Tip: Program Planning

Introduction

Programs represent the richness of what a library can offer and are a great way for libraries to attract new audiences, introduce services and develop community partners. Before you begin planning your program, look carefully at what your community needs and tailor your program to address those needs. 

So before getting started, consider these questions:

  • Why are you doing the program?  
  • Does it meet a need in your community? 
  • How does this program fit with your library’s strategic plan?  
  • Does your library have other resources that would support your program?

As you’re working through these questions, think about ways to gather this information as part of an ongoing process.  Potential sources for rich data:

  • Develop an advisory board of community members.
  • Ask staff for their input on community needs.
  • Talk to your Friends groups.
  • Read newspaper and other local publications.
  • Post a poll on Facebook.
  • Solicit ideas regularly from community groups/partners; identify gaps—what’s NOT being done in your community?

LibraryAware Tip: Program planning and promotion go hand-in-hand, with publicity needs intertwined in the planning process. Consult our checklist to be sure you’re breaking your planning into key steps.

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