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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Volusia County Public Library follows the annual summer reading program themes as specified by the state of Florida. In 2017, the theme was Build a Better World.
To promote and raise awareness about summer reading, library staff created a visualization of the world to display on the branch's curving staircase wall. Staff then invited patrons to write their reading recommendations on individual "bricks" that "built" the community reading wall. Each brick included a book title and author recommended by local participants.
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.
Have you gone on a blind date with a book? A perfect premise for Valentine's Day, the set-up for the display is simple: just wrap books in paper to hide their covers — hence the "blind date" — and decorate the wrapping with enticing facts, hints about the plotline, or our favorite, the books' first lines.
The Giving Tree is an annual event that begins right after Veteran’s Day and runs through mid-December. We set up an artificial pine tree that collects donations of new children’s hats, gloves, scarves and socks (and sometimes new picture books) for distribution within our community before the December holidays.
Let Out the Banksy in You was a passive companion program to Banksy Booked @KHPCL, the theme for a number of active and passive programs to coincide with a six-week exhibit of Banksy’s “Haight Street Rat” street art.
Banksy Booked @KHCPL made the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library (KHCPL) the first library in the world to host a Banksy.
In this passive program, we simply used primed plywood and markers to invite patrons to try their own hands at street art.