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    How to do a program

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    1 : How to do a program Or more than you ever wanted to know about program planning
    2 : CHOOSING A TOPIC This is determining the WHAT FORMAL Conducting patron surveys for program ideas Using suggestions from previous program evaluations
    3 : INFORMAL Use “Suggestion Box” Brainstorm with staff; sharing ideas; ‘word of mouth’ Circulation – what’s “hot” Community activities – who’s speaking, special events, etc. Reference and library resources (Chase's, for example) Experience – what has worked well before Speaker’s bureau – what’s in demand; popular Seasonal – beach party in February, Women’s History Month, Children’s Book Week, etc.
    4 : Of course, it is difficult to CHOOSE A TOPIC without also considering
    5 : The AUDIENCE ! Deciding the WHOM AGE LEVEL(s) This is the most critical aspect because it influences choices of time, location and activities that will comprise the program CONTENT Does the topic chosen require specific cognitive skills for participants? What does a participant need to know in order to benefit?
    6 : WHOOOOOOO EXPERIENCE Has a similar program been done successfully using this topic? Who was its audience? Is that experience relative to what you want to do?
    7 : Think You’re Done ? ? ? Actually there are 2 other components that are often overlooked or forgotten in program planning as people get caught up in an idea, materials, publicity – all the GOOD stuff! It’s a bit like putting the before the
    8 : what about the W H Y Before selecting a topic or deciding on an audience, you need to ask, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?? which translates into What is it that you hope to achieve in doing this program? In other words . . .
    9 : W H Y ?
    10 : Determine where you’re going Goals should be part of a long-range plan for the library. Even so, you should set program goals, such as, To inform patrons about “x” or To increase awareness of the library and its resources or To provide an enjoyable experience in the library for young and old
    11 : Or whatever you come up with! But having goals is not enough. How will you know if you’ve reached them? If you’ve achieved what you set out to do?
    12 : O B J E C T I V E S By establishing objectives, you are able to measure the extent or degree to which you achieved the GOALS
    13 : R E M E M B E R . . . OBJECTIVES must always be MEASURABLE ! ! !
    14 : A C T I V I T I E S STAY on target as you now have a topic, identified an audience, set goals, determined how you will measure the program’s success, so what’s left?
    15 : The real FUN
    16 : HOW you are going to do all of this!!! So let’s try an example….
    17 : JANU“BEAR”Y 2005
    18 : PLANNING PROCESS Your topic is Teddy Bears Your audience is family (families) Your goals are to inform about the history of teddy bears; to promote library resources; to offer a new program to help chase the winter “blahs” and to provide an enjoyable library experience for a variety of age groups.
    19 : You will measure Janu”bear”y’s success by Attendance; it will exceed normal story time attendance by 20% Evaluation; at least 70% of the evaluations for this program will be favorable Counting the number of “History of Teddy Bears” information that are handed out
    20 : Because this is a family program, you are going to have it in the early evening. Your Friends group is going to have Teddy Bear graham cookies, Teddy Bear cut-out cookies, etc. You have arranged for a local antiques dealer to come and give a presentation about teddy bears and collecting them
    21 : You have asked “local personalities” to come and read BEAR books to the children (Little Bear, Paddington, etc.) A high school drama group is going to enact portion of a Winnie-the-Pooh story Your YA person is going to read from Philip Pullman’s THE SUBTLE KNIFE
    22 : You will have coloring sheets, handouts of the history of Teddy Bears, bookmarks to give to each participant. You will have a display of teddy bears and ask each participant to bring a “Teddy Bear” if they like You will have computer sites designated, including a teddy bear game site
    23 : And when everyone is very tired and very pleased with the whole event, you will give out an evaluation form and collect them before all the satisfied patrons leave. Tomorrow, you and your staff will have a great time going over how successful it all was and how well everything went.
    24 : How To Do A Program Isn’t so hard or bad after all LIGHTS ! CAMERA ! ACTION !
    25 : THE END (or maybe a new beginning?) Please visit our website: www.pamunkeylibrary.org/VLAPF.htm Or contact us: sbrown@pamunkeylibrary.org pfranz@pamunkeylibrary.org lgosnell@pamunkeylibrary.org October 1, 2004

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