I am always struck by the enthusiasm of my librarian friends and their passion for providing the best family programming possible. I really get a kick out of seeing the libraries full of families and children having fun, making use of the services, and enjoying live entertainment! I know they are not there by accident, but because of a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of library staff.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete this survey. I know that you all have busy summer schedules and I appreciate your time. The information you all provided will help me to improve the libraryperformers.com site so that it can be your one-stop resource for summer planning.
I thought it would be helpful to provide a summary of the responses I received. This should prove useful for both libraries and performers alike.
Overall, librarians were positive about the performers who came to their libraries. Several echoed the sentiments of one respondent, who said, “I got lucky this year. Everyone was awesome!” As one librarian noted, “I think about how the kids will react to the performer. We want lots of excitement and interaction.”
Several emphasized the importance of being able to interact well with children. This includes being able to hold their attention and maintain order without losing one’s temper. Another commented, “We had one performer yell at the kids the whole time–we never had them come back out.”
Lack of professionalism was another criticism. This includes performers who are late, disorganized, uncommunicative—in the words of one respondent, “performers who do not handle the business side well.”
Librarians especially appreciate shows that are:
- Educational, with a positive message
- Relevant to libraries and reading
- Appealing to different age groups
Understandably, budgets varied widely. Some libraries spend no money on summer programs and rely on community volunteers and their own in-house programs.
The most expensive program was $1,000, with an average of $275 spent on each program. Libraries averaged between 5 and 8 paid performances each summer, with some of the larger libraries booking as many as 13-15.
About 15 percent of libraries had heard of the libraryperformers.com site and had booked programs through it. Others, who had not heard of the site, commented that they see the potential for it to be a great resource and will use it going forward.
One responded, “Your website has the potential to be a go-to source for local librarians; glad to see you’re growing it.”
That is my goal, and your honest feedback is very valuable in helping design a site that meets your needs. Thanks again!
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