Evaluating programs' success is an important part of a programming librarian's work. Knowing what worked — and having information to back up your claims — can help you explain your successes to bosses and board members, apply for grants, and plan programs that serve your community even better in the future.
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Organizing a public outpouring of library love isn't just good for our egos; it can be a smart way to market your library, advocate for funding and much more. So for National Library Lover’s Month (February), the Erie County Public Library contacted publishing houses and authors and had them write love letters to libraries.
The theme for National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021), “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building — and that everyone is welcome to use their services.
Most in-person programs for older adults have been put to a halt for the better part of a year. No worries, however! They can still be done online or by phone, says Jon Kay, director of Traditional Arts Indiana and associate professor of folklore and ethnomusicology at Indiana University Bloomington.
ALA, in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, has released a collection of free online games to teach children basic financial skills related to earning, saving and spending money.
The four interactive games — part of a series called Thinking Money for Kids and available at tm4k.ala.org — are designed for children ages 7 to 11 but are appropriate for other ages as well.
Deaf Storyslam is a free community event, created in 2019, in which Deaf individuals of varying backgrounds share personal stories and experiences with the broader community. The 2nd Annual Deaf StorySlam happened in September 2020 with new tellers and stories but with a virtual twist.
The 2020 Deaf Storyslam included storytelling coaching for Deaf community members and three free virtual public ASL storytelling workshops leading up to the Storyslam.
Film discussions can bring communities together to engage in meaningful conversations about climate change and resilience. The film can help people examine local concerns related to the environment; seeing other communities’ experiences depicted in the films can spark reflections on how to be resilient when facing a crisis.
Here are five films we recommend for discussing the climate crisis; do any seem llke a match for your community? If you have other recommendations, please share them in the comments.
Partnerships with community organizations can often enhance the financial literacy programming that libraries can offer their patrons themselves.
For the past four years, Monique Sugimoto has commuted to her job at the Palos Verdes Library District on an electric bike — a scenic ride along the cliffs in her coastal California town. As she rode, her librarian brain was hard at work.
“When I came across historic locations, I would devise these little tours in my head,” Sugimoto says. “When the pandemic struck, I thought, how great would it be if I could bring these tours out of my head and into people’s homes?” And that is exactly what she did.
For over six years our branch has offered successful hand-on arts/crafts/DIY programs for families every Thursday at 4 p.m. After the pandemic, I continued these type of programs in innovative ways online.
Fall for Fine Arts was a weekly library program series offered every Thursday in October 2020 via Zoom to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month and LAPL Fall Traditions. The program promoted library resources and exposed kids to the Masters and their art techniques. Submitted art works from the Zoom art class also turn this into a mini art exhibit.
The STEAM Club at Home, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math, offers enrichment activities for kids in grades K-5.
This month, I created "fossil bricks" by mixing a plaster and adding real fossils that I purchased online. Participants picked up the bricks and other materials in advance, and we met virtually to learn about fossils and excavate the fossils from their bricks.
Since COVID-19 struck, many libraries, like mine, have moved their author visits to virtual spaces. Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio has hosted about 50 virtual events since April, about three per week on average.
These have included major ticketed events for Hank Green, Jodi Picoult, Christopher Paolini and Connie Schultz and dozens of events for bestselling and award-winning authors such as Ibram X. Kendi, Jason Reynolds, Karin Slaughter and Meg Cabot, just to name a few.
Here are a few things I've learned in the process.
As 2020 begins to wind down, we can reflect on all that we’ve learned about virtual programming. Many of us entered the year as novices, but we're leaving it with some serious skills — whether from wrangling a boisterous virtual book club or shifting a cultural heritage festival from stage to screen.
But have you mastered the art of marketing your virtual programs? Or are you still struggling to get people to log in?
Prior to COVID-19, we talked about creating a junior art show that would be shown in our library's community room. Unfortunately, all of our community rooms closed to the public for safety reasons and we could no longer use them for programming.
I found that the most appropriate and safest way to display the talents of our young artists was through a virtual art show!
The kids would get recognition and get to display their art in a safe virtual environment that mimics a real gallery experience.
STEAM-Y Wonderful Wednesday is a video series posted on the Los Angeles Public Library's North Hollywood Regional Branch's Facebook page every Wednesday.
The videos show fun science experiments using everyday household items. Kids and their parents are strongly encouraged to follow along with the videos. We have been posting these videos for 14 weeks!