I had a great talk with Mary Davis from the Hudson Area Joint Library yesterday. Last year, they had a disappointing turnout for the expensive performers they hired, and this year she decided to hire fewer performers and look to volunteers to provide special programs. Attendance hasn't grown, but those attending are still thrilled. What's more, she's creating connections with people in the community who have a deeper relationship with the library now. Here is a sampling of her volunteer programs, many of which seem reproducible in your town:
- A grandmother who speaks French is offering a class for K-3rd graders once a week--24 kids come once a week for class.
- Destination Imagination Teams (talk to your local school if you don't know what this great problem-solving program is) are coming in to talk about successes and challenges, along with an inventor from 3-M.
- The Rotary Club worked with Mary to put together a session about following career dreams: Rotary members are fulfilling club requirements by participating. A Physical Therapist, the Police Chief (who watched Starsky and Hutch as a kid and wanted to be a police officer ever since), and two artists are talking about their inspiration, and how they got to do their current jobs.
- Geology and Paleontology professors who live in Hudson did engaging presentations on fossils and rocks. The kids couldn't get enough of them!
Way to go Mary, for Dreaming Big about the ways your community members can engage with the kids at your library!