Our local farmers’ market is just two blocks away from the library. The turnout is usually great due to San Diego’s lovely weather and amazing produce. So as part of our outreach for LibraryYOU, I got in touch with the Downtown Business Association to see about getting a table. It was very easy since its not yet summer – the busiest time for the market.
We set up a table with LibraryYOU business cards and posters, flyers for other library events and services, and a laptop to show off our LibraryYOU videos. Then we had our photo taken and we posted it on our Facebook page to encourage our patrons to come out and say hello.
Since we weren’t selling anything, the only way to attract customers was to ask them a question. We went with “Have you been to the library recently?” If that stopped them (it did about 80% of the time), we’d follow up with “May I tell you about your new program?” And then we’d launch into a quick description about LibraryYOU.
Everyone who heard about it thought it was a great idea. It was cool to see such genuine enthusiasm from the community. We heard comments like: ”That’s a really great idea, you guys!” A couple people even admitted that they really didn’t want to stop and listen to what we had to say but they were glad they did because they were really interested in LibraryYOU.
We had two goals for this outreach event. The first was to make the public aware of the LibraryYOU project and the second was to find more contributors. I believe we did both. We gave out a lot of business cards to encourag people to check out the videos on the website, and we collected a few business cards from people who might be interested in making a video. We also made contacts with the interesting vendors in the neighboring booths (a worm farmer and a fiber artist).
If I had to change anything, I’d put something on the table that would attract people to us. We have a spinner wheel that has been used at street fairs in the past. We just didn’t have a chance to collect prizes to give out. It would also be nice to have a larger screen to show off our LibraryYOU content. Not sure when we’ll be doing an outreach event like this one again, but will definitely keep those ideas in mind.