LIBRARIANS: THE PARTY PEOPLE

a presentation by Marylaine Block for the Nevada Library Association, October 4-6, 2007


We all know that librarians are not the prototypical sensible-shoes-wearing little ladies with buns, but did you have any idea how much fun we can be? Here's a collection of news stories I've assembled about some image-busting librarians and the imaginative parties, programs, competitions, and stunts they've staged for their communities. To get an idea of what I had to say in this presentation, see my column, "Party People," http://marylaine.com/exlibris/xlib307.html.


Image-Busters

  • Canton Public Library, http://town.canton.ma.us/library/ - Join the Friends for a 5-hour fiesta of books - Buy a bag 'o books for $5 bucks. - Buy 'em here - Take 'em home! - For the first 5 customers who were born on the 5th of May the Friends' Mariachi a Capella Quintet will sing a chorus of "Happy Birthday" - or for a $5.00 donation they won't.

  • InfoIsland in Second Life - Official site and blog, <http://infoisland.org/>; Library Success Wiki entry, <http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Info_Island_I>; Slide Shows Tagged with InfoIsland, <http://www.slideshare.net/tag/infoisland> - See slide 47!

  • Library School Avatars, http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/2410/library-education-goes-virtual

  • The Hollywood Librarian

  • Break-dancing librarian, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK0GmiSMNGI

  • Library Workers Picket with Flair, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070823.BCSTRIKE23/TPStory/National

  • Pimp My Library, http://www.pimp-my-library.blogspot.com/

  • Unshelved! http://www.unshelved.com/Default.aspx

  • Calendar girls: "Move Over, Marian," http://www.helenair.com/yt/?p=734

  • Wyoming Libraries campaign, http://www.wyominglibraries.org/campaign.html

  • Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto - YouTube video a la Burning Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU

  • "Not so prim and proper," http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/living/books/s_525170.html

  • Interesting librarian backgrounds: http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2007/09/27/be-librarian.html

  • Some image-busting librarians: comics maven Robin Brenner, <http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6423406.html>; Jessamyn West, <http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA200903.html>; and <http://librarian.net>; "Lunar hunk" Aaron Coutu <http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA385872.htm>; Library director, juggler, and teller of tall tales Michael Sullivan <http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA510783.html> and <http://www.talestoldtall.com/>

    Parties

  • Harry Potter parties galore! See <Haunted Harry III, at Escondido Public Library> and <http://www.flickr.com/photos/escondidopubliclib/sets/72157594354391253/>; Harry Potter Prediction Party at Wallingford Public Library, <http://wallingfordlibrary.blogspot.com/2007/07/harry-potter-prediction-party.html> and the Deathly Hallows Prediction Contest at the St. Charles Public Library; a costume designer's presentation on making your own costume or adapting your Muggle wardrobe at Oshkosh PL; making slime at the Summitville (Indiana) Library;

  • Library Princess Tea Party, <http://www.herald-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070819/NEWS01/708190363/1001/NEWS10>; also, the Pink Princess Party Story Time at Oak Bluffs (MA) Public Library <http://childrensobpl.blogspot.com/2007/06/pink-princess-party-story-time.html>

  • Retro parties: Fabulous Fifties Sock Hop week at Imaginon; 80s Party, Kinderhook (NY) Memorial Library <http://teen-o-mite.blogspot.com/2007/03/teen-night-80s-party.html>

  • Teen Lock-ins - Unquiet Fridays at the Princeton Public Library; Lights Out at the Library Sleepover at Wilton (CT) Library; Locked in at the Library, at Seattle Public Library, Somerset County (NJ) Library, and Bridgeport (CT) PL; more about NJ library lock-ins, <http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/2007/09/2007-summer-reading-program-in-review.html>

  • Teddy Bears Picnic, at Bethlehem (NY) PL; also at Prospect Heights (IL) PL, where it's combined with a parade

  • Pool parties: Lakewood Public Library; Oak Hill (OH) Public Library end of summer reading program swim party

  • Library anniversary parties, like Bristol Public Library's reproduction of the original dedication program <http://www.bristolpress.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18691452&BRD=1643&PAG=461&dept_id=571108&rfi=6>

  • Ender’s Back-to-the-Future Costume Party with Stargazing on the Roof, Forsyth County (NC) Public Library, http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_RelishArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173352640908&path=!living&s=1037645509005

  • Ghostbusters, Gross Out Challenge and Costume Party, Kinderhook (NY) Memorial Library http://teen-o-mite.blogspot.com/2007/06/teen-night-ghostbusters-gross-out.html

  • CeLIBration at Georgia Tech, with speed dating, improv comedy, ninja tag and more http://theubiquitouslibrarian.typepad.com/the_ubiquitous_librarian/2007/08/celibration-200.html

  • Suggestions: Most Influential People Who Never Lived Party http://marylaine.com/exlibris/xlib295.html; 43-Man Squamish event and party http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/43-Man_Squamish

    Programs

  • Garage band nights and other rock events: Michigan YA Librarian Bill Harmer's widely imitated idea to bring rock group High Strung into the library <http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070827/ENT07/708270308/1046>; Douglas County (CO) Library's Battle of the Bands; Fargo PL annual teen rock festival

  • Duct Tape crafts. "Sample the colors of the Duct Tape rainbow--try your hand at a duct tape cell phone holster, wallet, picture frame or bookmark" at Springfield-Greene County Library (MO); making Duct Tape Ties for Father's Day at Imaginon; Duct Tape Craft sessions at Southfield (MI)Public Library

  • As seen on television: "Antiques Roadshow" type events: Rare book appraisal at San Francisco Public Library, also at Lincoln City Libraries (NE); Antiques Evaluation Day with Wes Cowan at the Allen County (IN) Public Library, <http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/>; Brown County Public Library (IN)

  • As seen on television: extreme makeover program: Martin Library, York, PA, Room Facelift Contest with presentation by HGTV hosts of Room by Room, http://www.yorklibraries.org/martin/programs/GO/families/contest%20application.pdf

  • Anime, Manga, and CosPlay events: Westhampton (NY) Free Library Cosplay Party and Comicon, <http://westhamptonfreelibraryclubmanga.blogspot.com/2007/08/cosplay-party-comicon.html>; Cincinnati Public Library, <http://teenspace.cincinnatilibrary.org/library/>

  • Interactive Murder Mysteries: Way Library (Perrysburg, OH), Mayhem at the Murder fundraiser; Lincoln City Libraries (NE) cohosted a Mayhem in the Midlands Mystery Convention

  • Dance classes: Hip Hop Dance Classes at the Houston Public Library, Belly Dancing classes at Mount Laurel Library and Queens Library

  • St Joseph County (IN) Public Library's Dungeons & Dragons event

  • Time Capsule, Mitchell Memorial Library, http://public.travis.amc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123068250

  • Things That Fly, Houston Public Library - making paper airplanes, gliders, kites, flying saucers

  • Queens Library: "Nicole Bass, the world's largest female bodybuilder at 6 ft. 2 in. and 236 lbs., former WWE and ECW wrestler, who will speak on nutrition, bodybuilding, pro-wrestling..."

  • Low Rider show at the Ft. Worth Public Library, http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6312500

  • World Cup Soccer viewing, Princeton Public Library, http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/2006/07/soccer-serendipity-success-ppl.html

  • Go Hog-Wild at the Roxbury (NJ) Public Library. Michele Reutty, president of NJLA and member of a motorcycle club called Spokes-Women, staged an all-day motorcycle event, http://www.spokes-women.org

  • Make a Movie Night, teen event at Asheboro (NC)Public Library http://tametheweb.com/2007/04/teens_can_make_movies.html

  • Queens Library: What to Do with Tape & Glue, Grown-ups' Style

  • Sidewalk Drawing - St. Charles (IL) Public Library

  • RhythmWeb - "Learn about the drums of the world and how to make homemade ones." Houston Public Library

  • Connect up with the International Space Station: Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL, http://www.dailyherald.com/column/?id=34179

  • Turn old computer parts into jewelry at the Ann Arbor District Library

  • Model train exhibit, Smyrna (TN) Library, http://www.murfreesboropost.com/news.php?viewStory=4936

  • Science on Patrol, King Count Library System, in collaboration with the King County Sheriff's Office, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/eastsidenews/2003836977_library15e.html

  • Giant Chess at Hennepin County Library

  • The Art of T-Shirt Slashing at the Hennepin County Library

  • Women's Business Expo, Middle Country (NY) Library http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzlibe0919,0,5883047.story

  • "Local Public Servants Read to Children as part of the fifth annual American Hero Bookfair," Yuma County (AZ) Libraries, http://www.yumasun.com/news/children_36409___article_news.html/yuma_zinn.html

    Community festivals

  • Librarypalooza - Princeton Public Library, Everett (WA) Public Library - http://www.towntopics.com/oct0803/gallery.html; http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6423395.html;

  • Arts Festival, Las Vegas Clarke County Library District, http://www.lvccld.org/events/event.cfm

  • Sample the Arts at Springfield Greene County (MO) Library, http://thelibrary.org/programs/other/samplethearts.cfm

  • Community Tile Day, "Birthday Mural" at Corvallis-Benton County Library (OR) - http://www.gtconnect.com/articles/2007/07/26/news/people/2gwd01_july21.txt

  • Queensborough Library - something for all 142 nationalities in the community - http://queenslibrary.org/index.aspx?page_id=27§ion_id=6 - Polish Folk Music and Dance, A Musical Journey, from Hebrew to Yiddish, Brazilian Music Concert & Dance Performance, Traditional Puerto Rican Music of Cuatro Puertorriqueño, etc.

  • Wilton Library's all-community concert with Chris Brubeck

  • Cinco de Mayo celebrations and Dia de los ninos; dia de los libros celebrations, http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/diadelosninos/diacelebrations/diacelebrations.htm; see Omaha Public Library's contribution to Cinco de Mayo parade http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2252206039125231411

  • Storytelling Festivals - Multnomah County (OR) Library's Tapestry of Tales, <http://www.multcolib.org/events/tales/>; Orem (UT) Public Library Timpanagos Storytelling Festival, <http://www.timpfest.org/about/library.html>; Tampa-Hillsborough County Library, <http://www.tampastory.org/>.

  • Book Crawl - Ann Arbor District Library, Chelsea District Library, Ypsilanti District Library in concert

    Food!!

  • Barbecue for Books, Ashland (OR) Library fundraiser, http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070908/LIFE/709080313

  • Snacking the Middle East Way - Bettendorf (IA) Public Library

  • Cookie Swap, Stillwater (OK) Public Library, http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Programs_for_Adults

  • Marshalltown (IA) Public Library fund-raising event: the annual downtown chocolate walk

  • Salsa Making Contest - Ocean County (NJ) Library

  • Books, Blooms and Baked Goods Sale, Bonham (TX) Public Library http://heralddemocrat.com/articles/2007/04/14/life/life03.txt

  • A Night To Remember - Titanic fare at the Ocean County Library, http://tritown.gmnews.com/news/2007/0913/Front_Page/015.html

  • Cakepan Collections: North Liberty (IA) Public Library, http://www.northlibertylibrary.org/vttwo/cakepans/cakepans.html; also Reed Memorial Library (OH), whose collection includes Sponge Bob, Barbie, Spiderman, etc.

  • Willie Wonka Design a Candybar Contest, Cuyahoga County (OH) PL

  • Dayton&Montgomery County Library teen event celebrating National Potato Chip Day

  • Cookies in the shape of the new library building - St. Ambrose University Library

    Competitions and Stunts

  • The Smelly Six of the Henderson District Library, <http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA633315.html>; also see <http://www.flickr.com/photos/12764830@N00/>; cf Read for the Record at Howard County Library, to break the world record for the largest shared reading experience, <http://www.hclibrary.org/about/press_readrecord.php>; also, the Reading Relay, Washoe County (NV) Library System, <http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070929/NEIGHBORHOODS/709290326/1247>

  • Teen video, photography, and art competitions: Princeton PL's Student-Made Film and Video competition; Lakewood Public Library's Photos of the city of Lakewood competition, <http://www.lkwdpl.org/art/photocontest/index.html>; Kids' Art Fair at Ann Arbor District Library <http://www.aadl.org/node/4512>; Pet and Wildlife K-12 Photo Contest, Ann Arbor District Library; Asheboro Public Library's video editing contest <http://tametheweb.com/2007/04/teens_can_make_movies.html>

  • As seen on television: American Idol competitions: Chesterfield Township Public Library, <http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070902/CFP06/709020357/1110/NEWS>; also, Louisville Free Library's Library Idol competition, <http://public.lisnews.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/07/1725206>

  • Geocaching events: Penn State Library, <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051017071602.htm> and <http://www.psu.edu/ur/2005/geocaching.html>; also Case Western Reserve Library's Geocaching contest, <http://library.case.edu/ksl/csgd/geocaching.html>; and Nampa Public Library; What IS geocaching? <http://www.case.edu/pubs/cnews/2003/4-17/schneider.htm>

  • LEGO contests, Ann Arbor District Library, <http://www.aadl.org/node/4869>; also Marshall District Library (MI) <http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070719/LIFESTYLE08/707190305/1032/LIFESTYLE08>

  • Costume contests: FantasyFest Costume contest for teens at the Douglas County (CO) Library; or come to the Ann Arbor District Library to create your own superhero costume; Society for Creative Anachronism program at the Fargo Public Library (motto: "where the fun is free") ;

  • Writing contests: St. Joseph County Library's Eerie Imaginings short story contest, http://sjcpl.org/whatsnew/libraryevents/eerie/default.html;

  • Athletic events: Library Walkathon, Waterboro (ME) Public Library <http://www.waterborolibrary.org/labels/waterboro>; Read and Run for Your Health 5K and 1 Mile Walk at Henderson Libraries <http://www.mypubliclibrary.com/programs/5KRun.html>; Huntley Area (IL) Public Library Kick-a-thon <http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2007/08/15/news/local/doc46c287daacdd7168083014.txt>; 5K Race for the Kennebunk Free Library (Its 10th annual) <http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070712/NEWS/707120364/-1/rss07>

  • Gaming contests: Dance Dance Revolution contests, Super Smash Brothers Melee at St. Joseph County Public Library; Forsyth County Public Library; Imaginon, many others.

  • Pimp My Bookcart contests, <http://www.unshelved.com/blog.aspx?post=877>; winners: <http://www.unshelved.com/blog.aspx?post=745>

  • Bookcart drill teams, <http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0627/p20s01-algn.html>; videos: <http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=3D22BCD718780C1C>; photo sets: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanlibraries/641160172/>

  • Library moving day stunts: human chain at St. Ambrose University Library; the Great Mount Kisco (NY) Library Book Race, http://mtklibraryfoundation.org/newsbookrace.html

  • A Day in Allen County on Flickr
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/434085021/

  • Voluntary Public Humiliation: "Wackiest librarian in Texas" perches on roof until $20,000 is raised <http://www.main.org/tla3/rosealeta.htm>; Turn library staff into the superheroes of your choice, <http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=128697&ac=PHnws>; Aaron Coutu of the green hair (see above)

  • M&M mosaic Guinness Book event at Evergreen Park Library (IL), http://mosaicinfo.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/library-has-sweet-way-to-break-a-record/

  • Teen YouTube Contest for a library promotion - Eden Prairie Library (MN), http://tametheweb.com/2007/08/eden_prairie_library_contest_e.html

  • Nampa (ID) Public Library Contest for Ideas for the new library, http://nampalibrary-sketchbook.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html

  • Teen Songwriting Contest, Nashville Public Library, http://www.library.nashville.org/teens/songwriting/songwritingsongs7.asp

  • Fantasy Baseball Competition at the Krauss Memorial Library, Rockford MI, http://folusa.org/sharing/programs-projects.php

  • Celebrity Doodles Auction, Bettendorf Public Library, http://www.bettendorflibrary.com/libraryfund/events.htm

  • Win an iPod Shuffle at our Guitar Hero Contest, Corbin Public Library (MA), http://chesterccorbinyouthservices.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/win-an-ipod-our-guitar-hero-contest/

  • Partners in a Great System (P.I.G.S.) promotion, Alliance Library System, <http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA510552.html>; cf Painted Bears fundraiser for the Park County Library in Cody, WY, http://www.codyenterprise.com/articles/2007/08/08/news/news1.prt

  • Gname this Gnome at the Jones Library, Amherst MA; cf name the cartoon dog's sidekick at Anderson (IN) Public Library for Library Card Signup Month in 2005.

  • Spooky Superstitions Day Friday the 13th at the Hartford Public Library, http://www.hplct.org/teen/superstitionday.htm

  • Cupstacking competition, Ann Arbor District Library

  • Easter egg and book hunt staged by junior Friends of the Reno Library (?)

  • Googlewhack@your library, http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/0928sr-arts28sideZ8.html

  • Build a Scarecrow on the front lawn contest, Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown MA, http://folusa.org/sharing/programs-projects.php

  • Car Rally treasure hunt adventure, Fort Frances Public Library, Ontario, CA, http://www.fftimes.com/node/204027

  • Baker & Taylor Cat Calendar Contest, Payson (AZ) Public Library, http://www.paysonroundup.com/section/localnews/story/30287

  • Whining Contest at the Chesterfield Township (MI) Library's Stilton Cheese and Whine Party, http://www.thetimesherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070828/NEWS01/708280311/1002

  • Quilt Me a Story Contest, Pelican Rapids (MN) Public Library

  • Recycled Art Competition, Delphi (IN) Public Library, http://www.carrollcountycomet.com/news/2007/0905/local_News/077.html



    Displays, Design and Decorations

  • Prospect Heights PL (IL) decorates for Christmas with children's hats and mittens, to be given away to children in need

  • "For Dummies" Book Display, Lansing Public Library, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lansinglibrary/454834828/

  • Chicago Public Library's To Kill a Mockingbird promotion

  • Anonymous library: "Follow the Yellow Book Road; "Read My Lips" displays, both based on appearance of book jackets

  • Mural project at the Belleville (Ontario) Public Library

    Addenda

  • Ideas from FOLUSA members http://folusa.org/sharing/programs-projects.php

  • Maybe a little TOO cool? "Walworth Library Director accused of furnishing alcohol to minors." http://www.theweekextra.com/news/0807/082407library.html