Programming is a vital service that public libraries provide. Because of this, the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries includes requirements for children’s programming. Consult the Standards for additional information.
So what exactly is a children’s program? Well, the federal definition (slightly reworded) is as follows:
Any planned event for which the primary audience is children (age 0-11) and which introduces the attendees to any of the broad range of library services or activities for young adults or which directly provides information to participants.
Children’s programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. They may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need.
Examples of children’s programs include story hours, summer reading events, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, Lego clubs, reading to animals, movie nights, STEM activities, etc.
Children’s programs can be held on-site or off-site and be sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Children’s programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities are not considered a program of the library.
If children’s programs are offered as a series, each program in the series can be counted. For example, a story hour offered once a week, for of total of 48 weeks a year, should be counted as 48 programs.
There are a lot of resources available online relating to library programming. It can be a little overwhelming to even know where to start. Below is a list of resources that make great starting points.
Children’s Programming Resources:
- Programming Ideas for Children
- Programs for School-Aged Kids – Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
- Programming Ideas for Librarians: Children’s Programs – Alaska State Libraries, Archives & Museums
- Coding for Kids – How to Get Started (blog post)
- Coding resources – Field Notes blog (North Dakota State Library)
- Other libraries! (See that other libraries in your area or across the state have done, are doing, will do, etc. Feel free to borrow their ideas and adapt them to fit your library. No need to reinvent the wheel.)
General Resources (for all ages):