Programming Librarian


Publication analysis

About the publication

TitleProgramming Librarian



Purpose, objective, or mission: Programming Librarian is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office. Its mission is to “provide the resources, connections, and opportunities libraries need to fill their role as centers of cultural and civic life.”1 “ is a place for library professionals to share, learn, and be inspired to present excellent programming for their communities. Through resources, ideas, and professional development opportunities, [it] seeks to help libraries fill their role as cultural and civic hubs in their communities.”2

Target audience: Librarians in public, academic, special, and school libraries who perform programming duties officially and unofficially as part of their job responsibilities.3

Publisher: American Library Association Public Programs Office.4

Peer reviewed? No.

Type: LIS professional news.5

Medium: Online.

Content: Programming ideas, resources, and professional development opportunities.6

Frequency of publication: New content is continually posted.

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: Programming Librarian seeks success stories about library programs, with detailed descriptions, related materials and graphics, and advice for peers.7

Submission and review process: Contributors should complete a webform that describes their library program details (advance planning, budget, activities, evaluation, advice), and include any related materials (reading lists, images). Submissions chosen for publication will be publicly available on

Editorial tone: Informational.

Style guide used: No particular style guide is specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Programming Librarian presents an opportunity for LIS authors to contribute their expertise so that other professionals may build upon their work. The site aims to be a database of program ideas for libraries; and program models are presented in a standardized format. If your library has a successful or innovative program to share, Programming Librarian is a venue for doing so.9

Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Programming Librarian serves as an online resource center for the Programming Librarian Interest Group (PLIG), a Member Initiative Group of the ALA.10 PLIG membership is open to all ALA members. The PLIG Facebook group has approximately 5500 members (2016).11

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The site features programs held at libraries around the United States and also Canada.12 Program models “represent public, academic, school, and state libraries; from small towns and large urban centers; and programs for a variety of ages and interests.”13

Reader characteristics: While job titles can vary, a programming librarian is “charged with any element of planning and presenting cultural and community programs on behalf of the library,” and programming is often one of many hats that a librarian wears.14 Programming occurs in diverse settings, public and private, and librarians are invested in fulfilling cultural and civic roles through programming.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers are generally professional librarians interested in practical ideas and strategies for developing programs, so a fairly strong knowledge of LIS knowledge can be expected.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

The Programming Librarian readership seeks ways to learn from fellow libraries, browse ideas, and explore learning opportunities.15 This is a good place for LIS authors to write about programs implemented in their professional settings.

Last updated: May 14, 2016


Show 15 footnotes

  1. “About,” Programming Librarian, accessed May 14, 2016,
  2. “About.”
  3. “About.”
  4. “About.”
  5. “About.”
  6. “About.”
  7. “About.”
  8. “Submit Program Ideas,” Programming Librarian, accessed May 14, 2016,
  9. “Write/Present for Us,” Programming Librarian, accessed May 14, 2016,
  10. “Programming Librarian Interest Group (PLIG),” Programming Librarian, accessed May 14, 2016,
  11. “Programming Librarian Interest Group, Facebook, accessed May 16, 2016,
  12. “Welcome to the New Programming Librarian,” ALA Public Programs Office, last modified May 14, 2016
  13. “Welcome to the New Programming Librarian.”
  14. “About.”
  15. “Welcome to the New Programming Librarian.”
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