Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holiday Library Programs

How do you feel about holiday programs in a public library setting?

I think most of us can agree that one has to examine the needs and wants of the community that the public library serves.

I'm not against the occasional, holiday program, so long as it is advertised and you still work to meet the needs of the patrons who are not your majority or consistent audience.

For example ...

I was talking with a fellow children's librarian who is new to the Mahoning County library system, but who is a former preschool teacher with many years of experience. I asked her to plan for and present a toddler and a preschool program on November 23.

(Why we planned a program the day before Thanksgiving, I'll never know ...)

Not only did we advertise a program on November 23, we didn't advertise it as a Thanksgiving program. Because of the advertising issue, I suggested to my colleague that she steer away from books and activities that mention Thanksgiving. I am aware of at least one little boy and his family who don't celebrate national holidays, and I'd hate for him to come to a program, only to feel left out.

How do you approach holiday programming in your communities?