Beyond the Book Club: Adult Programming Extravaganza


Beyond the Book Club: Adult Programming Extravaganza was a pre-conference session at the 2016 WLA Annual Conference 

Ever wanted to hold your book group in the local pub? What about a library murder mystery? Does your library put on local concerts, dig in the dirt together, offer chocolate and coffee pairing advisory, yoga and tai chi, or cooking classes? If you are looking for ways to ramp up your adult programming, look no further! This in-depth, hands-on workshop will cover some of the most innovative, fun adult programming happening in libraries today, and you will leave with tons of great ideas and practical tips to get started with amazing programming in your library.

Audrey Barbakoff, Adult Services Manager, Kitsap Regional Library
Donna Feddern, Library Manager, Timberland Regional Library
Patty Ross, Library Director, Puyallup Public Library
Vanessa Strange, Librarian, Spokane County Library District
Corinne Wilson, Librarian, Spokane County Library District

Slide decks & handouts

Vanessa & Corinne:
Community Based Program Planning:

Outward programming for community engagement in a shift from library to community focus, it’s important to look for what your community wants  – demographics and connection.

Instead of doing a concert that is a separate event work with existing structures like the Parks and rec department.

Community based programming sheet

Best Programs from Spokane County Public Library System.:

Adult board games Pro tips: handout


Audrey Barbakoff:
Bust some Myths: Adult learning is boring and that because education is important it cannot be fun. If they think that education looks boring that is what they will want to fund.

Play is not separate from learning: You need to use hands and we learn better when we play using all the senses.

Study of STEM majors. Lecture vs active learning scored ½ letter grade higher.

Teaching through play allows for growth mindset


Language has power – Everytime that yo talk about an adult program you need to use language from your statements and organizational culture.

2009 Article in transforming our image PLA:

Make friends with failure; don’t be afraid of it and learn from it.

Evaluation matters for stats and outputs. Focus on outcomes and how it impacts the participants with  a pre and post survey. Look for that meaningful data.

Building your creative confidence  – to fear being judge, let your mind roam free. Failure is a good thing, Innovation is a process.


Donna & Patty:
Find innovative ideas outside of library land by using magazines and resources, but look at them with a library lense.

Mind Mapping: is a good online mind mapping tool


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