Well, it happened yesterday. And it was great!
Since it was my first program, I was a bit nervous. I mean, I’d helped with lots of programs, and I’d dreamt up a lot of ideas that other people helped execute, but this one was my first time in charge of creating, marketing, and hosting a library event.
This is a great idea, and really interesting for someone who hasn’t done a program. I would like to know more about the logistics of getting it set up, though the turn out is ultimately what matters.
Logistics. Ok, I’ll try this, but if I miss something let me know. My library has a fairly large rentable space with lots of tables and chairs. I had the facilities staff set up 3 tables with about 15 chairs to start with, and when more people came, we just added another table. I had about 6 outlets available near the table, but should have had my power strip to have more.
I stored all my food from the Costco trip on one table, and kind of rationed it throughout the day, based on demand and how many people were there. I also made sure there was always coffee. We went through about 7 pots in 7 hours.
Between prizes and food and such, I spent about $150. I donated the notebooks we used (they were old school notebooks that I’d stripped any written pages out of).
At write ins, there is generally at least someone who has been to a write in before, so there’s a certain kind of expectation of behavior (everybody does their own thing with sufficient socializing and word sprints). I incentivized the word sprints with little prizes, and had separate prizes for the kids than for the adults (some of the adults got in a half hour what my kids got all day).
Some of the regular write in folk brought cupcakes and GF cookies, because they’re awesome.
It took about 30 minutes of set up beforehand, about 30 minutes of cleanup, and I was pretty careful about monitoring the situation.
One interesting part was the MHMR patrons that came. Initially they were avoiding the perceived scrutiny of other staff members (they were talking to themselves), but one I explained that we were all writing and gave them a notebook, they stayed for quite some time, and actually became more coherent as they wrote. Eventually they created a disturbance, and sadly I had to ask them to leave, but it was definitely food for thought.
Ok, so that was probably more than you wanted to know…Sorry about that. Let me know what I missed!