Library programs and events are things we do not only because we enjoy doing them, but because they fulfill a need in our community. I have, however, oftentimes heard a disgruntled colleague or two claim that programs do little to encourage the use of the library. This, of course, is a matter of philosophical debate in the profession and is not likely to be resolved anytime soon. I would argue — as, I suspect, would many of you — that programs are use of the library.
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We spend a lot of time in libraryland talking about literacy. And there are an awful lot of literacy skills to learn and teach: pre-literacy skills, visual literacy, numeracy, cultural literacy, information and computer or digital literacy…whew! But one of the most overlooked and underappreciated literacy skills is the one we use almost constantly from the time we are born: kinetic literacy, also known as physical literacy.
The ALA Annual Conference always has a lot of session options to choose from. Librarians wear many hats, so sometimes it’s difficult to choose which one to wear at conference. If you were or were not at conference and missed something geared toward programming librarians, you’re in luck. Here’s my hat trick (top three) for you to try on for size.
When you hear “library Halloween programs” you probably think of a Trick-Or-Treat story time or a teen Halloween party. But adults can enjoy Halloween programs as well. With the right partners, Halloween programs can be affordable, educational and entertaining for adult library users. We hold many of the programs on weekends or in the evening so working adults can attend.
Meservey, Iowa, is a tiny, rural town of just 240 people. We have a church, a bar, a post office … and my little library. There isn’t much to do in town as far as entertainment goes, so the library tends to serve as a community hub — we are one of the only local sources of free events and programming.