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Helpful Information for Meeting Minimum Public Library Standards


Each...library provides programming to address community needs, as outlined in the library’s long-range plan of service.

Where Should Libraries Provide Programming?

Library “programs help to illuminate the experiences, beliefs and values that unite us as human beings. They stimulate us to make connections where we noticed none before—between our ancestors and ourselves, between one culture and another, between the community and the individual.” (ALA Public Program Office website.)

What Are the Benefits of Programming?

Benefits to the Community

  • Connecting people with each other and essential services.
  • Delivering high-quality public education.
  • Encouraging civic engagement.
  • Providing literacy and lifelong learning opportunities.

Helpful Tip: Community members can be a great resource to develop and run new programs.

Benefits to the Library

  • Positions the library as a valuable community partner in education and establishes the library as a vital part of community life.
  • Introduces community members to the resources of the public library.
  • Attracts new library users and reaches people who would not usually come to the library.
  • Creates positive publicity for the library.
  • Promotes community involvement in the mission of the library.
  • Establishes partnerships and collaborations with community partners.
  • Increases circulation of library materials.

Best Practices for Program Planning and Scheduling

  • Know the reasons for holding a library program.
  • Review prior year programming data.
  • Establish goals and objectives for programming.
  • Know the library’s resources.
  • Plan the components of the program.
  • Seek community support for the program.
  • Publicize and promote the program both in the library and throughout the community.
  • Communicate with all library staff about preparations, registration and programming so everyone is knowledgeable about the programming at the library.
  • After Programs: send thank you notes, collect and report results, evaluate.


Additional programming guidelines developed by the Mid-Hudson Library System.

Where Can the Library Go for Help?

Consult with the library system if further assistance or advice is needed.