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Faces in the Crowd: Library Programs for Adults

I'd like to chat about programs for adults. Don't worry, I'm still a children's librarian! But I know it can be really hard to find great programs geared at an adult audience, so I thought I'd post some of our more successful programs for grown-ups. Most of these do not require much staff time beyond marketing efforts and picking up supplies. I didn't plan or present any of these, but if you have additional questions I will try and get answers for you.

Holiday Programs
Wreath-Making Class
One of our staff members taught patrons (class size limited to around 10) how to make Christmas wreaths. Cost was about $10 per person, and another $2ish if they wanted to make a bow, as well. I believe the most cost-effective way to obtain the greenery was to buy 3 full Christmas trees. But this is Michigan and Christmas trees are everywhere. I was shocked the first time I heard of anyone paying more than $20 for a tree! 

Cookie Exchange
Participants register ahead of time and give a copy of their recipe to the library. The librarian makes copies of each recipe for everyone. On the day of the program, they bring a dozen cookies in and try each others. We have done these with winter and autumn themes. 

The local chocolate shop presented on techniques, history, etc. of chocolate-making around Valentine's Day. 

Programs for Any Time of the Year
Antique Appraisals
This was an awesome program! Mike Gaylord, of the antiques radio show Everything Classic, came and gave free antique appraisals. He was a great sport and here all day. I have no idea what it cost to get him here, but one of the car dealers in town sponsored it. He broadcast the show from their dealership and then came straight to the library for our program. 

Ghost Hunters
A local paranormal group talked about some of their hunts. I wondered if we might get complaints about this, but we didn't. A neighboring system had someone teaching tarot cards in a branch and there was at least one letter to the editor of the local newspaper about that. 

History of Quilts
A staff member and quilter presented on different techniques and styles of quilts. If I recall correctly, local quilts from the historical society were displayed as well.

What programs for adults have been successful at your library. Please chime in and leave a comment. (If you email me, I'm the only one who will see it!)  


  1. Great ideas-thanks for sharing.

  2. One of our most successful adult programs was a couponing program, done by a local patron who was super into it. It turned into a coupon club for awhile where people would meet up to swap coupons and share money-saving tips, etc. We also do an annual soup cookoff in the winter time that's been very popular. Local music groups usually bring in a crowd, too.

  3. I agree with Abby. We had a local coupon blogger come in and ended up about 200 people. We had to move it to a church auditorium down the street. ( I didn't realize she was accepting sign-ups on her website-oops!)


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