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Cultural Programming for Libraries: Linking Libraries, Communities, and Culture
Deborah A. Robertson
Item Number: 978-0-8389-3551-4
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $46.00
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120 pages
8.5" x 11"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-3551-4
Year Published: 2005
For a library to fulfill its mission to provide community engagement and cultural dialogue, then diverse, excellent cultural programming is the key. In Cultural Programming for Libraries, the director of ALA’s Public Programs Office shares time-tested strategies and practical, inspiring samples from first-rate programs across the country. Librarians, staff, and volunteers will find the practical how-to for creating comprehensive cultural program series—from planning to funding to promoting. This authoritative resource outlines all the steps to:
  • Assess current community needs
  • Set goals and establish measurable outcomes
  • Develop winning partnerships that result in high quality, well-attended programs
  • Highlight and drive the use of collections
  • Gain community support and visibility through programming
  • Enhance your library’s role as cultural center based on successful models

Eleven “five-star” programs highlight outstanding events for varying audience sizes and price points to help customize your own library’s effort. Marketing and promotional samples also inspire creativity in every chapter to help advance your library as a community cultural hub. Programming advocates in libraries of any size or type can use this authoritative resource to enhance skills, increase effectiveness, and expand their creative vision for promoting winning cultural programs.

A portion of the proceeds of this book benefits the Cultural Communities Fund ( in response to a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Making the Case for Cultural Programming

Chapter 2: Planning: From Goals to Evaluation and Back Again

Chapter 3: Building Participation: Developing Audiences and Interactive Engagement

Chapter 4: Collaboration

Chapter 5: Series, Formats, Themes, and Tie-ins: Putting the Pieces Together

Chapter 6: The Talent and Showtime

Chapter 7: Funding for Cultural Programs

Chapter 8: Marketing and PR for Programming

Chapter 9: Conclusion

Appendix: Five Star Program Series



About the Author
Deborah A. Robertson is Director, Public Programs Office of the American Library Association. She established the Public Programs Office in 1990; its audience has grown to an estimated 10 million participants. Robertson has created more than 20 nationwide programs and initiatives, including traveling exhibitions, reading and discussion program series, and literary and cultural programming. She has served as an advisor on library projects to such organizations as the Smithsonian Institution, PBS, the Poetry Foundation YMCA National Writers’ Voice, and Brown University. She is a popular ALA speaker at national, division and state library association conferences. Robertson holds a B.A. from University of Michigan and received her MLS from the University of lllinois. She would like to thank Susan Brandehoff, Mary Davis Fournier, and Laura Hayes for their assistance.


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