Anythink joins libraries nationwide for 2016 PLA conference

Anythink joins libraries from Colorado and across the country for the Public Library Association 2016 Conference (PLA), held April 5-9 in downtown Denver. The biennial conference brings the library industry and its advocates together with a variety of educational programs, exhibits and speakers to enhance the development of and effectiveness of public libraries and their staff. This year’s highlighted guest speakers include Anderson Cooper, Vernā Myers, Sherry Turkle, Anand Giridharas and Tig Notaro.

Colorado libraries are recognized as some of the most innovative libraries in the country, helping to advance the perception of libraries as spaces for technology, creativity and community engagement. As part of this community, Anythink will play a large role at this year’s PLA conference by hosting and co-hosting several interactive sessions with fellow library leaders from across Colorado and the nation. Anythink will also host the Take Charge Lounge, a space where attendees can relax, socialize and refuel in the exhibit hall during the conference. Lounge visitors will also be able to charge their phones, tablets or other devices using Anythink’s fleet of Take Charge bicycles, specially designed by Anythink staff to harness human energy and convert it to electricity.

“Having the Public Library Association conference in Denver is such an opportunity,” says Anythink Director Pam Sandlian Smith. “The basic Colorado character is one of imagination, optimism and creativity. Colorado libraries are among the most innovative libraries in the country. Anythink staff is excited to share our ideas and enthusiasm through a variety of programs and events. Our library has evolved from one of the poorest in the state to a public library that sparks inspiration for our community and our professional colleagues.”

Anythink Director Pam Sandlian Smith is running for president of the Public Library Association. PLA’s 9,000 members vote on the elected position for the 2017-2018 term. Sandlian Smith’s campaign focuses on a people-first platform that highlights the ingenuity of library staff as the industry continues to evolve and innovate. Voting is currently underway and closes on April 22. For more information on Pam Sandlian Smith and her candidacy for PLA president, visit

Anythink Presentations at PLA 2016

AnyAbility: Taking Ordinary Service for Adults with Disabilities to an Extraordinary Level
Anythink Wright Farms staff will showcase their experience creating programs that have grown into engaging experiences, where adults with disabilities connect with their community, interact with peers, and utilize library resources.

Creative Merchandising Strategies for Libraries
Forbes columnist and president of ThirdWay Brand Trainers David Vinjamuri partners with Anythink Director of Innovations and Brand Strategy Stacie Ledden to host an interactive session sharing creative merchandising techniques to enhance the customer’s experience and impact a library’s circulation.

Designing Spaces for People, Not Collections
Anythink Director Pam Sandlian Smith and Marie Østergård of Dokk1, Aarhus Public Libraries in Denmark, discuss planning spaces for discovery, creation, participation, learning, performing and innovation.

Hospitality: The Essential Ingredient
Anythink Director Pam Sandlian Smith and Ben Hecht, of Whole Foods Market and the Slow Food Denver Board of Directors, share the key elements of hospitality, including hiring, training and building a hospitality culture.

Puff, Puff, Lend: Cannabis Culture and the Library Collection
Many customers have questions about marijuana and its usage, but how can they become informed? Anythink buyers Aaron Bock and Jennifer Hendzlik join forces with Derrick Mason, Idea Factory Librarian at Pueblo City-County Library District, to discuss marijuana growing, business, use, science, law and activism – and how library resources and collections can help answer questions regarding these issues.

The Studio Experience: Creating a Makerspace for Ages 0-108
Anythink Brighton staff will share how The Studio at Anythink Brighton grew to offer extraordinary experiences for ages 0-108, from banana bongos for babies, to embroidery for adults, to 3D printing for teenagers, and robotics for all ages.