When we initially started having a Battle of the Books Book Club (to support elementary school students participating in the Oregon Battle of the Books), we had low and inconsistent turnout for our program at the library. Part of the problem was that we were extremely limited on when we could have it at the library because we are without a good meeting space right now. After evaluating the program, I met with the principal and librarian of the elementary school, and we decided that having the club meet at the elementary school right after school would be a better service for the students. Meeting the kids where they were- in this case physically- made a huge difference in the success of the program. We went from having 0 to 4 attendees to a robust 15 to 18! This number represents over half of the kids planning to participate in a battle this year. Meeting at the elementary school enabled us to strengthen our partnership with the school district and also raised awareness of the library in general with many parents.
The picture is of a quilt we made from friendship squares that we had the students make in our first meeting. The book was Lost on the Oregon Trail. We plan to gift it to the Friends of the Library as a thank you for their support of the OBOB book club. (They purchased copies of the books we focused on so that each participant had a copy to keep.)