Summer Reading is officially over. The children did very well and the library staff has worked hard to bring quality programs to the library.
However, there is something bothering me and I’m not sure how to solve the problem. As expected, teens are the hardest to get into the library. A couple of teen events this summer were cancelled because no one showed and others were poorly attended.
As for the adult programs, they, too, were poorly attended. Only eight people ‘officially’ participated in the adult program. Most of the adults attending were staff members.
The children’s programs were well attended and lots of fun with one exception: the final program at the Leeds Theater and Arts Center this past Saturday at 10 a.m. It was on everyone’s calendar and pushed and promoted constantly but to no avail.
Needless to say, it was very poorly attended. I have talked with many who said they couldn’t afford to take their children to the play in the evening because money is tight. These same people were offered the opportunity to hear the story and see some of the performance for free.
Where were these people? I would like to continue to offer this opportunity each summer but am embarrassed to ask the cast to try one more time.
What do you think, everyone? Do I continue to try to provide free quality programming or should I just give it up? Should we put programming money toward the building fund and not have any more programs? Is this a community that believes libraries are an unnecessary expense and that we are just fine where we are?
How can I best do my job to benefit this community?
— Karen Carroll, Children’s Director, Leeds Jane Culbreth Library