Library event planning
Library event planning includes book release parties, author readings and signings, poetry and open mic readings, media workshops, storytimes, community events and tutorials. Library events are vital to maintaining an active role in the community in which the library is located. Advertising of events is essential not only to promote specific events, but in the promotion of the library as an institution of community.
Book Release Parties
The advent of popular Young Adult books that have rampant followings has created an expectation for libraries and bookstores to host activity and character driven release parties. The fan following of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series, as well as Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series has allowed the promotion of specific titles toward a specific audience. The nature of adolescence allows teens to identify with characters, allows them to become attached to characters. Libraries can especially take advantage of the nature of these followings to promote literacy and advocate for increased readership.
"Harry Potter" and "Twilight" Parties
Popularity in these two franchises made for large release parties. Because they are series, and films, each subsequent release was expected to be as successful as its predecessor. As the popularity of these series spread, more readers joined the fandom, creating a snowball effect. For example, potterparties.com listed yearly all of the libraries and bookstores hosting events. This networking tool is easy and free advertising for local libraries.
The images of these events pictured on the page are from actual release parties that took place at Barnes & Noble in Worcester, MA. The enthusiasm of the staff and the community fueled these events to be successful. Advertising, marketing and promotion of these events will be discussed further in this article as an example.
Using principles from for-profit parties, non-literary and weddings can assist libraries in promoting their own parties. While budgets are always a concern in public libraries, there are numerous ways to host successful parties without large budgets. Saving decorations and creating lists of ideas that are filed and stored for later use can not only help with planning, but can save costs for future events.
Author Signings and Readings
Author signings not only promotes the library's institution, but an author's works, literacy and community outreach. Involving local schools and bookstores for author signings and readings will help libraries become a staple of a town's community.
Poetry and open Mic
Poetry and open mic events promotes community creativity. Literacy and the arts go hand in hand, and should be supported by libraries. Offering writing and art contests to students and adults alike can increase memberships and readership. Involving local music groups, writing groups, extracurricular groups will help create the library as a center for literacy and arts in the community. Offering library space to other non-profit and arts groups will also contribute to the activity of the library in the community.
Media Workshops and Tutorials
Media workshops are often offered for free to the public. Instruction can vary from basic computer skills to software to website design. Video technology, gaming and other technology tutorials are also offered when available. Pawtucket Public Library in Pawtucket, RI offers weekly basic computer classes. Lansing Public Library in Illinois offers more than just basic computer skills. They offer Facebook, library catalog searching, email, and genealogy workshops.
Bookstores and Libraries often have daily or weekly storytimes for children under five. Often storytimes are theme centered with a craft or activity.
Libraries usually host book discussion groups Book discussion club to promote community involvement in literature.
Advertising and Marketing Events
It is crucial for libraries to have an interactive website, calendar of events and community outreach. The success of library events relies upon enthusiastic promotion. The New York Public Library has a great website for advertising their computer workshops.
- Enthusiastic staff and volunteers
- Community outreach
- Willingness to network and embrace new connections