COLUMN: Bank on a good idea

An idea is a perfect commodity. It can be shared, traded, expanded upon, developed. It can enlighten, improve,and inspire.

Gen Gagnon’s Bank of Ideas collected suggestions like this one during her visit to the Nelson Public Library.

Gen Gagnon’s Bank of Ideas collected suggestions like this one during her visit to the Nelson Public Library.

An idea is a perfect commodity. It can be shared, traded, expanded upon, developed. It can enlighten, improve,and inspire. Cartoons illustrate the happy arrival of a new idea with a lightbulb, and the arrival of an idea can certainly feel like that.

I used to get my best ideas washing dishes but when a new relationship came with a dishwasher, that was the end of that. Fortunately, that new relationship also came with a dog and so now my best ideas start with the joyous wagging of tails and solidify over an hour in the woods.

Where do you get your ideas?

Gen Gagnon is a second-year student at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute. She had the bright idea to develop a community Bank of Ideas as her graduate thesis. To that end she’s been setting up tables where people gather, offering art supplies and collage materials, and asking people to embrace an idea by creating a 3x5-inch card inits honour. This week she was at the library’s community desk.

When Gen explained the Bank of Ideas I had a vague idea what it was about. A walk by the table in full swing gave me a much better idea, and it made me want to contribute to the Bank of Ideas myself. Amid the jumble of cool stuff to get creative with were file boxes full of the ideas collected so far.

The ideas are as varied as the ways in which they are presented with words, pictures, and mixed media as complex or simple as the idea-generator wished.

Some ideas are broad: “Just be yourself,” or “Love like a dog.”

Some offer advice on civic development (“Every city should have an artist on staff with public works and planning”), community development (“Talk to a homeless person”), or personal development (“Sometimes I ask myself how I want to feel. Then I do things that make me feel that way.”)

One childlike hand created a card that reads “Magical boots and mittens” a fabulous idea if there ever was one. Who wouldn’t want magical boots and mittens? The ideas are charming, poignant, original, and honest.

I love that Bank of Ideas came to the library, a place that has been called a warehouse of ideas itself. Journalist and peace advocate Norman Cousins suggested that a library is the “delivery room for the birth of ideas,” which sounds a little messy but also apropos. Author Neil Gaiman inextricably linked libraries, librarians, and ideas when he wrote that “a culture that doesn’t value its librarians doesn’t value ideas, and without ideas, well, where are we?”

Where are we indeed, without ideas and without good ideas like the Bank of Ideas? The beauty of this is that everyone gets to participate. Gen sees possibilities for the Bank of Ideas in therapy, work with youth, hospice work, and anywhere that would benefit from the free sharing of ideas, inspiration and love, with the opportunity to give back, right there on a 3×5 card.

The next chance to participate in Bank of Ideas is Saturday at Ellison’s Café from 11 a.m. to noon. Drop by, and bring sunglasses it could get pretty bright with all those light bulbs going off at once. If you miss it, there’s a Facebook page to help find the next pop-up ideas shop or leave your own bright ideas online.

The library has millions of good ideas within its walls, outside of them through databases and downloadable books, and, lately, at our community desk. If you have a brilliant idea for the Nelson Public Library community desk, drop me a line at adegrace@nelson.ca.

Anne DeGrace is the adult services coordinator at the Nelson Public Library. Check This Out runs every other week. For more information go to nelsonlibrary.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Fruitvale woman charged with impaired driving in 2019 crash that killed 2 teens

A 15-year-old boy and 18-year-old woman, both from Fruitvale, died in the crash that sent the vehicle into the river

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

L-R: Kootenay Co-op general manager Ari Derfel, grocery manager Erin Morrison, and security guard Akshay Sharma. The Kootenay Co-op has hired a security company to protect staff from abusive customers who don’t wish to wear masks. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Mask acceptance varies between different business outlets in Nelson

A small percentage of shoppers have tried flouting the rule, and Kootenay Co-op has hired a security guard.

Aaron Pasacreta (left) and Lillian Euringer are this year's recipients of the Doris Bradshaw Bursary. Photo: Submitted
Aaron Pasacreta, Lillian Euringer named Doris Bradshaw Bursary winners

The annual award is presented by the Amy Ferguson Institute

Crews retrieved the overturned commercial truck from the crash scene on Friday, Nov. 20. Photo: Betsy Kline
UPDATE: Kootenay woman dies in Genelle collision

The incident occurred Thursday, Nov. 19.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read