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Marketing the Library


Public Relations/Marketing | Publicity | Volunteers | Library Displays | Outreach | Programming | Booktalks | Expecting the Unexpected | Bibliography

What is library programming? Basically, library programming is creating an activity or event that will help draw patrons into the library.  The programs can created for any age group. Libraries can create their own programs and/or participate in national programs such as "Read Across America" and "@ your library."  The national programs generally have all of the information that a library needs located on-line. 

Whether a library is creating their own program or participating in a national program, the following websites and resources will provide them will the information needed to get started.


Put It in Writing @ you library - Great Programming Ideas

This website provides a variety of programming ideas that were developed by the ALA Pulbic Information Office and the ALA Public Programs.

YALSA Professional Development Topics - Programming

This website offers resources and links that will provide information on programming for young adults.

State Library of Queensland - Programming Ideas for Teenagers

This website provides programs for teenagers that were developed by Young Peoples Services, Public Libraries Division, State Library of Queensland. The ideas have been organized by type. These include: themed events, workshop activities, programs/competitions, information events, and clubs/discussion groups.

Read Across America

This site provides information on what is probably the largest national program. Everything needed including publicity, artwork, and pledges of participation.


Library Programming for Families with Young Children, by Suye McCleaf Nespeca (Neal-Schuman Publishers, Incorporated, 1994). This book focuses programming on families with young children in order to break the cycle of illiteracy. Nespeca covers topics such as family programs on the Importance of reading to young children, family storytime programs, and programs for the entire family.

Latchkey Children in the Library & Community, by Frances Smardo Dowd (Greenword Publishing Group, Incorporated, 1991). This resource provides exciting and successful after-school programs for latchkey children.

Programming Author Visits, by Jan Watkins (American Library Association, 1996). This book guides readers through the stages of planning and the preparation for author visits.

Childrens Jukebox: A Subject Guide to Musical Recordings and Programming Ideas for Songsters Ages One to Twelve, by Rob Reid and Bob Reid (American Library Association, 1995). This resource provides the reader with 2400 childrens songs for programming use. In addition, song summaries, age/grade levels, and tips for their use are included.

Ready-to-Go Reading Incentive Programs for Schools and Libraries, by Hilda L. Jay and Ellen Jay (Neal-Schuman Publishers, Incorporated, 1998). This source includes 16 detailed and well structured reading incentive programs.


1.  Observe the interests of the patrons you wish to program for.
2.  Select a topic.
3.  Research the choosen topic.  Perhaps a similar program has been published on-line or in a book.
4.  Select a date.  Remember to avoid conflicts with other activities that may diminish your success.
5.  Gather the necessary materials and
6.  Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!!!!!!
7.  Be sure to evaluate the program and keep records of what to do differently next time this program or another is presented.
8.  Remember, that just because a program may not have a high attendance rate does not mean that it is not a successful program.  Other factors may have influenced the outcome.

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