NLW 2017 – Lively Libraries

Lively Libraries - cover

250 tested ideas for lively libraries or GO, PEP, and POP!
Baeckler and Larson


Submitter: Not only is this book ancient, but it was also still on the shelf.  We are a small, rural public library.

Holly: The sample suggestion card (first image below) is fantastic. At first I thought an actual patron wrote in the book and the staff responded, but it’s just a sample (the authors’ names are in the response). Some of the ideas in the book aren’t bad. Others, like “Acquaint yourself with …various printing machines: ditto, mimeograph, electric mimeo an dstencil maker, offset press.” are horribly outdated.

Lively Libraries - Say it!

Lively Libraries - Page 25

Lively Libraries - Page 45

Lively Libraries - Go, Pep, and Pop



  1. “Sod trucks even drop sod on the highway for you to pick up and use in your turtle habitat”??? Now I can’t stop seeing librarians risking their lives on the freeway darting about picking up lumps of sod, dodging cars and causing mayhem.

  2. think bright! colorful! yellow! orange! mark spitz in the middle of a ghetto! replace your book selction policy with library-school-worshipping freaks

  3. Unfortunately, a lot of the suggestions here would never fly, these days – coffeepots, donut making, even live bird habitats. One word: ‘Insurance’.
    An online friend of mine was talking about setting up a kids’ cooking class activity for her library, a few years back – and yes, I mean actual cooking, involving a stove – but we never heard another thing after somebody reminded her to talk to the library’s insurance provider first…

  4. I do really like the semi-scornful attitude towards Hallowed Institutions such as National Library Week. Maybe this needs an update?

  5. I am not even a sports fan, but any book still circulating in 2017 that mentions Muhammad Ali in the present tense is

  6. The mentions about rummaging through the garbage are grossing me out a little. And the rug matting they found on the curb (for the use of the chicks) is kind of icky too. You don’t know what’s been on that! Or what bugs might be hiding inside. I like the idea of the bar sign and the parking meter though. : )

  7. I used this book in a small public library in the 1980s! Some of the ideas were pretty good, and they were progressive in that time. Btw, where I lived there were a lot of sod farms, and we used to stop and pick up the sod that fell off trucks to use in our yard.

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