Beyond Books: Adult Library Programs for a New Era takes us out of the stacks and past the traditional walls of the library to reach underserved and overworked adults in our communities -- adults who might not think they need the library in their lives.
Readers are introduced to the concept of adult programming through a multifaceted approach based on a solid foundation of behavioral science, real-life library experience, and data on current trends in libraries and other institutions. This book posits that offering diverse adult programs is an important catalyst for fostering community connection and individual wellness, and that no librarian needs to deliver them alone. Partnerships are not only helpful; they are essential to preventing librarian burnout.
Themes of the book center on passive versus active programs, the importance of intergenerational involvement, and programs that touch a variety of topics divided by the following sections:
This book provides clear, step-by-step models and strategies for delivering adult programs (both in-person and online), including where to find funding, getting administrative and municipal buy-in, creating partnerships in the community, addressing possible legal issues, marketing tactics, training staff and volunteers, and how to evaluate programs.
Whether you’re a student, a brand new recruit, or a seasoned public or academic librarian, there will be something in this book to inspire you to move your adult library programs beyond book clubs (without losing those too!).
Preface: A New Era
Chapter 1: A Brief History of Adult Programming in Libraries and Why It Is Important
Chapter 2: Adulting 101
Chapter 3: Implementing Adult Programs in Your Library
Chapter 4: Food & Drink
Chapter 5: Arts & Crafts
Chapter 6: Books & Writing
Chapter 7: Technology & Media
Chapter 8: Health & Wellness
Chapter 9: Business & Finance
Chapter 10: Nature & Gardening
Conclusion: We Are In
About the Author
Author Carson offers a guide designed to help librarians create programs for adults, an underserved library demographic…. [T]his practical guide helps to clear up confusion regarding adult programming. The first three chapters provide a foundation, examining the history of adult programming in libraries, considering various definitions of adulthood, and explaining how to implement programs, including a discussion of funding and legal concerns. The remaining chapters offer a range of specific program ideas, such as food and drink, arts and crafts, health and wellness, and nature and gardening. The programs are fun and creative; examples include recipe swaps, pop-up poetry readings, kite flying, and stop-motion animation. These chapters also contain advance-planning directions, required program materials, budget details, and literary tie-ins. Throughout this guide, Carson stresses community partnerships that provide numerous benefits, including helping to fill in skill-set gaps and reaching new audiences. An essential guide; recommended for programming librarians and library workers with all levels of experience
Carson, author, librarian, and regular contributor to ALA's Programming Librarian website, presents a series of adult and intergenerational programming ideas that address a multitude of community needs. Each chapter offers an introduction to a community issue, then offers a detailed plan for one program in that area, followed by several other quick suggestions for further programming. The detailed plans include advanced strategies (including marketing), materials needed, budget details, day-of-event steps, literary tie-ins (a bibliography of related books and media), and helpful advice. Themes covered include food and drink, arts and crafts (where she warns against cultural appropriation), books and writing, technology and media, health and wellness, business and finance, and nature and gardening. Programs include a pop-up poetry reading, kite-flying, and a "trashion" show. Library staff looking to level up their program offerings will find this guide accessible and incredibly useful.
Jenn Carson’s Beyond Books: Adult Library Programs for a New Era serves as both an insightful clarion call to and informative FAQ for libraries to holistically support adult patrons with fun and impactful programming, all without exhausting or overwhelming those library workers who plan, prepare, and facilitate such events.
6/9/22, Choice: This book was included in a roundup of forthcoming library and information science titles.