University Libraries.

Topics in Information Studies: Library Programming

Importance of Programming to a Community

Library programming is an essential resource for a community. Through programming, a library can sponsor social, cultural and education opportunities to enhance patron experiences. Many community members and library users are unaware of the plethora of activities the library provides, usually free or at a modest charge. Library programs, such as story hours, technology sessions, or teen sleep overs, provide a venue for delivering library resources and services to the community. By developing and promoting unique programming concepts, libraries can attract current library users as well as potential future patrons..

Borrowing Ideas for Library Programming

To some, the development of library programs might be a bit overwhelming. However, one of the most important practices to utilize is to borrow ideas. "Stealing," or borrowing ideas from other libraries, is welcomed and encouraged. While librarians often borrow ideas, it is still necessary to consider the needs of your local community and add an element of uniqueness to a borrowed program to differentiate your library offerings with other libraries in the area. Creative energy and ideas are important in planning library programs; there are many resources available to assist with this endeavor. The American Library Association (ALA) website, Programming Librarian and sources listed below will come in handy when developing and implementing library programs.

Considerations When Planning

  • What are your community’s needs and interests?
  • What library resources and services would you like to promote through library programming?
  • What target audiences are in your community?
  • What is the budget?
  • Where is the best space for a library program?
  • Are there conflicts (timing, program duplication, etc.) with other community organizations?
  • How far in advance should you plan? And other timing questions
  • What other details need to be addressed – technology needs? Transportation accommodations?

Links to Articles, Blog Posts, & Websites

eBooks Available at Dewey

  • Dietzel-Glair, J., & Follis, M.C. (2016). Get real with storytime: 52 weeks of early literacy programming with nonfiction and poetry. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
    Online / Z718.3 .D545 2016
  • Hamilton, M., & Schmidt, D.H. (2015). Making it here: Inciting creativity and innovation in your library. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
    Online / Z716.33 .H36 2015
  • Kepple, Sarah. (2015). Library robotics: Technology and English language arts activities for ages 8-24. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
    Online / Z716.33 .K47 2015
  • Primary Research Group. (2013). Survey of academic library practices in staging special events. New York: Primary Research Group, Inc.
    Dewey Library / Z 675 U5 S83457 2013
  • Schadlich, M.E. (2015). Cooking up library programs teens and 'tweens will love: Recipes for success. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
    Online / Z718.5 .S38 2015

Need Additional Assistance?

Help is available! Contact Carol Anne Germain, Subject Librarian for Information Studies, at or stop by during her office hours, held in Draper 141A on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9.

Blog Created By: Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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