Cindy Crushes Programming: New Year Same Cindy
Goodbye 2022. Hello 2023!
I am working on finding programming that works for my community. It has been a challenge these last few years. I know some of the programs that were super popular in the past are not working, so I will let them go and try other programs. I am trying to find a lot of what works.
For me currently what works?
Crafts including Take and Makes: These always go well. I get people to come to the library. I do know I need to make fancier art for my Art Club. It depends on what the project is if that is popular but my adult and teen craft always fills up so those are both keepers. I have noticed that the craft ability of the teens in my area is higher than it used to be, so the craft can be more challenging.
Volunteer programs: Our teens need service hours and when we run a service night we always get a good number of teens. It is a no brainer to keep doing these programs.
Escape Room Virtual and in person: While the usage of our virtual escape rooms is down from its height during the beginning of the pandemic they are still getting a few hundred uses every month so we will continue using them. We also plan on bringing back in person ones this summer. I want to avoid using locks since in the past I have had many of my locks jam or break during the escape room. I am going to try to have more riddles.
Passive programs: If we get a crowd of teens I want to meet them where they are. It might be a mini craft, Homework help, bringing out board games.
What I am dropping:
Virtual Dungeons and Dragons: It worked well for a while, but now we are going to go back to doing in person. We hope teens will be able to come to the library. We are looking at ways to make it hybrid for teens who do not have a mode of transportation using discord voice.
Tabletop Game Night as a regular program: We just do not get teens coming to the library to do this at set time so we are hoping having the games in the teen room so they can play when they are in the building will help. I am also adding more games to our circulationing game collections.
Some of the virtual volunteer options: We are slimming down but keeping a few. We want to get the most value out of our virtual volunteering. We are keeping Virtual Tag since it is great for teens who are shy or have social anxiety not to be put on the spot.
What I am adding?
More Crossover ages programs: We want to build that connection with kids so we are working on ideas to build the tween/teen bridge. We are doing a Wings of Fire Program in March I am excited about.
Teen Tasters: Our teen taster program where teens sample different food and vote on their favorite was a popular pre-pandemic program and we are going to bring it back.
More Big Teen Programs: I used to do a lot of big fandom or adventure programs so we are looking at doing more live action games and survival programs. Big ticket programs!
I hope this works and we get more regular groups of teens coming again. What programs are your big hits? I really want to know. I hope 2023 will be a great year in programming for everyone.
About Cindy Shutts
Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she talks programming every 1st and 3rd Wednesday. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.
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