Beyond Books: Adult Library Programs for a New Era

Rowman & Littlefield. Oct. 2022. 222p. ISBN 9781538139745. $85. PRO MEDIA
Author Carson (director, LP Fisher P.L., Woodstock, New Brunswick; Yoga and Meditation at the Library) offers a guide designed to help librarians create programs for adults, an underserved library demographic. In the foreword, Carson notes that the Institute of Museum and Library Services tracks the prevalence of public library programs for children and young adults, but it does not do so for adults. While the lack of information makes it more difficult for librarians to serve adults, this practical guide helps to clear up confusion regarding adult programming. The first three chapters provide a foundation, examining the history of adult programming in libraries, considering various definitions of adulthood, and explaining how to implement programs, including a discussion of funding and legal concerns. The remaining chapters offer a range of specific program ideas, such as food and drink, arts and crafts, health and wellness, and nature and gardening. The programs are fun and creative; examples include recipe swaps, pop-up poetry readings, kite flying, and stop-motion animation. These chapters also contain advance-planning directions, required program materials, budget details, and literary tie-ins. Throughout this guide, Carson stresses community partnerships that provide numerous benefits, including helping to fill in skill-set gaps and reaching new audiences.
VERDICT An essential guide; recommended for programming librarians and library workers with all levels of experience.
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