National Library Week Programming Ideas


National Library Week 2010 is nearly upon us (April 11-17) and I bet many of you are short of ideas as to what programs you can hold, especially with our deteriorating budgets.  The theme of “Communities Thrive @ Your Library” can be cheap and easy too!   –I would like to thank ALA Connect for the majority of these terrific ideas!–

Also, we would LOVE to hear your ideas! Feel free to submit them as comments for other readers to enjoy.

1. Job search /Computer class– A demonstration of how the resources at the library can help library users find a new job or learn basic computer skills.

2. Community service partnership – Have your library partner with another community service based organization.

– Trading Spaces — allow members of the community to come work in shifts behind the front desk or other work activities at the library

Local food pantry – Fine forgiveness for library users that bring in cans of food.

Care packages for soldiers –Library users bring in new and previously read books, along with other care package items and at the end of the week the library hosts a party during which care packages are assembled and sent to soldiers across the globe.

American Diabetes Association – Libraries can partner with their local chapter to promote a “Get red for reading” reading marathon, for every book read during National Library Week library users pledge to donate a set amount of money (i.e. read 3 books donate $3.).

-Partner with your local animal shelter for a “Paws to Read” event, during which children can practice reading to animals in hopes of becoming more confident readers.

3. Sock-hop for Socks– Have a 1950’s sock-hop at your library, entrance fee is one pair of socks or an article of clothing that will be donated to a local clothing depository.

4. Partner with your local “Meals on Wheels” program – Have library users come to the library to help assemble meals for homebound people in your community, afterwards library patrons can help distribute the meals around the community, along with information on how the homebound can use the outreach services at your library.

5. Photography contest – Ask library users to enter photographs of your community, photos will be exhibited throughout the week and library users can vote on which they like best. The winner will then be placed on permanent exhibition at the library.

6. Photography scavenger hunt- Have a number of pictures installed around the library and have library users guess where in the community they came from. At the end of the week, post the name of the location and a brief story of the area (i.e. Washington Park was founded in … by …). Have library users submit their guesses about where the pictures were taken, and the person with the most right answers wins a prize.

7. Plant a community garden at your library – Celebrate National Library Week, by inviting library users to help create a new community garden that can be enjoyed by patrons all year long. Activities like digging, planting and watering can be enjoyed by library lovers of all ages. Plant flowers that bees and butterflies enjoy to further promote the idea of a thriving community.

8. Library Block party– Celebrate the beginning of spring with an outdoor block party. Partner with local businesses to provide refreshments and music. Activities can include library themed games, a tour of your library/bookmobile and a gaming demonstration. Take the opportunity to also discuss all the great programming your library hosts throughout the year.

9. Partner with a local credit union to teach a class on financial education and to answer library users’ questions on what they can do to improve their finances in tough economic times.

10. Walking tour of the community – Start at the library and take library users on a tour of the hidden treasures of your community. Host different activities at each location, or provide background for each spot you visit.

11. Library open house – During National Library Week, invite library users to visit the library and take a guided tour of the facility. Host the tour at previously selected times, so that someone is always on hand. During the tours provide visitors with a brief history of the library and showcase new and interesting features of the library that some might not know about.

12. Host a community reads event – Have library patrons read the same book during National Library Week. Select a different book for children, teens and adults. For young children select a book that can be read at story hour.  Books can either be about your town/geographic area, or about community as a whole. At the end of the week host a book discussion/party at the library.   

13. Community theater @ your library – Have a local theatre group visit your library and perform a readers theater show for children. ALSC has several readers theater scripts available through their Kids! @ your library toolkit.


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