A few Outreach Opportunities that Serve YAs
Outreach opportunities are everywhere you look.
- A booth at the mall (or local shopping center) can be
very effective in reaching any non-user, not just YAs, especially if
you can find a way to register people for library cards in addition to simply
providing brochures and visual aids. One way to accomplish remote
registration is to have interested persons fill out the registration form,
showing proper ID if they have it, and asking that they show ID the first time
they wish to use their card if they don’t. Give them a card and record/assign
the number on their registration form. Take the forms back to the library and
enter them into the system. If you find someone, already has a card or has
fines, block the card with a special note. Decide how you would like the case
to be handled once the patron visits with his/her new card for the first
time. In order for this process to be most effective, make sure you find a
method that feels comfortable and works best for you and your board.
- Deposit collections at detention centers, schools or
classrooms for teen parents, recreation centers, or any other youth serving
organization where you might find underserved or non-user populations of YAs. Try gathering interesting and various materials to ensure something
for every taste in the library community. If your budget cannot support
special purchases, use donations, existing duplicates, or try some of the
books you are pulling off the shelves to make room for new titles.
- Co-sponsor an author visit with a local bookstore, school or other
organization. The YA author could spend the day in
town: visit the local middle or high school for a talk, then take some time in
the evening to guide a writing workshop or poetry slam at the library.
- Work with your local theatre to co-host a
book-into-movie discussion. The library could feature a specific title,
promoting an upcoming discussion and movie showing at the theatre. For
example, the chosen book is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The
theatre arranges for the feature film starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire
Daines and puts a poster up for an upcoming book discussion and film showing
that reads, “get your copy at the library.” The library makes sure to have
multiple copies on hand and promotes the event in-house. Library staff is
on-hand at the theatre to conduct the discussion followed by film showing.
This is also an example of partnership as mentioned in another section.
- Outreach opportunities present themselves when you least
expect it. If staff is available, even last-minute outreach should be
accommodated. It is crucial to a library’s overall mission - serving the
underserved. For example, the local Boys and Girls Club or 4-H might call and
mention how nice it would be if the library could be present at their upcoming
annual event. Do remember however, you need not wait for them to call you;
you can initiate a call suggesting library presence after reading an article
about the event in the local newspaper.
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