Programs on a Shoestring

ImageColleen Leddy— director of Stair Public Library in Morenci, Michigan (service population: 3134) — shares her tips for creative ways to provide programs in her article Programming on a (Long, Colorful) Shoestring.

Here are some tidbits:

We no longer see ourselves as just a little rural library serving 3,134 people. Now we know we can make happen whatever we can dream up.

"One little no-cost email resulted in one of our lowest-cost, but most satisfying and well-attended, programs."

• Don’t be afraid to ask anyone you’d like to host, even if they’re famous.
• Be selfish! Don’t hesitate to plan programs that intrigue and interest you personally. At the same time you’re striving to appeal to the interests of a wide variety of your community members, you’re also being a little self-centered: planning a program is like planning a party, and you’re running the show. It’s special and fun; you want to offer your guests a good time, and you’re thinking about what they might like. But, you’re also cooking up foods you enjoy, and decorating to please your tastes—and your guests are going to love it. So, don’t hesitate to pursue program ideas for which you have a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. It will bubble over to others.
• Provide food! In addition to the meal we provided Berg, we served refreshments afterward to the audience. Find a way to provide good and special refreshments that make it worth a person’s while to attend the event. Literally, leave them with a good taste in their mouths.

Source: • Programming Librarian: Programming on a (Long, Colorful) Shoestring