The Passive Programming Playbook: 101 Ways to Get Library Customers off the Sidelines

Libraries Unlimited. May 2021. 227p. ISBN 9781440870569. pap. $55. PRO MEDIA
For those who work in libraries, “programming” tends to mean gathering people in a group to listen to a speaker or learn a new skill. In this guide, Willey (Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore) and YA librarian Amaral expand that definition to include passive programming, which describes activities that library patrons can engage in on their own. In Part 1, they explain why passive programs are good for both patrons and libraries: they’re inclusive, adaptable, and budget-friendly; they improve outreach; and many libraries will already have the necessary supplies. The section also lays out best practices, outlines types of passive programming, and recommends ways to keep track of and share important statistics to raise the library’s profile. In Part 2, Willey and Amaral group the activities into chapters around various themes and suggest strategies for offering these activities remotely. The appendix lists recommendations for supplies and where to source them.
VERDICT Packed with great ideas that require little money or staff time, this volume will appeal broadly to library program planners, particularly those on tight budgets and those who want to expand patron participation.
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