Program Planning

Creative Aging Programs Engage and Inspire

By Shannon McDonough, Communications Director, Lifetime Arts, Inc.

Part of what makes public libraries so valuable and trusted is the comprehensive range of programs and services they offer. Community outreach provides critical services to the neediest. Early literacy and other learning programs support the youngest minds and encourage them to explore their worlds.

What about the older minds?

After a lifetime of working, raising a family, or caring for a loved one, older adults are looking to have some fun, and the library is one place they can have some. Most adults fifty-five and older don’t fit into the “frail elderly” category. These people are often active, spirited, thoughtful, and engaged. They long for inspiring experiences that encourage their personal curiosity, instill self-confidence in their creative abilities, and provide valuable opportunities to make new friends. Who wouldn’t? Attending readings and performances can be entertaining and culturally enriching; however, these events don’t facilitate personal growth like Creative Aging programs do. Read more | Creative Aging Programs Engage and Inspire

Creating Successful Tween Programming from Scratch!

As we all experience daily, public library systems are doing more with less. So what is a system to do when faced with the task of filling a community need with a skeleton staff and invisible budget? The Manatee County Public Library System in Bradenton, Florida, was faced with this very question after our 2011 long-range planning process. The service area of Manatee County is 743 square miles with a population of 327, 293.

Reaching Teens Subversively through Passive Programming

Looking for a way to implement programming at your library, but strapped for cash, staff, or time? Want an easy—and maybe even subversive—way to reach teens? Passive programming is the answer.

Coffee and Crochet Hooks: Crafting an Adult Hand Skills Program

Arts ’n crafts have long been a staple library program, but are typically aimed at children. However, crafting for adults has recently re-emerged as a popular hobby. Image-based bookmarking site Pinterest helps users share ideas and inspire one another’s creativity. Meanwhile, Etsy, the online marketplace for buying and selling hand-crafted goods, currently has thousands of shops selling everything from knitted 1940s-style snoods to furniture to chocolates, and claims about fifteen million buyers.

Honoring Native Culture in Oceanside: Local and Sustainable Ethnic Programs in Libraries

Our Ancestors tell us that from the beginning of time, our people “ataaxam” have always occupied the San Luis Rey Valley, including the coastline, the neighboring lagoons, the oak forest, the lush meadows, the vernal springs, and the creeks and rivers to the north and south of the valley. The ataaxam harvested the fertile land and sea, and their extensive knowledge of the environment was passed on through culture, songs, stories and dances, from generation to generation.—The San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians Tribal Council

Bring Generations Together through Storytelling: A How-to Guide

The classroom was filled with forty-five excited third graders. They were in place. The teachers were in place. The storyteller had arrived. But where were the guests of honor? And then twenty older adults entered, some walking briskly, some in wheelchairs, all of them smiling. The children’s “grandbuddies,” the guests of honor, had arrived. O’Hara Elementary School in suburban Pittsburgh participated in the “grandbuddies” program during the 2011–2012 school year, and this was the culmination of the program.

Multiculturalism Happens: Targeting Multicultural Literacy in Libraries

Living and working in Miami’s diverse, multicultural environment, I am constantly exposed to new ways of thinking about culture at work and in the community. As a librarian, some of the best times I’ve had involved moments when I was able to learn about my students’ cultural backgrounds, particularly how they celebrate and experience culture. So it’s no wonder that I’m kind of passionate about bringing multicultural literacy to libraries to create cultural bonds within the community.


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