So, it's been quite some time since I wrote about my beloved tween book club, beTWEEN the lines. This is partly because I'm incredibly far behind on program write-ups (and reviews in general - someday I hope to be much more current with posting my reviews). It's also partly because I've been sad thinking about writing this post. You see, the book club is no more. After abysmal attendance in September and October, I scheduled one more session in November and returned to our original format - we all would read the same book and discuss it. The book in question was Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming. As the meeting date approached and I saw only one name on the sign out sheet (participants signed out copies of the book), I knew it was over. When I spotted my lone attendee at a program the week before our scheduled book club meeting, I let her know that the meeting was cancelled and she could return her copy of the book the next time she came to the library. She didn't seem particularly sad to discover that we wouldn't be meeting. And so, my beloved book club went out with a whimper.
I am really sad to have let this program go, though I have seen greater success with new monthly programs. What makes me even sadder is that just a few weeks ago, we had a phone call from one of the mothers of last year's regular attendees. She wanted to know why she didn't see the club on the calendar anymore and wondered if I would start it back up again. I wish I could but, as I've said many times, in its original format it was a costly and time-consuming program that never had stellar attendance. We have had similar bad luck with teen book clubs here, so maybe it just doesn't work in our area.
I was less sad to see my Write for Your Life program go. I had only started this program because we had a lot of patron requests for it. From the beginning, I had a feeling that we wouldn't have attendance that reflected these requests. I wasn't wrong. For the November meeting, I had one attendee - the same one who had been coming to book club in the fall. We worked on character worksheets that I had found on the NaNoWriMo site for young people. With low attendance, it didn't seem worth it to keep devoting staff time to this program, so away it went. No one has asked what happened to this one.
Have you had to drop recurring programs because of poor attendance? What recurring programs actually draw a crowd for you?