Sunday, September 14, 2008

Open House at the local High School (PHS) was an eye-opening experience. I'm surprised that the school district doesn't auction off hall space to area organizations. If you just want to expose a product to a captive audience, high school Open Houses are a great choice. (Many thanks to our high school's excellent librarian, Ms. Will, for inviting the Parkland Community Library to participate.)

For sure, the parents are not interested - AT ALL - in getting a new library card, or learning about drug intervention or heart disease. What they want to know is how to get to Room B125 or to the Cafeteria or where they can pay Class Dues.

Still, there you are - in their faces - as they dart back and forth, following a truncated version of their teen's daily schedule. Like hawkers in subway stations at rush hour, you can hand them a flyer or a bookmark and a few of those will make it home. A small percentage of the ones that make it home will actually be used.

An information table at a school Open House is a lot like a billboard on a highway. People see it. And if they pass it often enough, it sinks in.

Open Houses are NOT the place to sign people up for Fun Runs, library cards, or Scout Troops. An organization's presence at these events should be designed to just advertise that organization's mission and availability and to give people the information they need if they WANT to sign up for a Fun Run or a library card - all with the School Districts' blessings, of course.

Just some librarian-ish thoughts.

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