Saturday, February 24, 2007

Programming rhythm or making it a habit

When I first was a librarian at my place of work, we had no adult programming, we did not run collection development reports, our catalog was still in DOS and not on the internet, and we provided no reference service. Surprising?

After I made all the changes after one year it felt like a computer commercial I saw. It was in an office building where an older gentelman was showing this young woman around. She has just started working there. He told her of all the innovation and when he started there they didn't have this and they didn't have that. After the conversation, she asks him, "How long have your worked here?", to which he replies "About six months". It shows how fast our world is changing and how as a library, you need to change to keep up.

You can create patron habits through library programming. Just have a regularly scheduled program weekly, or the same time each month, and you will see the same patrons every month, reliably checking out materials, using computers, and asking reference questions. Programming gets them in the door to make them realize all the value you have to offer. It is amazing how the ritual can be acquired so quickly.

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