Displays

Including the Shy Ones: Passive Programming & Interactive Displays

One of the biggest challenges that youth library staff faces is providing programming that reaches the widest array of children possible. We cast huge programming nets in hopes of filling our programs with happy smiling faces that are raring and ready for some fun… but what about the shy kids? What about the children that aren’t super excited about being “trapped” in a room with thirty other kids? How can we engage these children without forcing them into our programs? The answer lies in passive programming. This generally underutilized programming option can be the bridge that connects your more shy patrons with library resources and materials. The trick is to portray the passive program as something else entirely, such as a game or fun activity. From my experience, the best method is to create a program that requires no staff supervision, can be completed with very little instructions, and most…

Blogger Angela Reynolds

Little lessons from big libraries

Sometimes, working in small rural libraries is difficult. Single-staffed branches have limited time for youth programming. There’s no room for large comfy chairs or crawl-through shelving. And yet, children swarm the place, coming in every day after school, for weekly storytime, or to play Minecraft on the public computers. When I visit large, urban libraries, and see amazing children’s rooms, I swoon at all that space, all those bright colours and beautiful furniture.