Thursday, July 19, 2018

Public Relations and Marketing

July 19, 2018 Meeting Topic:  Public Relations and Marketing

Shannon, Hoover
Susan, Trussville
Terri, Vestavia Hills
Jon, Avondale
Maura, Trussville
Deidre, Bessemer
Michelle, Irondale

Pre-topic, we discussed the 2019 ASRT schedule -- I've got topics chosen (all but one month!)  I am putting out a plea for host locations (Clay, Pelham, Pinson, maybe?  anyone?)  We will be hitting the new Trussville library for our September 20, 2018 meeting.  I've already gotten volunteers for host locations in 2019 from Homewood and Vestavia.  Shoot me an email if you'd like to host!

The main focus for today's meeting was  Michelle from Irondale gave us an updated version of her JCPLA Staff Day talk from 2 years ago.  And, boy, has she improved her skills in those 2 years!  Working within the free online tool, you can quickly and confidently become a graphic designer pro!  Irondale opted to buy the base membership to Canva, allowing for a more diverse set of options such as graphics, etc.  However, *free version* still does the trick for me!

The one thing we all agree is very valuable within Canva is that it gives you an enormous amount of examples of finished marketing promotions that you can take and change however you like.  Also, when designing something, you can pick just the right promotion format -- for example, you can choose Facebook post and it will already be the right dimensions for posting directly to Facebook.  Same goes with Twitter or a 3-fold flyer -- whatever it is, you can most likely find an example via the database and go to town making changes such as fonts, pictures, backgrounds, etc.

Michelle pointed out that she often uses the free picture database of for items to download, then upload into  She does caution that Pixabay does sometimes direct you to pay-for-use sites such as Shutterstock so keep vigilant if you want the free stuff!

Michelle also lauded the mobile app -- frequently she can design a Facebook post on the go or while doing other things (longggg meetings anyone??) and post them directly from the app.  There is also possible to print and download your works with an option to send it to one of the selected printing agencies used by Canva.  Michelle did point out that she has found these are not always the most cost effective.

It costs nothing to look into Canva and play around.  See if something new and bright and modern might make a display POP or make your social media posts go viral!

Michelle also showed us the new-and-improved Irondale Public Library website !  Very visually appealing with great functionality.  It was created and completed via input from a committee, which often makes things difficult but in this case brought diverse input and a great end product!  Thanks for sharing!  By the way, below are some examples of Michelle's handiwork.  She uses Publisher to create her monthly calendar but used Canva to create a small insert to the Irondale water bill -- the great "What can you do with your library card?"

Deidre from Bessemer wanted everyone to know about their upcoming Local Authors Expo on August 18th.  Entry is only $30 with authors welcome to sell their wares.  Give her a call or email if you'd like more details!

And, because our September 20th meeting is our annual Adult Program Swap, we did discuss the use of "My Mystery Plays".  Michelle says she has bought her 2nd "kit" to use with her teens.  I am still trying to find the  best time to do one with our adults at Hoover!  So far, about four different libraries have bought kits which include scripts and detailed information for characters and settings.  Basically it's a live-action game of Clue with patrons acting as the possible criminal.  Many libraries have reported great success with these!  We hope to make all the existing kits/scripts available for free at the September meeting in case anyone want to give it some consideration.  Caution:  this is labor intensive on the librarian's side as you do have to have a top-down understanding of all the working parts.  I'm looking forward to trying it!

In preparation for the meeting, I put together what is essentially a screen-shot from PLA about Marketing that includes some webinar information (essential!!) along with templates (including!) and some of my own websites I've grown to love.

Check it out here:  PLA Marketing Strategies

So, don't forget September's Adult Program Swap -- bring your ideas, small inklings of ideas, contacts, bring your successes and your failures.  We will swap, shop, talk all of them and hopefully update the existing adult programming database/spreadsheet!!!  See you then!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Topic: APLS and Online Readers' Advisory Tools

May 17 Meeting Minutes

TOPIC:  Alabama Public Library Service & Online Readers' Advisory Tools

Shannon, Hoover
Amanda, EOL
Susan, Trussville
Ramona, Leeds
Holley, EOL
Eric, EOL
Jon, Avondale
Bridget, Homewood
Kelly, Springville
David, BPL, Fiction
Deidre, Bessemer
Maura, Trussville
Gregory, EOL

New website:

Speaker:  Alex Perry

Mission:  Expand and support local capacity to ensure high level of library service.  
  • Facilitate state aid and LSTA funding
  • Provide resources and services to libraries
  • Focus on libraries with limited resources and staff
  • Statewide database licensing
  • Library development consulting staff
  • Training and professional development material
  • Book club sets
  • Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH)
Statewide databases:
  • Ancestry Library Edition
  • Chilton Library
  • Homework Alabama
  • Learning Express
  • AVL database training
    • Member of advisory council
    • Not directly responsible for content but will provide training on request
Library Development:
  • Consultant for each congressional district
    • Serves the needs of the region
    • Annual visits
    • Host/organize regional meetups
    • Area of expertise:
      • E.g. state aid, library statistics, CD, children's and adult programming, library advocacy, Friends and foundations
      • Training and other assistance
    • Agency contact
Professional Development:
  • Extensive collection of library professional development materials
    • 200 items added since 2016
    • Wide coverage of all major library topics, including programming, finances and fundraising, and collection development
    • Available to you through institutional loan (3 months)
    • Updated annually
    • Suggestions encouraged
  • Non-library professional development materials
    • Resumes, cover letters, job searching
    • Software guides (Word, Excel, Mac, Windows, Linux, coding, etc.)
    • Hardware guides (handhelds, PC, Mac, etc.)
Book Club Sets:
  • Large collection of book club sets
    • 140 sets of (usually) ten available for extended loans
    • Institutional loan
    • Additions coming in the summer
    • Suggestions and donations welcome
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
APLS Reference team
  • Request specific database training
  • Acquisitions suggestions
  • Answer reference questions for you/patrons
    • Phone (334) 213-3920
    • Email
    • Web form:
Shannon's APLS meeting notes:
  • It is worth your time to check out the APLS website and see what is in their collections.
  • Staff at APLS can come to your library and do "Train the trainer", meaning they will come and train you on any of the provided databases enabling YOU to become the trainer for your library -- covering the basics and getting into advanced training too.
  • APLS provides benchmarking for a number of very important public library-related topics such as going fine free or various statewide initiatives.  Their staff will put in the hours needed to help you make an informed decision.
  • If you are not sure what to do for Alabama's Bicentennial celebration, contact APLS!  They have a great many resources you can use in your library including traveling exhibits.
  • Staff will also train on using the Alabama Virtual Library.
  • Their consultants are the backbone of the institution.  They love to do reference work!  For instance, Dale Shelton (Children's services consultant) had done a lot of research and planning for storytime's for autistic children.

Next Topic:  Online Readers' Advisory Tools

With the help of Holley Wesley from the Readers' Advisory Roundtable, we compiled a fairly comprehensive list of links and websites that provide various services such as simple book news, award winning titles, book club recommendations, newsletters for specific genres, and sites providing algorithms for the book lover.  The Excel spreadsheet is available on Google Docs at this link:

When I send out the meeting minutes reminder, I will also include the Excel spreadsheet for your general use!

Next Meeting:  7/19/18, Hoover Library's Children's Program Room, 10 am

TOPIC:  Public Relations/Marketing

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Update for adult programs:

Davina Bell, a LAIII at Central BPL is a certified Zumba instructor and wishes to let everyone know she is open to providing Zumba classes at your library!  She currently teaches Monday and Wednesday mornings at the Alabaster YMCA.  If you'd like to explore having her do something to go with this year's summer reading program, get in touch at  Thanks, Davina for that information!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

In the March 15 minutes, I mentioned BPL's Spinners Club.  Unbeknownst to me, this was a program started by Russell Lee at Central and the program won the November 2017 Innovative & Cool Award by the BPL Board of Trustees!  Russell is taking the show on the road to bring the Spinners Club to nine branches during the upcoming summer reading program.  This is a music-based program in which patrons will listen to pre-selected music recordings and then open the floor for brief discussions about them.  Russell hosts the program at BPL on a monthly basis.  Very cool, indeed!

Monday, March 19, 2018

March 2018: Adult Summer Reading

Thursday, March 15, 2018
Topic:  Adult Summer Reading & Mergent/Intellect Database

NEXT MEETING:  May 17, 2018 at Emmet O'Neil Library, TOPIC:  Online RA Tools & APLS will be in the house!

Shannon, Hoover
Deidre, Bessemer
Michelle, Irondale
Maura, Trussville
Ginny, Leeds
Debbie, Leeds
Jon, Avondale
Holley, EOM
Lisa, Gardendale
Jim, BPL Central
Leigh, North Birmingham

BookRiot's "3 Things I Learned from Running My Library's Adult Summer Reading Program"

Collaborative Summer Library Program:  2018 Adult Program:  Libraries ROCK!

Thank you to everyone who attended our first meeting for 2018.  I apologize for the weather-related cancellation of January's meeting.  Irondale Library hosted this meeting and we really appreciate their facilities and hospitality!

Above is a small attempt to gather some interesting ideas that might work for any size library to coincide with this year's adult summer reading theme:  Libraries ROCK!  All attendees agreed that this theme offers many opportunities for fun, engaging programs for adults.  As I run down what each library either plans to do or wants to do, I will provide as much information as I can so that other libraries may pursue doing similar programs!

If having musical acts in your library seems daunting, please plan to attend ALLA's convention in Florence and look for Joel Gamble and Amanda Westfall's program on booking artists at your library.  Not only will they ease your fears, they'll share some hard-learned tips for making it work.

It seems Trussville is the library with the most theme-related programming planned.  Since their re-opening is scheduled soon, they are going all out for summer reading.  Here are some examples:  UAB Jazz Quartet, music trivia, a musical movie presentation, Elvis impersonator, ballroom dance classes, drum circle and their book group has chosen a music-themed title.  They have also got a Hoop for Fitness demonstration scheduled (  

Bessmer is getting into the act with an African Drum Solo performance for the finale of summer reading with other possibilities to come.  

At the downtown branch, Jim Murray detailed a cooperative effort with Octavia Kuransky to present programs aimed at entrepreneurs and new businesses.  The main focus is for artists, musicians, etc. to help teach the business side of succeeding in the Arts.  This will coincide with Innovation Week in July -- July 9th at 5:30 pm.  Avondale is doing this too but in April. Perhaps this can be something for other branches to present?

Irondale will be presenting Rejoicing Rhythms with Walker Wright (  This is collaborative drum circles for all ages.

Other ideas discussed within the group:  Jim Lacefield, author of Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks, is a noted Alabama geologist that is also a great speaker.  Also recommended is Ken Wills and Dr. Larry Davenport, authors of Exploring Wild Alabama -- great speakers and wonderful resource. At McWane Center, Jun Ebersole is the best source for all things paleontology.  Jun is the Collections Manager at McWane (  Another great source for speakers is Sloss Furnaces educational/speakers bureau.  Contact Karen Utz at (205) 254-2281 or for more information.  North Birmingham is also planning a Monday morning "movie musical" program that sounds like a blast.

Other, less formed, ideas for programs might be to focus on "healing crystals" and have a speaker talk about that.  Or have a silent dance party at your location (there is actually a Birmingham company that does DJ'ing for silent parties at!  Jon at Avondale said their monthly yoga programs are very popular (check out for a one-stop-shop for yoga instructors in the Birmingham region).  There is also a Spinner's Club at Avondale that sounds fantastic.  Even just showing the documentary, Muscle Shoals, would be right in line with the theme!

Not all libraries are able to provide on-theme programs but have embraced the "reading" aspect of adult summer reading.  Now that most libraries are utilizing BeanStack to keep track of reading for children and adults, that has been made easier!  One thing that has not been pointed out is the built-in readers' advisory that comes with BeanStack.  As patrons enter book titles, other books are recommended based on previous titles.  Parents can really take advantage of this aspect.  The cost of BeanStack is based on your population.

Give-aways for adult prizes range from Alexa Smart Home Device, Bluetooth speakers, ITunes gift cards or anything else music-related!

Victoria Poole from the company Mergent, presented their database offering, Intellect, which is similar to our current database ReferenceUSA.  The benefit of Intellect is that the company utilizes Dun & Bradstreet and Hoover's datastream.  There are a great many uses for this database in small, medium or larger branches business departments.  You can get key demographic data, business listings, residential listings, but uniquely:  consumer data.

Victoria will work with Jim Murray at the Central library for a system-wide trial of the database.    If purchased by the cooperative, all should take advantage of the free trial to get to know their offering.

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