Young Adult

Adulting 101

You've waited all these years to finally be an adult — no one to tell you to do your homework, clean your room, what time to be home or to eat your peas. Now what?

Adulting 101 is your go-to program to learn the basics of being a responsible grown-up. Monthly programs begin in February and run through the summer. We kicked off the series with a program called Bare Essential Cooking.

Advanced Planning

The idea for Adulting 101 came from two different places. I read a short thread in the Programming Librarian Interest Group (PLIG) Facebook group and began thinking about how and when to present the idea of Adulting 101 to my library director when, at the same time, a coworker — Clara Piazzola, a library assistant who is an MLS student — came to me to share a program idea she had been discussing with her classmates. We put our heads together and brainstormed topics. It was apparent Adulting 101 was meant to be offered at our library.


We created a flier with six months of program themes, complete with dates (view the flier under Attachments at right), and sent it off to our regular advertising venues: the library's website and Facebook pages, local bulletin boards, newspaper, radio and television stations.

A local news reporter happened upon the library's website and saw the flier. She contacted me to set up an interview, which aired a couple weeks before the first program. She followed up by covering our first program, complete with more interviews. After the second interview aired Adulting 101 exploded on social media!


This was a relatively low-cost program, with coffee, tea, lemonade and cookies for each program being the primary expense, as well as some very low-cost supplies for our cooking demonstration. 

Day-of-event Activity

We reserved the Big Meeting Room at the library, went to a dollar store for flour tortillas, sliced cheese, non-stick spray and aluminum foil — all for $4 — and then set up chairs in the meeting room, hooked up the laptop to the projector, found an iron and a clean bath towel, and waited for people to come.

Program Execution

Clara gave several great tips for dorm cooking using atypical appliances, such as using a coffee pot to cook ramen, hot dogs and more. She demonstrated the fine art of quesadilla-making using an iron, bath towel, aluminum foil, flour tortillas and sliced cheese — fresh snacks for our first program! (View her "25 Essential Dorm Room Cooking Hacks" under Attachments at right.)

I completed the program with a slideshow about comparison shopping, using photos from the local grocery store, for new adults who might not be living in a dorm. 

Subsequent programs will feature experts in their fields giving basic classes on financial know-how, getting a job, finding a place to live, how to decipher fact from fiction on the Internet, and more. (View a finance program handout under Attachments at right.)


This is a great program to offer your community. Tailor your topics to suit the needs of the patrons you serve. A dozen people came to our first program, and 13 to the second. The first program included a small group from a girls detention center who were unable to attend the second program. As far as exposure goes, between the two programs, we've seen 20 new faces. This was a success, since, as you may know, getting people to attend a program is one of our biggest challenges!

"Librarians should be doing things to induce gasps of amazement!" — Eli Neiburger

Supporting Materials