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Trivia Night

November 30, 2017
Children / Family
Popular Topics
Tech and Gaming
Advance Planning

Using a variety of sources (see "Tips and Sources" under Attachments at right), I put together the list of trivia questions. This part can be time-consuming so I chip away at it a little bit at a time. (Good activity for the Reference Desk!)

I do five rounds of ten questions each. Each round is themed (movies, music, animals, science, history, geography, etc.). I try to have a balance of easy, medium and difficult questions.

The questions are printed off for the host to read and are also put into a PowerPoint that is displayed on the screen during the game. The answers are also put into the PowerPoint.


Trivia Night is advertised via posters in the library and on community bulletin boards, our social media channels and our monthly e-newsletter.

Budget Details

This is a relatively low-cost program. The only expenses are the microwave popcorn and pizza. Prizes are not necessary if it is not in your budget. I have learned that attendees come for the mere fun of it, not for the prizes (which is good since the same team wins every time).

Day-of-event Activity

We set up the Community Room with tables spread out over the whole room. Each table is provided with pencils, scratch paper, an answer sheet and a copy of the rules. At the front of the room is the screen and the podium for the host. At the back of the room is a table for the pizza and popcorn.

Program Execution

Before the game starts I go around and get everyone's team name and write it down, then announce each team name when we get started. I go over the rules, then the game gets started.

I read all ten questions in the round, displaying each question on the screen as I go along. At the end of the round I repeat any questions that people need to hear again. Then teams exchange answer sheets for scoring.

I read off each answer while displaying it on the screen and points are noted on the answer sheet before being returned to the original team. Each correct answer is worth one point.

Then we move onto the next round and do it all over again. There is a five-minute break after the third round. At the end I go around and get everyone's total score, then read the scores aloud to the entire group. Each person on the winning team used to get a gift card of their choosing, but now they will get bragging rights.


The first time I tried this program I asked a local pub if we could host it there. The program was very successful and well-attended, but the setting was just too loud. The pub did not have a PA system, and I had to shout; people had a hard time hearing me. I was hoarse for 24 hours after that! The pub was definitely a more fun location, but it has been much easier (and quieter) to hold Trivia Night at the library. 

I have learned some pitfalls to avoid when preparing trivia questions. See "Tips and Sources" under Attachments for my thoughts.

Short Title
Trivia Night

The West Linn Public Library holds an every-other-month Trivia Night in our Community Room. We do not require registration but ask people to form teams of two to five people and just show up. People who do not come with a team are welcome to join another team as long as it remains five people or less. The program is targeted to adults, but all ages are welcome, and we usually have at least one family with kids that shows up. 

With funds from our programming budget we are able to provide pizza, microwave popcorn and prizes. We used to give out prizes ($5 gift cards to places such as Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Powells and Amazon), but because the same team wins every time we are moving to a "bragging rights" prize.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters

Encourage some friendly competition in the library with a Trivia Night for all ages. 

Programming Librarian Forum