In July, Mary and I (midst our crazy-busy Summer Reading Programming time) brainstormed for quite some time regarding what we should do for library decor in August. Neither one of us wanted to go too crazy, but the front windows had been the same for two months and we were ready for a dramatic change.
The first idea was to have an Elephant and Piggie-themed front window, where they’d be doing summer activities at the start of the month, and then be ready for school halfway through. But then the whole copyright issue was a major concern. I see other schools and libraries liberally using characters, and even though I LOVE it (see previous posts as to how I feel about copyright laws killing creativity), I don’t want to intentionally break the law as it stands (if one can figure out the crazy laws – ahem). Also, we wanted something that would block the hot sun for the person sitting nearest the windows (that was one of the best parts of our Epic Picture Find). So we scrapped that idea.
And then I saw several posts on Pinterest featuring classroom doors where teachers had made really creative use of the space and made abstracted versions of beloved children’s book characters. That would totally work in our front windows while hopefully making it cool with copyright issues!
We had a blast figuring out which characters to use – we went with two classic characters, and two modern classic characters. And then Mary did an AMAZING job of making these characters come to life. She had to paint on both sides of the craft paper – and she flew through the process. Again, I can’t even begin to express how much I love having Mary as part of my team. For several weeks I had to try to patiently sit with the rolled-up characters next to my desk (I was dying to see them in their full glory).
They went up last week and they have been a ginourmous hit. We usually hear a child coming up to our building from the excited squeals outside like “CAT IN THE HAT – LOOK!!!” And then many times it continues when the come inside. There was a little girl in a tutu who had almost a Beatles-level meltdown when she recognized Pete the Cat. Even little toddlers have impressed us by grabbing a Dr. Seuss book (or two), and showing us that hey – this guy who’s in the book is also on the window. Many children have been petting Piggie as they leave.
You might be wondering who the fourth character is – and that shall remain a secret except to the people in our community. Miss Mary didn’t abstract him out enough to make me feel comfortable with him not being a copyright issue – she freakin’ nailed the character. But she did such an awesome job that it had to be used in our window.
I think that this may become an August tradition – it’s bright, cheerful, and helps to block the sun. Also, our other decor has had positive reactions from children, but not quite to this level of adoration. Maybe next year we could try and make them look like stained glass or something. We shall see.
There’s a smaller front window in our office, and she may do something with that. I’ll be sure to share it if she ends up doing it!