Last year, I wrote about how you can use conditional formatting in Excel to track important deadlines for promoting library programs. In order to ensure that I remember to send something out to the more than 14 communication channels that we routinely utilize at the William H. Hannon Library, these customized spreadsheets have been indispensable.
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When you set out to plan a new program for your library, you likely think about content first. What information will you cover? What will the program be named? What are your goals, and how will you achieve them based on your budget and resources? This is the process we have come to know as “program planning.”
Since COVID-19 struck, many libraries, like mine, have moved their author visits to virtual spaces. Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio has hosted about 50 virtual events since April, about three per week on average.
These have included major ticketed events for Hank Green, Jodi Picoult, Christopher Paolini and Connie Schultz and dozens of events for bestselling and award-winning authors such as Ibram X. Kendi, Jason Reynolds, Karin Slaughter and Meg Cabot, just to name a few.
Here are a few things I've learned in the process.
When I started as library director in the tiny town of Meservey, I never thought we would be able to pull off large-scale programs like libraries in big cities did. Those types of programs aren’t in our budget, and it’s hard enough getting good attendance at our smaller events. The payoff, I figured, probably wouldn’t be worth all of the money and time spent.
I am thrilled to admit that I was wrong, and that tiny libraries like mine can, in fact, have big events that are just as successful as a library 10 times their size.