Telling in rural libraries has special challenges. Space is one of them. Some libraries are so small there is literally no place for programs, so furniture is moved, shelves are often on rollers so they can also move, and children sit on the floor. Others may have no air conditioning; still others may be on the second or third floor of a building with no elevator.
I plan my programs to be flexible; I can adapt my display to the space available, adapt the stories to fit the age groups in front of me, dress so that I can stay relatively cool whatever the environment, and bring my own sound system in case the space and the audience are large. I also bring my own folding table, extension cord, bottle of water and an open mind. The less worry for the library staff, the better so I also plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early to set up and be ready to start on time.
I am willing to wait a few minutes to start because some communities just tend to be late arrivers. I watch the weather to determine the best route to the day's performance--if there's been heavy rain I might have to take a longer way around to avoid flooded areas, and if it's winter I might also have to plan to leave a lot earlier in case of snow or ice.
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.