Passive Programming

We sold my manager on all this “passive programming” for the summer, which turned out to be 50% passive, 50% semi-passive (aka Scavenger hunts).

The truly passive programming happened with our weekly challenges (think Pepsi challenge but without the taste-test).  Every other week, we would ask the kids a question, like “What’s Your Favorite Cookie?”.  There would be 4 jars on the reference desk with 4 choices – like Oreo, Chocolate Chip, Sugar, and Thumbprint, and the kids got to put a bead into whichever jar represented their favorite cookie.  After a full week, I’d tally the votes and then that Friday, we would taste-test the winner in the library.  Categories included:

  • What’s Your Favorite Cookie? (Winner:  Oreo)
  • What’s Your Favorite Ice Cream?  (Winner:  Cookies & Cream)
  • What’s Your Favorite Pie?  (Winner: Peanut Butter & Chocolate)
  • What’s Your Favorite Chip?  (Winner:  Hot Cheetos)

In the beginning, kids were a little wary of the challenges.  They wanted to know why we were asking and what was the point.  After the first week, though, they just wanted to put beads in the jar.  We tried to limit it to 1-vote per day, but some of the little ones snuck in a handful here and there I think.  Our weekly average for total number of votes was 400-500.  Adults and children both participated and would always ask the following week (and weeks later if they were on vacation) who the winner was.  We always posted the winner by Tuesday along with the date/time of the winner tasting.



3 thoughts on “Passive Programming

  1. I love passive programming! It gives everyone a chance to participate in library programs, even if they can’t make it to see the performers or other special programs.

    • Exactly. I also love that different ages/skill levels can do it at their own pace so they don’t feel like they’re slowing others down or get bored because they finish so quickly.

  2. Pingback: Semi-Passive Programming | Lessa Librarian

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