I have a passion for library programs. Not only do I enjoy creating and evaluating them, but I also appreciate the opportunity to work so directly with users. Your success is usually evident immediately as you can tell whether your users are enjoying the program or can simply base success on numbers. Moreover, programs allow people to see the library beyond just a place for books. Lately, I am learning the value of programs as I am seeing them from a different point of view based on my current situation. Hamilton Public Library is my current library system and I am impressed by the quantity and quality of programs HPL offers. Here are some of the issues that I am noticing:
- I am using the library as a disabled user. There are so many amazing sessions about health issues, finance, arts, book clubs, etc. They seem so great but…I cannot attend! I need someone to drive me [still cannot take the bus] so I miss out on these classes. I think the library should offer online session or videos for those us who cannot make it to the classes but still want to learn. It is probably more important for people like me to have the opportunity to learn from certain subjects [i.e.living with diabetes, boosting your immune system, etc] so I really think the library needs to find ways to reach people with disabilities. [Dear peeps at HPL, call me if you want help thinking of ideas]
- Now that my health is improving, I have started teaching classes on art and literature, which I hope will be incorporated in HPL programs in the future. I am renting rooms/space at the Central branch which a great space for the classes. I cannot go by myself so I hold the classes on days that my father is working so I can not only get a ride there but he is kind enough to help with the AV stuff. Although it is occasionally frustrating because the librarians helping with the booking do not respond on time [over 2 weeks of waiting] or require multiple e-mails, I enjoy using library books for the classes. The students use them during the class for the activities and can check them out afterward, which is good for the library
- Getting people to attend class is probably the most difficult aspect of library programs, Promoting programs is so difficult! I don’t understand it – if you are capable of attending classes, which btw are free, why don’t you?! I am always looking for ways to reaching people – this is where most of my creativity is spent. Most of my advertising is done online – kijiji, HPL website, Facebook, Hamilton Spectator, etc. I am trying to find places to reach people – ex. so trying to put up posters in Mexican restaurants for a class on Frida Kalho.