Programs- The Next Big Thing?

This summer’ my library is pumping out programs like no one’s business. Every week we offer four storytimes, a family movie time, two elementary programs, two tween programs, one teen program and at least one adult program. That’s a whole lot of programming! This is in addition to the Summer Reading Program, which is a beast all its own. Oh, and’ then there’s’ that pesky business of’ having a library to run. Phew – ‘ no wonder I feel so tired!

I am sure most of you are in similar positions. Libraries have this way of morphing to meet the needs of their communities. As people google for more and more information, we find ourselves’ transforming’ once again so libraries will remain a staple in the community. What better way than free programming? Times are tough and no one has money to spare. You can bring your family to the library for programs that offer exciting activities plus promote reading and learning.’  Oh AND give mom a little break.’  Count me in!

So in the midst of all the summer mayhem, I just want to take a minute to reflect on how great all this programming is.’  If you feel exhausted from the kids who are packing out your programs, remember that this means you are excelling at your job.’ ‘ Programs offer a great chance to get to connect to teens.’  Teens love having an adult that will listen to them while they are making worry dolls from Guatemala or sushi from Japan.’  By taking the time to connect to those teens and listen to their drama of the week, you are fostering a love of libraries.’  Go head with your bad self!

All that said, it can be hard to come up with ideas for all these programs.’  Maybe we can all share our favorite program from the summer and our favorite website/search engine.’  As my high school year book teacher once said, “Plagiarism is wrong. Stealing is great.”

My favorite program so far has been Middle School Mayhem.’  This program is for 10-14 year olds, is bi-weekly and lasts for one hour.’  We have set time travel as our theme and have gone to the Wild West, where we made gun holsters from duct tape, created wanted posters and had a shoot out (with water guns of course), we Escaped from Pompeii, making baking soda and vinegar volcanoes and edible volcanos’ and’ created Medieval’ Mayhem by ‘ making shields with family crests, dragon drool (slime) and dragon cupcakes.’  I have relied heavily’ on google images this summer.’  Finding ideas is not usually too big a problem but figuring out how to adapt them to different age groups and a specific time frame can be hard.’  Google images has been great at helping with this issue.’  So, that’s mine- please share yours in the comments section.

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