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  • Natalie Frost Davis

Offbeat Sources for Programming Inspiration


Many of us can feel stuck when at our desks but lit afire with inspiration at library conference. Why is that? It’s not only the good ideas shared by colleagues, it’s the environment itself. Being away from the office is sometimes the best recipe for creativity.


Even when a pandemic prevents us from physically visiting new places, we can “think outside the library” and draw inspiration from unexpected sources. Visiting the websites of community organizations & companies who “program” helps create distance from our library brains, spurring innovation & creativity.


Today I’m sharing some favorite programming resources for ideas you can adapt to your library’s needs.I’ve included links from my local area to show just how varied and interesting these non-library organization can be.


A few more notes:

It’s wise to seek inspiration from both outside and inside your community. Organizations inside your community might particularly offer insight into local needs, while ideas from further afield can add energy and originality.


Don’t hesitate to reach out to organizers for more information- I’ve found programming planners no matter the setting are a friendly bunch, eager to help if they can. It can even help open a dialogue with folks in your community who are serving similar audiences!


Drop the jargon and search for these keywords in tandem with the audience you wish to serve.


Activity

Event

Class

Calendar

Schedule

Performance

Club

Group


Senior citizen centers and retirement communities

https://www.lexingtonky.gov/recreation


Art Studios & Galleries, Craft Stores

https://artplaykids.com/book-now


Extension Agencies & 4H

https://extension.ca.uky.edu


Historic Sites, Museums, & Historic Societies

https://history.ky.gov

https://shakervillageky.org/everyday-experiences/


Science Centers

https://kysciencecenter.org/programs/

Zoos, Parks, or Nature Preserves

https://bernheim.org


And even more…

Camps or Field Trip Opportunities

Educational Standards

Local Interest Clubs

Religious “Youth Groups”

Cooking Classes

Playgroups or Homeschool Groups

Garden Clubs

Theater & Improv Groups

Craft Stores

Book Stores

Music & Movement Groups (like Musikgarten, etc).

YMCA

Gyms

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