With a few simple steps, you can increase the ripple effect your programs have in your community.
You’ve spent months planning and putting in the hard work to ensure you’re delivering a quality program for your community. Don’t stop there! Adding a few steps to your to-do list will increase your program's reach and impact.
Show off your program results on social media
Don't just advertise the date and time of the program on social media, show it off after it's over.
Let your community have a chance to be proud of the variety of events their library offers and give them something to pay attention to. If a patron's interest is piqued by a past program, they will most likely keep a closer eye on what you have to offer in the future. It's especially effective at reaching community members who may not come in to the library that often.
Create complementary online content
Put complementary content on your website, library video series, and/or podcast as often as you can. At Mount Prospect, we still have a very active blog and have used it often to complement current library events.
To complement our reading programs, we've shared the reading responses community members created; did a 50-day countdown to the end of summer reading; and shared staff reading resolutions. Other examples of refurbishing program content for the blog includes sharing books talked about at a staff program and — one of our most popular blog features — posting the questions written by staff for library book discussions.
If you host performers, you can interview them as part of a video series, article or podcast. Whenever you have a chance to film or record content from the program in a way that doesn't take away from the experience, do so! Interested individuals that couldn't make it out, or attendees that didn't take great notes, will thank you for it.
Make displays related to the program
You can find a way to create a display on any content, whether it’s read-a-likes for an author visit or information on personal finance. Since library space is limited, try to choose the programs that either need extra promotion or have enough meat to create a quality display.
If you create the display before your program, it will help equip your patrons with more information about the topic ahead of time and serve as a reminder for when the program will be.
Leave the display up a little after the program so those interested in learning more, or who were not able to attend, will have a one-stop shop.
Whenever you have the opportunity, create a handout with further resources.
As a fiction librarian, I personally try to worm in fiction whenever possible. As an example, for game nights I alternate between putting out read-a-likes for the games. This markets my library’s advisory services, shows off collections and adds unexpected polish. These handouts can easily be refurbished onto your library’s website to maximize your reach or given away on the public floor.
Following these tips will increase the ripple effect your programs have on your community. Those that came to the program and enjoyed themselves will have more ways to interact with the topic, increasing the quality of their experience. And for those who couldn’t attend — people are busy. Just because they couldn't make it to the program doesn't mean they aren't interested in the content. Coming across snippets of the program in one of these refurbished manners might not be the same as being there, but it's the next best thing.