Friday, August 30, 2013

One-shot Programs vs. On-going Experiences

Here at the DFL we do a lot of programming - for kids, teens and adults. Now that we are re-focusing our programming energy to become a Makerspace, we are discussing the value of single, one-shot programs vs. on-going week by week or month by month programs. I think we have to do both.

In many ways, single, one-shot programs can be very satisfying. Someone comes in and gives a lecture, a performance, a workshop. Everyone enjoys it, gives great feedback and goes home.

With Dale Doughtery's challenge in mind, "If they build it (a tinkering, exploring, discovering space) they will come," we are trying to fathom how to build sustainable, interesting, patron-driven, creation opportunities.

Bookmarks Syping with YA author at Cedar Hill

The models I am leaning on are both my 15 year weekly teen discussion group, which sustains itself, 52 weeks a year - if I'm there or not,

AND, newer upstart status, Laughter Yoga co-led by me and Rose Hickey - a 1 1/2 year weekly experiment.

Natalie Goodrich, 92 years young
One of the things I have learned from this is, you have to believe in it yourself, completely. It's not about responding to patron demand - they didn't know they wanted Laughter Yoga. We exposed them to it and they embraced it.

Starting new things has to be a magical synergy of what you are interested in AND patrons' enthusiasms. One or the other can't do it alone.

Stay tuned for new insights from our exploration of Makerspaces as a new model for library service delivery....!

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