Passive Programming

Passive Programming


What do we mean by passive programming?

  • Anything that is not an actual program
  • Self-directed by the patrons
  • Votes, interactive bulletin board display, hero registration cards, scavenger hunts


What has worked in the past?



Children’s passive programming

  • Duplo tables
  • Puppet stages
  • Weaving using popsicle sticks
  • Lego alphabet
  • Rubbings using textured paper
  • Tangrams
  • *avoid choking hazards
  • Nursery rhymes on Velcro (children can rearrange or put rhymes in order)
  • Collaborative Lego sculpture
    • Every time a child checked out books they received a Lego to add to the sculpture
  • Play as learning
  • Cardboard structure to encourage pretend play. (from Brentwood branch library)
    • Examples: make a lemonade stand out of cardboard and set out cups, plastic fruit, etc. Carwashes, houses, and other structures. Use those creative volunteers!
    • You can get boxes from other areas of the library or businesses
    • A good way of modeling to the parents on how to make play things on a budget
  • Using Popsicle sticks with Velcro to make different shapes, letters, and structures.
  • Using colored Popsicle sticks
  • Felt boards
  • A giant paper superhero and have patrons write heroic words on post-it notes
  • Heights of all the superheroes
  • Write heroes on post-it notes for different months: Black History month or Women’s History month (can work for all ages)
  • Di-cuts
  • Flat Stanley. Send Flat Stanley’s (or any mascot) with kids so they can take pictures
  • Color monsters and mix and match body parts
  • Doc McStuffins with doctor toys, Band-Aid stickers, x-rays, dental station, office, and waiting room station with books about going to the doctor/dentist


Teen passive programming:

  • Post it notes
  • Zen-tangles
  • Easy/not messy so no one has to police the program
  • Coloring
  • Art journal using a dictionary that is left out in the teen area
  • Black-out poetry
  • ‘guess how many’ in a jar
  • Magnetic poetry
  • Chalk board contact paper & chalk
  • Marvel/DC website has cube craft print-outs. Mix and match heads and bodies



Adult passive programming:

  • Idea box: post it notes with different experiences or working on a model together as people come and go
  • Chess boards/games/puzzles
  • Collaborative coloring sheet
  • Coupon exchange boxes
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Where have you traveled to? Put out a map and put a sticker or a postcard to show where you’ve been (all ages)



Promote passive programs

  • Social media
  • Passive programs and social media
  • A page with different pictures of passive creations
  • Save the date cards


How do you gage the popularity of a passive program and how long do you leave it out?

  • Three weeks to a month



  • Phyllis Davis on Pinterest
  • Self-Directed Teen and Children’s programs on Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s