Our library collaborated with local author Brandy Bonner  on a Saturday afternoon program on vision boarding.
Vision boards are tools — created with images or words on a cork board or poster board — that help people visualize their intentions, what they want to do or achieve. By placing your vision board where you can frequently see it, you are reminded of your intentions and subconsciously make your vision a reality.
As the author of "The Intentional Woman: The Premeditated, Precalculated, Predetermined Steps I Took To Go from Living a Nightmare to Living My Dream Life," Brandy was a great choice to lead this program. She turned it into a day of empowerment, focusing on your future and achieving your best life. She played an empowerment playlist and invited people to talk about the things they were envisioning and how they planned to start achieving them. I found the program very moving.
Brandy originally contacted us because she was interested in doing a program with us. We brainstormed and decided to do some programs on relieving holiday stress and stream them on Facebook Live. Those holiday programs went really well, so we decided to work together again on a vision board program. If you want to host a similar program, I would suggest looking into motivational speakers in your area.
Brandy prepared a talk and she also had music playing; depending on your speaker, you may have to do it yourself. Brandy brought decorations, and we had some special snacks. We find these little extra touches make a difference; we try to offer them with all of our programs at the Plaza Library to make patrons feel welcome and appreciated.
The only other thing we needed to prepare in advance was magazines. We asked our other branches to give us their discarded magazines, I brought a few from home, and we collected the magazines that normally would have gone into our library recycling bin. Depending on what you have on hand, you may have to plan that a couple of months ahead. We have since started keeping a crate so we can have magazines readily available.
Our marketing was mostly through Facebook. We created the Facebook event and graphic, and then Brandy purchased an ad.
I had never placed a Facebook ad before, but I'm now a big proponent — it is a pretty cheap way to get your message to a certain kind of audience. She got a huge response, and the event filled up in two weeks. These programs really showed us the power of social media in a big way.
This was a shoestring budget. We probably spent $20 on the whole program.
Brandy did this for us for free, which was wonderful. I think the poster board was the most expensive, and then we paid for the food at the event. If someone else was doing this besides Brandy, we probably would have spent more, but she brought in fancy food and a cake and all kinds of stuff. We bought snack mix, lemonade and the poster board. The glue sticks and such were borrowed from our children’s department.
We had to set up the tables, prepare the food and arrange the supplies on the tables. We’re lucky to have an event space with round tables that can fit eight or ten people, so we just set up six of those throughout our little area, hooked up the music to play, and that was all we had to do. The rest was Brandy leading the program.
The room was nearly full with 42 people in attendance, which was really exciting. I received feedback from Brandy after the event about how incredibly pleased she was with it. She said she was amazed by the synergy of the room — everybody working together and talking about their hopes.
The way people were interacting with each other, cheering each other on and getting up and telling their story — that kind of feedback was just invaluable. I had people say to me they would do it again.
Be really open to folks in your community. Seek out that local client or look Brandy up; I’m sure she would love to talk with other people about some of the things she’s done.
I would encourage folks to always keep their library atmospheres hopeful and open. I think this kind of library programming is exactly what libraries should be doing. I never would have thought to reach out to a motivational speaker for an event at the library, but when she came with us it fell together so well. Just reach out to people you wouldn’t normally think about, and say yes to trying new things.
About This Library
The Plaza Library is a branch of the Kansas City Public Library. The Plaza Branch has particularly strong collections in children's resources, arts and crafts books, and business materials. It also has large video, CD and audiobook collections.