I’m trying something new in programming this month at the library: a paid performer on a weekday morning. This month is rare in the town in which I work – there is no early release day from the public schools in May. Normally, I schedule most of our paid performers to come on early release days, since after experimenting with Thursday evening shows and Saturday shows I have found that the best attendance for events is on early release day shows. (And, of course, magic shows always get the best attendance of all, much to my sadness, but that’s a post for another day.)
When the May early release day was cancelled back in December, I was first very glad that I had not yet scheduled a performer, and then I had to decide what to do for May programming. I toyed with the idea of having no performer at all, but that didn’t feel right to me. Then I thought about scheduling a Saturday show, but quickly decided against that given the weak attendance at the very cool Saturday program we hosted in January. January is an indoor month in town, where May is full of outdoor sports programs and the Apple Blossom Festival and the Garden Club Plant Sale and all kinds of other things. Not worth me bringing a performer to the library on a May Saturday.
Then I decided to try a weekday morning performer who specializes in working with preschoolers and infants. We do not have storytimes on Tuesday mornings, so that seemed the natural time to run a show. And, even better, the Memorial Day holiday means that my Monday morning storytime regulars would be happy to have a Tuesday morning program to make up for their missed regular storytime. And I’ve been wanting to bring Hugh Hanley back to the library, since I love the gentle way that he encourages parents and children to sing and do fingerplays. And I always learn from him: watching Hugh is like attending a master class in working with preschoolers.
Happily, we have a large group signed up to attend on Tuesday, and I suspect that even more attendees will drop in, which is just fine by me. The more the merrier! After all the mental machinations (and agony) that it took to get me to this decision of having a morning program, I’m thrilled that it turns out there is a demand. This may be the beginning of a new programming trend at the library, budget allowing, of course. How awesome would it be to have an early release day program each month for the older kids and a Tuesday morning program each month for the younger ones?