I am so woefully behind on sharing with y’all what we’ve been doing at our Children’s Library that drastic measures are called for in order to catch you up. So this post is designed to be a fast ‘n furious update with minimal text. If you have any questions whatsoever about anything you see here, there, or anywhere on my blog, then don’t hesitate to ask me! Either in the comments, on social media, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now onto the themes!
January 2017: ‘Appy New Year!
I’ve already written about this, but here’s a quick visual for ya.
This theme is one of the most loudly commented-upon by kids. I lost count of how many kids would come into our library and excitedly tell us how much they love emojis. We also had ample opportunities to discuss our ebook resource with patrons.
February 2017: Toss Kindness Like Confetti
This is the only 2017 theme that neither Natasia, our resident artist and creator of our decor, nor I remembered to get a picture of anything. ::trombone wah wah:: You can get a bit of information in this previous post.
March 2017: Nebraska Sesquicentennial
All Nebraska librarians learned to say the word “sesquicentennial” when our state celebrated it’s 150th birthday.
The bunting is made out of an atlas that was in our Friends’ book sale with yellow circles in-between.
April 2017: Artsy April
This time around for Artsy April, I asked Natasia to show off her personal artistic style. And let me tell you what: this has been the most popular window display EVER.
Both children and adults alike where enamored with Natasia’s beautiful work. What you can’t tell from the photos is that the smaller circles are gold leaf. For reals. It shimmered and created gorgeous effects. Pure. Magic.
The other dots were tissue paper.
May 2017: The final LEGO MAY-nia
We decided that 2017 would be the last time that we celebrated all things LEGO in May. We felt like we were giving a lot of free advertising to the LEGO company. Plus, we had plenty of other things we wanted to do instead. All that said, we went out with quite a LEGO bang!
Plastic table cloths and cardstock et voilà! Window display with impact!
We put up real LEGOs on our wall to hide all of the paint damage from sticky tack. ::side eyes sticky tack::
We affixed ultra-brief bios of each real-life “Master Builder” underneath their LEGO Mini Figs so that people could sit on the bench and look up to learn something.
We loved these giant LEGO bricks that Natasia made so much that we decided to group them in a smaller space so that they’d have a bigger impact. We generally don’t decorate around our activity area, but this was perfect.
And although LEGO MAY-nia is over, we will forever do our most popular passive program: The Little Library LEGO Club. A HUGE shout-out to S Bryce Kozla for this program. This year we finally decided to not put batteries into the base (the tower would get too heavy to spin), and let the kids turn the platform to find the perfect spot. This has been a wonderful change that I wish we’d done from the beginning.
June & July 2017: CSLP’s Build a Better World
Natasia did an incredible job with our decor for the summer. Her use of tissue paper is mind-blowing. And with this front exterior, she did a beautiful blend of both tissue paper and cardstock.
The only issue with this decor was that the summer sun beats down on our building for the first half of the day. Instead of sweltering in silence, Natasia opted to go with the flow, and actually ended up getting more compliments on her gears since her solution made them really pop:
Lightly-colored shadows were cast onto the white paper by the tissue paper gears in direct sunlight. It looked super-cool.
Those 3D gears actually did turn if you were gentle.
August 2017: The Ocean
The main paper cutout of the shark was popular with kids. So popular, in fact, that many would come up and smack the window where it was at, scaring the bejebus out of us. It also looked creepy when kids had their hands on the outside windows (little shadowy hannnnds…).
This display was a team effort between Natasia and Adina. All of those ocean creature silhouettes strategically hid sticky tack scars. ::stink eyes the sticky tack::
It was a lot of fun to see people notice the jellyfish – usually when the air vent was blowing and their tentacles gently moved. Natasia made these using paper lanterns cut in half, paint, and plastic bags.
September 2017: Monarch Butterflies
It’s rare for me to declare a theme, but I couldn’t help myself with this one. I have adored monarch butterflies since I was a child, and had begun rearing them from egg to adult. What Natasia did with my request was absolutely stunning. Everything (except the green leaves) were made from black poster board and tissue paper.
I kept the above caterpillar and have him in my home. The rest went to a local high school teacher for her classroom.
I haven’t talked about our fabulous team member Adina enough on this blog. She’s revolutionized our decor over at our Main Library, and lends a helping hand at Children’s now-and-then. She created this cheery scene with paper, scissors, and paper punches. Wow!!!!!
Ashlynn created this neat display on our whiteboard that showed the life cycle of monarchs. LOVE.
October 2017: Creatures of the Night
We continue to enjoy not being constrained by holidays in terms of decor, though that doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun with it. Our focus was on nocturnal critters, and Natasia knocked it out of the park using scissors, an x-acto knife, and black poster board.
::sings:: Gooooogly Eyyyyyes!!!
November 2017: The Return of Dinovember
Typically we don’t like to repeat themes, but since Natasia wasn’t part of our team during our first Dinovember, we thought it’d be fun to have her take a whack at it. She decided to do a “doodle” version of dinos à la Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the like.
December 2017: Decemberley featuring Mo Willems
Ok y’all. I know that we’re in the wrong in the world of copyright. But there are times where I can be a bit of a petulant child (sorry, Hyperion Books for Children and Mr. Willems). When I had the thought of “Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Zamboni,” I knew that we had to celebrate Mo Willems’ work for our annual Decemberley celebration. And I think that it was a good choice because we could hear kids shouting their favorite characters’ names as they approached our front door. Duckling got a ton of love.
I was unable to photograph the cool ice effect that Natasia achieved after some trial and error. The ice is made up of long strips of packing tape that have been covered in different sizes of glitter. It looked amazing in the sunlight. Sooooo sparkly.
My favorite part of our decor was when I realized that we could hang images of all the things that the Pigeon wants (as chronicled in both Pigeon Wants a Puppy and Duckling Gets a Cookie!?). It was irreverent, fun, and a ton of fun when either people figured it out or asked us what was the deal with the cookies, hotdogs, french fry robots, etc. Plus they would spin, and at least once a year I want things hanging/spinning from our ceiling. What can I say? It makes me happy.
Another big shout-out to Angie Manfredi for her Winter Reading Program idea. It continues to be very popular and is a good idea.
Finally, I blew up the How to Draw Pigeon instructions from PigeonPresents.com for our white board.
AND THAT’S WHAT WE DID IN 2017!!!!
Hooray! You made it through my most epic post ever. And as a reward for making it to the end, I’ve included the images that I created (or just colored in) for our Mo Willems celebration. Click on the image below to get a pdf of both sides of the following images: a cookie, hot dog, walrus, iceberg, puppy, bus, and french fry robot. You can use these images however you’d like – enjoy!
Disclaimer: no pigeons were harmed in the making of this post.