A few months ago on Programming Librarian, I talked about asking a trivia question as part of your passive programming. Now, I've taken it a step further to create a Trivia Master Challenge that encourages students to search the library’s catalog, explore our nonfiction section, and learn how to search successfully within a book.
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As an academic institution on the semester system, Banned Books Week tends to be the first big, multi-day event of the programming cycle for the staff at the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University. Outside of First-Year Orientation, this is one of our first opportunities to make an impression on our students.
Passive programs can be a great way to regularly attract students into the library without having planned, specific events. Pick a corner of the library that can be designated for these drop-by activities, set out the supplies and some instructions, and let it go! Here are a few of my go-to passive programs.
The William H. Hannon Library hosts over 40 programs every year. Like many colleges and universities, Loyola Marymount University has multiple public calendars, bulletin boards and online spaces where students, faculty and staff go to find information about upcoming events. To rise above the surfeit of campus programming options for our users, it's important to make sure each space is populated with library programming information in a timely fashion.
Like the increasingly popular "escape rooms" — in which players solve a series of puzzles to break out of a room — Breakouts use a compelling story, time limit, and series of puzzles to create an interactive game. But instead of breaking out of a locked room, students must work together to break into a tightly locked box before the timer runs out. Puzzles lead to the combinations for the different types of locks, and many games also include a digital element.
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or an axle. Or a 24-tooth crown gear. Or all of them in one sitting.
That was the challenge we faced here at Mid-Continent Public Library as we planned to make LEGO WeDo kits available for programs at our 31 branches. How do you circulate 40 kits throughout the system without losing most of the pieces — and your mind?
It’s December, and that means Santa Claus is coming to our library.
At Mid-Continent Public Library, Kimberly Howard has collected more than a half dozen Santas over the past 16 years. “Finding Santas isn’t always easy,” said Howard, assistant manager in MCPL’s Community Programming Department.