Programming Successes:

Barbershop Quartet - $300 (Deerfield) - used Beyond the Page grant

Polka accordian show and history of Polka - all ages -  (Black Earth)

Chocolate tasting (McFarland)

Chocolate and tea tasting (Deerfield) - speaker spoke about tea - from Tea House in Madison? - she didn't want to be paid!

Jennifer Reddel (DNR) Bat program (LaValle) - she was free for LaValle's program but she may charge an honoraium

Passive programming (McFarland) - monthly theme-based quiz-o-matic or guessing game for prizes

Passive programming (Sun Prairie) - Blind date with a book using brown paper with barcodes. Put hints on the bags

Mark Moran Antique Appraisal - $400 presenter fee, or a charge for patrons as fundraiser (multiple libraries have had him)

Crafternoons (Brodhead) - once monthly


Programming Less-Successful:

Library Poker/Tub Run (Black Earth and other libraries) - had 10 participants. Want to keep trying it and maybe it will take off? Did require registration. Possible that all of the logistics made it more challenging.

Strawberry Program (Reedsburg) at start of strawberry season on a Saturday morning by Phyllis Both  - did lots of PR - only 6 showed up.

Gardening Series (McFarland) - sometimes has 40 people sometimes has nobody. Programs related to seed gardening/seed library haven't been successful yet. They require registration for ALL programs. Seems to improve attendance.

Shakespeare birthday party and fundraiser (McFarland) - only 6 attednees. Failure turned to success...received a large donation as a result.

Muslim Journey speaker "Hajj" Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca (Brodhead) - only 3 attendees


Programming Ideas:

Christmas card swap (post-holiday)

Count program participation for passive programs by number of slips collected for a drawing

Haiku contest

Spine poetry contest

Limeric contest

Build a program around a local group that meets and instead have a program of interest to them at your library

Mushroom collecting (and fairies!)

Iceage Trail speakers

Emerald Ash borer speaker (Deerfield - through Public Works municipal grant)

Book "survivor" for books that might be withdrawn - have the patrons vote on what to keep

Adult spelling bees (currently being done in Sun Prairie and libraries around Madison) as a fundraiser - Google it for different ideas. Use white boards and teams to spell by writing instead of orally.  Joke prizes such as alphabet cereal and soup; real prizes and tropies.

SCLS programming within our own libraries - market ouselves and our talents & expertise in programs?




Salamander guy

Wisconsin Society of Ornithology has a speaker's bureau

"Chicken people"

Tea lady

Chocolate tasting

Canning & preserving UW Extension

Mushroom professor

Bat lady @ DNR

Iceage Trail speaker

Mark Moran Antique Appraiser

Chad Lewis - paranormal guy

WI author Art Rathburn will visit book clubs


Grant Resources:

Beyond the Page - humanities based programming at libraries in Dane County only - $30,000 available next year

Good Idea grant - Sauk County - monthly dispersement of funds



Use Deb Haeffner whenever possible for flyers

Use bookmark advertising

Large events calendar

Multi-faceted advertising is necessary: newspaper, facebook, web, flyers posted around town and at library, word of mouth at community groups and retirement homes, board members, Friends members, e-newsletter if you have one, flyers or calendars in the bathrooms, staple flyers into newspapers, local access channel, local radio

For local access, do a powerpoint slide, save as jpeg, and send to your station (contact your Village for contact info -- the cable co. is supposed to provide a local station)


Book Clubs

Offsite clubs - senior center, books on tap, etc.

Teen club during lunch

Morning book clubs (Reedsburg) - two per week - one is lighter; one is meatier

Books and wine - no permit - BYOW after hours in meeting room (Deerfield)

Sunday night book club when library not open (Deerfield)

Display extra books you've put holds on to checkout to patrons not in book club

Snail mail club (McFarland)

Thank you card club (Mt. Horub) - leader provides note cards and stamps; people come in to write letters. She mails them too.

lunchtime Badger Book Club (DeForest) - only WI authors and books set in WI

Science Fiction Fantasy club - a second group for teens and adults (Columbus) - run by director

Romance book club (Sun Prairie) - run by the clubbers

Book club questions printed out and available with the book display (Reedsburg) - regular club is called "Titles and Tea"

Culinary Book Club - no one in our group has tried this yet but it sounds interesting

Cook Book Club /  Potluck Club

Bake brownies before programs!

Skyping or phone calls with authors during book club

Use SLIS students to lead discussions

Pass a basket of questions around to ask or answer

Something for folks to do with their hands while book discussion is going: e.g. doodling, coloring, legos, etc. Works very well for teens, too

Big Reads by library or community - e.g. Orphan Train (Mt. Horeb) - programs: Clark Kidder presentation, book dicussion, genealology class; Sun Priaire did Seed Folks and did 8 months of programs ending with the author presenting at the high school. Friends groups bought the books to give away; Reedsburg is doing Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


Themed baskets for adult summer reading prizes (Reedsburg) - baskets on display for everyone to see. Friends paid for the twelve baskets. Adults submitted punch cards for every 5 items read to enter to win a baskek. They could specify the basket they were trying to get.

Flyswatters with library logo

Dollors earned to purchase prizes in a store