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My library is in the tiny town of Fenton, Iowa. To garner a bit of perspective about just how tiny we are talking, the nearest gas station is 13 miles away, groceries and job opportunities are 30 miles, and we are equal distance from Des Moines and Minneapolis/St. Paul, which will take you 2.5 hours of interstate, if you don’t stop to see the sights.
No school in town. No elder care facility. No bustling main street. Remote, yet we still pursue quality programming.
Books & Bites, a delightful cooking demonstration presented by St. Johns County librarians, combines our love of literature and food. We take a popular title, book or TV show, and look at historical events that surround it.
Topics have included "Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania," paired with the menu from the ship; "True Grit," paired with campfire cooking; and "Before We Were Yours," paired with Southern cuisine. We have offered the program since 2015.
Together, Area Agencies on Aging and Councils on Aging constitute the public infrastructure designed to support America’s older adults. As such, they are natural partners for public libraries seeking to develop programs that lead communities “on the path to healthy aging,” as the ALA Health Literacy Toolkit puts it.
New research by a San Jose State University scholar finds that most health programs offered by a major U.S. public library system are developed through community partnerships. San Jose Public Library not only works with partners to develop programs offered at the library, they also participate in regional health campaigns. Keep reading to learn how they do it, and to get inspired to try something new at your library!
This month, I’ve handed the spotlight to a dear friend who always knows what obscure holiday it may be and how to celebrate it! Kami Bumgardner is the youth services coordinator at Maitland Public Library in Maitland, Fla., and works primarily with toddlers and kids through fifth grade. Any questions or comments will be forwarded to her. Enjoy!
Beginning Street Art was an active companion program to Banksy Booked @KHPCL, the theme for a number of active and passive programs to coincide with a six-week exhibit of Banksy’s "Haight Street Rat" street art.
The West Linn Public Library holds an every-other-month Trivia Night in our Community Room. We do not require registration but ask people to form teams of two to five people and just show up. People who do not come with a team are welcome to join another team as long as it remains five people or less. The program is targeted to adults, but all ages are welcome, and we usually have at least one family with kids that shows up.
As the central event from a series of programs focusing on South Asian culture, we presented an Interfaith Discussion about Holy Books from different religions, hosted at the Sikh Temple in Palatine. Speakers from Buddhist (Tripitaka), Christian (Bible), Hindu (Gita), Jewish (Torah), Muslim (Qur'an) and Sikh (Guru Granth Sahib) faiths discussed their holy books, with a question-and-answer session afterward.
Stickering is a fun alternative to the coloring craze, and it requires few supplies. I purchased three "Paint by Sticker" books — two for children and one for adults — to use at the event. Participants were invited to pick out whatever image they wanted from the books and go to work!
The children's images took about 30 minutes to complete, and the ones for adults took approximately an hour.
Watch the video below to see how painting-by-sticker works.
In this session, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center will share their work over the last five years using food and cooking as a context for learning in neighborhood libraries across Philadelphia. With some basic utensils and countertop appliances, you can create your own mobile kitchen classroom.
Join the ALA Public Programs Office and the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University for a one-day workshop to learn how your library can help adults in your community become eagle-eyed news consumers.
In this intensive one-day preconference, participants will:
Book clubs: libraries love them, and with good reason. Reading groups are a great way to bring communities together, highlight collections and share our love of reading.
There are many different twists on the familiar book club, from clubs without required reading to those that incorporate films or food. We have highlighted several creative book club models on Programming Librarian; here are a few of our favorites.
Hypertufa is a building substance that has been popular with hobby gardeners since its creation in the 1930s. It is made from a mixture of peat moss, perlite, Portland cement and water. It can be formed and shaped to create pots, planters and statuary for gardens.
In this program, patrons watched a live demonstration of the hypertufa mixing process, then used the mixture to create their own pots for their home gardens. This program is designed for adults only.
If you’re looking for a program that makes everyone feel good, this is it. The Bedford (Ind.) Public Library presented two workshops where attendees cut, tied and stuffed 137 no-sew pillows for donation to the special needs wing of a local nursing home. The library made it possible for even young children to participate.
Feeling frazzled after the holidays? We invited patrons to transform plain white boxes into unique creations through collage, all while learning about art therapy and mindfulness in a relaxing environment. Attendees walked away with completed boxes that illustrated their feelings and matched their personal style. All supplies were provided.