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Programs From Our Patrons: Lessons Learned from ALA Annual 2016

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ALA Annual Conference 2016 logo

On the morning of June 25, attendees of the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., gathered to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The vigil not only provided an opportunity to mourn, but it highlighted our profession’s commitment to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all patrons. ALA Annual focused on inclusion of patrons from all sections of our communities, whether or not they fit into our majority demographic. From collection development practices to program development, attendees were encouraged to listen to and learn from their patrons.

Five Steps to Success: Starting a Program in Large Library Systems

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Laptop and notebook

Large library systems often have the resources to create innovative programming. However, a librarian with a great idea faces their own set of challenges when trying to implement and market a new program. 

Recently, I gave an informal presentation to new staff members at my library about ways to launch their library programs. Before you get started, make sure you can answer these five questions: 

Beyond Database Instruction: Genealogy Programs for Patrons

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Magnifying glass

Library databases are wonderful places for patrons to begin their genealogical journey — but what happens when they’ve exhausted their Ancestry.com search? And what will they do with all of the information they’ve acquired? With so many national observances honoring heritage, it’s always a good time to offer programs that help patrons trace their roots and showcase their histories. Here are four ways you can empower your patrons to tell their stories through programming.

Oldies but Goodies: Spiffing Up Existing Programs for Older Adults

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People smile while holding baked treats from a tray.

With Older Americans Month coming up in May, now is a great time to review your list of upcoming programs under a new lens. During her speech at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2016, AARP's Jo Ann Jenkins identified three key areas we can address for our aging population: health, wealth and self. Do you have any programs that fall into these categories? If so, are they marketed toward older adults?

Hosting a Human Library at Your College

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A woman looks to her right at the words, "Sign up to be a 'human book.'"

The Human Library has become a popular way to challenge stereotypes and prejudice, allowing "readers" to check out a human book for topical conversation. In October 2016, the Albert S. Cook Library at Towson University hosted their own Human Library Event. Research & Instruction Librarian Laksamee Putnam shares her experiences in researching, developing and hosting this vibrant event.

Less Jargon, More Practice: Successful eBook Instruction

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a woman holds a tablet in her hands

eBooks are fun, convenient and ... intimidating. Since publishers have become more accepting of making their eBooks available to libraries, the number of delivery platforms available at each library system has exploded. Each distributor has their own apps and tricks for use, sometimes making them difficult for our patrons to navigate.

Questions people may have about eBooks

My library system offers four different eBook and eMagazine platforms. Last month, I took on the challenge of developing and teaching a class about downloading and enjoying eBooks from our Library.

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