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THINKING INSIDE THE BOX: Portable Programs for Public Libraries Lindsay Schluter, Youth Services Librarian Sophie Walker, Teen Services Librarian Winnipeg.

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Presentation on theme: "THINKING INSIDE THE BOX: Portable Programs for Public Libraries Lindsay Schluter, Youth Services Librarian Sophie Walker, Teen Services Librarian Winnipeg."— Presentation transcript:

1 THINKING INSIDE THE BOX: Portable Programs for Public Libraries Lindsay Schluter, Youth Services Librarian Sophie Walker, Teen Services Librarian Winnipeg Public Library

2 Family Literacy Fun Day Kits (FLFD) Teen Programs in a Box (TPIB) WPLs Portable Programming

3 o What are portable programs? o Overview of FLFD o Results of the program at WPL o Customizing the concept: Funding Station Planning Training Promotion o Impact on the community Outline

4 Ideas and instructions for programs are planned centrally Supplies purchased in advance and packed in durable plastic totes Staff book programs with central coordinators and receive program kit via librarys delivery system What are Portable Programs?

5 Minimize costs Supplies can be ordered in bulk Materials are re-used Maximize staff time Program created once, and used over and over again Benefits

6 Family Literacy Fun Day at Winnipeg Public Library

7 What is Family Literacy? Family literacy refers to the many different ways that families can work and play together while developing reading and writing skills. It is a way of improving literacy while having fun as a family.

8 Family Literacy Fun Day


10 19 Family Literacy Fun Days! 1048 Participants! By the Numbers…. Average number of participants per branch: 41 o High End: 225 participants at Louis Riel Library o Low End: 19 participants at St. Vital Library

11 Response From the Public When is the next one? We Loved it! All the activities had elements of fun and learning! We had a wonderful time! This was our first time coming to the library! A great time for family bonding!

12 Response from Staff I think it is a great idea and look forward to hosting another one. I would love to see more portable programs such as this. This is a great program and I can see it becoming more popular after every event as people become more familiar with it. We realize now that the program can be a success via drop in. There is always the uncertainty of numbers when there is no registration.

13 Its 100% Portable! This is a program that is designed to maximize the re- usability of program materials, and minimize the staff time spent planning and preparing! Family Literacy Fun Day Kit port-a-ble : moveable, convenient, handy, compact, wieldy

14 Funding o Community Foundations Toronto Community Foundation o Government Organizations Ontario Trillium Foundation Canada Post o Non-Profit Organizations ABC Life Literacy Canada Kiwanis Clubs Rotary Clubs United Way of Canada Raise-a-Reader o Businesses Indigo Books, Music & More

15 Station Planning o Public Libraries Winnipeg Public Library London Public Library Toronto Public Library o Non-Profit Organizations North West Territories Literacy Council National Adult Literacy Database ABC Life Literacy Canada o Early Childhood Education Suppliers Wintergreen Scholars Choice Invest in quality totes!

16 Training Family Literacy Fundamentals What is Family Literacy? Why is it important to foster Family Literacy skills? Logistics of Family Literacy Fun Day Scheduling Staffing Set-up Advertising Train all staff on safety procedures!

17 Promotion How Did You Hear About Family Literacy Fun Day?

18 Portable Programs Rock! The possibilities are endless!

19 Teen Programs in a Box!

20 TPIB Project: History Based on SDCL TPIB project, 2007 Simple concept: everything in the box! Consumable supplies Tools Instructions Recommended books for display Booked by branches Sent via delivery or courier to location

21 Kit Example: Bookmaking

22 Our Project Started in 2008 Team of 4 librarians, 2 research assistants Passionate about teen programming, or at least giving teens something to do Knew it would be a challenge to get everyone on board Needed funding; no wiggle room in childrens and adult programming budgets

23 Grant Application Funded by Jack Montgomery Community Outreach Grant, offered by Library Board Failed on first application, needed to rewrite and resubmit before funding was awarded Liked the level of detail and research that went into our proposal: Detailed budget with itemized lists of supplies and with estimated costs Statistics

24 Teen usage of libraries at WPL:

25 Customizing TPIB to WPL Our project: Funded by grant $5000 Budget: $3000 for kit contents $1500 for promotional materials $300 for packing/shipping $200 for resupply 1-year timeline

26 So many kit ideas… …so what do you choose? Customizing the TPIB Concept for WPL: Looked at examples of other libraries Looked at old wish list of programs Looked at our skill sets, built list of doable programs

27 Customizing TPIB for WPL And why is this a LIBRARY program? Fun for funs sake is not quite enough Must be related to our librarys collection and overall mission Repeat the mantra: the purpose of the program is the collection Helps in persuading administration, staff

28 Value Proposition Source: Library Journal, 10/1/2009, Vol. 134 Issue 16, p. 27

29 Teen Programming Value Proposition

30 Our Value Proposition Criteria: Popularity with teen audience Ease of repetition/cost of re-supply Staff effort needed to run programs Lack of similar programming in catchment area Tie-in to Library collections Tie-in to Librarys overall mission

31 Assembling the kits Purchasing and assembling wasnt easy Strategies: Pilot programs to ascertain volume Budget may need revision New supplies that need to be added Good suppliers, maximize trips Local wholesalers Retail stores (Michaels, Walmart, Home Depot) Dollar stores (Dollarama)

32 WPLs TPIB Kits Wii Gaming (2 kits) Duct Tape crafts Mini dolls/Fabric crafts Sock Puppets Bookmaking, card-making & scrapbooking Board Games Dungeons & Dragons CD Clocks Bags & Bows Wandmaking workshop Collage Art workshop Jewelry-making Zombie Makeup

33 Contents Guide Patterns, instructions & samples List of books for booktalking and display Posters, Display Boards and Handouts

34 Staff Buy-in and Participation Staff buy-in has been positive Wanted to see 100% increase in teen programming across system from 2009 to 2010 Offerings increased from 10 programs at 5 locations to 27 programs at 14 locations over the same time period Staff have been eager to book kits, even asking months in advance Part-time staff are getting involved

35 Troubleshooting Promotion Difficult to combat the If You Host It, They Will Come mentality among staff Word-of-mouth marketing remains the most essential tool for branch programs Staff need to be engaged in program or it can fail Display posters, samples at talking points Circ counters, ref deskswherever staff regularly engage teens Try, try again

36 Marketing $1500 of TPIB budget was set aside for promotional materials Half spent on Teen Summer Reading promotions, remainder used to create lasting posters for schools and libraries Advertised events on WPL teen Facebook page, YouTube

37 Sharing? Teen kits dont have to be just for teens Tools can be re-purposed for adult programming, tween events Outreach programs in schools, remote locations Teachers, community groups interested? Share the wealth (of knowledge, at least) Make guides, instructions available

38 Programming is hard, time consuming Addresses challenges that staff face: need for specialized training time to design, assemble and promote the program cost of the materials Box programs provide branch staff with everything they need to provide self- directed, high-interest programs Conclusion: Why In A Box?

39 Minimization of costs Supplies can be ordered in bulk Expensive items not duplicated Maximization of staff time Initial creation takes time Cost associated with time decreases with each repetition of same program Ease of use Benefits

40 Lindsay Schluter Sophie Walker Thanks for Listening!!

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