Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There are Zombies in the Library! Or, Programming at a Small, Liberal Arts College

Savage Chickens, "Night of the Unread"

That's right, I said zombies in the library. Humans vs. Zombies, that is. This is the second time that my library has hosted a session of HvZ, and wow was it a success. To be honest, I think I had more fun than the participants did. Everyone who helped run the event had a great time watching them run around the library, trying to shoot each other with Nerf guns, and listening to their stories about how they took out (or were taken out by) members of the other team. It went so well that I'm thinking about doing it again next semester.

So... no, I don't work at a traditional academic library (and I don't want to). Sure, we have all the things you'd expect of a college library - books and databases and study rooms and all - but our programming runs the gamut. There are things that are more academic. For example, we have a continuing series called Library Forum that serves primarily as a venue for faculty to present the work they did on sabbatical. Another example is how we hosted a traveling exhibit from The Gilder Lehrman Institute last year. Further, at the end of the month, we'll be running our 3rd Banned Books Week event. On the other hand, there are the things we do that are just for the fun of it. Humans vs. Zombies definitely fits in that category. Also, we've had a video game tournament. Looking forward, we're planning our first National Gaming Day event.

The theme that runs through all our programming is this: it reflects the interests of our community. It's how public libraries have been making programming decisions for years, and it works for them. It also works for me. I want to make sure that what we do appeals to our faculty and staff AND our students. By varying topics and approaches, and by including some events that are purely social and fun, I do just that.

How about you? What kind of programming do you do at your library?


  1. *sigh* No National Gaming Day events near me.

  2. I had 10 people show up to my NGD program, 9 couldn't see past the Wii. My newest effort is showing kids how to do jigsaw puzzles.