It’s the first day of the month and at The Maker Spot that means registration for our March events is open! Unfortunately, over the last few months, it also means it is our highest complaint day. Luckily, our complaints are about how popular our Long Arm Quilting Machine classes are and not something more serious. In response to strong community interest, we realized that it is time to communicate with all of our users about what we are doing to resolve this matter.
But first, here are some important things to know…
- Each long arm class is open for registration to 4 people (Edit: Updated on 3/31/16 to show that our Long Arm Classes now register 4 people instead of 3). The class is 3 hours long and provides each of those 4 people with the opportunity to learn by doing, not just watching a demonstration.
- We have hosted 29 long arm classes since opening in August and have trained over 85 people to use the machine. Lucy (the Long Arm) has seen over 300 hours of usage in just 7 months.
- Each long arm class is taught by 2 of our existing library staff and we have a total of 3 staff trained to teach. These staff gave up one weekend of their life (and drove to Houston) a few months ago to receive 16 hours of professional training. Even though they collectively teach all of our soft crafts classes each month, they still perform their normal library duties each day and exceed expectations in all areas of their job. All of them are stellar employees who are passionate quilters just like you.
So…What are you doing to resolve this?
- We are recruiting volunteer instructors and will assess their current skills and provide them with additional training to help teach classes.
- We are training more existing library staff with quilting knowledge to teach the classes. Luckily, we aren’t in short supply of quilters in our library!
- We are reducing our marketing efforts to zero for this particular class to abate the number of people wishing to take the class.
- We are strongly encouraging all participants who are able to register for a class to show up for the class or cancel their registration in advance if they know they aren’t able to make it so that someone else can register in their place. If there is ever a cancellation in a Long Arm class, we always send out an email to our email list. If you would like to also receive this notification you can sign up here.
We sincerely appreciate all of the attention that these classes have gotten from our community, especially since our space is so new. This issue has been on our radar, but it is not a quick fix like some other things that we have encountered, so we encourage you to be patient with us, and with all of the library staff, as we work to map out the future of our Long Arm classes.
Can you help us with one thing?
One of our stumbling blocks in knowing how many more staff to train and how many more classes to provide is the fact that we do not know how much interest is still out there for this class. If you have a quick moment, please vote below to let us know that you are still trying to get into a class. Please note, this does not register you for a class–we are merely trying to get an approximate count of people that are interested in the class that haven’t been able to register.