SkillShare

Bringing People Together to Share and Learn

Learn Something New

Join us to try something new! We’re bringing people together to share and learn with free workshops and activities right in the middle of the Central Library. Almost every day we feature interesting, free-of-charge opportunities to learn something new and make new connections. Popular activities include ukulele lessons, tai chi sessions, arts and crafts, chess and other games, and more.

SkillShare sessions are listed on our online calendar. Or simply drop by and see what’s happening!

Share Your Skills

Do you have skills you’re willing to share? We invite you to present free SkillShare workshops at the Central Library. Hosts present their skills on a voluntary basis. All programs are free of charge and open to all.

We are looking for programs that support life-long learning, spark creativity and encourage self-expression. We especially like hosting activities that are not widely available or are not typically available free-of-charge.

SkillShare activities are listed on the library’s online calendar and in library promotional materials, so people can also plan ahead to participate. Drop-in participants are encouraged to join in as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s an area set aside inside the Central Library where community members share their knowledge, skills and creativity. The space is flexible and visible, designed so people can see or hear an activity and join in. We also promote these programs in advance so people can plan ahead to participate. SkillShare is designed to support the Bellingham Public Library mission:

Connecting our community with each other and the world to read, learn, meet and discover!

Programs held in SkillShare are public events, provided free-of-charge and open to all library patrons though generally targeting adults. The dimensions of the space are 10’x22′ with smooth flooring. Tables and chairs are provided, and can be arranged to accommodate up to 16, or removed if not needed. Electrical outlets are available for use. Presenters may connect via their own devices to a digital display for presentations.

All SkillShare programs must take place during open hours at the Central Library.

What do you have to offer!? We want to experiment and try new things, so make a proposal! We are specifically interested in programs, presentations, activities or demonstrations that:

  • Support life-long learning, especially promoting literacy, technology and other key life skills;
  • Spark creativity, encouraging self-expression through various forms of art and media;
  • Offer information, services or skills that are not widely available, or are not typically available free-of-charge;
  • Offer fun, interactive and creative ways to bring people together to share and learn;
  • Can be conducted in an open area, with acceptable levels of noise, odor, clean-up requirements and other potential disruptions;
  • Are community-driven, facilitating knowledge-sharing among community members and require no or minimal support from library staff;
  • Can be repeated, especially if they prove to be popular!

SkillShare hosts agree to:

  • Offer their skills at no charge to either the library or the public;
  • Commit to a scheduled time, date and program description;
  • Assist with publicizing the program, as applicable and agreed upon with library staff;
  • Provide their own equipment, such as materials, props, laptops or other devices and appropriate cabling for presentations, etc.;
  • Set up chairs, tables and equipment as needed and return them to their original arrangement when finished;
  • Present the specified program as scheduled;
  • Share skills and experience but not overtly promote a private business. Hosts are welcome to provide information about their expertise and their contact information;
  • Provide program evaluation forms to participants;
  • Provide a headcount of program participants to library staff;
  • Provide feedback to library staff about the experience of hosting programs in SkillShare;
  • Follow the Bellingham Public Library Rules of Conduct, applicable portions of the Community Room Policy, and all local, state and federal laws.

Once a proposal has been accepted, the Bellingham Public Library will:

  • Reserve the SkillShare space for the program at no charge to the presenter;
  • Publicize the program on paper and online events calendars, digital signs and via other avenues as applicable and as lead time allows;
  • Introduce new hosts to the space and demonstrate the set-up routine;
  • Provide tables, chairs, electrical and data plug-ins;
  • Provide program evaluation forms for distribution to participants.

Resources

SkillShare Host Application

Special Thanks

The creation of SkillShare was funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, with local support from Zervas Group and Friends of the Bellingham Public Library.