Library programs and events are things we do not only because we enjoy doing them, but because they fulfill a need in our community. I have, however, oftentimes heard a disgruntled colleague or two claim that programs do little to encourage the use of the library. This, of course, is a matter of philosophical debate in the profession and is not likely to be resolved anytime soon. I would argue — as, I suspect, would many of you — that programs are use of the library.
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We spend a lot of time in libraryland talking about literacy. And there are an awful lot of literacy skills to learn and teach: pre-literacy skills, visual literacy, numeracy, cultural literacy, information and computer or digital literacy…whew! But one of the most overlooked and underappreciated literacy skills is the one we use almost constantly from the time we are born: kinetic literacy, also known as physical literacy.
The ALA Annual Conference always has a lot of session options to choose from. Librarians wear many hats, so sometimes it’s difficult to choose which one to wear at conference. If you were or were not at conference and missed something geared toward programming librarians, you’re in luck. Here’s my hat trick (top three) for you to try on for size.
When you hear “library Halloween programs” you probably think of a Trick-Or-Treat story time or a teen Halloween party. But adults can enjoy Halloween programs as well. With the right partners, Halloween programs can be affordable, educational and entertaining for adult library users. We hold many of the programs on weekends or in the evening so working adults can attend.
The Aspen Institute’s influential report “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries” predicts that in the coming years, the most successful public libraries will be the ones with services that prioritize and support local community goals.
Makerspaces foster creativity and encourage out-of-the-box thinking, but they often require physical space that a library doesn't have. But even if your library doesn't have a dedicated makerspace, you can still incorporate maker elements into your day. Our school library transforms our lunch period into maker time with STEAM activities such as our Mystery Maker Challenge.