Think BIG: Planning Large Teen Events at Your Library: Part 2 of 3

Part 2: Forming a Committee and Involving Teens

In the Part One of this series, I discussed why you should try big programming. Big programming isn’t so much a numbers game as it is an approach to program planning. However, with this approach, your programs will scale up over time. And bigger programs require more money, more planning, and more support.

Last weekend, our Teen Planning Committee and I ran a Library Comic-Con that attracted 100 people. This was a “big” program, in both planning and in numbers. We’re still learning from each experience, but I’ll walk you through our basic recipe for success. Continue reading

Think BIG: Planning Large Teen Events at Your Library: Part 1 of 3

Part 1: Why Should I Try Big Programming?

When I mention to some people that I’ve helped organize events that were not only staffed by teens, but also attended by over 100 of their peers, I get a variety of reactions: admiration, respect, but mainly people questioning my sanity. As someone who could get 6 teens in room on a good day (maybe more if there was pizza), making the jump from small, niche programs to taking a chance on planning something big required a lot of work and a big leap of faith. Now that I’ve lived to survive two large events and am in the midst of planning a third, I feel like I’m at a point where I can share what I’ve learned so perhaps you won’t end up crawling into a ball and crying when your administration suggests you “think outside the box” with your programming.

So what is big programming? “Big programming” is not a game of numbers; it is a mindset. Like most of you, I host some programs on a regular basis. We have an Anime Club, a Zombie Club, and a Minecraft program. We have a small group of devoted followers who come to these events and these programs are definitely one of my favorite parts of my job. However, these programs serve a niche audience. If 50 teens suddenly showed up to Zombie Club, I wouldn’t count it as “big,” since I would still be serving the same group.

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