Programming Can Be a Snap

A recent post by Abby (the) Librarian really caught my eye.  She talks about a fun program she just did that was a perfect for spring break. It featured what I think are some of the most successful components to any great program:
  • easy and quick to plan
  • kids' creativity creates most of the fun and action
  • books relating to the program subject are all over the room and kids are invited to check them out
  • books are enthusiastically booktalked
  • music CDs are playing 
Often program planners spend oodles of time planning and preparing way more activities for the kids than time allows. Kids rush from one activity to another.  Food can become a focus and books are seldom referenced. Money is spent on supplies and fancy crafts when a bunch of toilet paper rolls and egg cartons or leftover craft supplies collected from staff could create the same fun.

Here at our library we have been working on streamlining what we offer over the past few years to create fun experiences that still focus on the book.  From Lego programs that let kids create while music is playing and books serve as ideas to challenge them on their first building creation; to Wimpy Kid and other book character parties; to DIY craft days (watch Bryce Don't Play's blog for details on that one!) to -Ology Programs  (detailed at Bryce Don't Play here here here and here) to books provided to support demonstrations of snakes and reptiles from our Herp Club folks.

Programming doesn't have to be long, hard or sweat-acious. You can play: play with books; play with giving kids more control of content; play with music; play with letting kids use their creativity and enthusiasm for characters they love and subjects they enjoy. Connect the kids to the wealth of your collections and highlight books and materials that kids will glom on to.  If you try that formula, you too will find that programming is a snap.

Image: 'New "Camera"!' http://www.flickr.com/photos/56502208@N00/3073414449


  1. I whole-heartedly agree!!!

  2. you forgot Spyology! : http://brycedontplay.blogspot.com/2012/02/libday8-tale-of-espionage-viiliany-and.html ;)

    I completely agree with this plan, also. How can one argue with programs that save time and money, get more kids, AND increase checkout?

    Your kind of thinking definitely gets to that nagging question many librarians ask: WHY do we do programs? I'm still formulating my ideas on that, but I'm pretty sure my answer will do include, "to patronize the local bakery/pizzeria".

  3. Oops, you're right. It's corrected now!