Thanks to all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to complete the second annual library survey! For me, part of the pleasure of the summer library season is visiting a diverse range of libraries. From single small town libraries to sprawling, multi-branch urban systems, I see how libraries form the heart of communities large and small. Through EducationalPerformers.org, my goal is to make your jobs easier by providing all the information you need in one location.
In that spirit, I am sharing with you some of the highlights of this latest survey. I hope that hearing from your peers about their experiences will help you to prepare for the upcoming summer season.
In booking performers, librarians reported that they look for programs that are:
Relevant to summer reading/annual theme
Entertaining and interactive
“Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from Plato’s The Republic. The gathering of people for the sole purpose of sharing songs and stories is an important part of human tradition, and the interaction was (and is) not only entertaining, but educational. I think Plato is saying in the quote above that a storyteller or songwriter has an opportunity to help lead the listener to greatness. Or perhaps he is saying the listeners are already great just because they have the desire to listen to the story. I’m not sure. I’m probably not as smart as Plato. I do, however, love songs and stories!
Singing songs and telling stories is a form of communication that pre-dates the written word. Before people started writing their stories down on paper (or rather chiseling them in stone) and before songs were easily recorded and readily available for download and streaming, the only way to share these songs and stories was in person. There is something fundamentally human about communicating in this manner.
You may have noticed our new name.
Since most of the performers on this site also perform at schools during the school year, I thought it would make sense to expand our reach to other groups that look to hire educational entertainment.
And so LibraryPerformers.org has magically transformed into EducationalPerformers.org
Please let your area schools know about us.
Hope you are all enjoying the summer!
It’s just a couple of months until the end of school and you are busy finalizing your schedule of summer programs. Take a look at the list. Do you see a lot of creative and fun events for young children and families? Fantastic. How about for teens? If the answer is, “Not so much,” do not despair. You are not alone.
Many libraries have summer schedules that skew toward a younger audience. Thinking of ideas for teens may seem like a challenge, but does not need to be.
Successful programming for teens is more customized than programs for young children. Teens respond well to programs where they can interact with their peers and lead the action, rather than being led. Involve teens in the planning and development of your programs to make them more relevant. Include themes that are familiar to them from popular culture. Teens can benefit from more sophisticated programming that tests their critical thinking, has them thinking about future goals, and helps them solve problems. Of course they also want to have fun while doing all this!
This may seem like a tall order, but the good news is that we are here to help! Many performers on educationalperformers.org have programs geared especially for teens. For example, in James Wand’s Absolutely Fabulous Magic Class, teens are transformed into magicians as James teaches them how to perform top-secret magic tricks, using skills such as acting, storytelling, misdirection and dexterity. Kids leave the class with a wealth of new information and the tools (and materials) to put together an entire magic show for friends and family. Information on James Munton’s Absolutely Fabulous Magic Class and other innovative teen summer programs is available here.
Some of these are funny. Thought you might enjoy…
WHEN SOMEONE HAS AN OPEN DRINK AT A COMPUTER