305. Library Programs
Originally adopted April 2002. Current version adopted September 2016. Last revised November 2019. Next review, October 2022.
The purpose of offering public programs is to fulfill the Library’s mission, vision, goals and initiatives. Programming continues and reinforces Library services by:
- Providing information
- Encouraging curiosity and creativity
- Responding to community needs and interests
- Promoting and building social, literacy, language, information and digital skills
- Increasing knowledge and awareness of self, community and the world
- Drawing new and diverse populations to discover the Library and its offerings
- Creating opportunities to engage residents
Section 1. Programming content
The Library strives to provide a broad array of content that is of interest to a variety ages. Children’s programming focuses particularly on the development of intellectual and social skills through the use of literature, language, reading, creative activities and presentations. Teen programming focuses particularly on engaging them through literature, reading, creative activities and technology. Adult programming focuses on reading, life-long learning, cultural engagement and topical information-sharing on a wide variety of local, national and global subjects.
In general, Library programming does not duplicate other programs offered within the community, but instead works to collaborate with the organizations to support those offerings. Exceptions may be made to offer a duplicate or similar program if it is of strategic interest to the Library, there is great interest in the community and the Library has the resources to accomplish such a duplication.
Section 2. Content decisions and evaluations
When deciding on what programs to offer, Library staff will use their expertise, collections, services and available resources to determine the programming schedule. The following criteria will be used when making these decisions:
- Relevance to community needs and interests
- Cultural, historical and/or educational significance within the community
- Best vehicle in which to engage the intended target audience
- Relationship to Library services, collections, initiatives and/or exhibits
- Relationship to the co-sponsoring organization and/or other community programs, events or exhibits
- Presenter background and/or qualifications in the content area
- Presentation quality
- Availability of space
- Availability of budget, staffing and other Library resources
Section 3. Access
The Library aims to make all programs as accessible as possible to the widest number of people in the community. As such, all programs are open to all members of the public and the overwhelming majority offered will be free to those who attend. This includes programs that are in any of the Library’s facilities as well as those conducted off-site.
While scheduling programs to attract the highest number of attendance is always a goal, there are often challenges to achieving the optimum time and/or location. Thus, the Library will work with Studio 1 TV, Marshall’s community access channel, to videotape as many programs as possible (and legally or contractually allowable) for residents to view at a later date. These may be viewed on Studio 1 TV’s cable channel and online through the Library’s playlist on Studio 1 TV’s YouTube channel.
Section 4. Limits and fees
On occasion, the Library may limit the number who can attend due to space, resources or when safety or success of the program requires it. Similarly, the Library may charge a nominal fee for a program to offset the cost of supplies or other requirements for the success of the program.
At the discretion of the Director and/or the Board, the Library may also charge for a program that is offered as a fund-raising venture to benefit the Library. Further, the Director may allow the sale of books or other materials by authors or performers as part of a program.
Section 5. Co-sponsorship and collaboration
The Library will co-sponsor programs with other Plum Creek libraries, as well as governmental agencies, community organizations, and businesses when they are compatible with the Library's program goals and priorities. Co-sponsored programs shall include participation by Library staff to plan program content, provide logistical support or include information about Library collections relevant to the program. Co-sponsorship and collaboration decisions are made on the basis of mutual needs and equitable benefits between the Library and potential partners, as well as available Library resources and requirements for the success of the collaborative effort.
Collaborations that offer an ongoing series of programs shall operate under a written agreement that describes the expectations and roles of each party. The agreement will also include an estimate of costs, as well as an end or review date (not to exceed one year). The Library Director shall oversee both the negotiations and evaluations of such agreements and their outcomes.
Section 6. Customer concerns
In general, the Library strives to provide programming that covers a large spectrum of thoughts, opinions and ideas, not all of which may be acceptable or palatable to all members of the community. While Library sponsorship does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants, rarely will the Library cancel a program solely because one individual or group may find the content objectionable.
The Library does welcome expressions of opinions concerning programs the Library offers and co-sponsors, as well. Thus, if a customer has a concern with a particular program, he/she may address it to a staff member or the Director. Should a customer wish to request a review of a Library program after a conversation with staff, the customer may submit a Statement of Concern form, following the same procedure for a reconsideration of library materials.