Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dude, I dunno: trepidations and success

I've been wanting to write a post for some time about the awesomeness that has become the Library Stars program, which brings all second graders in our city to tour FIELD TRIP ADVENTURE the library with a grant for buses.

But, as I've shared with my wonderful supervisor, who I look to for any semblance of what has happened before... I want to shout my love for this initiative from the rooftops but I always feel like this:

(you're gonna want to put on headphones, NSFW language)

Anyway. Yup: It's always the Best Day Ever, I have absolutely no frame of reference (library-wise) for my successes (though I damn sure know what it feels like to fail, that's the same everywhere), I have no idea what it's like to work in any other area of the library other than this one, but OHLOOK chef hats in the basement, I bet I can use those for a program that I haven't planned yet but has to do specifically with the solar system.

But: today I found a great piece of information that puts my measurable-outcomes-education-researcher brain at ease:

-According to our grant, we had hoped that 50% of all second graders returned for at least one visit by August.
-Right now, 10% of all second graders have returned at least once.
-We've only completed tours for half of all second graders. We have 5 more months to reach our goal, and in the first month we're on the right track.

What does that mean to me?
It means:
We've set up a few really cool incentives
We highlight exciting things about the library
Kids leave thinking about the next time they can come in
The intrinsic motion vs extrinsic motivation for the kids coming in is equally balanced
So far, this program is freakin successful!

I'm going to start writing about it in the next couple weeks. There's lots to talk about, like the grant writing, coordination with the schools, planning, "script" writing, implementing, return visits... phew! But, this is super cool and, if nothing else, I want to document how this all went down.

If others want to take the ideas to help with their own field trips, even better!  So much has gone into this, why reinvent the wheel? In the South the saying is, "work smarter, not harder;" that Scrooge McDuck quote was almost always used to do way less work than what was required. Now I gotta say, there's really no "way less work" way to do this... but time is another whole factor.

Now I gotta go, gotta fluff some f***ing shelves, cuz it's the BEST DAY EVER tomorrow....

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