On the morning of June 25, attendees of the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., gathered to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The vigil not only provided an opportunity to mourn, but it highlighted our profession’s commitment to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all patrons. ALA Annual focused on inclusion of patrons from all sections of our communities, whether or not they fit into our majority demographic. From collection development practices to program development, attendees were encouraged to listen to and learn from their patrons.
You are here
If you work at a public library, you probably answer lots of digital literacy questions: how to change the margins in Word, how to apply for a job online. At Darien Library, we noticed that quite a few people were quietly working on their dating profiles, but they were shy about asking for help. We wanted to create a program where people could ask questions and share their concerns in a safe environment.
While the workshop is open to everyone, it is particularly popular with middle-aged or older adults who are re-entering the dating scene after a breakup.
Hungry Hungry Hippos is a life-sized version of the classic tabletop game. Participants play as the hippos, and their objective is to collect the most plastic balls before time runs out. Starting from different corners of the room, the players move around on scooters and can only use their “mouths” — plastic buckets — to capture the balls.
This was a four-week course in which we created our own custom barn quilts, learned a little about their history, and had a wonderful time bringing people together and beautifying the town. We are now on the local barn quilt trail and will be doing another class soon.
This year the LP Fisher Public Library teamed up with our local run club, the River Valley Runners. They got a place to have their monthly meetings, access to awesome running books (and periodicals, thanks to the generous donation of a member), and we got to particpate in their fun runs and help plan their events. It has turned out to be a true win-win.
Third- through sixth-graders meet at the library on the second Wednesday of every month for ATLAS (At the Library After School). The topic of the event changes monthly. Some popular themes have included book release parties, STEM programs (such as BrushBots and ArtBots), Minute to Win It games and our Chocolate Olympics.
Participants signed up to sand, paint and decorate their set of five "dice" — blocks of wood that had been pre-cut by staff — for an oversized game of Yahtzee. Once finished, they could take them home to use. Our goal was to host a multi-generational program at the library that would encourage continued multi-generational interactions all summer long.
Large library systems often have the resources to create innovative programming. However, a librarian with a great idea faces their own set of challenges when trying to implement and market a new program.
Recently, I gave an informal presentation to new staff members at my library about ways to launch their library programs. Before you get started, make sure you can answer these five questions: