Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Ogre that stole my heart

One weekend morning, our YS Manager arrived to find a huge Ogre on lawn of the library.

Questions circulated as to why this Ogre found his way to the Library... A student art project? Trash? A prank? He was moved into our workroom while we tried to solve the mystery. Seeing him everyday, I have become quite fond of him...
Unfortunately, not all of my co-workers feel the same. They have discussed painting over him or throwing him away. They called him ugly and they called him trash.

We finally found our answer as to the origin of the monster on a local teens deviant art page. (it can be found here: http://www.beckeez.deviantart.com/)
This instantly made me think of the book P.L.A.I.N. Janes by Cecil Castelluci. (If you haven't read this, you really need to)

I feel honored that we were chosen to be a part of this teens artistic mission.
I am fighting to keep the monster in the library.
I would hate to see something happen to a piece of art that anyone worked on. It is about 7 feet tall and took time, tools, sweat and a vision to create. I think it would be disrespectful to paint over it or trash him. I am even more passionate about this because a teen made it. Not many teens really commit so strongly to an artistic mission like this one. I hope I can convince my library (or another library) to display this monster and I hope it encourages the teen who made it to continue with her art. I will certainly keep my eyes open for it.

I think this monster fulfilled his artistic destiny. He aroused questions and emotions. He confused us, angered some of us and even made a few of us giggle.


Sunday, June 1, 2008


What is Steampunk?
It's a movement, it's a genre, it's so much more than you ever knew.

With a scene present in the local area, I thought I would experiment with a few ideas surrounding this underground phenomenon.

First I set up a display of Steampunk Literature. This included a booklist, books, a captains hat with goggles, some large gears, an old book from the early 1900s and a technical steampunkesqe drawing.

This actually attracted a lot of attention. One woman checked out a majority of the display moments after I had set it up. While checking out she mentioned that she was glad to see the display and get a booklist because she was having a discussion with a friend about the "Steampunk Genre" and her friend didn't believe that it existed.

I also threw a little steampunk into a program we were doing. My co-worker found a great program idea on another blog and we did our own version of A Great and Terrible Tea.
The idea is loosely based on the Libba Bray books A great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels and A Sweet Far Thing. I promoted the event with tea bags. I just stapeled our event information on the end of the string and put them out in a mug.

My co-worker also made a great flyer that a few teens mentioned caught their attention in the evaluation.

The event was a blast! We had a quiz on which Great and Terrible Beauty are you. I had a blast making the quiz. (Which I can email anyone who wants to have an event like this.)
We then talked about Victorian Calling Cards and the teens made their own calling cards using an assortment of supplies.

Here are a few:

We then had tea (in our own favorite teacup)
and homemade scones (lovingly baked by my wonderful co-worker and amazing supervisor). I played my Sleepy Hollow Soundtrack and one of the teens borrowed it from me. We then played this amazing version of Mystery Date Gemma Doyle style that my co-worker created. Watch her blog for details about her fabulous creation!

We also awarded prizes for costumes. I love costumes and dressing up, so we have these at programs a lot. Here are the winners:


We want teens to come to the library.
We get the books they want to read.
We hold events we hope they'll want to attend.
We go to the High Schools to tell them about these things.
But what else can we do?
Getting the word out and letting the teens decide on their own that it would be cool to go to the library is hard. How can we do effective outreach to teens?
My co-worker came up with a great solution... Set up a booth at an Anime Convention!

We not only promoted our library's collection and events, but we obtained other literature from cities within a days driving distance. We also handed out sheets on how to get a manga/anime collection started.
I must say this was an amazing experience. LOTS of teens came up to our table. A lot of adults came up to our table. We met librarians from all over and exchanged ideas and stories. We bonded with our local teen patrons who are anime fans and met new ones. People were excited to know about our events and anime clubs. Some we're excited to learn that libraries offered such things!

We raffled off a Ramune and bag of goodies every hour and one of the highlights was seeing the teens get so excited about their goodies.
Another great surprise was to see the teens I worked with at my old library in Boone. It was great to see them and hard to believe it's been 2 years and they are graduating and going to college!

I made a steampunk costume for the event because I love any reason to dress up!

I also met other people in the community who would love to donate their time and talent to the library. I must say that I left the event inspired and excited to come back in future years.