With the school season kicking off and summer reading programs coming to an end, it's the perfect time to start thinking about how to draw more patrons into your library. A great way that libraries across the country are getting patrons to come back is by implementing a Food for Fines Program at their library.
Food for Fines Programs offer an excellent opportunity for the patrons, the community and the library, and I'll tell you why. The patrons are happy because they are able to reduce their overdue book fees that may have been looming over them. The community is thriving because you are collecting much needed items to donate to the local food pantry. And it works wonders for the library because you will draw in patrons who may have not returned otherwise due to overdue fees, and you will be able to give back to your community.
You control the Food for Fines Program which gives you the flexibility to decide how much in fees you want to waive. The program forgives $1.00 of overdue book fees for each non-perishable food item donated. But you can easily implement a maximum fee forgiveness. The program also only forgives overdue fees, so any lost or damage fees will still apply.
If you are interested in implementing a Food for Fines Program at your library, we have created excellent resources to help you get started. Flyers, FAQs and Graphics that will launch a fun and rewarding Food for Fines Program in your community:
May 24th is National Scavenger Hunt Day, and what better way to celebrate than hosting a scavenger hunt in your library! Hosting a scavenger hunt at your library can be easy with these resources we've pulled together for you! You can create your own hunt specific to your library, or just download a free printable hunt for kids to enjoy! Happy hunting:
May the 4th started as a punny holiday, and has turned into a nation wide celebration for Star Wars fans of all ages! It is a great time to integrate Star Wars into the library and encourage even the most reluctant readers to pick up a good book! Here's a round-up of ideas and activities to bring a Galaxy far, far away...to your library:
And Penworthy's Star Wars collection includes high-interest fiction and non-fiction titles for all reading levels.
"Everybody has talent, it's just a matter of moving around until you've discovered what it is." - George Lucas
Calling all crafters: March is National Craft Month! To celebrate, here’s a round-up of easy, low-cost crafting resources. Crafting and handmade projects are more popular than ever right now. Happy crafting this month – and beyond!
April is National Poetry Month! The observance was created by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 in order to celebrate and promote this expressive literary art form. There are a multitude of ways to celebrate in the library – here is a list of resources and program ideas to help you and your young readers get poetic:
If your school celebrates the 100th Day of School, it’s coming up fast! And it can be celebrated in the library or media center, too. Here are some fun ideas – many are free printables. And of course, our 100th Day Pinterest Board has many more suggestions for your perusal. Enjoy!
Brace yourselves! If you're in need of some fun and, above all, easy winter activity and programming ideas, we have you covered. Our Winter Pinterest board has a ton of suggestions chosen especially for ease of use and low cost, including such gems as a candy cane hunt in the library, Frozen family night, making snow slime, gingerbread coding, and of course, free printables.
And you may want to check out our Library Displays board, which has tons of winter-themed ideas. Enjoy!
International Games Week (previously International Games Day), an initiative of ALA, is coming up October 29-November 4, 2017! The aim is “to reconnect communities through libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.” Gaming, from board to video, is a logical extension of what libraries do, and is a great way to encourage young patrons to spend more time in the library. Here are some ideas and resources for International Games Week, or for ongoing gaming programs at any time of the year:
The International Day of Peace is approaching on Thursday, September 21 - an ever-timely topic. This year’s theme is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” Here’s a round-up of ideas and activities, many of which require minimal planning.
And Penworthy's diversity collection includes titles focusing on themes of acceptance, tolerance and peace.
“If you want to end the war then instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.”
- Malala Yousafzai
Passive programming is a great way for libraries, particularly smaller libraries with less staff or resources, to engage patrons without providing a formal, time-specific program. It especially appeals to children who spend free time at the library, and allows them to interact with librarians and each other in a casual, non-threatening way. Programs can be virtually anything - here’s a round-up of easy, low cost ideas. Enjoy!
Check out our Passive Programming Pinterest board for even more ideas!
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