I began writing about all that we did in February, and even though overall things were easy, as I wrote I realized that we did a heck of a lot. As the post stretched on, I realized that for both my sanity and yours, I should break it down into several posts. And so I shall. You’re welcome.
I have a confession to make: I had no clue that February was deemed Library Lovers Month. That was news to me when a lovely library-lady (you know who you are) said, “Oh, you’re celebrating Library Lovers Month!” And I was like, “Whaaaa…aaaaaa…a?” I guess that I’ve been unintentionally celebrating it for three years now.
My thinking about February went something like this: Valentine’s Day is mid-month. Our Children’s Library’s birthday is near the end of the month. We can combine the two and make decorating easier and even throw in some advocacy! I don’t like repeating themes, but this is one that makes too much sense and is relatively easy to execute.
Anywho, I’ve been making a conscious effort to truly work smarter (and not harder) this year. One idea that I had was to have an every-other month adult (families welcomed) program where the public gets to learn a craft or two, they take some home, and the rest goes toward’s decorating the Children’s Library the following month. People could then pick up their crafts at the end of the month if they wanted.
I was super-excited when we had nine people register, and picked up supplies accordingly. I was then super-crushed when only one person showed up. Super-fortunately, the one attendee was a crafting superstar who took the extra supplies home and donated her time to making us a bunch of awesome wire/yarn hearts.
Since we didn’t have as many yarn hearts as I’d hoped (I’d hoped for enough to hang around the entire ceiling of the library), Brittany suggested that we put them in the upper front windows. And we did! And the best part is that you really can’t seen them from the outside, but once you’re inside, they “magically” appear.
Jennifer, our fantastic children’s librarian, suggested making paper hearts that kids could write one of their favorite books on and then we put them up in the windows. The hearts, not the kids.
In 2013 we did something similar, but asked kids to write why they loved the library. Let me tell you: do the favorite book (or book that you love) thing instead. It’s an easier concept to grasp, and you’ll get a fun variety (vs. the word “books” written a bunch of times). All month long I’ve seen fabulous librarians doing the same thing, so I’m not sure who to credit with this idea, so thank you to all who do this and similar things. Isn’t it fun?!
Here’s the actual, less artsy-fartsy, setup in case you were curious:
Most of our passive programs are set up at our circulation desk (we have very little room to work with). It took a few months for people to begin looking to see what we had going on at our desk instead of noticing things just as they were leaving. Yay!
By our reading bench we put up all the love-related books and books about libraries. I found this fabulous font and voila! Insta-display.
The 3-D paper hearts were also from the failed craft event (originally supposed to be wreaths – I didn’t like their look, so I tried to hang them stalactite-like from the upper window frames. After three or four thunks of them falling, I took them all down, took them apart and sticky-tacked them up individually).
A few fell during the month, but it was less disheartening (::ba-doom-ching!::) than the other versions.
You’ll notice some “I Love My Library Because” notes on and around the windows of the display. Here’s a few closeup:
This was something that we put out in January since I made one of our Winter Reading Program BINGO boxes be “Fill out an I Love My Library Because sheet.” I’m not against encouraging good PR. And before you ask: yes, I’ll be writing about our second ever Winter Reading Program because it totally kicked last year’s in its dainty bits.
We recycled the bookworm scavenger hunt from last year, but didn’t make the worms into bookmarks – it was just a straight-up hunt for worms with different colored hearts on their books. Oh – and one kid wrote that she loved our scavenger hunts as part of her response to the I Love My Library writing prompt. Yay!
Hopefully I’ll have another post later this week covering how we streamlined Random Acts of Kindness week. It’s so streamlined, that in fact, it’s still going on. Tee-hee!