5 Ways to Repurpose Your Library’s Most Popular Programs
You’ve already put in a substantial amount of work to develop programs that engage, entertain, and educate your community members. Now, consider repurposing that tried-and-true content to extend your library’s reach.
Transfer to a New Format
Share your most popular programs with new audiences by creating instructional videos based on program content and hosting them on your website. Also consider developing one- or two-page print guides that patrons can pick up at your branch and reference on their own time. For each of these new formats, summarize what patrons would have learned at your live event. Then, conclude with a plug for the in-person programs that take place at your branch.
Refine for New Audiences
While your original plan may have been to engage just one age group, if an event or program went well, consider making a few updates to extend its reach. Make sure that the tone is appropriate for a new age group, and determine if a deeper dive into the topic is appropriate for your new audience’s age level. Make those changes and you’ll be on your way to getting more value out of your already invested effort.
Here are a few programs to consider repurposing for a different age group:
- Beginner computer classes for senior citizens could be informative for elementary students as well. Similarly, job search classes for high school students could be repurposed to provide older people who are changing careers with a refresher on navigating the job market.
- Healthy eating programs could be updated to go into more detail about specific topics for each age group. For instance, focus more on kid-friendly recipes during one session and recipes that are easy to follow in a dorm kitchen in another one. Survey those who attended your original program to determine what subtopics would be of most interest, and ask your community health partners for their insights on what topics are most relevant to the different demographics in your community.
- If you host a children’s book author for storytime, invite that author back to participate in a Q&A about his or her chosen career path. High schoolers who are determining what field to pursue will be interested in the career-focused discussion.
Share on Social Media
Staying active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be difficult, especially when you have a lot of responsibilities beyond creating social media content. It’s much easier if you repurpose what you’ve already created. Simplify the content from your most popular programs into bite-sized tips that can be shared in tweets, posts, or live videos.
Take It on the Road
Do any of your programs or program activities require only a few materials? If so, consider facilitating them outside of your physical branch. For instance, you might try the following:
- Take your beginner’s music program to the senior center so residents can enjoy it and benefit from music therapy.
- Host storytimes at local play places, coffee shops, and other businesses frequented by caregivers and their small children.
- Load your e-resources onto smartphones, tablets, and other mobile technology and highlight them on-site at your next community event.
- Work with your community partners to expand your summer reading scavenger hunt. Instead of simply having patrons explore your branch, have clues point to parks, businesses, and other public places around your community.
- Offer to host your programs on-site at local schools. To build rapport with educators, learn more about their lesson plans in advance so you can be sure your program supports what students are learning in the classroom. Then, offer to either host the program yourself or provide teachers with everything that they need to run it on their own.
- Ask local businesses to host one or two of your staff for “lunch and learn” sessions in their break rooms on topics that may be of interest to them. Employees will learn something new while enjoying their brown-bag lunches, and your staff will interact with people who didn’t realize the library had more to offer than traditional print resources.
- Take your culinary resources and cooking demonstrations to the next farmers market. Dedicate space in your library’s booth to a hot plate and all of the other necessary equipment for the cooking demo, and also bring a pop-up bookshelf to hold a few cookbooks and cooking magazines that will entice people to visit your branch to explore your full collection.
- Offer your health-focused program content to local health care providers. Most hospitals already offer at least a few childbirth classes to soon-to-be parents. Approach their education coordinators with the offer to add your own health programs to their calendar. They may appreciate the opportunity to provide more valuable content to patients without having to spend resources on developing it from scratch.
If time is a concern for any of these off-site partners, offer an abridged version of your programs. At the end of the sessions, pass out promotional materials for your on-site programs and suggest that attendees who enjoyed themselves check out the full programs at their local library branch.
Swap with Another Library
When you’re networking at your next library association meeting, ask your peers if they’d be willing to swap program plans with you. Your content will have another chance to shine in a different community, and you’ll benefit from having proven content that doesn’t require as much work as developing from scratch. Keep in mind that you may be able to use some plans as is, while others will require some refining to be relevant to your unique audience.
Reach the Next Level of Engagement with Online Room and Event Management Tools
Repurposing your content is just one way that your library can save time and effort while better engaging your community. Take it one step further to enhance your staff and patrons’ program experience by investing in a robust online tool for planning and managing your events and the rooms in which you host them. In this brief selection guide, you’ll find some recognizable event registration and room reservation challenges plus a scorecard to help you determine the ideal tool for your library.