Libraries are unique community spaces where knowledge is available to all and where young minds have the opportunity to grow. With safe, inclusive environments that foster learning and creativity and access to a vast array of resources, from books to technology, libraries can provide diverse and enriching programs for youth. 

Is your library looking to reach more youth through fun and engaging programming? Here are some strategies for how to get started creating quality youth programs.

Know Your Audience

Whatever programs you offer, you want them to be well-attended and beneficial to your community. Start by surveying your patrons to gather insights for your programming. Use the data you collect to tailor your programs to the specific needs, interests, and developmental stages of the youth in your community.

Offer a Variety of Programs

Attract a broader audience and keep things interesting by creating diverse programming. Consider STEAM workshops, high-impact tutoring or homework support groups, arts and crafts, coding classes, drama clubs, and more. Inject life skills enrichment into your programs for an added boost of social-emotional learning.

Promote Diversity and Inclusion

To ensure that your programs are inclusive and reflective of your community, choose books, activities, and themes that celebrate different cultures, abilities, and perspectives. Consider offering programs in multiple languages and providing accommodations for children with disabilities.

Partner with Local Organizations

Enhance your programs by partnering with local schools and organizations like museums, science centers, or local businesses. On top of providing valuable expertise, these outside organizations can also help with additional resources and promotional support.

Engage with Families

Connections between program staff and families is a shared feature of high-performing youth programs. Consider hosting family-oriented events, and parent workshops to support stronger family relationships. Employ youth management software with a communication app to keep families in-the-know with regular updates, photos, and announcements.

Evaluate and Access

Regularly assess the success of your programs through feedback both qualitative (surveys, open-ended questions) and quantitative (enrollment and retention, attendance rates). Use this information to strengthen programming and keep your offerings relevant. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and adapt based on what works best for your community.

Make Learning Fun

Most of all, make sure that your programs are fun! When kids are engaged, they are more likely to return and develop a lifelong love for learning. Combine educational content with fascinating activities to create memorable experiences.

Let Arly Help

With curriculum, management tools and resources, a family communication app, online registration, measurement and reporting tools, and professional development, Arly brings all the essential ingredients together so you can focus on what matters most - elevating the potential of youth. You’ve got this. We can help!