Where do you get your programming ideas?

We’re all looking for program ideas for adults and families, and we’re all familiar with the usual suspects: neighboring libraries, the newsletter from the nearest metro library, some idea you remember from an OLC Chapter Conference or Convention. But there are other sources to consider.

Event Calendars:  Online event calendars are an easy way to find out what programs other organizations are hosting or presenting.  Calendars may be hosted by a Convention and Visitors Bureau: visitcantonstark.com; traveltusc.com;  mansfieldtourism.com , etc.  Local newspapers may host an event calendar: http://cantonrep.eviesays.com/; http://www.vindy.com/events/; http://www.ohio.com/events#/44308-akron/all/today, and either manage it themselves and link through a commercial service. Then there are commercial aggregators such as Spingo.com and Eventful.com which have postings from all over but can limit geographically and by type of program; they might not list events for your specific area, but they both cover much of Ohio. Basic posting to any of these services, including the commercial ones, is free, and it’s a good way to advertise your own programs. In addition, many newspapers have cut back staff, and draw from the newspaper’s online event calendar to generate content for the print edition.

Programming Librarian:  The ALA Public Programs Office completely reconfigured its website in May to create a place for libraries of all types and sizes to share program ideas, take part in webinars, follow programming news, and keep track of ALA-sponsored program opportunities.The program idea database can be sorted by budget, library type, topic, program type and age group. Libraries submit their own program ideas, so the amount of detail and description will vary; contact information is always included so one can follow up with the librarians who submitted the ideas. Webinars are ALA-sponsored, are archived, and almost all of them are free. The website does not require a log-in or ALA membership.

–Tom Dillie, Director
Minerva Public Library

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