Creative Coffee – Inventive Format!

Well, I tried!!

Here is the Twitter feed attempt:

Creative cooffee twitter Stream begins Creative cooffee twitter Stream 3 Creative cooffee twitter Stream 2

In the end two sessions were held with teachers from elsewhere who could not make the same time and place. I have blogged about this here:

The process was altered somewhat for the session held at school. This was an event advertised on the school wide learning management system which has bulletin boards in all areas, and by email and face to face invitations to teaching and administrative staff. Of the adult attendees most are not regular library users, and in one case, a participant had not been into the space for about 8 years.

I began with a reading from Imagine a Place by Sarah L Thomson, paintings by Rob Gonsalves.

Imagine image The text selected reads:

imagine a place….

….where words shelter you,

ideas uphold you, and

thoughts lead you

to the secret

inside the labyrinth (pages 19 – 20)

This gave a broader framework for the conversations and brainstorming that followed than I had allowed for my other participants on the Friday. Conversations were broad and enthusiastic – and quite hard for the online attendees to hear. They used their time for a “chat room” discussion of their own – and from which I saw my space through other eyes! (Thanks so much for the input Deb and Liz) here is a record of their chat:

liz eckert

I’m finding it hard to hear what the students are saying I’m catching phrases here & there but not at lot

12:58 PM


Me too. I did hear one of them mention a fountain!

Lost the sound

12:59 PM

liz eckert

The joys of trying out different tech.

1:00 PM


Lovely to have a view into another school though

1:00 PM

liz eckert


love the flags – full sized hanging in the library

1:00 PM


We have someone taking Zumba outside – Mental Health week

1:01 PM

liz eckert

I asked my Yr 8 students this morning for ideas about what they would change about their classroom  & got some interesting answers –

they want single desks (allows for re-arranging)

1:03 PM


There’s a lot of natural light in your Library Margaret!

1:03 PM

liz eckert

*re-arranging; laptops &other devices; bigger classrooms (we are a loud group when we get going); they want to listen to music; able to go into the breakout spaces in the library more often; more comfortable furniture; make the classroom brighter; different colours on the wall

1:05 PM


The feedback is teachers and students like our library, but think it can be too noisy.

1:07 PM

liz eckert

the bright colours on the wall idea that my students came up with this morning was one that I wanted to see if Margaret’s school would change as well. Thought it was rather an interesting idea

1:08 PM


Margaret – were they drawing ideas or writing them?

Some common themes were largely space related and in terms of practicality not really feasible while others can probably be implemented immediately.

Creative Coffee 1 Creative Coffee 2 Creative Coffee 3 Creative Coffee 4

Not so feasible:

folio sized shelving

pet friendly

large work desks

On the new bucket list:

gold fish

student art/achievements work on display

student made book ends



On the “I wish” list

author/artist in residence

sumptuous furnishings

book lined

Short term wishes – some in train:

new blinds (over the summer?)

fresh paint/light colours

comfortable furniture

coffee machine

bean bags/floor cushions

colourful furniture

Already provided:

lap top lockers/charging

tablet trolley (but could do with more)

plants (relocate?)

book-related posters

Unlikely or further down the track:

new carpet

bigger desks

milkshake machine

A segment of the discussion on vimeo.

Given that the Twitter feed did not result in any other take up, the overall end result was enlightening and a great way to review our situation. The concept of examining a redesign of our library experience is looking good. The Creative Coffee enabled brainstorming by Tim Brown’s rules allowing participants and Library staff the opportunity to tell a new story (Brown, 2009 p138-139)


Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. New York: Harper Collins.

I have visited the following blogs and posted a comment (and will possibly comment on more): James Thomas Lisa Plenty Patricia Lee Heather Jesuadian Yvette Drager







5 thoughts on “Creative Coffee – Inventive Format!

  1. moniquemcqueen

    Hi Margaret, I found it very interesting to read through the different discussions that you had online and at your meeting.
    There are often interesting conversations that happen on Twitter. I find the 140 characters a real challenge sometimes. When you put out some feelers on Twitter it is often surprising who responds, who re-tweets or favourites.
    The sharing of the poem seemed to be an effective conversation starter. I like that you attracted people to the Library that aren’t frequent visitors – the dynamics of people in work-spaces never ceases to be interesting.


  2. plee

    Margret – I enjoyed reading your conversations and I think your “Inventive Format” approach was a creative way to bridge the distance between participants. Maybe your ‘absent’ visitor might revisit within the next eight years – well done for attracting him/her this time! Opening with ‘Imagine a Place’ managed to focus my attention too…imagining a place!


  3. Margaret Simkin

    Thanks Liz, the computer had to be tethered a bit far away from the action to give it Internet connectivity through LAN rather than wireless. I was glad you and Deborah were able to chat to each other – your comments also added new ideas and information.


  4. Deborah Welsh

    Hi Margaret

    It was good to be part of this, even in a peripheral way. Canvassing imaginative ideas from the actual users is really valuable and facilitates a broad view of the potential in the spaces. I do love the pet-friendly concept. Maybe virtual pets?

    We are going to get some students focus groups together and I plan to arm them with paper and crayons also! You never know…


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