Show time! Really, the hard work is over. You’ve planned, practiced, and prepped. A few “day of” tips:
Be flexible. Things come up -- emergency sessions for elected officials, illness, etc. Be prepared for the possibility that one of your speakers might not be able to attend. If they were on tap to cover a specific topic, have an understudy in the wings.
Stuff happens. If there is a hiccup during the event (e.g., microphone problem, speaker’s water glass tips over), the best thing to do is acknowledge it. This makes the audience and those up on the dais more comfortable.
Have fun. There is a certain formality implied in the signing of a Declaration, but this event is really a celebration. Don’t be afraid to whoop it up!
Sample Agenda (20 minutes)
- Speaker #1: Welcome and Introduction of attending VIPs. This speaker would probably be board president, library director, principal, superintendent, or CEO. (4 minutes)
- Speaker #2: Elected official on importance of library to community, bridging digital divide, lifelong learning, etc. (4 minutes)
- Speaker #3 Local notable about how library has impacted their life (4 minutes)
- Speaker #4: Reading of the Declaration (2 minutes)
- Signing of the Declaration by scheduled VIPs (3 minutes)
- Closing remarks, including announcement of follow-up activities (see “Making the Most of your Event”), and an invitation for attendees to sign the Declaration (3 minutes)
Making the Most of your Event
Don’t just let people run out after the signing ceremony. Use this opportunity to showcase your library and strengthen your relationship with old and new supporters. Pre-assigned chaperones can guide VIPs through selected post-ceremony activities. Consider the following:
- Refreshments (Doesn’t have to be anything fancy!)
- Guided library tours
- Showcase a favorite online service or database
- Record interviews in the media lab
- Maker spaces
- E-book demos
- Student projects
- Offer a storytime by local notables
- Hand out bookmarks, buttons, balloons or other collateral materials