use someone's idea and blog about it, I give credit and link to the original site. In the cases of folks not crediting their sources, I think there's sometimes a level of shame involved with "borrowing" someone else's ideas (I'm not good enough because I'm using other people's material. I'm not creative, so I'll just steal this and act like it's mine.) I think people brush aside the fact that the idea isn't theirs, and they won't admit it to others out of discomfort in their own program planning. (Wow, that's some deep stuff, man. I need a nap. :))

    3. This is definitely something that's been rattling around in my head for a bit. The credit issue for me is not so much that I need people to know where it came from, but like: I share my stuff for free. Yeah I present sometimes, but for the most part if you go to my blog for free you can get a lot of stuff, including downloads. If someone not only shares my stuff but makes money off appropriating and sharing my stuff without "transforming" the work just because Pinterest is a Thing Now (cough, Mythbusters, cough) that makes them the gatekeeper to my content, which is not okay, because my choice was to make it free.
      I guess my thoughts are pretty much this: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/

      Though I might just feel so strongly about this discussion since my LEGO Check out club post has been shared a billion million times in a week and I just overdrafted on groceries :)

    4. This has been a MOST excellent conversation. I like the creativecommons link, Sara. I think Pinterest might be one of the biggest contributors of that loss of originator chain - pins and repins can lose/degrade the source. I get lots of pleasure from sharing stuff I think up but I never see a dime - if satisfaction in knowing I contributed to change or a positive result in the profession were money, I'd be manipulating politicians and the public like the Koch boys.

  2. I have that song in my head now. :-)

    1. I actually thought of including a headbanging video of Anthony Kiedis & the RHCP but thought, who would even remember this song?!?!