I've realized that moving Make it and Take it to Tuesdays was a really good idea, at least in theory - now I have Monday afternoons to prepare all my weekly programs, post updates and reminders on facebook and the website, and generally get the week going.
Tuesday - Happily, it mostly worked out in practice. I had about 12 kids come, 2 were regular attendees last year and about 5 were 6th & 7th graders who like to hang out at the library and happened to be around, and then some new kids came. I'm hoping as people get back into the school mode that more kids will come. I consider this after school program my "building relationships" time with the kids while the Wednesdays are more connecting with parents. We made one of our favorite craft projects, the Magic of Lamination, with locker magnets while we were waiting for paint to dry. I also got all the kids to tell me what they were reading, ranging from Natasha Friend's Perfect to "I'm reading so many I can't remember" to something about an earthquake, which I think for some reason was a Kathryn Lasky book. I booktalked Sidekicks by Dan Santat and Mysteries of the Komodo Dragon by Marty Crump (the dead rats were much appreciated) and both books got checked out as well as several easy readers, picture books, and I specifically asked one girl to read Mason Dixon: Pet Disasters by Claudia Mills and tell me if I should buy the sequel. So it all went great, ended promptly at 5. And took me 45 minutes to clean up, and my aide couldn't help as we'd planned because the shelving is so insane and then I had to print more calenders, and then my director came back and I wanted to hear about the libraries she visited, and then I had to pull today's new books to put on my desk so I can put new stickers on...and by the time I walked home it was about 6:30. Oh well, I did take almost 20 minutes for lunch, so it was only a little over an 8 hour day.
Wednesday - Double program days are a bit tiring, with Preschool Interactive in the morning and Messy Art Club in the afternoon, but we had a nice group in the morning - I wasn't sure how our lace and sew project would work, but it went well, yay MaryAnn Kohl! Only two people came to do sidewalk chalk for Messy Art, but we're having a slow start b/c of school getting back in session. I hope.
Thursday - However, doing two programs on Wednesdays clears Thursday for other projects - like my new display, Book Bundles! My director saw this at some other libraries in Wisconsin and we're going to try it out. I'm keeping a list of all the titles and themes I use. I also finally put together some signs for the teen display - I'm rather pleased with them, they're little half-sheets with teasers and book lists. I uploaded them as pdfs here, and also here, if anyone wants the document so they can play with them, let me know.
Friday - it was Friday. What can I say? Had a surprisingly large number of middle school boys show up demanding books - I think the middle school teachers just announced how many books, at their lexile level of course, they have to read.
Saturday - For the past two years we've done birthday parties - babies, 1 year olds, and 2 year olds in the fall, 3s, 4s, and 5s in the spring. We had crafts, cookies, and community information. The idea was to get new people into the library. The first year we did pretty good (I say we b/c these were joint between me and Miss P. from the school district). The second year we had ok numbers, but all the same people back again. Plus, I got tired of working 2-3 Saturdays every month, especially when not many people attend Saturday programs. So starting this fall I've strictly limited myself to one "special" program a month, in addition to my 2-3 weekly programs, so I'm only working 2 Saturdays each month, one on the desk, one at a program. This month's program was Sample the Library, combined with our 110th anniversary and a book donation drive.
Meh. First, I accidentally set my alarm clock to pm instead of am, so I didn't show up early enough to get everything set up. Fortunately, one of the middle school guys I was talking to yesterday said he'd come by and help, and sure enough he showed up on his bike promptly at 9:45. so we got everything done in time. Yay! We had a table of handouts and information about the library, a table for Miss P., butterfly masks and glitter, crowns (from Miss P left over from another program) Legos, paint, and a sample of all the different formats of materials you can check out at our library, and a scavenger hunt. We had one new family, a couple regular patrons, and some middle schoolers who were thrilled with the scavenger hunt.
While patrons frequently say they want weekend programs...I don't think they really mean it, as shown by attendance! What they really want, I think, is more along the lines of "hey, we're not doing anything let's go to the library....oh cool, something is going on!"
So I'm thinking of opening our storyroom and putting out craft materials once a month, on the Saturday when I work, advertising it as "open craft day". This would be less time-consuming, and people could wander in and out as they pleased. Maybe I'll try this next year.
I would have published this earlier but I fell asleep when I got home at 1:30pm...