Category Archives: Programming

Adult Programming Resources

The following is a list of resources relating to adult programming and the 2017 Renewal & Development session “Adults Only: Adult Programming in Public Libraries.”

Resources for “Adults Only: Adult Programming in Public Libraries” (2017 R&D Session)

State Library Resources

Other Resources

2016 ARSL Conference

arslOn October 26-29, I had the pleasure of attending the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) 2016 Conference in Fargo, North Dakota. This was my first national library conference, and what a conference it was! Each day was full of interesting speakers and great sessions.

Perhaps my favorite moment from the conference occurred during Will Weaver’s speech. Weaver is the author of Red Earth, White Earth, A Gravestone Made of Wheat and Other Stories, Saturday Night Dirt, and Striking Out. In his speech, Weaver talked about the importance of libraries and how they have influenced him over the years. He held up a book at one point, and confirmed with the crowd of librarians that it was indeed a library book. He admitted he has the tendency of accidentally stealing library books when he visits them for various engagements. As it turns out, a librarian from the library to which the book belonged was in attendance! As the audience roared with laughter, Weaver had the librarian come up to the front and he returned the book to her.

I thoroughly enjoyed each keynote speaker, and I don’t think there was one session I regretted attending. If anything, I regretted not being able to attend more sessions!

I attended two sessions on programming. One was on teen programs and the other was on how to utilize your community for library programs. The session on teen programs, presented by the librarians at the North Loan City Library in Utah, offered some great ideas: Nerf gun events, teens volunteering at the library to earn points, forming a teen advisory board, and creating an email list just for teens so they can stay up-to-date on what teen-related things are happening at the library.

The mining your community session, presented by the librarian of the Stanley Community Library in Idaho, was just as beneficial. Every community has its gems so utilize them! For example, if someone in your community knits as a hobby, ask this person if he/she would come to the library and host a program on kitting; or if someone is a toy collector, set up a display or have the person come in for a lecture on their history. Some of the great program topics from this session included knitting, adult coloring, lectures, writing classes, music, car maintenance, photography, and cooking.

Librarians are often seen as the people who know everything. As a result, we are likely to receive technology questions that we may not know the answer to, or perhaps the patron is not being receptive. One session on patron technology training tips addressed this. Some of the tips from this session included identify yourself as a technology trainer and do the best you can, create a plan, take deep breaths, narrate your process to the patron, focus on quality, create teachable moments, and implement a resource guide.

Another session, presented by California librarian/ trainer Crystal Schimpf, covered the basics of digital storytelling for libraries and how it can be used for advocacy. Technology is ubiquitous in today’s world so it makes sense for libraries to use it to promote themselves and reach patrons. Libraries can make videos that highlight a database, give a virtual tour, or provide a crash course on services. The sky is the limit! The session stressed that videos should be short but fun. When creating videos you will want to create goals, pick your video platform, write scripts, log your shots, and get the necessary equipment and software (which can be done at a relatively low cost). Once the videos are done, share them on social media and get them out there as much as you can.

One of the more entertaining sessions was presented by Harmony Higbie, director of the Underwood Public Library in Underwood, ND. The session was on Kahoot, a modern twist on trivia. Kahoot can be played for free on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Kahoot can be used in the library for trivia, book clubs, and more! For more information on Kahoot, visit their website: https://getkahoot.com/

In addition to the before mentioned sessions, I attended two sessions relating to digital preservation. If you would like more information on this area, review the services offered by the Internet Archive. You can also contact the State Library’s Digital Initiatives coordinator.

There were around 500 librarians from across the country at the ARSL conference, and I was lucky to meet some of them and hear their stories. One of the librarians I met was from beautiful St. George, Utah, which is where the ARSL conference will be in 2017. The librarian will be the co-chair for the 2017 conference, and he had some great things to say about the St. George area (he even showed me a picture of the view from his backyard to prove his point).

If you are interested in attending the ARSL conference, I would highly encourage you to do so. You can learn more about ARSL and the annual conference at their website: http://arsl.info/

If you have any questions or would like more information on the ideas and conference sessions I shared, feel free to contact me.

NDLCC Standards Compliance: Programming for Teens and Adults

Guest post by Mary Soucie, State Librarian (first published in the September 2016 issue of Flickertale)

libraryThis  is  our  continuing  series  on  compliance  with  the  North  Dakota  Library  Coordinating  Council’s  Standards  for  Public Libraries. This month, we are going to focus on library programming, one of my passions. I absolutely love library programming for all ages. In today’s busy world, libraries are serving the needs of their patrons in new and traditional ways. Library programming has increased as has attendance.

The standards for public libraries indicate that libraries serving a populations of up to 12,500 should provide programs for all ages. For the libraries serving populations over 12,500, there are a specific number of programs required for each level- kids, teens and adults.

Many of our ND libraries offer programs for kids. More libraries are offering programs for adults; including everything from coloring clubs to books-in-bars book clubs to craft programs. Some of our libraries offer summer reading programs for all ages while others offer summer reading programs for kids and teens and a winter reading program for adults.

I think it’s important to offer programs for all ages.  As libraries continue to strive to prove their value and relevance in the “Google era”, it is one way to meet the needs of the community. Programs will bring different people into the library and will get people talking about the library.

I am going to focus on adult and teen programs because our ND public libraries have a good handle on offering kids programs. If you’re struggling with how to start expanding your programs to include adults or teens, consider offering some programs that are open to teens and adults. Craft programs are one type of program that you can easily include both age groups in. When the State Library recently held our Pokémon Go event, we had people of all ages in the library; and the different age groups participated in all aspects of the program. If you have an adult coloring group, why not open it to teens?

If you are struggling to serve teens, consider partnering with the local school district on something. Perhaps a book club that is held at the school but run by the library. Stock up on duct tape and have a drop-in “build a something”, a wallet for example, from duct tape.

Consider offering adult programs beyond just a book club. There are lots of ideas for adult programs. One program that I wanted to implement at my last library (but left before I got the chance) was a “cooking club”. Choose a different food group each month, such as soups, and each person makes a sample and brings it to share. The library can share the resources that they have that tie in with the food group; be creative and think beyond cookbooks. A friend of mine did this at her library and patrons were very responsive.

Programming doesn’t have to be hard or onerous on the librarian. Don’t feel like you have to provide all the programs either. If you know someone with a hobby, invite them in to do a library program for you. If you ever want to bounce ideas for library programs, give me a holler, as it’s one of my favorite topics to chat about. You can also visit the Field Notes blog (https://ndslfieldnotes.wordpress.com/) where you will find a plethora of posts about library programs.

Indie Author Day 2016

Libraries across North America are gearing up to host local events for the first annual Indie Author Day. SELF-e, a collaboration between Library Journal and BiblioLabs, is the driving force Indie-Author-Day-300x226behind Indie Author Day. What is Indie Author Day? It is a soon-to-be annual event commencing this fall that will recognize and support independent authors.

It can be challenging for authors to get discovered and find a foothold in the publishing world. However, indie publishing is on the rise, and indie authors can also work with their local library to build support and a fan base within their own communities. On the flip side, libraries are urged to support local authors. This is where Indie Author Day comes in. Authors connecting with their local libraries and libraries supporting local authors forms a critical relationship.

Libraries big and small are encouraged to participate in Indie Author Day and host programs. Libraries hosting this event may offer book readings, book talks, discussion panels, book signings, workshops, presentations, networking, and more!

In addition to the programs hosted by all the participating libraries, an online gathering will be held at 1:00 PM (Central) with writers, publishers, and other leaders in the industry. This will bring libraries and indie communities together, and the hour long gathering will also provide information, advice, and inspiration.

The 2016 Indie Author Day will be held on October 8, 2016. For more information, visit their website at: http://indieauthorday.com/

For more information on hosting and planning an event, visit http://self-e.libraryjournal.com/indieauthorday

Registering to host a local event for Indie Author Day can be done at: http://indieauthorday.com/register/

STEAM Programming Resources for Libraries

chemical-laboratory-1063849_1280At the Spring Workshops the State Library hosted in April, Elizabeth Larson-Steckler from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) presented a session on STEAM/STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education. She covered ways to integrate literacy into library STEAM programming by using books as a jumping off point for exploration.

DPI defines STEAM education as an integrated and blended curriculum that is driven by creative thinking, problem solving, discovery, and student-centered development of ideas and solutions. Often kids question why they have to learn certain skills because they see no relevance to their lives. STEAM programming helps students make those real life connections. Continue reading

Science Resources for Library STEM Programming

summer scienceLast week I covered some resources you could use to find science ideas for your story times. If you are looking for support for STEM programming ideas for your school-age kids, check out these helpful resources. They were both specifically developed for educators who with kids outside of school, so they are perfect for a library environment.

howtosmile is “a collection of the best educational materials on the web, in addition to learning tools and services – all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.” This site allows you to “search over 3,500 of the very best science and math activities on the web. All activities are available to anyone, free of charge.” For added convenience, you can also “filter by age, material costs, and learning time to find exactly what you need.” There are also curated topic pages if you are looking for themed programs.

Click2Science is “an interactive, professional development site for trainers, coaches, site directors and frontline staff/volunteers working in out-of-school time STEM programs, serving children and youth.” In addition to professional development resources, there are learning modules addressing Planning STEM Learning Experiences, Interacting with Youth during STEM, and Building STEM Skills in Youth. You can register for a free account to connect and interact with others in the online community. Check out the article “20 Skills that Make STEM Click” for a great overview before getting started.

Do you have any excellent sources of STEM activities you rely on for programming? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Science in Story Time

STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) topics for library programming are very popular, but often they focus on school aged children. If you are looking for ways to incorporate science concepts in your programming for younger children, check out the Science in Storytime blog for ideas and themed concepts.

Promoted as “A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!,” Science in Storytime is an effort of the Lincoln City Libraries in Lincoln, Nebraska, to “help to set the “science interest” stage for formal education.” Blog posts feature book suggestions and related science activity ideas appropriate for preschoolers. If you don’t have a particular concept in mind, you can use the categories to browse. If you do have a particular topic in mind, you can use the tags or search box to find specific ideas for your program.

The Lincoln City Libraries developed a logo that they use to indicate when they will be discussing a science concept in story time. The blog also links to Great Science Websites for Kids, which is sponsored by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of ALA. It is a great starting point for even more resources and ideas.

How do you incorporate STEM concepts into story time? Share your ideas in the comments!

Movement in Story Time

EL Chld MomDhtr ReadWith this year’s summer reading theme being health, wellness, fitness, and sports, now is the ideal time to incorporate movement activities to your weekly story times as well. Kids are not designed to sit still for long periods of time anyway, so why not use that to your advantage during story time?

In their publication, Young Children, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has an article called “Moving Bodies, Building Minds: Foster Preschoolers’ Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Through Movement” by Michelle L. Marigliano and Michele J. Russo. The authors state that “linking movement experiences with language—both receptive language (understanding that of others) and expressive language (sharing one’s own thoughts and ideas)—builds children’s thinking skills.” The article features suggested prompts to encourage movement, along with ideas for using dance standards. Scroll to the end of the article to find a box highlighting children’s picture books that feature movement.

For more ideas on books you can use during story time, check out Book to Boogie, a monthly blog series from The Library as Incubator Project which “pairs picture books with dance and movement activities for preschool story time.”

Over at the Programming Librarian, Jenn Carson has a blog post on Storytime Stretching in which she recommends “adding some yoga poses or movement exercises to your storytime programs, if only to help get those wiggles out!” The article provides helps tips on movement activities for young children, and her website, Yoga in the Library, has a number of great resources for all ages, including sample program outlines.

How do you incorporate movement in your story times? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Afterschool Programming Toolkit

libraryThe library is a logical place for students to turn to at the end of the school day. Depending on the proximity of the library to the school, some libraries may only rarely see school-age kids, while other libraries are overrun with kids on a daily basis as soon as school lets out. Whether you are trying to attract the school-age crowd to the library, or you want to offer more structured programs for the kids who are already coming to the library anyway, an after school program is an excellent option to offer to your community.

SEDL is “a nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination organization.” Their goal is to improve teaching and learning. They offer an  Afterschool Training Toolkit which may be useful for library programming.

It covers the following areas:

  • Literacy
  • Math
  • Science
  • Arts
  • Technology
  • Homework

Each topic has various practices and support materials, and each practice section includes the following sub-sections:

  • Practice in Action
  • Planning Your Lesson
  • Sample Lessons
  • Resources

You don’t need to have an after school program to use the Toolkit. You can just as easily use the lessons and ideas for individual programs.

What kind of after school programming does your library offer? Would an after school program benefit your community? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Pirate for a Day

pirate shipThis week I’m highlighting the “Pirate for a Day” program that the Walhalla Public Library hosted at the end of October. I thought it was such as great idea that I wanted to share it with everyone with the hope that it might be a program you could replicate in your community!

Walhalla citizens Crystal and Dale Anderson organized the “Pirate for a Day” program, which acts as the story time theme for the week, a community event for all ages, and a fundraiser for the library all in one fabulous program! So how exactly does this amazing program work?

  • Have patrons purchase a “treasure map” at the library for $1.00; Walhalla also offered temporary tattoos for $0.25 and eye patches for $0.50.
  • Patrons get the map stamped by local businesses and return it to the library by the deadline to be entered in the prize drawing.
  • Have the deadline for the prize drawing coincide with a pirate-themed story time. (Check out this list of pirate book ideas for your story time!)

The Walhalla Public Library had map available Wednesday through Friday, with the deadline the following Tuesday, but you could adapt the schedule to whatever works for your schedule. Additional preparation on the part of the library would require asking local businesses to participate, making a map, and getting a prize donated.

pirate for a day

Kids dressed up for pirate story time

(For more photos of Pirate for a Day and all of the library’s fall programming, check out the photos in their Fall 2015 Facebook album.)

This type of program is a fun way to get your entire community involved, and perhaps reach community members who may not yet be library patrons. Has your library done any community-wide programs? Share your ideas in the comments!