We are always saying that we lose patrons when they are teens and don’t see them again until they have kids of their own. While there has been a LOT of work done to change this up we still need to do more programming dedicated to young professionals and single adults.
Library Date Night has the potential to hit that sweet spot in programming. It is active enough to get people in and moving around and passive enough that people are not going to feel like they are signing up for a big commitment. It allows you to cater programming to various populations and show those populations individual value by respecting their needs and differences.
Scheduling If it were up to me I would do:
1 week straight – 1 week gay – 1 week lesbian – 1 week anything goes
NB I may very well be offending people with this. If I am I’d welcome correction here. I am going with breaking them out so that everyone can know what to expect. I am not trying to ghettoize any groups or persons.
- Games – do your standard teen board game lineup. I would not do the big complicated bookshelf games on this, just light fun quick turnover games. Family game night stuff.
- Short story discussions – I think that short story discussions are better and easier for this than a book discussion group. You can post the story itself on the library website and people can read it pretty quickly and easily without committing a huge amount of time and prep to it.
- Crafting – something that can be completed in one session and requires a very low level of entry skill. You don’t want people looking like ham handed idiots but something that they can help each other with would be charming.
- Cooking – Any kind of no cook cooking class you can offer is great. There may be cleanup issues though so plan accordingly.
Staffing – All staff should be able to work any date night. I don’t really go in for the “well that makes me uncomfortable” excuse overmuch BUT you might want to honor this because otherwise people could be judgemental jerks and ruin the vibe.
Weddings – Isn’t this the obvious hoped for conclusion to Library Date Nights? If you get one then you HAVE to honor it and let them get married in the library or at least take a bunch of pictures there.
NB This continues The One That Got Away