Tip: Program Planning Checklist

Program Content

  • Choose type of program/speaker/booktalk/entertainment.
  • Determine best format to present program content: series, single program, etc.


  • Choose time and place, date, etc.
  • Check with other departments/branches in your library so your program does not conflict.
  • Reserve space for program.
  • Put program on library’s calendar of events.
  • Identify what equipment is needed for the program (video, computer, podium).
  • If registration is required, determine method.
  • Determine if there are costs/secure funding.
  • Determine if there are space restrictions, be prepared.


  • Research speakers and presenters; ask for recommendations from colleagues.
  • Discuss program with presenters/determine expectations.
  • Reconfirm time and date with presenters.
  • Prepare introductions for speakers/presenters.
  • Complete any contracts or agreements for funding.


  • Connect with community partners.
  • Involve community partners in program planning.
  • Ask community partners to publicize program.
  • Collect partners’ logos to use on publicity materials.


  • Design promotional materials.
  • If photo permissions will be required, consider including the request as part of registration.
  • Involve staff; make sure they have information so they can promote program/provide specific information.
  • Select channels of communication for promotions/media advisory/news release/web posting/Facebook.
  • Create your program materials.
  • Write media communications.
  • Use LibraryAware for distribution to media outlets and social media.
  • Decide if you will document the event/photos, recording, etc. (if photo permissions are required have forms available).

Day of the Event

  • Arrange room.
  • Contact media sources to confirm event.
  • Refreshments (if necessary).
  • Publicity flyer posted at site.
  • Evaluation forms.
  • Have photo releases, if necessary.
  • Name tags or table tent cards for panel.
  • Hosting -- identify someone to serve as host for the program.
  • Record statistics.

After the Event

  • Send thank you notes to presenters.
  • Thank staff/volunteers. Celebrate your success!
  • Thank community partners individually.
  • Review evaluations -- then what?
  • Share successes (post photos; Facebook posting; Public thank you for support/program re-cap via a letter to the editor)

Feedback and Knowledge Base