I've been doing a little searching about ideas for passive programming -- where I set something up and then the program essentially runs itself. Working only 20-22 hours each week, and overseeing all youth services (babies through teens), I don't have a ton of time for active programs (though I'm getting better and my weeks are running more and more efficiently!).
A scavenger hunt seemed to be an easy place to start. I found lots of ideas online, and ended up going with a children's book themed hunt.
"*All pictures can be found on the bottom level of the
library, in places accessible to everyone while the
library is open (not in the bathrooms, club room, etc.)*
This edition of the hunt ends on November 30."
(all of our kids books are on the lower level of the library and the adult books are on the main level)
Then I hid ten pictures of common book characters! They were in easy spots like on the shelf endcaps, and in hard spots like under a table. I included the location/call number of each character, so kids could go and look up the character's name if they didn't know it already.
When the day came that the hunt was over, I removed all of the character pictures and re-designed the display.
Those who had turned in their form to the container while I wasn't around got their paper taped to the window. They could then still turn it in and receive a prize from the treasure box.
Overall I think this passive program went amazing. I had about 40 kids turn in a paper, which is huge for us. Even though it was geared toward elementary age kids, it was fun to see even the teenagers get into it just so they could get a prize. I was always willing to give hints if needed ("you're looking for number 3? she's hiding on one of the bottom shelves in non-fiction...").
I will probably do this again in the spring, maybe in April or May during our transitions from school-year to summer reading. Or maybe I'll do it throughout our Summer Reading Program. It only took a little bit of prep work, and then I got to enjoy some interactions with kids that I normally wouldn't have.
What are some of your favorite passive programs?