Detail from program flier for Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library's World War I programming.

Bridging Past and Present

November 9, 2018

Beginning in 2016, Library of America (LOA) awarded grants to 120 libraries around the country as part of its World War I and America program. The grants were created to support library programming that would bring together US veterans and their communities through shared exploration of firsthand writings from WWI. To establish the connection between … Continue reading Bridging Past and Present


More than 250 patrons attended a recent “Paint-Along with Bob Ross” event at Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library. Photo: Tracy Grosshans

Painting with Purpose

November 1, 2018

Patron paint-alongs During the events, patrons watch an episode of The Joy of Painting and paint along, while library staffers facilitate and provide canvases, paints, and other supplies. Some libraries hire Certified Ross Instructors, trained by Bob Ross Inc., to lead the workshops; others obtain video permissions from the official Bob Ross YouTube channel or … Continue reading Painting with Purpose


Youth Matters

Outside-the-Box Outreach

November 1, 2018

Your youth services staffers may already be doing this outreach. For instance, your library might bring storytimes to local day cares or crafts to after-school programs. But what about reaching the adults in your community as a means of reaching the kids? This outside-the-box approach to youth services outreach can reap results beyond what you … Continue reading Outside-the-Box Outreach


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

Reimagine Programming

November 1, 2018

Why libraries must expand their community role is explained in Transform and Thrive: Ideas to Invigorate Your Library and Your Community, by Dorothy Stoltz with Gail Griffith, James Kelly, Muffie Smith, and Lynn Wheeler. The authors explain how to build a culture in which risk-taking is encouraged and “unlearning” is developed to spur innovation. They … Continue reading Reimagine Programming


Members of the Reformed Druids of North America (from left: Cyril; coauthor Helen Ostman; Arch-druid John "The Verbose" Martens; Courtney; and Ross) mark the Autumn Equinox. (Photo: John "the Verbose" Martens)

Neopagans and Libraries

October 31, 2018

Paganism is a broad term referring to any non-Abrahamic faith, including Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as certain modern groups. Some of the most common neopagan faiths are Druidry, which has some Celtic influence and promotes the worship of nature and the human spirit, and Heathenry, a revived worship of the Germanic gods. The largest … Continue reading Neopagans and Libraries


Library Zombie Workshop Is a No-Brainer Success

October 30, 2018

That’s what it took to come up with the idea of the Zombie Pandemic Preparedness Workshop, held October 25 at Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library’s (GCPL) Suwanee branch. The workshop taught attendees how to plan and prepare for a real-life pandemic. Participants learned crucial tips such as the importance of having an emergency supply kit … Continue reading Library Zombie Workshop Is a No-Brainer Success


Adulting 101

Adulting 101

May 1, 2018

“We had tens of thousands of Facebook hits, of calls, of emails. It was crazy,” says Lucas, who is assistant director of library services at North Bend (Oreg.) Public Library (NBPL). “Other libraries were saying: ‘Oh, tell me more, tell me more!’ At one point, I could barely keep up.” The frenzy reached its zenith … Continue reading Adulting 101


Members of an African drum and dance ensemble lead patrons in a performance routine as part of Richland Library's day-long Black History Month Fair on January 28, 2017. Photo: Richland Library

Every Month Is Black History Month

March 1, 2018

Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, needed a better way to reach its African-American community. Quincy Pugh, film and sound manager, explains how the decision to celebrate black history year-round and start “I Have a Problem with That”—a series of panel discussions that address challenging social issues—has boosted program attendance and engagement among its target … Continue reading Every Month Is Black History Month


Abby Johnson

Self-Directed Programming

January 2, 2018

Hosting a large variety of library programs may be easy when you have enough money, staff members, and space, but what do you do when that’s not the case? How can you stretch your offerings? Self-directed programming is a great way to provide value while mitigating costs. We’ve all experienced that patron who seems to … Continue reading Self-Directed Programming


Walkers participate in “Let’s Book,” a reading and exercise program offered by Ligonier Valley (Pa.) Library. Photo: Ligionier Valley (Pa.) Library.

Walking History

September 1, 2017

“Besides the entertainment value, we also wanted to impart some history—it’s not fake news; it’s reliable news,” says Anita Doering, archives manager at LCPL. LCPL—which also offers the by-demand Footsteps of La Crosse historic walking tour—is not the only library to recognize that sightseeing ventures are the perfect vehicle to get employees outside the building and … Continue reading Walking History


You Don’t Always Need Money to Run a Successful Program

June 26, 2017

How? By developing partnerships with other units like faculty, student life, and even the local community. “Being creative is also a significant factor,” said April Sheppard, assistant director for public services at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. In her portion of the discussion, Sheppard described how a monthly game night developed through donations from various publishers. This … Continue reading You Don’t Always Need Money to Run a Successful Program


From left, Laura Damon-Moore, Michael Spelman, Kylee Stoor, and Janie Hermann

Madison’s Library Takeover

June 25, 2017

Over the course of a year and a half, the Library Takeover project—inspired by a similar teen program founded by Apples & Snakes and Half-Moon Theatre in the UK—went from grant proposal to three fully realized, polished library programs that were informed by community input at each step in the process. Engaging community need Analysis … Continue reading Madison’s Library Takeover