“Adulting” 101: 50+ Program Ideas for Libraries

What are “Traditional” Library Programs?

Not that long ago I wrote about #DataRescueDavis, a library program that I helped with at the UC Davis Peter J. Shields Library. I also recapped my participation in my weekly journal for my class instructor; in it, I asked “what are “traditional” library programs anyway? Do academic libraries have a “typical” set of events that they’d usually participate in, and I’m just not aware of them?” Can I come up with any unique or useful program ideas?

My professor commented:

Somehow, I don’t believe that ‘traditional’ programming for libraries exists any longer – in any type of library.

Program Ideas for Every Library

Here’s a case in point: one librarian on the ALA Think Tank group on Facebook posted about ideas for some “Adulting 101” workshops at her career college library. These workshops could work just as well at a public library, a school library (especially high school!), an academic library at a university, and perhaps even some special libraries!

Rather than comb through the comments, here are the ideas in a handy list for you to think about, adapt, and use at your library! I’ve sorted them by general category¬†and added some helpful notes.

Adulting 101

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Finance Program Ideas

  1. Tax Preparation 101: Deductions, Credits, Worksheets & More
  2. Balancing Your Checkbook
  3. Personal Finance: Credit Cards & Credit Reports
  4. Budgeting, Saving, & Spending for Major Life Events
  5. IRAs, 401Ks, & Other Retirement Plans
  6. Investing 101: Stocks, Bonds, & More
  7. Managing Your Debt Responsibly: Loans for School, Home, & Cars
  8. Financial Aid for College and Beyond: Scholarships, Grants, & Loans
  9. How to Haggle
  10. Your Insurance & You: Home, Health, Life & More

Career Success Program Ideas

  1. Human Resources 101: You’ve Landed Your First Full-Time Job… Now What?!
  2. Building a Professional Wardrobe with Staple Pieces
  3. Interview Prep: Dressing for Success (Tying a Necktie, Polishing Your Shoes, & How to Iron)
  4. Interview Etiquette & Preparedness
  5. Resume Prep: From Cover Letters to Follow-Ups
  6. Working in the Gig Economy

Home Economics Program Ideas

  1. Organizing Your Home: Room by Room Tips
  2. Tackle Your File Cabinet: Dealing with Paperwork
  3. Home Buying, Renting, & Leasing: From Researching to Signing Contracts
  4. Household Repairs and Tools: Just the Basics (Plumbing, Caulking, Hanging a Level Picture)
  5. Electrical Repairs: Your Fuse Box & Friends
  6. Raising a Garden: Indoors & Out
  7. Appliance Maintenace: Fridges, Microwaves, Washing Machines, Stoves, Lawn Mowers & More
  8. Laundry 101: Sorting, Folding & Ironing
  9. Out Damn Spot! Stain Removal
  10. Being a Conscientious Neighbor
  11. Pros & Cons of Pet Ownership/Adoption
  12. Building a Community Wherever You Are: Clubs, Volunteering, Meetups & More
  13. Hemming, Buttons, & Seam Repair

Food: Meal Prep, Cooking, Shopping & More Program Ideas

  1. Date Night Meals for Non-Cooks
  2. Healthy Meals on a Budget
  3. What the Heck is a Slow Cooker, & How Do I Use It?
  4. Saving Money on Groceries
  5. Restaurant Etiquette: How NOT to be “That Guy”

Personal Productivity Program Ideas

  1. Time Management 101: Or, How Not to Say “Yes” to Everyone and Get Stressed Out
  2. Apps & Calendars for Managing Your Time
  3. Mental Health 101: Self-Care
  4. Dealing with “Toxic” People: How to Set Boundaries
  5. Self-Defense for Everyone

Cars & Other Vehicles Program Ideas

  1. Basic Car Maintenance & Repair
  2. Bicycle Maintenance
  3. Driving Etiquette: Back to Driver’s Ed, Or, Avoiding Traffic School Responsibly

Information Literacy Program Ideas

  1. How to Avoid Scams: Online and Off
  2. Tools for Research After You Graduate: Accessing Databases & Other Resources
  3. Research 101: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era

Communication Online & Off Program Ideas

  1. Phone Etiquette
  2. Curating Your Online Presence
  3. Netiquette 101: Don’t be a Troll
  4. Email Netiquette: CC, BCC, Reply All, Signatures & More

Miscellaneous Program Ideas

  1. Civics 101: The American Voting System and You
  2. I’m a New Parent… Help!

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