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Small but Mighty: Examples of Greatness from Small Libraries

Small library

Like most organizations that provide continuing education opportunities, our State Library of Iowa issues an evaluation form following our training events for library workers. Once, after we presented some great ideas for summer reading programming, some of our attendees’ comments implied that the ideas were good only for “big libraries” — not for small libraries with limited staff, budgets and spaces.

Partnering with Academic Institutions for Health and Wellness Programming

nlenstra's picture
Group of people walking toward a campus building

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 4,360 colleges and the universities in the United States. More likely than not, there is a college or university close to you — and partnering with them is a great way to bring high-quality health and wellness programming to your library.

NYPL's Community Conversations: Dialogue-Driven Programming

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Librarian practices facilitating a discussion

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a system of four research libraries and 88 circulating branch libraries that serves the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. The library’s Adult Programming and Outreach Services office works with staff across the circulating branch system to provide centralized resources that support the diverse needs of patrons from all walks of life.

Don’t Throw It Out! Fix It at a Repair Café

cwhittall's picture
broken toaster

It’s probably not news to anyone that landfills contribute to climate change and contain wasted recyclable material. Oftentimes it’s easier and less expensive to replace an item that technically could be repaired. A lot of people — including me — just don’t have the tools or knowledge to fix things anymore.

8 Ways to Save Money on Programming in a Tiny Library (Part 2)

cprice's picture
A group of women lined up in the library

In last month's post, "8 Ways to Save Money on Programming in a Tiny Library (Part 1)," I offered four strategies that have helped me stretch my small programming budget to its limits. I talked about looking to friends and family for free programming; tapping resources in your community; partnering with other organizations; and turning your own passions into programs.

Tile Art: A Creative Program for All Ages

jcarson's picture
A program participant holds up their finished tile art project

The L.P. Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, likes to periodically hold Family Art Nights. It is a process-oriented, intergenerational program that allows people of all ages, whether they think of themselves as “artistic” or not, to try their hand at something creative. There is no defined outcome, so people can experiment and enjoy the process of play, something that is very good for relieving stress.

Skills Training for Community-Centered Libraries: Building Your Library Team

philfree's picture
Sign that reads "teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

Our first cohort of staff members participating in the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries training recently learned about and explored team roles and dynamics. Staff reflected on their own strengths and what attributes they bring to a team. Are they great at keeping everything running smoothly? Do they enjoy providing in-depth knowledge? 

Community Needs: Anything You Want, You Got It

lishizaka's picture
Group of senior citizen women do chair yoga.

From September 2017 to June 2018, the Palos Verdes Library District partnered with 12 local organizations to offer 36 programs on health, wellness, financial security, self-care and more for adults ages 55 and older. It was a complicated initiative with many moving pieces, and it was a new endeavor for nearly everyone involved.

It also took an incredible amount of planning. Before embarking on any program planning (including writing a grant proposal), you need to decide what that program is going to be, right? 

How do you do that? A needs assessment! 

The Truth Is Out There: Fact-Checking Resources for Students

dmignardi's picture
Person holding magnifying glass and taking notes in a book

Do you ever feel like you have slipped into an episode of "The Twilight Zone" or "The X-Files" when you see some of the “facts” your students share? Do you wonder where they found these “facts,” or how to convince students that they might not be using the most reliable of resources?

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