Free or Low-Cost Programming
Fee: $75 for those in the California library community and Infopeople Partners, $150 for all others.
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
Tuesday March 9, 2010 – Monday April 5, 2010
Public libraries have long provided educational and entertaining programs as part of their outreach to the communities they serve. In a time of budget and staffing cutbacks, offering these programs will require creativity and community partnerships. If you want to develop, enhance, or even expand, your library’s programming at low cost and with high impact, this is the course for you.
Expert library programmer Lynn Whitehouse will help you:
- Determine the kinds of programs that can be held for free or for a low cost
- Develop strategies for finding program presenters and community partners
- Align programming with your library’s unique collections and diverse community needs
- Identify the resources needed and possible funding sources
You will learn to facilitate presentation of the programs, develop contingency plans for unexpected problems, create evaluation methods to measure success, and document programs with photographs and testimonials from participants.
Course Description: In this online course you will explore the many different types of free and low cost programs and look at proven strategies for designing and implementing programs in libraries of all sizes. Emphasis will be on learning to implement programs using your own library’s collection as well as learning which local resources are available. You will learn about creative programs in other libraries as well as design programs for your library. Using best practices for programming, you will look at appropriate spaces and equipment, identify resources needed and funding sources, figure out how to measure success, and sustain and even expand your library’s programming efforts.
During the course, you will be reading background materials, completing assignments, and participating in online discussion forums. The instructor will provide resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately.
During the course there will be opportunities to hear:
- Felicia Kelley, Senior Programs Manager, California Council for the Humanities, discussing grant opportunities appropriate for libraries.
- Fannie Ashburn, Director, North Carolina Center for the Book, describing public programs offered in her state and through ALA.
Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Week 1: Laying the Foundation: Trends and Community Profile
- Factors that influence programming ideas
- Benefits of knowing your community make-up
- How the media and popular interest affect demand for programs
- Using previous program evaluations and attendance to guide your choices
- Week 2: Program Planning and Partnerships
- Developing the program using library collections
- Creating partnerships to help with programming
- Formats—which room and equipment will work best?
- Targeting specific audiences
- Strategies for outreach and publicity
- Week 3: Creating a Program Series and Sources for Funding Programs
- Differences between designing a program series or single event
- Identifying funding sources and grants
- Week 4: Facilitating, Evaluating and Documenting
- Case studies from successful libraries
- Creating evaluation forms
- Facilitating a program
- Documenting programs and gathering testimonials
Time required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 3 hours per week, over a four-week period, for a total of 12 hours. You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, it is recommended that you complete each week’s assignments within that week to stay in sync with other learners
Who Should Take This Course: Anyone who is responsible for or interested in adult programming in libraries, especially programs that can be produced for free or low cost. This course addresses adult programming in libraries. Teen and children’s programs are covered in other Infopeople courses.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at
Course Start: This 4-week-long online learning course starts on Tuesday, March 9, 2010.
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