Big Talk From Small Libraries 2014: Be Novel!: Fresh, Fearless, & Affordable Library Programming


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Sharlene Edwards, Program Director, Bradley Public Library (NJ)
There is no avoiding it: the library landscape has been changing. We are dealing with slashed budgets and insufficient staffing while attempting to meet an increased need for innovative library programming. As librarians from small libraries, we may be reluctant to shake things up with new ideas because of the high price of failure. So how do we stay relevant in the 21st century? This presentation is a how-to guide for utilizing local resources, establishing valuable community partnerships, and decreasing costs while increasing participation in fresh, fearless, and affordable library programming.

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2014: Be Novel!: Fresh, Fearless, & Affordable Library Programming

  1. 1. Be Novel!: Fresh, Fearless, an d Affordable Library Programming Presented by: Sharlene Edwards Program Director, Bradley Beach Public Library
  2. 2. Gloom & Doom: Adventures in Library Land
  3. 3. The Challenges:  Decrease in funding  Staff reductions  Cut hours  Relevancy in the Digital Age
  4. 4. The (Happy) Facts:  Public libraries served 96.4% of the total US population in 2010  58% of Americans age 16 and older have a library card  53% of Americans had visited a library or bookmobile in person in the past 12 months  62% of public libraries report that they are the only source of free public access to computers and the Internet in their communities  In 2010, public libraries circulated 2.46 billion materials, the highest circulation in 10 years, representing a continued increasing trend
  5. 5. Why focus on library programming?  In 2010, public libraries offered 3.75 million programs to the public  Of the 53% of people who visited the physical library in the past 12 months  41% attended or brought a youngster to a class, program, or event designed for children or teens  23% attended a meeting of a group to which they belong  21% Attended a class, program, or lecture for adults  In 2010, attendance at children’s programs reached 60.5 million
  6. 6. BBPL: Overview  Town pop.: 4,295  Program budget (2013): $3,833.00  Program costs (2013): $3,668.00  Speakers: $645.00  Supplies: $3,023.00  # of programs per year (2013): 581  Program attendance (2013): 4,104
  7. 7. Partnerships & Collaboration How to Make Your Library Invaluable  The Benefits:  Increased visibility  Split costs  Proof of worth  Who to partner with?  The schools  Town departments (Chamber of Commerce, Recreation, Tourism, etc.)  Local organizations (Historical Society, Senior Citizen groups, Arts Council, etc.)  Local businesses  Other libraries!
  8. 8. Summer Reading…and so much more! The Collaborative Summer Library Program Ann Arbor District Library: The Summer Game Bradley Beach & Beyond
  9. 9. Historical Walk  Historical Walk Brochure 3rd Edition  Creating Your Own Unique Digital Content  South Orange Public Library: Local History Wiki  Neenah Public Library: Local History Digital Collection  Future projects: Self-guided walking tour with accompanying audio track
  10. 10. Thank You, Neighbor! Good Neighbor Day Sept. 28th  Foster a sense of community pride Promote volunteer work and contributions to the community Foster good will towards the library and one another Nomination forms
  11. 11. Honorable Mentions Art show – cultural enrichment Quidditch – sports at the library! Town-wide Scavenger Hunt – town exploration Life-size Candy Land – good, clean, nostalgic fun
  12. 12. My Best Worst Ideas The How-To Club for Kids Encourage middle school kids to learn new skills and explore new hobbies The Sunshine Project Facilitate projects to benefit local charities Life-Size Battleship Family Feud
  13. 13. The Takeaways Just Do It! Beg & Borrow …& Steal (each other's ideas!) Give back Go big and then go bigger
  14. 14. Neat resources to know about Programming Librarian Library Journal- Programs that Pop The State of America’s Libraries 2013 Report Pew Research Center ALA’s Libraries Matter Portal ALA’s Transforming Libraries
  15. 15. Contact! BBPL’s Facebook page E-mail: