Tag Archives: programs

Popular Trends & How to Incorporate Them into the Library

5 Aug

Yellow_Fidget_SpinnerPopular trends happen in a blink of an eye – a book becomes popular after being a sleeper when it was published, a movie becomes the most quoted movie of the summer or a toy becomes the must-have of the holiday season. As libraries continue to fight for funding and recognition within their community , jumping onto these popular trends is a way to bring people into the library that may not normally visit. So after carefully planning your programming months in advance, how do you throw in additional programs at the last minute and still have staff time to plan an event and market the program to the community?

Although this is something I think my library needs to work on a bit more, I think that it’s important to have a basic program plan ready to go for arts, movies, technology, and other themes. By having a basic plan, you can toss in any popular trend quickly and easily. Below, are a few popular trends over the past few years and I’ve added a quick program that’s easy to offer to your patrons.

Disney Movie Sing Along
Frozen was a HUGE hit and you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing kids singing the soundtrack. Offer a movie sing along at the library, a movie license, some speakers and a projector is all you need and encourage kids to sing along to all the songs. If you want, you can add snacks and crafts (but you don’t need to!).

Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go was a crazy trend last summer that had people roaming all throughout their community with their cell phones catching Pokemon. A quick, no fuss program (that you can partner with your local Park & Rec dept.) have a Pokemon Go safari in a local park or in the community. A 30-minute walk is the perfect amount of time for young kids, plus it gets kids exercising.

Slime
I’ve made more Slime in my life than I ever though possible. A few summers ago, I made slime with 4 different camp groups, plus offered another program at the library. I swore I would never make slime again, but it’s popular now and it’s fairly easy to make, so teach the kids how to make slime and talk about non-Newtonian fluids and bam – you’ve got a STEM program.

Kindness Rocks
This is my favorite, new popular trend – painted rocks that are hidden all over the community, often with kind words or inspiring quotes painted on them. This is a super simple program, have kids bring in their own rocks or purchase some from a home improvements store. Grab some paints and paintbrushes from your supply closet and you’ve got a program. Once the rocks dry, offer a second program to spread them throughout the community or allow kids to take them home and hide them near their houses. Because honestly, who doesn’t need more kindness?!?!?

So once you’ve planned the program, how do you promote a program that was planned a week ago? Social media for one – our patrons love checking our Facebook page for upcoming events, make sure to add it to your event calendar and promote it on your website. Plus, if you another program happening before your popular trend program – promote it there! Talk it up at the check-out desk and make sure you put together an eye catching flyer and leave it at the computer desks, reference desks and circ desks.

The worst thing you can do is try to offer a popular trend program after the trend has died down. It’s important to take advantage of the trend while it’s popular, otherwise you’re just creating more work for yourself and not connecting patrons with the world they know and love. The view that libraries are antiquated and unnecessary is so prevalent and what I want my library to do is to embrace those current trends and look at the future to gauge what might become popular and be ready.

Multi-Cultural Night

2 Aug

Multiculturalism.jpgThis is one of my favorite programs we put together at our library – we’ve done this a few times. What makes it absolutely amazing is that we ask our patrons to share their culture which means we get an authentic look into a variety of cultures in just one evening. Each patron/family sets up a table with clothing, household goods, toys, food, etc. to share with attendees. We also invite local dance schools to highlight different music and dance – this year we had Mexican folk dancing and a variety of other dances including the tarantella and an old fashioned square dance.

This is a wonderful program to support the multi-cultural community we live in  and with 150 people in attendance, I think it was well worth the time and organization to bring it all together. I won’t share program photos here on my blog, but it was wonderful to see a diverse crowd of people learning and exploring new cultures in an environment that lent itself to asking questions and understanding. Because, when it comes down to it.. that’s what we all need, kindness, empathy and understanding.

Director’s Thoughts #11 – Marketing

12 Jul

directors

Our township has a quarterly publication that promotes the township departments and we usually have a little space in it. For the summer, I made sure to include the information about the summer reading program as well as where we are in our strategic planning process. I strongly believe in communication with my staff and with the public.

Then our public information officer stopped me in the hall and said that she had a little more space in the publication and asked if I wanted it.  I didn’t even stop to think and said yes, which of course meant they needed something by the end of the day. I didn’t have anything specific I wanted to share, but I knew the space was valuable.

So after a quick brainstorming session, I realized that we are continually asking how we can show people that we offer so much more than books. In fact, our unofficial tagline is “So much more than books!” With that in my mind, I created an article entitled, “We bet you didn’t know the library offers…” with a list of things that we offer that are more than the physical books on our shelves. I was super proud of the idea and our information officer was shocked by everything we can do for our community – I’d say a win-win situation!

Library Card Drive

1 Mar

library-card-driveI spent a few hours last night at our new community center talking with residents about the library and signing up residents with library cards. Many of the people I saw come through the doors were people I see in the library on a regular basis. I gave them updated an event calendar and let them know about some new programs we’re offering. Others had questions about how to update their library card and although I couldn’t update their cards on site, I let them know what they needed to bring to the library and how easy it was to update their cards. I talked to a few people about OverDrive for eBooks and audio books and also showed a lot of people Playaways and how easy they are to use.

We donated a few Playaways to the Community Center that focus on guided meditation after a suggestion of a regular library user and new community user. I’m excited to roll out this really cool partnership and hope that many people take advantage of trying out meditation.

In the end, I was able to sign up four people for library cards (which isn’t too many), but I think it is so important to remind people that we still exist and to show them everything that we have to offer them for free! I’ll be stopping by the community center again on Saturday morning to hopefully hit up another group of people!

Resource for Parents, Teachers, & Librarians: All the Wonders

18 Nov

From the All The Wonders’s website, “All The Wonders is a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways. It is an entertainment channel, a variety show, and a modern library all wrapped up into one digital home.”

If you haven’t checked it out, All the Wonders is LIVE! This new website is filled with resources for parent, teachers and librarians with not just articles, but storytime plans, videos, music, podcasts, interviews with authors and illustrators and crafts for kids.

The team that’s behind this amazing new resource includes Matthew Winner, an elementary school librarian who hosts the Let’s Get Busy podcast, that if you’re not listening to, stop everything and go do so now, along with a host of other amazing people who all believe in the importance of children’s literature including illustrators, musicians, web designers and more.

So, definitely take some time to explore this website and discover the amazing resources that it has to offer!

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