Programs That Pack the Place
Kim Mears | June 30, 2010
Editor’s Note: In case you missed it, this week we’re featuring blog posts on ALA Annual Conference programs. This entry focuses “Programs That Pack the Place: A How-to for Libraries of All Shapes and Sizes,” where experienced programmers sharee how libraries of all types, sizes, and budgets produce successful programs without breaking the bank or burning out staff.
If you’ve ever wondered how to fill your library’s rooms during programs, there was no better place to be than the 2010 ALA Annual Conference for “Programs That Pack the Place: A How-to for Libraries of All Shapes and Sizes.” Terrilyn Chun of Multnomah County Library, Nann Blaine Hilyard of Zion-Benton Public Library, Jennifer Longee of Durham Academy, and Chapple Langemack and Deborah Schneider of King County Library System collaborated on a presentation that offered valuable information to librarians about increasing patron participation in a library programs.
The purpose of library programs was discussed at the start of the session, with the main reason being that it supports the mission of libraries, but the presentation centered on tips for planning. The panelists discussed five things programming librarians needed to consider:
- your audience (i.e., book groups);
- community hooks (i.e., firefighters);
- national tie-ins (i.e., National Novel Writing Month);
- current events (i.e., energy conservation); and
- thinking outside the box and the library (i.e., community festivals or farmers markets).
The panelists then opened the floor to the audience and asked the attendees to contribute tips and stories about programming. Librarians from both small and big libraries offered stories about successful past programs and funding opportunities. The panelist also stressed the importance of partnership and collaboration to potentially supplement resources, increase the outreach of a program to different audiences and boost program publicity.
The panelists also offered the following resources for programming librarians:
- Programming Librarian
- Adult Programs by Brett W. Lear
- The Author Event Primer by Chapple Langemack
- Adult Programming: A Manual for Libraries by RUSA-SUPS Services to Adults Committee
- Cultural Programming for Libraries: Linking Libraries, Communities & Culture by Deborah A. Robertson
- Library Programs Online: Possibilities and Practicalities of Web Conferencing by Thomas A. Peters
- Library Success: A Best Practice Wiki
- Something to Talk About: Creative Booktalking for Adults by Ann-Marie Cyr & Kellie M. Gillespie
Kim Mears is an MLIS student specializing in academic librarianship at Valdosta State University.