Outside the Box

Earlier this month, our children’s librarian was unexpectedly out of town, and so we had to cancel our baby/toddler storytime (we’re super-short-staffed right now and I couldn’t run the storytime and be at our circulation desk at the same time).  When I called all the parents, I mentioned that I’d put out the toys and put on some fun music in case they wanted to stop by anyway.

That morning, when I went back to grab the toys and shaker blocks, I was absolutely stunned to see that the used-everytime shaker blocks were kept in the most generic and covered-in-some-sort-of-advertising box I could imagine.  It was sturdy, but sad.  I had never even noticed this embarrassing box before – how long had this been going on?

I kept the box out on our back counter after the (barely-attended) non-storytime happened, and when Mary arrived an hour later, I mentioned that we really should do something with this box.  I spent most of that day finishing up my large social media display, and eventually left the Children’s Library to hang the display at our Main location.  I was gone for about an hour, and when I returned, Mary had put up the smaller social media display at Kids’ and was finishing-up her redesign of the shaker box.  My jaw dropped.

She did it with super-cheap on-hand materials: construction paper and colored masking tape.  She’d cut off the box lid flaps (that had just been shoved into the inside of the box), and used the tape to cover the lip of the box.  The way that she made it will make it easily fixable in case one of the panels gets damaged.  She took the initiative and made something fast, cheap, bright, and fun.  She’s a rockstar – of should I say boxstar (teehee)!

Update: This box lasted a little over a year with several repairs. I made a few other storage boxes like this, including our office paper recycling box. They lasted for about the same time as well. The tape tended to pull and peel away, and they eventually looked tattered, and so we moved on to using colorful plastic crates.