my talk at TEDx Rainier

Last month I had the pleasure of speaking at a local TEDx event - TEDxRainier. TEDx is a locally produced event that licenses the TED name and format. My talk was one of thirty - our event lasted a full day - and I spoke about how library services are shifting and evolving to meet new community needs; my hope was to inspire the audience to think with me, and with our colleagues in the library field, how libraries might continue to evolve in the 21st Century.

TEDx events are an *excellent* venue for raising awareness about libraries with the public; TEDx audiences are discerning in that they are likely already familiar with and have an interest in “ideas worth spreading”. My guess is that they come to the event to be inspired, build local networks, and start making connections and collaborations. I’ve found both my TEDx audiences very interested in how they can support and work with libraries. I still keep in touch with the many people I’ve met as a result, and still have a number of people to follow up with since this last one. I highly recommend working with local organizers to produce or speak at one of these in your area, if you haven’t already!

As a speaker at this event, I was so well supported. My speech coach was Elizabeth Coppinger and my designer was Kolin Pope. Each met with me several times to tighten up my content and the slides that accompanied. Dale Musselman, Kendra Morgan, and the volunteer staff at TEDx Rainier all watched rehearsals (one, or more!). It felt a bit like Phil Klein was my own personal cheerleader (though I know he was doing this for everyone) and the audience was both generous and genuine. My friends and mentors helped me develop and clarify my message all along the way. Huge thanks go to Marilyn Mason, Mike Crandall, Deborah Jacobs, Brian Bannon, Rolf Hapel, Marie Boleman, and the communications team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their input and support throughout. I hope I’m not forgetting anyone.

Many of you know the story about me and my wardrobe malfunction at the last TEDx talk I did (them: no black! me: but that’s all i brought!). This time, the only thing that I wished I could change was the huge ball of cotton that suddenly appeared in my mouth about mid-way through my talk. Too bad that mic wasn’t connected to a camel-pack. :)

If you’d like to give me feedback on this talk - please visit my online survey - thank you!!


  1. mgmason, 29. December 2011, 17:12

    Nice. Great job.

  2. Brenda Braham, 2. February 2012, 10:53

    What a wonderful, fantastic advocate for libraries and the future of libraries. Thank you so much! Brenda

  3. Robin Bishop, 4. February 2012, 23:58

    Fabulous job Chrystie! Great examples to help drive home the crucial role libraries play in lives all over the world.

  4. Cathy C., 26. July 2012, 16:57

    Very inspiring!

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