Last year I started seriously pursuing outreach to the schools in my area, which led to many class visits, increases in program attendance, library visits, and a better relationship with the community. I really feel like these visits made a big difference in our numbers over the summer. It was an almost daily occurrence that kids would mention they’d been to the library with their class or I’d come to their class.
The biggest problem I had last spring was scheduling the different visits. I had a larger response than I’d anticipated and had a very difficult time finding a way to fit everyone in, while still providing coverage at the branch. It became even more difficult when we lost a part-time staff member so I could leave even less.
I’ve promised my boss to resolve this issue so I can continue to reach out to the schools while still providing coverage and not having as much drama over trying move the schedule to fit in a visit. My solution is a schedule sent out with my back-to-school letter to the teachers. Hopefully that will make it easier all around. I’m pretty sure it will decrease the amount of visits, but lessen the drama.
Right now the only times I can regularly be away from the branch or have classes visit are Tuesdays after 12:30 til school gets out and Wednesday mornings from 9 am until school gets out. Unfortunately Wednesdays are early release day and most teachers don’t like to schedule visits on the abbreviated day. There are a few Friday mornings I can go, but not regularly. I also have to figure out how to work around staff vacations.
Already I have two grades in two different schools that want to set up once a month visits, but I need to figure out how that will work with the different vacations. I also need to figure out how to communicate my willingness/excitement to visit or have them visit, while still saying I am only available at these times.