Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Day 2 Library Programming #blog12daysxmas

Approximately once a year each Branch Manager in our library service is required to give a brief rundown of what has happened in the branch in recent times.  A few months ago it was my turn, however rather than give the usual rundown, read from notes on a sheet of paper, I put together a brief slideshow of photos that I could have running in the background while I gave an update on my branch "then and now". It's important to note that our service recently went through a branch restructure where we now deliver programs and services in three key areas - Reading, Meeting and Learning. I developed my presentation around those three areas.


I wanted the branch to have a higher strategic focus so put together a base literacy framework to tie our children's programs in more strongly with the Children's Services Strategic Framework and the Reader Development Framework (now being redeveloped as the Reading and Literacy Framework). I also felt it was important to tie in some more learning outcomes with the programming that was already in place.  Some of the initiatives developed (that I will discuss another time) have been:

  • letter of the week;
  • book of the week;
  • baby of the month;
  • dress ups;
  • Pathways2Literacy program.
Compared with the delivery of programs in 2008-2009, when we were running 3 children's programs per week during school terms and another 2 specialty programs per month, at the end of 2010-2011 we were running 10 children's programs per week plus 5 specialty per month.  Number crunching all the statistics (yes, librarians love statistics!) shows that children's program delivery has increased by 271% and overall attendance at these programs has increased by 221%.  That's a much larger section of the community now benefiting from what we offer.


The staff and I both feel that there are many ways the community can benefit from using the library, aside from us running programs and from traditional lending services.  We've worked with many community groups so they now use the library to run their own programs.  We have at least 10 community groups using the library per week and these are all self facilitated, easing the staffing and financial load.  Some of the classes that are being run include a knitting group, patchwork group, diabetes self help group and Mandarin computer classes.

Again, when comparing figures from 2008-2009 to those from 2010-2011, holiday program attendance has increased by 105% and the branch's footprint has gone up by 12%.


This would have to be the area showing the most increase, both in program delivery and attendance.

In 2008-2009 we were offering 2 PC instruction classes a month; in 2010-2011 we were running 20 per month.  This works out to be a massive 900% increase in delivery and 1800% increase in attendance.  Classes cover seniors, tech talk, shopping online, downloading eBooks and troubleshooting technology as well as the standard Introduction to PCs 1  and 2, Introduction to email, Introduction to Word and Introduction to the Internet.

My plan is to discuss some of the initiatives I mentioned above in future posts, as well as some newer things that are now in place.

What does your library service do to encourage community engagement?


SharonU said...

What I would do to be able to run as many programs as you do from your branch - however, realistically with mainly one person branches and no program budget - we do what we can with what we have.

Two of my three branches offer regular storytime/baby bounce sessions (seems the audience this year has been more babies so baby bounce is more popular).

We have tried to offer more author visits but these have mixed success - would love to hear more about how other libraries market/run them.

Computer classes are something I know we have demand for but currently I don't have the staffing resources to offer them so we direct people to our online computer classes. Tan, do you have a staff member plan and run the classes across all branches or do you use one of your branch staff?

Tania said...

Hi Sharon

The PC classes are planned and run by my staff for my branch, although they are both now responsible for planning and delivering training across the library service for staff on eReaders and downloading eBooks.