For immediate release | February 16, 2016

Adults just wanna have fun

CHICAGO— There are a wealth of resources out there geared towards serving the needs of toddlers, school age children, young adults, and senior citizens. But something's missing. Library users in their 20s and 30s constitute one of the most underserved populations for public libraries, and there's a scarcity of guidance on how to target them. Audrey Barbakoff’s “Adults Just Wanna Have Fun: Programs for Emerging Adults,” published by ALA Editions, helps to fill that gap. A 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker who was also named one of Flavorwire’s “10 of the Coolest Librarians Alive,” she shows how to draw emerging adults to the library using a mixture of play and engagement and then keep them coming back for more. Packed with ideas that are real-world tested and approved, this fun and practical programming book

  • examines the unique needs and expectations of millennials, many of whom are already avid readers and have the potential to become a core part of the public library user base;
  • presents easily adaptable programs that are fun for a variety of groups, from “Bad Art Night” and “DIY Hot Cocoa Mix” to “Library Speed Dating” and “Homemade Spa Products”;
  • features a range of events that move the library outside and into the community, such as hosting a book club in a bar, combining books and bikes, partnering with a commercial kitchen for a cookbook group, and a book-to-action program that uses book discussions as springboards to hands-on service projects;
  • offers advice for garnering funding and support by showing how to connect programming to the library’s fundamental values; and
  • provides tips for prep, setup, and teardown, plus pointers on marketing and outreach.

Barbakoff is the adult services manager at Kitsap Regional Library in Washington State. She speaks and writes extensively on revitalizing adult programming, with a focus on emerging adults. Her articles have appeared in Library Journal, Strategic Library, and “The Library Innovation Toolkit: Ideas, Strategies, and Programs.” She has presented at ALA, the Washington Library Association conference, and in various webinars.

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Related Links

"Adults Just Wanna Have Fun: Programs for Emerging Adults"

"The Library Innovation Toolkit: Ideas, Strategies, and Programs"

"A Year of Programs for Millennials and More"


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Publishing