Idea Sparklers 7 - Fun Notes from the Field
These are little idea tidbits that have been successfully done at libraries of all sizes in the South Central Kansas Library System. Perhaps some of these will spark ideas for you to develop new programs and initiatives.
Follow a Veterinarian - a local vet donates a half day for a lucky child to observe and shadow them as they work. It even includes letting the kids observe surgery if they'd like and help in the recovery room (lots of petting).
Knitting Club - parent wanted to start a club so they provided the instruction and materials and worked with kids - and adults - to help them learn. What started out as a six week program was so popular that it continued for a semester.
Creative Bookmark Contest - offered annually. Advertised at the schools. The winning designs are printed up as bookmarks and sent to the child's school as well as given out at the library.
Read to Rover - therapy dogs from the Kennel Club once a month. Kids are given punch cards. If they attend the program three times, they receive a book.
Baby Bags - a bag with early lit. info, a special baby library card registration (to help track who gets cards) and a book are given out to new parents. At one time t-shirts were included with a library barcode on the back and the phrase, "I'm a Reading Baby".
Paper Chain - as kids finish reading they can add a link for each hour read on one chain or a link for books read on another chain that are on opposite sides of the room. Every 25th link is black so it's easier to count the total (because of course kids always ask!)
Read Your Way to Movies - a book is paired with the DVD in a kit. When they are checked out, the patron can put their name in a drawing to win a movie night at a theater complete with popcorn.
Pages Prowls - the library cat, named "Pages", is featured on small handouts that ask for donations for a special cause (school supplies or food donations) and these little sheets are passed out at high schools. Kids pass them along as well and their is a huge response of adults and kids who don't usually use the library coming in to drop off donations and staying to check out materials.
Laptop Prize - a donor donated three laptops for SLP prizes - decided to make it a family prize and have everyone ready. For kids a chapter equals a book.
Bed in the Library - put a blow-up bed in front of storytime chair and make it up with covers and stuffed animals. Then read bedtime stories and invite kids to play parts from The Napping House or Ten in the Bed on the bed.
Fancy Nancy Tea Party- multi-generational participation. The Red Hat Society provides the tea sets and food; kids come dressed up; cheerleaders are on hand to paint fingernails, do hairstyles and make-up.
Annual Tea Party Fundraiser - each year a new theme and people bring their own decorations to decorate their table with that theme (say, Wizard of Oz). There is music and a suggested donation since this is used as a library fundraiser.
Campout! - with this year's theme, as a reward at back to school time, have a camp-out and campfire and stories.
February = I Love to Read - hold events all month long highlighting books, reading and loving the library.
Origami World - each staff member commits to learning one origami shape - Origami Yoda is a must -. Then kids go around from staffer to staffer and learn to make origami form and do as many as they want.
A Country, A Recipe - for last year's One World, Many Stories theme, a book was picked about each country to share weekly and then the kids made a recipe from that country. At the end, staff made a recipe book for the kids.
Night at the Zoo - the librarian and kids slept over at the monkey house at the zoo. The kids made a youtube video of the experience.
Read more in the Idea Sparklers series here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11
Image: 'Lume' http://www.flickr.com/photos/28998362@N00/5158810718