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Paws & Claws: Programming with Furry Friends

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woman holds snake out to child in audience

There are very few programs that guarantee great attendance, but animal programs are a safe bet for all age groups. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle with kittens, meet rescue dogs or learn about exotic animals? Here are a few of my tried-and-true ideas to incorporate some furry (or slimy, feathery or slithery) friends into your programs.

A Strange Escape: Hosting a 'Stranger Things' Escape Room in a Tiny Library

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A group of adults posing in front of a backdrop

An escape room was one of those things that I figured was out the question for a library as small as ours. For one thing, we don’t have any separate rooms to lock people into; our entire library is just one large room. Where would attendees escape from? Plus, escape rooms are complex, high-tech and expensive; it would be impossible to pull it off in a tiny library, right? Wrong!

Not Too Cool for School: 5 Ways to Partner Up with Your School District

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Back end of a school bus set against some trees and sky

A partnership between a public library and a school district seems like a no-brainer, right? After all, we both have the same basic goals when it comes to students: to create and nurture in them a love of learning. However, many libraries – particularly small, rural libraries – don’t actually have much of a relationship with their school district.

Relight Your Programming Fire: Websites for Inspiration

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Hand holding a lightbulb against a pink and blue sky

Have you read my recent post on job burnout yet? After I wrote it, a lot of you reached out to me to learn more about the resources I use to relight the fire of my passion for programming.

There are so many amazing blogs, websites and webinars out there that it can be hard to know where to start. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorites (aside from Programming Librarian, of course!).

Tiny Library, Big Carnival

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Sign for the Meservey Carnival

When I started as library director in the tiny town of Meservey, I never thought we would be able to pull off large-scale programs like libraries in big cities did. Those types of programs aren’t in our budget, and it’s hard enough getting good attendance at our smaller events. The payoff, I figured, probably wouldn’t be worth all of the money and time spent. 

I am thrilled to admit that I was wrong, and that tiny libraries like mine can, in fact, have big events that are just as successful as a library 10 times their size.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Programs: 6 Ways to Get More Funding for Your Library

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Meservey Public Library

In our tiny library, we are forced to think hard about every financial decision we make. Can we afford to book that pricey performer for our summer reading program? Should we be subscribing to magazines if only a couple of people are reading them? Do we need to have snacks at every event? Every dollar counts, and we must stretch that dollar as far as we possibly can, particularly when it comes to programming. 

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