To possibly get more attendance in computer classes, find out when local job fairs occur and map out your classes likewise. For instance, in Wyoming on February 20th, 2013 there was a high school career fair [http://www.sweetwaterlibraries.com/news/archive.php?searchterm=2013&pagenum=2] in Sweetwater County. (Tried to get a job fair that wasn’t university-related and really only came up with the high school one, so I’m going into pretend land and making this an adult job fair.) I looked on the archived events of the county's library system [http://www.sweetwaterlibraries.com/news/archive.php?searchterm=2013&pagenum=2] and did not see any computer classes. I had to do some searching and did find some in their archived events, but no current ones that I could find when I clicked “Adult Programs” under their “Events” tab.
Preparing in advanced, they could have done the following: start with the (1) Basics of Computers, then move onto (2) Intro to Word and (3) Intermediate Word (both of these with a focus on what a patron would need to write a resume), (4) Intro to Internet, (5) and Job Searching at the Library. The librarians there could end the series with #4 if they didn't feel comfortable with #5, or persuade someone from the Unemployment Office to present on #5.
I am aware that some libraries may not offer computer classes at all or on a regular basis and Sweetwater Co., Wy. may be one of those. I used this library system because I randomly decided on Wyoming as an example.
Now comes the marketing aspect of this. I found these posts on the Programming Librarian: http://www.programminglibrarian.org/library/planning.html
. They’re good in a general way, but I’ve found them lacking in the how do I apply this aspect. Now, the Word-of-Mouth marketing does work. What it is essentially is telling people, “Hey, we have a program on X.” So how
do you do it?
A). A person comes up to you and you see they have many items on that topic or on interviewing, resume, computer help items, etc. You say to them, “I see you have a lot books on career-related items. We have quite a few programs coming up. What are interested in expanding your computer skills to get the competitive edge? Help with advanced features with Word for your resume, Internet job searching, what’s making you frustrated with the computer?” This lets them know some of the possibilities and I can take it from there. From time to time I ask if they are on our e-newsletter mailing list and tell them that they will get an earlier preview than picking up the physical copy calendar of events to get into the scoop before most people.
B.) You go out into the stacks and see a person in the job and career section, which has been decimated because most of the items are checked out. You take the calendar of events for the computer classes and say, “Hi, I saw you in this section and thought that this might help. We have computer classes on resume making coming up and you may be interested in it. It’s a very relaxed and informal session where I go over the general formatting of a resume and answer your questions specific to you.”