I learned a good library work lesson the other day. A lesson about planning a program from scratch and believing it’s really something the community wants and then the day finally comes and… Nobody shows up for it. Nobody even asks about it after its over. Nobody even mentions that they had meant to come to the program. Nothing. Nothing at all!
It’s a good lesson for me. I was disappointed, but also hopeful. “Hey! Attendance can only go up from here!” I spent a lot of time over the last few months thinking and planning for this new weekly program for kids and families and it was discouraging to set it all up and then stand there for fifteen minutes before resigning myself to the fact that nobody was coming and packing all the props back up and cleaning up the room. I’ll try again this next week. Maybe with better marketing. I’d put it in all of our regular marketing things and I saw it was on the library’s website, but no go. Maybe it needs a better time than it’s scheduled for, but I was hoping to reach a slightly different audience than I get with my regular story time (although, if the families wanted to come to two different programs each week, that would be cool!)
Anyway, I think this is a good lesson for me. And maybe a good one for others, too. I think it’s really important to plan programs that your community could benefit from having available to them, but sometimes they might not take to the idea straight away. Maybe (hopefully) they will come around after a while? I am lucky in that I have a manager who is willing to let me try these kinds of things and when I sort of fall flat on my face, she is still supportive and says we’ll try again next week. I think the act of creating a weekly program and planning it and buying props and making an effort to create something that benefits a community is a good exercise. One that you hope is actually utilized by your community, but even without anyone showing up, I do feel more confident in my program-planning skills. I feel like I could do this sort of thing again. And now that I know what it feels like to create a program and market it and have nobody show up, I think I can handle that sort of experience again, too.