Fall programming

August 8th, 2006 by cathy

I’ve been having problems with story times. For some reason, no one’s been coming. I don’t think I’m awful. I know I’m not the best, but I don’t think that’s a reason for no one to show up. I try my darndest! Maybe I should have a pro come in and critique my story time to give me tips.

Anyway, I do all this preparation to get a theme together, find coloring pages, create finger people, get myself all worked up and then… only five people will show up! Last spring I did two 3 – 5 year old story times and two 1 – 2 year old story times. Only one kid showed up to one of the 3 – 5 year old story times and I think I basically cancelled one of the 1 – 2 year old ones. Then people get mad because I don’t have enough story times! What can I do? I’m only one person doing the work of two (or sometimes 3 – 4) people! I love my job, but I can never seem to make people happy. I even put out surveys and put them on the kids blog, but even then only five people have filled them out, even though they’re only four questions long, and its just a check the box kind of survey. Jeeze!
This fall I decided to cut one of the 1 – 2 year old story times and I made one of the 3 – 5 year old ones an evening drop in story time. I guess we’ll just see how many kids show up.

I’ve added new programs and made some existing programs available to more age groups. We now have a drawing group and a permanant yugioh group. I hope that if I do a lot of regular programs instead of merely special programs that the kids will know to be at the library at a certain time and I can get to know more of the kids. We shall see.

2 Responses to “Fall programming”

  1. Adrienne Says:

    As long as I’ve been a librarian, I swear that programming is that thing that never gets easier. Something works one time and not another. People say they want something and then they don’t come. People sign up and then they don’t come, and then people who didn’t sign up show up at the last minute.

    It’s seriously enough to make you want to give it all up sometimes.

    I get nuts about the way we always lose storytime kids through a season. We always start out with something like 30-35 kids each week, but then it always dwindles down to more like 25-30 each week. It’s hard not to take it personally, but I feel better because it happens to both Jason and I. But still. Why don’t they come back? Do they hate me? Part of me would like to try to find out, and then part of me doesn’t want to know.

    Your ideas are good, though, consolidating and trying a new timeslot. We have our best luck with family programs where we encourage parents and all the kids to attend. They’re the hardest to plan for, though, because you have all these different ages and ability levels. A lot of times Jason and I do these kinds of programs together so we can sort of swap off during storytime — so he does something, then I do something, then he does something, etc…. Keeps things snappy. Of course, I’m doing two Teddy Bear Picnic with Corduroy programs in September without him, so I’m wondering how that’s going to go. I imagine I’ll be missing him and that magic guitar. 😉

    Anyway, I guess I don’t really have answers, but I feel your pain. It was harder when I was at Maplewood, and it was just me running everything. We are really, really fortunate in Webster because there are the two of us.

  2. cathythelibrarian Says:

    I really want to try a teddy bear picnic sometime. I think that would be a lot of fun.
    I’ve decided that I’m going to spend most of my budget on pizza and just pray that the kids come. Most of my programs will be ones that require very little preparation and very little money, so that I don’t feel bad when no one shows up.