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Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 16, 2017
Adult Services Roundtable

Shannon, Hoover
Kelly, Springville Road
Maura, Trussville
Deidre, Bessemer
Judith, Homewood
Ken, Leeds
Susan, Trussville
Holley, EOL

Most of the represented libraries have at least one book group or plan to start one.  The group discussed various types of groups, when & where they meet, along with administrative tasks such as how groups make selections each year.  We also discussed unique opportunities to do programs that are more of a one-time/one-shot deal like author appearances, holiday-themed programs and others.

Genre groups- Pick a topic or subject and either read, listen to or watch a movie with the same topic.  Everyone usually does a book talk or something similar.  This seems to be a good way to shake up a stale book group.  Perhaps this can be done once a year?
Local/Skype-with authors- Pick a book written by a local author and have them present during discussion or Skype.  Not all book group participants enjoy talking about a book with the author.  If the author is popular, a group will usually defer to having the author talk.
Fiction/Nonfiction only groups- If the library is big enough for staff to do it, fiction-only or nonfiction-only will sometimes be a good way to diversify book groups.
Off-site book groups-  Homewood hosts a book group at Nabeel's cafe - which works out great because it is literally across the street from the library and the owner is a member of the library board.  However, if more than 15 people show up, noise is a factor.  Other libraries have an off-site book group usually at the local senior center, which is an excellent way to get a good audience.  As of now, no one in the JCLC does a bar book club, but it has been done successfully around the country to draw in the millennial patrons.  
Problem patrons- We all have them and most of us just learn to cope or learn to steer discussion.  There will always be those that dislike the book selection or are having a particularly bad day, but most book group leaders seem to enjoy the overall experience.
Food or no food- All of us agreed that having a few light snacks is beneficial -- not all of the libraries can afford it, however.  Some long-standing groups bring their own snacks and others even plan Holiday events.
How books are selected-  Most groups represented vote for their selections with the librarian narrowing down the number of titles eligible based on copies in the system, etc.  If a group is just starting out, it's common to have the library pre-select for the group.
Book Kits- Don't forget to utilize Hoover's fiction book club kits!  There are currently 88 book kits with at least 10 books per kit.  There are some 20+ kits that contain one large print copy also. In Sierra, they all appear as items to the record b24931263 under Hoover Public Library fiction book club kits.  For an annotated list, please go to this link.

Book Discussion Group Websites
Guides for those leading book discussion groups indexed by title, author, and genre. Also includes advice and a forum to invite the author to your book group.
Designed to help book clubs be more effective by getting the most out of their selections with discussion questions and interesting links
Find a book. Find a review. Find a discussion guide. Also has tips on starting a book club and making the most out of it.
Offers an extensive selection of reading group guides along with general reading group information
Offers reading group guides for a variety of different genres (search by book title or author to get to reading guide)
Recommendations for lively book group discussions along with book summaries and conversation starters
Provides book synopses, discussion questions, and critical feedback

If you have more information to inform or enlighten, please add to the Blog's comments!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Topic:  Adult Program Swap

Next Meeting:  November 16, Hoover Library, Topic:  Book Groups!

Melanie, Leeds
Maura, Trussville
Debbie, Leeds
Amanda, EOM
Michelle, Irondale
Allison, Pinson
Lindsey, Trussville
Teasa, Trussville

We went around the circle talking about successful programs and possible ideas for programs.  Some were free and some came at a minimal cost.  In order to keep them all straight, I'm going to mention everything here *and* input all the ideas into the Google Docs spreadsheet entitled "Adult Services Roundtable Programming Resource" that is kept on the right side margin of this blog.  If anyone has questions about the ideas, contact either myself or the librarian mentioned in the post.  I will do my best to include contact information in the spreadsheet.
*Please NOTE:  if you weren't able to come to the meeting, please add whatever program ideas to the spreadsheet yourself for everyone to enjoy and use.

Irondale has been doing some really great adult programs lately.  Michelle spoke on some of her steady favorites.  "Goal setting that works" and/or "What makes a top performer" were presented by Julie Gardner from Southwestern Consulting.  Julie can work with your library and will provide a list of FREE programs they can provide.

Local author, Glenn Wills, has published two books:  Forgotten Alabama and More Forgotten Alabama.  He has proven to be a great crowd-pleaser by bringing his beautiful photos and speaking on old/lost Alabama.  Speaking of local authors, Michelle has devised a very casual local authors lunch spot on Fridays that have proved relatively popular.  She has invited local children's author Kim Crawford and the ever-popular Steven Russell, UAB doctor who's successful thrillers are in many libraries. Notable:  Kim Crawford evidently also does "laughter yoga" -- I think that would be an awesome program for all ages!

Michelle also partnered with Retreat Day Spa in Irondale.  Molly Flora from that spa did a wonderful essential oils talk and even allowed everyone to mix up their own fragrance.  This may not work for all libraries, but contact a local spa and see if someone there can do a program on such things as skin care, relaxation techniques, foot massage -- anything that might overlap with their spa specialties. Some locations might even be willing to provide on-site services to gain free advertising...

Debbie spoke for the Leeds Library on some fun/exciting programs they have presented there.  First up, Joy O'Neal from the Red Barn who talks about her nonprofit that serves children and adults with physical, emotional, cognitive disabilities providing therapy with horses.  Debbie also praised the Seasoned Performers, a Birmingham institution that works out of the Red Mountain Theater Company.  These performers can do seasonal readings or full-on plays at a very reasonable cost. Most recently, they have performed the original work "Galleria Girls" -- what could be more fun!

Debbie also suggested contacting Hand-In-Paw for presentations and the Birmingham Audubon Society -- they are always ready to get the word out about their nonprofits and possibly learn new skills.

Debbie's husband, Robin McDonald, is also a local author and graphic designer who is available for programs.  His books, Heart of a Small Town and Visions of the Black Belt, make for great discussion in any library!  Other local authors who make for great speakers:  Kenneth Wills, author of Exploring wild Alabama : a guide to the state's publicly accessible natural areas, Thomas Spencer, author of Five-Star trails : Birmingham : your guide to the most beautiful trails, Dr. R. Scot Duncan from BSC, Southern wonder : Alabama's surprising biodiversity and Beth Maynor and Bill Finch's Longleaf, far as the eye can see : a new vision of North America's richest forest.

Speaking of volunteer organizations in our community:  we discussed that it might be fun for a library to have a "volunteer expo" of sorts to give local nonprofits a platform to engage and possibly garner new volunteers in the community. It would be relatively easy to provide a table for a variety of groups in order for them to get the word out.

Music programs are also very popular in any library; for instance, the Birmingham Opera, Birmingham Music Club and Symphony Volunteer Council are all music-related organizations with outreach programs.

Another speaker suggestion was for LouAnn Jacobs from Birmingham-Southern College.  She specializes in children's reading and speaks on allowing children to read more naturally instead of sticking to the given AR schedule.

Allison from Pinson shared her successful Murder Mystery dinner theater.  Through the, scripts and more can be ordered for as low as $40 and *can be shared*.  So far, Pinson owns "Ravenwood Masquerade Murder Mystery" and Irondale owns "Gouls and Witches". The packages come with everything you might need.  Sounds very fun & exciting!

Does anyone do any life-sized board games?  Several libraries have their own games that would be adaptable for adults to play, like Jenga or Scrabble.  If your library has the game, please make a note in the comments field.  Emmet O'Neal does have a mini-golf set that can be loaned out to area libraries (talk to Amanda Westfall.)

Another popular program bringing emerging adults together is programs that feature "Mocktails" -- drinks that leave out the alcohol).  They are fun to mix up and provide recipes for participants.  Speaking of emerging adults, Amanda at Emmet O'Neal brings her knowledge from "Standing Room Only" programs aimed at younger adults.  They've done weaving workshops -- for a small fee, you get a small loom and kitchen twine.  Participants are taught about natural dying for the twine and let loose to do something creative.  Amanda bought online for $5/loom and charged a small entrance fee to recoup the losses.  Her next stellar project is "The Great Brookie Bake Off" -- with this she will be investing in at least 10 Easy Bake Ovens and participants will conduct cooking based on the popular TV show.  Good luck. Amanda!  Another popular program series for younger adults are "Tribute" nights such as '80s Music with Karaoke videos and microphones.  More of her great ideas are outlined on her handout:

Lindsay and Maura from Trussville shared several ideas that could translate into great programs. Many libraries do use AARP for programs, but a recent program on Identity Theft really became much needed by most patrons.  Another idea they have is to create a "Handyman's Night" -- based on the ideas of and  One theme could be lamps and everyone comes with a broken lamp and there are people there to help make the repair (another idea:  bicycle repair) Lindsay also mentioned contacting the local police for some safety program ideas.

Also, the idea of a book share might go well with some light snacks -- perhaps everyone brings their favorite passage, poem, etc. and has a one-minute share with the group.

Don't forget our own library crowd pleasers like Jim Baggett at Central who is happy to do a program on researching your house's history and other archives-related topics.

Other updates for programs suggested by Shannon Haddock at Hoover are inserted on the spreadsheet for your perusal.  Some highlights:
Tracy James from Chic Made Simple:  As a protege of Tim Gunn from Project Runway, Tracy gives great fashion advice for all shapes, sizes and budgets out there. 

Another great program Hoover had during the Ladies Day Out event this year was a Body-Positivity 101 session with Mary-Berkley Gaines, founder of Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham.  She has very topical sessions for teens and adults on learning to accept yourself.

Lastly, we also had a very popular "Women as Entrepreneurs" session with speakers from the Athena Collective, founders Whitney Chen Wright and Nicole Carpenter.  They have started their own initiative to inform/educate women on what is vital in entrepreneurship -- and they are very eager to get the word out.  (If you read these two resumes' you will be very impressed.  These ladies were excellent role models!)

And, to end these minutes:

Stolen from the Internet!!!  Adult Programming Ideas: Make them your own!

1)    Programs Easily Adapted for Any Theme (Almost!)
Writing Contests: flash, themed, poetry, skit, song lyrics (Prize is publication)
Tasters: inexpensive foods on a theme like chocolate, history, demonstrations
Crafts: button making, origami, coloring, photos and frames, bookmarks
Local history: feature speakers, library collections, photos
Social Media and Relevant Apps/Sites
2)    More Easily Adapted Programs
Charitable Drives: food for fines, pet food, costumes, prom gowns
Photo or Video contests: in the library or community, reading, promoting a service, book trailers, family history
Art: fairs, themed contest, scrapbooking, digital, try new medium fair, feature local artists or museums
Music: local performers, all ages, learn to download from library site, listen on new tech, variety shows, karaoke
Money & Health: local services, library resources, information fairs, improvement techniques
3)    Fitness Fair
Interactive Wii Games
Pedometers: Step It Up Library Scavenger Hunt
Demonstrations from Park District: 20 minute intervals
Health representative taking biometrics
Smoothie Making
De-Stress Meditation
Massage Station
Demonstration of fitness apps
4)    Chinese New Year
Video of Dragon Dance
Music, cookies /new-year/12/chinese-new-year-crafts- for-kids.html
Zodiac chart to color
Red Envelope Craft:
Fortune type slips in cookies or on bookmarks stuck in books advertising the program.
Language learning materials
5)    Superbowl: Snacks by Decades
1930s/40s: Velveeta, brownies
1950’s: Mini Burger Bar, Chex Mix
1960’s: Bugles, Pringles, Mini frank kabobs
1970’s: fondue, cheese balls, Grape jelly/chili dip
1980’s: Cream Cheese/pepper jelly
1990’s: cupcakes
6)    February: Black History Month
Genealogy programs
Underground Railroad sites
Display of Inventions Vote on favorite authors by genre
7)    Movie party and trivia
Gourmet Popcorn
After Hours Oscar Night Party
Short Movie Festival
(Sidewalk Film Festival) showings (my suggestion!)
8)    Self Defense and Safety
Police Department
Scams towards seniors
Making your house safe
Safety Online
Self Defense
Special class for seniors
9)    Basketball Fest
Nostalgic movies
Video game tournament for adults of NBA2K16
Trivia games
Match player to town
Game trivia
Make dream team for prize drawings
10) April: National Library Week Swaps and Other Simple Celebrations
Info Fair by departments
Departments make something to auction
Tours: Live or Virtual
Flea Market and Craft Fair
Comic Swap
Authors with publishing workshop
\Learn Something New – punch cards for watching videos
T/F: Library Common Sense
11) Money Smart Resources Demonstration
Budget Contest Budgeting and Investing Apps
Coupon Clipping
12) Library Virtual 5K (and other Healthy Gadgets)
Staff post how much they walk on desk throughout the week
Patrons post photo of themselves walking in the library or throughout the month for a prize
Walk a 5K and screen shot Map My Walk or other evidence. Enter with $10 towards Friends, inexpensive medals
Live walking 5K around library.
Steps scavenger hunt or Geocaching within library
13) May: Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!)
Movies & Coloring
Costume cosplay for adults
Trivia or Timeline
Parody movie contest
Fan fiction contest
Yoda Soda
Rebel Legion
14) Easy Adult Crafts (time to clean out the closet)
Recipe Scrapbooking
Paint and Book Cover Night
Apron Decoration
Painting /coloring: photo frames, tote bags, t-shirts, notebook covers
Tye-Dye socks
Beaded bookmarks
Bookmark design contest
Cards for charity, gifts
3D printed keychains
15) World of Flavors Tasting and Exchange
Restaurants with tasting (require registration)
Get treats from local stores – even cookies!
Patrons bring copies of recipes
History of area with samples of foods, recipes
Holiday themed
16) Car Show + Safety
Hooking media up
Emergency kits
Shopping through library sites
What to look for in used cars
17) September: Fall Into Something New
Style and Fashions: scarves, jewelry making, hairstyles
Sushi demonstration, or other no-cook healthy choices
Resume Refresh, Social Media review
Travel tips: local favorites, upcoming museum exhibits
New and readalikes for popular books & media
Download and Go: technology demonstrations
House Refresh: speakers on painting tips, woodworking
Park District: new sports classes
18) Nostalgic Halloween Party and Blood Drive
Vintage horror movie or 80’s monsters: Freddie, Chucky, Jason
Halloween cartoons
Duct tape or toliet paper costumes – mini contests
Finish the scary story contest or flash scary fiction 1000 words
Storytelling 101 – outside
19) Diwali
Ethnic markets – décor and food
Local music or dance programs
Henna painting
How to drape a sari demonstration
Decorate a Diya – prepare with base coat (
20) November: Veterans Thank You Open House
Create a Card Party
Online Photo Montage
Collect Photos, Memorabilia
Veterans Benefits, Spouses
21) NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month- November)
Steps for Success – Getting Started
Demonstrations of how to login in lobby
Write-Ins – allow time after writing programs
Celebration event in January – next steps?
Interactive display of local word counts
Tweeting author quotes
Display of books on writing, biographies
22) November: Knitting for Charity
Have this program in visible area to invite more
Host throughout the month
Staff or guest teacher’s simple stitches
Collect squares for Warm Up America
Better students will make small blankets for animal shelters
Drop in event to knot polar fleece blankets for local shelters
23) December: Make and Take
Fill glass balls with glitter, garland, shredded paper
Print photos, decorate frames
24) Night Star Gazing
Telescope at certain place, certain times
Partnership with college, expert
Patrons can record who can see what (use free iphone app “Star Tracker Lite”)
Getting started in stargazing
Astrology 101: What’s in store for you next year?
25) Holiday Library Open House: Virtual and Live
Marketing features Invitation to special event
Music, local high school groups
Set hours: Free, fast and fun for all ages
Demonstrations of timesaving tips or activities in each department
Peaceful place to sit and read if desired
Local food vendor
Virtual: virtual tour, resources for easing year end stress, holiday traditional stories

Shout out to Amy Alessio
View Slideshow of Amy’s presentation at