Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Focus: Summer Reading Programs

With Summer Reading Programs in the news (here and here) and the wrap-up happening in so many libraries, I thought I would talk about that. Here's my post about the READING part of it. 

The programming part is different. This summer, I had to cancel most of my programs.  The library placed a rule in effect last August where  if there were not 5 teens at a program, the program would be canceled. There were a few bigger programs mixed in with small programs like movies or craft programs from leftover supplies.

Still it hurts turning away teens. After a while, the teens became frustrated and stopping coming. And I understand why. 

The kick-off program where we made monster brownies was very well received, as was monster marshmallows, and the finale party where teens had a chance to win prizes with raffle tickets earned by reading also had a good turnout. Everything else - not so much.

I had a few passive programs that four or five teens took advantage of - and won some small gift cards. I had a mix of movies, craft programs, and food programs - mostly with a monster/zombie theme.  Most of the programs were found from pinterest and seemed fun to what gives?

Were the programs terrible?
I thought they were cool. I ran them by three teen interns during the school year and they thought they were cool too. 

Did they not know about the programs? We had a video PSA running at the schools for a least a week. I had at least a dozen kids ask me if I was that lady from the video in the first week of summer.

Were they too busy or the library not cool enough? Could be.

Could it be something else?

I'm at a loss here. Obviously next year, it's going to be revamped. I'm thinking about a kick-off and a finale program. AND THAT'S IT.  I just don't know what else to do and while I would hate not offering programs, I hate turning away teens even more.

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