Idea Sparklers 5 - Fun Notes from the Field

Ideas today come from our colleagues in the Southeast Kansas Library System, a multi-type system with libraries that serve from very small to medium size communities and rural areas. They rocked the house.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) - Successful programming means not over-planning and not over-doing.

Special Community Days - have kids create art projects posters and coloring projects and hang them in the windows of businesses onn parade route or where people gather. The child's name is visible and the library name so people see the cool things the library and kids are doing.

Teen Geo-caching - place books/objects around the area near the library and set up a geo-caching program where the teens work to find all the locations.

Every Day is Prize Day - Give kids a stamp when kthey attend programs and then an additional stamp if check out books the same day. 10 stamps earns the kids a larger reward - monster candy bar (or pencil or bookmark or... perfect passive/stealth ongoing program!)

Community Scramble Game - Kids solve the puzzle letter by letter - it keeps them coming in and stimulates their brain cells! A dictionary is available to help them. Whoever finally can't change a letter earns a piece of candy. Simple, effective and fun.

Take-It-and-Make-It Bags - Give out little bags weekly with craft supplies and simple instructions for parent and child to do together. Very popular.

Take-It-and-Make-It Random Bags - same principle as above but more randomized "junk" (qtips, straws, jar lids) saved throughout the year and put in a lunch bag. Kids take home, create something and bring creation back to the library for display.  Another suggestion built on this with 20 random items in a bag and ask kids to make an invention to display. Building further on this, the suggestion was made to ask businesses to donate leftover stuff to really make it cool.

Newsletters- don't underestimate written newsletter delivered not just to schools but businesses and churches. It's a way to reach out and spread the word to library users and non-users.

Grand Opening Ideas - have local authors as guests with their books so people can meet them and discover their books.  Another idea is to partner with local museum to bring in an author and then have an event at the museum as well.

Game Board in the Summer - Kids put their names on object - the more books they read, the higher the object goes. We also discussed doing this between schools or classes or working mutually to reach a goal and create a reward (the librarian does something silly or the Friends of the Library adopt an animal or star)

Create an Essay Contest for Teens - Sent flyers to all middle school students advertising 200 word essay contest on the importance of Black History Month. Got a great response. Asked two professors to judge the essays with the winning essay published in the newspaper.

More in the Idea Sparker series here:   1  2  3  4  6  7  8  9   10  11

Image: 'Sparkler Star'   http://www.flickr.com/photos/29434419@N03/4763133932

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