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Friday, December 13, 2013

Scheduling Programs

I no longer do programs at a library, but I do schedule workshops and other gatherings that I really hope people will be able to attend, so I have some understanding of the challenge it is to find the day and time of day and year that will work for the most people.

I read a thoughtful blog post about scheduling storytimes on the ALSC blog today that made me start wondering about this.  How do you decide when to hold your programs?  Do you have storytime on Wednesday mornings because you always have?  That can work really well, people get used to it and can work around it.  But what happens when attendance starts dropping off?  How do you figure out if a different time would make a difference in attendance?  What else is going on in town?

Lots of libraries in IFLS-land have changed storytimes to accommodate the 4-year-old kindergarten schedule.  Some have put more energy into outreach storytimes at daycare centers, some have tried evening storytimes with varying levels of success.  The most important take-home message here is don't be afraid to change the time if it isn't working, but be sure to do some research (informal polls at the circulation desk, finding out when the YMCA has open gym) to inform your decision!


1 comment:

  1. Our storytime schedule is a thing of complex beauty, based on when my provider is available (I borrow the school district's Parent Educator to do baby and toddler storytimes), when I'm available (around desk schedules and other programs) and averaged attendance. Preschool is definitely the hardest - it's really difficult to get 3 year olds to move from my provider's toddler storytime to my preschool storytime and while I tried once to work around the 4k schedule it was a failure - they all have different schedules and most get out at 11, then people go to lunch or naps (or back to daycare). Right now we mostly have storytimes at 10am...but that could change!

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