We had a nice little program at the library tonight.  One of our local gals goes on amazing horse adventures.  She’s ridden horses in South America, Australia, Africa, and Europe.  Tonight she shared her latest exploits down in Jalisco, Mexico.  Her stories were full of local culture, history, and horses.  It was fascinating in so many ways… seeing different horses, cattle, saddles, crafts, food, entertainment, and scenery!

She spoke to only 10 of us… and I’m really sorry more people didn’t show up.  I could think of so many that would have enjoyed this program… but that seems like the way it is anymore.

Holy cow, we’ve had some awesome programs at our little library, but getting people to come is just about impossible.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a class or a talk or a re-enactment or WHATEVER…

We make posters for around town, we put it in newspapers and sometimes radio, we post on facebook… (you can go find Ten Sleep Branch Library on Facebook and *LIKE* us, just for fun!  I’m hoping to get more followers than the population of Ten Sleep – and you could help!)  Prying people back out of their homes is SOOOOOO difficult anymore.  I’ve heard tales and read about how the old timers would meet for dances and get togethers and drive hours in buggies to get there and then play games and fish and listen to music and dance and picnic… and then sleep over before heading home!  That wouldn’t happen today.

We serve refreshments (the adage that food will bring people in doesn’t work…).  We vary our topics.  Sometimes we even call people in town to extend invitations!  Soo….

Help me out here!  What cool things have you done or gone to in your community?  What would get you out the door after supper?  What tricks get people to come to your meetings?  Any recommendations at all on this subject?

It can be very frustrating trying to give to your community, when your community often acts like it could care less.


Frustrating — 12 Comments

  1. I was the President of a local club here in the Sierra Nevada foothills which was plagued with the exact same problem of apathy as you describe. Here’s what worked for us: we added more frequent Facebook posts starting as soon as we scheduled an event: the first one was a Save the Date announcement, and then follow-up posts every ten days or so. Since our experience had led us to conclude that people prefer images to even a paragraph of text, which they will ignore, most often these follow-up posts were photos because it’s really true that a picture is worth a thousand words. We would use the simplest and boldest photo to make a 8 1/2 x 11″ color poster for posting in public places. These methods worked for us, so as Cathy Orchard said “don’t give up!” because building community is a slow but very worthwhile thing to do. Good luck!

  2. I think also that it is just so easy to sit at home and watch an endless variety of TV shows that many folks get hooked on watching. Also, two parents both working with kids with activities to be taken back and forth to, wears people out and they are ready to watch a little TV or computer after their evening homework and chores are done. It is too bad. I like Susan’s suggestion of videoing the functions and advertising that those can be viewed at such and such a time, etc. That would make it easier for some to do that from home.

  3. People lack commitment. Is this because they think something better will come along? When I starting working at the library ( when was it Carol …1997?) We had very very few programs. They were rare and sporadic. The only thing I can think of is to do more outreach. If they don’t come to us should we go to them somehow? Should we partner with another organization? Should we stop it all and see if anyone even notices??! So much time is spent on the planning of these things. Is this money well spent? We can offer the programs and services…but we can’t cram it down their throats!

  4. It is because entertainment is so easy and effortless. Cell phones and Facebook has paralyzed way too many people from getting out and sharing. I have 35 miles to drive one way and did not know of these events. I will like the library on facebook and get the updates….One day we will regret that we let too many of our friends be ignored and did not take the time to learn and make new friends. I miss friends and being friendly and going to fun events where I get to meet people and learn. Don’t give up!!!

  5. Hey Carol I just went on the website and liked and commented on it. Way to go trying to keep things fun and interesting.

  6. same thing at our rescue pet fund raisers so now they serve “you know what” so it looks like that is the only way they will show up now if that is offered …. so sad – just a sign of the time I guess. would love to see your library programs as they sounds wonderful….

  7. I don’t understand this either..sounds like many of us experience this! Just last night we went to the new huge music building auditorium at Casper College for an instrumental small group concert. We had received this very nice “Single Reeds Recital” brochure in the mail. I’m sure a few hundred must have been sent out! The recital was free and represented very good musicians! In the auditorium that seats a couple thousand I counted 19! We felt sorry for those musicians! When we expressed this to the instructor who also played in the groups, he humbly said that there were other things going on. I don’t know what they might have been!

  8. My church puts on a community party. Aimed at children. Games, prizes, raffles, cake walk, food. Silent auction with great stuff. Every child wins prizes. The raffle has bikes, games, Ipads, etc. Everything is free (except the silent auction). Sad to say fewer and fewer families are showing up. We need to take a step backwards in time where folks wanted to get together.

  9. The same is happening this side if the pond. We had observed at a monthly children’s activity where parents/grandparent have to stay with their kids, that the adults enjoyed the craft activities. So after much though a two hour session for adults was set up. Five different activities, tea, coffee and cake from 1-3pm to avoid baby sitting issues and be ready for end of school at 3:15. No one came!!! For young families with both parents working life is tiring, for seniors some are involved a lot of time caring for grandkids and run out of energy. Life is just different now and as Susan says people can interact with people via social media, watch TV 24/7, why go out. Very sad. I have no answer.

  10. I am as bewildered as you. People always say how they want to get together and do picnics, movies, hikes, etc. So, you call….and nothing. I have given up on other people over the years. I even put together archery lessons (first two lessons were free). I had 16 people commit…swear that they would be there. Only 5 showed up….and 2 of those 5 were me and my husband. 🙁 I guess sitting on your butt watching TV is the only thing people want to do now-a-days.

  11. I would have loved to hear that talk! I would love to go on horse adventures!

    Trouble is nowadays we have the internet, TV, telephones, etc. and don’t have to travel miles to interact with people. We have vehicles and can and do see people outside of our families most every day. So much so, that we don’t spend the time with our families that we used to. Back in the day you had to go to community functions to see folks outside of your family. It seems like these days we see so many people that we don’t want to interact with anyone outside our families. Some families don’t even interact with each other… I think we’ve lost something precious in this modern information age.

    That being said, perhaps you could video these functions and use technology to keep the community interacting…

    Just my thoughts! ☺

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