What does it take to host community-centric programs that are also well-attended? Sonya Durney is a librarian at Portland Public Library (PPL) in Portland, Maine. As the library’s business and government team leader, she plans programs covering entrepreneurship, politics, finance and career resources.
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Each month during the school year, a group of 20 to 30 children grades K through 4 gather at Skokie Public Library on a Friday evening for Adventure Club. This longstanding, hour-long program gives elementary-aged youth the opportunity to explore and experience some of the culture, traditions, food, and pastimes of countries and cultures across the world.
This isn’t exactly a lemons-into-lemonade story. More specifically, it’s one of those "blank wall transforms into a community art gallery and arts-centered program series" kind of stories.
Katie Gregory, the Mid-Continent Public Library's (MCPL) Liberty Branch assistant manager, was faced with a problem. The wall in the Wi-Fi study space at the branch was uninspiring — some might venture so far as to call it stark and depressing. In short, it was blank.
"The book was better" is a phrase I probably utter too much. I'm that killjoy in the room who will refuse to see movie adaptations because they never seem to measure up to what I imagined as I read the book. However, when a group of friends suggested we do a Book-to-Movie Club at the library, I knew it was too good an idea to pass up.
Book-based programs are a timeless way to rejuvenate collections and highlight points of view that are as diverse as your patrons. With Women's History Month just around the corner, now is a good time to begin thinking about how to incorporate female voices into your programs.
Here's a starter list of sample books and complementary program ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
Every library has its spikes and lulls of programs, traffic and behind-the-scenes craziness. Some staff feel like they are running full-throttle almost constantly, while others feel immobilized when the quiet time comes because there is just so much to catch up on they don’t even know where to start. No matter where you are on this libraryland rollercoaster, the reality is that many of us feel exhausted and overwhelmed. So exhausted and overwhelmed we might not even bother reading to the end of this blog post. I live there, too.