The Librarian’s Ultimate Guide to Coloring Programs

coloring_contest_winnersWow — your response to our 12 Tips for a Killer Coloring Program in Your Library post and contest was nothing short of astounding!

First things first — the 3 randomly chosen winners of our Upstart Color Craze Bookmarks and Mini Posters are:

Janet Good, North Branch Summit County Library, CO

Becky Woodruff, Delaware County Library System, OH

Laura Harron, Columbus Village Library, NM

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered our contest and took the time to share your experiences and plans for future coloring programs. Your ideas ran the gamut from providing coloring supplies for your staff to helping kids keep calm during the school day with some coloring downtime.

Regardless of whether you work in a school, public or college library, you’ll find tips below to get kids, teens, and adults excited about the coloring craze!

ultimate_guide_coloring_programsCheck out a few examples of how libraries are running their coloring programs below and download all the tips your colleagues shared in The Librarian’s Ultimate Guide to Coloring Programs for more inspiration.

Public Library

“We always run our program in the late winter/early spring, and we use the same theme as the Collaborative Summer Reading Program (CSLP). This year I have planned a coloring party and I’m calling it Color Yourself Calm to fit in with the CSLP theme Exercise Your Mind, Read.

During our 6-week program, we are exploring how lots of different media, including reading, storytelling, music, art, exercise and food, affect the mind, body and soul. I plan on having a local musician play classical guitar in the background while we color. I am going to diffuse relaxing essential oils and serve herbal tea. I hope to have a chocolate fountain with fruit to dip for brain and body healthy snacks.”

–Jana Kehn, Adult Services Librarian, Lied Scottsbluff Public Library, Nebraska

School Library

“I have coloring pages and pencils available in the library for students to use on a daily basis. The students who are excused from PE with injuries find it relaxing, and it takes their minds off their pain. Students visit the library before and after school, and at lunch — sometimes JUST to color! What is special is the tranquility that I see when the students are coloring and the pride they have when they’ve finished. Most of them want to take their creations home. I also have a wall where I display the coloring pages, which entices others to visit the library to view them and, hopefully, check out books! It also brightens up the room.”

–Jill Pospisil, Librarian, Adams Middle School, California

“I have a coloring center in my high school library. I change out the designs and use quarter-page designs, bookmarks, or gift tags because my kids don’t usually have enough time for a full-page activity. I keep pencils in mason jars and I keep the sharpeners in a bowl to collect the shavings. I have signs up throughout the school to invite kids to stop by and color, and I keep it near an outside window (in a school with few windows). I find that if I use book stands to hold up the blank coloring designs so that the kids see them, they are more likely to use them. Art students are designing Zentagle pictures that we are going to reproduce for the coloring center later in the year.”

–Pamela Verfaillie, Library Associate, Valdez High School, Alaska

College Library

“At our college library, we’ve had coloring as part of our De-stress for Success program for many years. We have a variety of coloring sheets, from simple to challenging, that are available to color. We also have a mural that we build each semester from squares that students color in, which we then tape to a wall in the hallway. Each semester, the mural is different, and it creates a splash of color in a space that is otherwise very plain.

We also have scented markers and crayons as part of the materials that can be used to color with, as different scents help to calm or focus concentration.”

–Jenn Medved, Librarian, Milwaukee Area Technical College-Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Read more about the Milwaukee Area Technical College De-Stress for Success program in this post: You’ll Love the 3 Ways This College Library Helps Students De-stress for Exams. And don’t forget to download The Librarian’s Ultimate Guide to Coloring Programs, a fabulous resource packed with tips and tricks from librarians across the country.


Liz Bowie

Liz Bowie

Marketing Content Manager at Demco, Inc.
Liz is the Marketing Content Manager for Demco. Her background includes editorial management and product development of innovative and time-saving tools for schools and libraries, with an emphasis on Common Core, literacy and math. The products she and her team have developed, including classroom games, learning centers and professional development resources, have garnered 46 industry awards for excellence in education. Liz is passionate about promoting literacy through her work and the work of others. If you are interested in sharing your ideas and programming tips on Demco’s Ideas and Inspiration blog or have ideas for topics you’d like to see covered, contact Liz at