Developing Programming Librarians

Programming Librarian

Programming Librarian home page

Programming Librarian home page

In 2008, the ALA Public Programs Office launched ProgrammingLibrarian.org, an online community and resource center for librarians who plan and present cultural, community programs. The continuing growth of the site is made possible by contributions from programming librarians across the country, who share their experiences through feature articles and blog posts.

In 2012, more than fifty writers contributed to the site, providing insight into such topics as intergenerational programming, multicultural programming, early literacy, programming in rural libraries, author programming, and civic engagement. Some of the most popular articles on Programming Librarian in 2012 included:

The ProgrammingLibrarian.org community grew in 2012, with more than 73,000 site visitors. Subscription to the Programming Librarian newsletter grew by 6%. Social media outreach in 2012 resulted in an 85% growth in Twitter followers and 27% in Facebook fans. Development of ProgrammingLibrarian.org is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the ALA Cultural Communities Fund.

Online Learning

To keep librarians up-to-date on opportunities for programming and available program models, the ALA Public Programs Office presents online learning sessions that focus on best practices in cultural programming. In 2012, The ALA Public Programs Office presented twelve online learning opportunities, reaching an audience of more than 1,000 programming librarians. The best-attended program, Author! Author! How to Find One, Host One, and Make Your Library THE Go-to Place for Author Events, had more than 220 participants.

Conference Events

Author A.S. King signs books after her reading at the 2012 Annual Conference Live! @your library Reading Stage

Author A.S. King signs books after her reading at the 2012 Annual Conference Live! @your library Reading Stage (click on image to enlarge in new window)

The ALA Public Programs Office reached an audience of more than 240 attendees at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim with six programs addressing issues in cultural and community programming. Program topics included science programming, early literacy, and grant opportunities.

In cooperation with the Center for Civic Reflection, the ALA Public Programs Office also hosted the preconference “Civic Reflection Builds Community Connections: A Program Model for Libraries.” This hands-on workshop trained participants in dialogue facilitation skills with proven success in strengthening partnerships, building effective teams across departments and organizations, and raising the profile of the library as a center for community life.

The ALA Public Programs Office presented readings from twenty-one authors and poets on the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage on the exhibits floor. More than 750 conference goers took a break from their busy schedules to enjoy live readings from award-winning, popular, and up-and-coming authors and poets. Readers on the LIVE! Stage included Sapphire, Gail Tsukiyama, and Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman.

In addition, a preconference offered at the 2012 Public Library Association Conference, “Make Your Library a Community Leader: Community Building through Civic Dialogue,” was presented to help librarians strategically position their libraries as a hub for community connections, civic involvement, and collaboration utilizing a model that has successfully worked for many libraries, colleges, foundations, and other community organizations. Sixty librarians from fifty-seven libraries participated in this sold-out workshop.

Sara Jaffarian Award

Francis Feeley (left) receives the 2012 Sara Jaffarian Award

Francis Feeley (left) receives the 2012 Sara Jaffarian Award (click on image to enlarge in new window)

The Inter-American Magnet School in Chicago in Chicago was selected as the winner of the 2012 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming, presented annually by the ALA Public Programs Office in collaboration with the American Association of School Librarians.

Francis Feeley, librarian at Inter-American Magnet School, developed and submitted the winning program, “Who Are We?,” which challenged seventh- and eighth-grade students to explore the individual and collective behavior of human beings in the past and present in a series of quarterly research projects. The Sara Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle school (K–8) libraries.