Between the two of us we have over 45 years of teaching experience. (Yes, we are stunned by that, too!) From the beginning, our library programming has taught students to responsibly and critically select and evaluate their resources. It’s the very foundation of media and information literacy and a critical skill for students to master in their K-12 education.
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Our library has partnered with our local Wood River Parks and Recreation Department to offer a weekly children's program for kids (ages 5 and younger) that combines gymnastics and motor skills with literacy.
The library provides staff and a story for storytime; the parks department provices the gymnastics equipment and space for the little ones to play.
The Fifth Annual Middle School Panel was a great opportunity for parents/guardians to hear about the local middle schools and their programs. This program was geared for parents/guardians of fourth- and fifth-graders.
The event was hosted by the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library in partnership with 17 area schools and organizations. Program representatives from the area schools addressed parents, legal guardians and students about their respective middle schools in terms of academic programs, resources and performance.
Health care can be confusing for everyone. More than 90 million U.S. adults have low health literacy, which provides a framework to guide both health care professionals and community members to use health information and make informed decisions about their own, their family’s and their community’s health and wellbeing. Libraries play an essential role in making quality health information accessible to all.
There are plenty of reasons for libraries to collaborate. Partnering with other organizations and people increases your resources, increases your reach, promotes creativity, models teamwork for others, and helps your community work toward common goals. Lest we forget, libraries have a lot to offer our partners, too; we are trusted, well situated for exposure and usually pretty competent in marketing our programs and services.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and the ALA Public Programs Office invite libraries to apply to host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.
When I started as library director in the tiny town of Meservey, I never thought we would be able to pull off large-scale programs like libraries in big cities did. Those types of programs aren’t in our budget, and it’s hard enough getting good attendance at our smaller events. The payoff, I figured, probably wouldn’t be worth all of the money and time spent.
I am thrilled to admit that I was wrong, and that tiny libraries like mine can, in fact, have big events that are just as successful as a library 10 times their size.
In our tiny library, we are forced to think hard about every financial decision we make. Can we afford to book that pricey performer for our summer reading program? Should we be subscribing to magazines if only a couple of people are reading them? Do we need to have snacks at every event? Every dollar counts, and we must stretch that dollar as far as we possibly can, particularly when it comes to programming.
When we were planning our large-scale, grant-funded health and wellness series for older adults, we knew we wanted to reach beyond our usual program attendees, and that meant trying a new location. Our tai chi program seemed like a good place to start.
Winterset is a community of 5,120 in central Iowa, about 40 miles outside Des Moines. Since 2011, a number of our local organizations have collaborated to present Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset, a program series that strives to improve the health and wellness of our residents. Programs run from early May to late October and are free of charge and open to all ages.
When I started as library director in March 2015, I made a list of programs, fundraisers and events that I wanted to plan at some point. The list was pages long and included things like an outdoor potluck, a dinosaur park and an '80s-themed prom. About halfway down the list I wrote “Elizabeth Berg book signing – LOL.”
That's "LOL" as in "That's hilarious. Why would a bestselling author visit our little library?!” Little did I know that only a few years later, I would be welcoming Elizabeth Berg herself into our tiny town.
At Slater (Iowa) Public Library, we find that it's usually tough to get adults to attend programs. But we have also seen a few notable exceptions, one of which is our Soup and Sound program. As the name suggests, this consists of serving a meal and providing entertainment to attendees. Soup and Sound is not only popular — it's fun, community-building, and we've been able to cover our program costs with donations.
Short on time and money, we found a quick and inexpensive way to celebrate National Poetry Month: offering patrons a poem to take home every day in the month of April.
We created a large display table with books, DVDs and other materials for all ages, and we displayed free signs from the Poetry Foundation. We also created a sign that read, “Don’t forget to get your poem a day!”
Our last blog post — in which we assessed our community's needs and set out to create a health and wellness program series for older adults — ended with a good idea, lots of enthusiasm ... and approximately zero dollars. How were we going to fund this fantastic smorgasbord of health, wealth and self-care program opportunities for the 55-and-older crowd on the Peninsula?
Princeton Public Library was fortunate to have Dara-Lyn Shrager as our first poet-in-residence in fall 2018. One of our programs during this period was a "Poet-tree" art installation created by community members of all ages.
Meservey, Iowa, is tiny — fewer than 250 residents — and the library’s budget is tight. Despite this, the Meservey Public Library has managed to triple its program attendance in the past few years and create many memorable, budget-friendly events.
Drawing on her experience as director of the Meservey Public Library, Chelsea Price will share ideas for hosting "big" programs on a small budget and discuss how partnerships can be an invaluable resource for programming.
Participants of this session will:
Our National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment (NILPPA) team is back from ALA Annual in New Orleans, where we presented some of our findings, conducted more research, and learned more about some of the awesome things happening in programs that occur across all types of libraries.
Here are a few of the sessions we attended relevant to program design, development, and facilitation in libraries.