Programming is a vital service that public libraries provide. Because of this, the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council (NDLCC) Standards for Public Libraries includes programming requirements. Consult the Standards for additional information.
So what exactly is a young adult program? Well, the federal definition (slightly reworded) is as follows:
Any planned event for which the primary audience is young adults (age 12-18) 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.
Young adult programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. They programs may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need.
Examples of young adult programs include board game nights, Nerf battles, video game tournaments, escape rooms, coding clubs, trivia, selfie contests, etc.
Young adult programs can be held on-site or off-site and be sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Young adult programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities are not considered a program of the library.
If young adult programs are offered as a series, each program in the series can be counted. For example, a coding club offered twice a month should be counted as 24 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.
Young Adult Programming Resources:
- YA programming ideas – a Word Document listing ideas
- YA programming books – available form the North Dakota State Library
- Teen Programming Guidelines – Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
- Teen Programming HQ – YALSA
- Young Adults & Teens – WebJunction
- Teen Programming 101 (YouTube video) – Laura Rysavy, Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library (presentation at the State Library’s 2019 Renewal & Development conference)
- Teen Programming Guide – Ohio Library Council
Giamalva, Antoinette (2014) “Getting Young Adults to Stop & Participate @ Your Library,” SLIS Connecting: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 6.
- Other libraries! (See what 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):