Programming refers to organizing events and displays in or through the library to benefit the larger community. Programming should directly support the official library mission statement. For example:
The Public Library connects all people to their community and the world by promoting literacy, providing opportunities for recreation, supporting lifelong learning, and ensuring free and open access to ideas.
Therefore, appropriate programming at our library should include a mix of programs that are fun, educational, and which offer the free and safe exchange of ideas. Past programs include weekly storytimes (literacy/fun/educational), monthly movie nights (fun/exchange of ideas), and special events like Northwoods Organic Gardening (educational/exchange of ideas).
The Public Library is committed to providing a robust schedule of events for a wide range of ages. Most of our staff members are tasked with brainstorming, organizing, and running multiple events throughout the year so that our community benefits from a variety of viewpoints and types of programming. But where can you find inspiration for creating programming? The following list of websites may guide you to some new ideas. And remember, the sincerest form of flattery is imitation! So keep your eyes open and borrow ideas from other libraries.
- Chase’s Calendar of Events : A book and website that lists events and people associated with days throughout the year. Consider looking ahead to the month you want to plan a program and research what that months is known for; maybe your event could be linked to it or a fun fact?
- Library Success Wiki : Adult Programming – A wiki that offers user-created information about the Library Profession. It lists programs and websites that have had success.
- Mid Hudson Library System : Tools for Connecting with your Community – This is a fantastic website with information about how to prepare for a program, how to word advertisement, and ideas for events.
- Parkland Regional Library : Programming Guide – A PDF of program ideas for teens, adults, and seniors. Suggestions include estimated cost, and special considerations necessary for it to be a success.
- Programming Librarian – A website created by the American Library Association Public Programs Office. It offers news, quotes, and program ideas.
- South Central Library System : Programming Resources – The South Central Library System in WI has created an online wiki for program ideas and resources such as presenters.
- Winnefox Library System : Library Sparks – A collection of ideas and information from the WI Winnefox Library system and the US about programming, fundraising, grants, etc.